Thursday, September 29, 2011

Local College Plans Chinese Film Festival

Are you fascinated with Chinese culture and love film? If so, or if you just want to try a taste of Oriental film, South Texas College’s Pecan Campus Library is sponsoring a Chinese Film Festival throughout the month of October. Every Wednesday night in the month at 6 p.m. a different Chinese movie will be shown in the Ann Richards Administration Building Auditorium located at 3201 West Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Due to its immense size and rapidly growing economy, China is always in the news and this is an opportunity for STC students, faculty and staff and community members to learn more about this fascinating country. It’s also an opportunity to have a fun time enjoying some really great movies,” said Joshua Wallace, STC Pecan Campus librarian.

The schedule includes “Hero” on Oct. 5, 2011, “Kung Fu Hustle” on Oct. 12, 2011, “Eat Drink Man Woman” on Oct. 19, 2011, and “Saving Face” on Oct. 26, 2011.

For more information contact Joshua Wallace at 956-872-2623 or, or contact Esther Garcia at 956-872-6485 or

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United Way Helps Grulla High Students

RGCCISD Grulla High School and Rio Grande City High School receive school supplies from the United Way for incoming freshmen students. Project Fresh Start is an endeavor started by the United Way of South Texas this year to help students start the school year with basic supplies. In addition to school supplies, both RGCCISD Grulla High School and Rio Grande City High School were given sets of dictionaries, thesaurus' and map colors for several of their classrooms. This project is possible with the monetary contributions to the United Way. Pictured; RGCCISD Grulla High School 9th Grade Students and Administrators Mr. T.J. Gonzalez-Vice Principal and Mrs. Armandina Villarreal-Librarian. RGCCISD photo.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saenz Sworn in as Precinct 4 Commissioner

Former Mayor Pro-Tem Ruben Saenz was sworn-in to the office of Precinct 4 Commissioner on Monday, September 26, 2011, taking the place of County Commissioner Abel Gonzalez Jr. who died unexpectedly earlier this month. He will serve out Gonzalez's term until the March 2012 elections. (Read Full Article)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Local College Invites All to PalmFest 2011

History buffs, art lovers and children of all ages won’t want to miss special activities planned by South Texas College for PalmFest 2011. Taking place Oct. 1 and 2, 2011 at the McAllen Convention Center, the annual celebration features a variety of interactive booths, music, shows and food.

“We are setting up the STC Heritage Village with the idea of making history come to life, and making the experience of learning about history fun,” explained Elizandro Munoz, STC history instructor. “The indoor historical exhibits will include a Mexican-American War exhibit on loan from the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, an American Revolutionary War uniform with period weapons, and my personal United States Civil War exhibit.”

The outdoor exhibits will consist of living history performers representing the 19th and early 20th century period, who will give a variety of demonstrations including musket preparation and the art of making arrow heads. An authentic teepee campsite will also be on view.

For those who enjoy creating and viewing art, STC’s Visual Arts and Music Department and Visual Arts and Music Club have a wide variety of fun activities planned for the whole family. For budding artists of all ages, participants can create their own works of art on pre-made paper mache and matte frames using coloring pencils and markers. Those interested in pottery can get a small amount of wet clay to create small, one-of-a-kind pinch pots. Also, original coloring books created with student prints will be available.

If you simply wish to enjoy the creative process without the hands-on work, music faculty and students will perform live at designated times throughout the festival and visual art students will give sketching demos.

And every young child, and all those young at heart, will enjoy the fun of “Three Men in a Tub,” “Lucy Locket,” “The Old Woman in a Shoe,” and much more as faculty and students from STC’s Child Development Program dress in costume and dramatize Mother Goose rhymes.

Stargazers can enjoy a little of the night sky during the day at the festival with the college’s traveling planetarium, which offers a glimpse of space through time.

In addition to STC’s activities, PalmFest attendees will enjoy a Pan de Campo Campsite, fajita cook-off, car show, El Mercado artisan and farmers market shopping and KidsVille, a special entertainment zone for children. For more information about PalmFest visit

Friday, September 23, 2011

Local College, University Improve Transfer Process

The South Texas College Jaguars and The University of Texas at Brownsville Scorpions united recently to take the sting out of student transfers. Administrators and faculty from both institutions signed agreements covering 19 academic programs to ensure the seamless transfer of students from STC to UTB.

The agreements allow STC graduates who earn Associate of Art and Associate of Science degrees in the fields of art, biology, chemistry, communication arts, computer aided drafting and design, computer information systems technology, computer science, criminal justice, engineering, history, math, music, physics, political science, precision manufacturing, psychology, sociology and Spanish to seamlessly transfer to UTB to continue their studies toward a bachelor's degree.

“This articulation process is extremely important because it tells me that UTB has great confidence in the rigor of our education and the quality of our institution, and it shows the respect they have for STC and our community,” said Dr. Shirley A. Reed, STC president. “We are entering a new era when STC, UTB and The University of Texas-Pan American are working collaboratively to make things much smoother and seamless for Valley students.”

“As fast as STC, UTPA and UTB grow, the population is growing much faster. It outpaces everything we can do. It’s only the notion of collective impact that will help us keep pace and create those needed pathways to higher education,” said UTB President Juliet V. Garcia. “We have to work harder together to make sure there is no abyss for students to fall into. When we create these pathways to college we are opening the door to an entire family, not just one student, to a new world of opportunities.”

Juan E. Mejia, STC vice president for academic affairs, also shared his sincere appreciation to Dr. Alan Artibise, UTB provost, for his leadership in helping craft the agreements between both institutions.

"When you are working with leaders like Alan that have a sincere interest in student success, you have a unique opportunity to accomplish great things," said Mejia. “Through Alan’s championship and the hard work of his team, coupled with the dedication of STC’s Academic Affairs team, our regional students have expanded access to phenomenal opportunities to continue their studies at a tremendous institution.

“We are thankful to the leaders across The University of Texas System for their creative spirit and service to our communities,” he added. “We share a special bond with both UTB and UTPA. These universities recognize the value of our students and are committed to 100 percent articulation with STC.”

For more information about STC call 956-872-8311 or visit For more information about UTB call 956-882-8200 or visit

Photo caption:
STC and UTB administrators following the articulation signing.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Local Theater Dept. Set to Start Season

South Texas College’s Theatre Department has returned with its second full season of productions for the Valley community to enjoy. “We are bringing a little bit of everything from suspense to drama, comedy and romance to the stage this year,” said Joel Jason Rodriquez, STC drama instructor. “All of our productions feature our very own STC theater students cast alongside community members, creating a unique mix of talent that will impress even the most discerning theater pallet.”

The season opens with Steven Dietz’s “Dracula” running from Oct. 13 to 16, 2011. Neil Simon’s “Rumors” follows from Dec. 1 to 4, 2011. In the spring, the department presents George S. Kauffman and Moss Hart’s “The Man Who Came to Dinner” from Feb. 23 to 26, 2012 and the season ends with the department’s Academic Co-Operative Studio Production of Don Zolidis’ “The Brothers’ Grim Spectaculathon” from May 3 to 6, 2012.

“Our Theater Program has grown exponentially during the past two years and we have professional-quality costumes, lighting and backdrops that add to the budding talent of our students,” expressed Rodriguez. “We have a growing regional following and we hope many more community members come out to support the theater stars of tomorrow.”

All productions will be held at STC’s Pecan Campus Cooper Center for Communication Arts located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen. Ticket prices for Main Stage Productions are $5 for STC students, faculty and staff members, senior citizens, and members of the military and $10 for general admission, while Studio Productions are set at $5 general admission. All Sunday matinee productions are interpreted in American Sign Language by student interns from STC’s Interpreter Training Program.

For those who wish to attend the theater year round and support the students’ artistic endeavors, patrons are invited to subscribe to the STC Theater Department’s Season Pass Program. With the pass, subscribers are given tickets for all productions and receive special deals for added guest performances that may occur throughout the year. Season pass prices are $15 for STC students, faculty and staff members, senior citizens, and members of the military and $25 for community members.

For additional information about upcoming performances, tickets or season passes visit or call 956-872-2366 or 956-872-2348.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rep. Guillen Speaks at Local Farming Event

State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr) (left) stands with Starr County Farm Bureau member Refugio Alaniz (right) during the organization's annual convention Thursday evening in Rio Grande City. Rep. Guillen gave an in-depth review of the accomplishments and setbacks of the Texas 82nd Legislature while providing farmers and ranchers in attendance with updates on the state's agriculture industry and border security efforts. An experienced rancher, Guillen listened to the concerns of Starr County's agricultural community and stated he plans to address the issues during the state's 83rd legislative session. As a chapter of the Texas Farm Bureau, the Starr County Farm Bureau is an active voice for ranchers, farmers, and all involved in agricultural practices.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

RGC High Students Encourage Community Gardening

Sixteen Rio Grande City high agriculture students from Mrs. Randy Lara Martin’s class spent Wednesday morning along side other volunteers planting a garden at Dr. Mario Ramirez elementary. The experience reinforced the idea that community gardening is a successful and long lasting when the people affected by the garden have a role in leading the development of the garden. A total of fourteen community collaborators made contributions to the gardening project reports Yolanda Morado, Texas Agrilife Extension Service agent.

Elementary students and parents worked along side of school staff members such as Sixto Flores Jr. and community volunteers like retired science teacher Mr. Ruben Lopez laying the foundation for the garden. Community gardens advance community organizing and development. These type of programs empower local leadership, nurture families, strengthen economic development, and improve quality of life overall. Serving as project coordinator was Rolando “Ronnie” Zamora Cooperative Extension Program Agriculture agent.

Agriculture students experienced a different school day by serving as volunteers in a dynamic community building project..starting a garden.

Local College Offers Mini-Mesters

If you weren’t’ able to enroll in classes in time for the fall 201 semester or weren’t able to get in the class you need, South Texas College is offering students the opportunity to enroll in “Mini-Mester” courses to earn college credit at an accelerated pace. The college offers courses under the Mini-Mester Program that can be completed in intensive study over five, eight, 10 or 12 week periods.

“We understand that some students are not sure what their situation will be for the upcoming semester and work conflicts and life changes may impact their ability to register for the start of the normal semester,” said Anahid Petrosian, STC assistant to the vice president for academic affairs. “Mini-Mesters offer a second opportunity for students to earn needed credits at an accelerated pace. There are several core classes on the schedule for this fall.”

Students from across Hidalgo and Starr counties have access to some Mini-Mester classes at the college’s Pecan and Technology campuses in McAllen and Mid-Valley Campus in Weslaco. A majority of the courses available will be via Internet through the college’s eSTC Virtual Campus. Courses in many academic fields are available including art, business administration, computer science, English, government, math, psychology, sociology, Spanish and speech, just to name a few.

For additional information about STC’s Mini-Mesters call 956-872-8311 or for a complete schedule of available classes visit

Monday, September 19, 2011

RGCHS FFA Members Recipients of State Award

RGCCISD Press Release
The red seats of the United Spirit Arena were covered by the national blue jackets of Future Farmers of America (FFA) members on Tuesday afternoon for the 2011 Lone Star FFA Degree ceremony. With 1,395 FFA members receiving the degree and golden charm, the ceremony seemed nearly as big as the Lone Star State itself.

The highest degree awarded by the Texas FFA Association, the Lone Star FA Degree is bestowed upon FA members who have successfully completed the necessary work on their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) and FFA activities. FFA members may apply to receive the Lone Star Degree only after they have received the Chapter FFA Degree.

In order to receive the Lone Star Degree, students must be active FFA members for at least three years, complete at least four semesters of agricultural science at or above the ninth grade level, maintain a SAE program and demonstrate their leadership skills, and show a commitment to the FFA through involvement at the chapter level and above. In addition, degree candidates must complete 25 hours of community service among many other qualifications.

Rio Grande City FFA members Cody Lee Lara and Araceli Lopez were recipients of this prestigious award shown in the picture with their FFA Advisor Mrs. Randy Lee Martin. Pictured left to right are Cody Lee Lara, Mrs. Randy Lee Martin, and Araceli Lopez.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Local Leader Dies Unexpectedly

Starr County Commissioner Abel Gonzalez Jr. died in the early morning hours of Wednesday (Sept. 14) after being hospitalized for a bad headache. (Source Article)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Local College Displays Photo Art Exhibit

Starr County residents will enjoy a mix of old photograph techniques blended with the new in “Rediscovery and the Illumination of Old and Revealing of New,” an art exhibit featuring digitally-altered photographs by Phyllis Evans. The exhibit will be on display from Sept. 20 to Dec. 9, 2011 at South Texas College’s Starr County Campus Library Art Gallery located at 142 FM 3167 in Rio Grande City. Admission is free and open to the public.

Evans is the chair of STC’s Visual Arts and Music Department and an assistant professor of art for the college. The photographs in the exhibit were taken with a medium-format Rolleiflex camera, developed traditionally, and then digitally-altered.

“The process of creating these distinct photographs is part of bridging the old with the new in today’s nostalgic, yet contemporary society,” said STC Library Art Gallery Technician Kandra Maldonado. “Evan’s work reflects her desire to express emotions and visual metaphors through a medium of creative art to communicate realistic existence within life and this is reflected throughout her photos.”

STC’s Library Art Gallery Program exhibits regional, national and international artwork, explores new visions and theories of creativity, and introduces innovative artistic expressions to the South Texas region.

For more information contact STC’s Library Art Gallery Program at 956-872-3488 or at, or visit

Photo caption:
“La Pradrera,” a digitally-altered photograph by Phyllis Evans.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rattlers Beat Mercedes Tigers 39 to 28

RGCCISD Press Release
The Rio Grande City High School Rattlers reigned over the Mercedes Tigers on Thursday, September 8, 2011 with a score of 39 to 28. The Rattlers gave it all they had and proved to be successful. All the players demonstrated great team spirit and cohesiveness all night and were totally elated with the final score. Congratulations to the Rattlers on a job well done! (RGCCISD Photo).

Guillen Visits RGC High

State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr) (left) stands with Rio Grande City High School Principal Adolfo Peña Jr. (right) on Sept. 8 during a football pep rally. After delivering a motivational speech for the football team of his alma mater at the event, Rep. Guillen congratulated the Rattler football players on their win Thursday night. The Rattlers defeated the Mercedes Tigers in Rio Grande City by a score of 39 - 28.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Starr County Deputy Resigns; Under Investigation

Valley media reports; Starr County Sheriff's Deputy Israel Rios has resigned while an investigation continues concerning a large amount of cocaine discover on property owned by him and his brother. (Read Full Article)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Starr County to cut Budget, Keeps Jobs

Due to several issues resulting in revenue loss, Starr County officials declare they will have to cut budgets across all departments, however most departments were reportedly grateful that no job cuts seem to be necessary at this point. (Read Full Article)

Monday, September 5, 2011

RGC Public Library Offers Free ESL Classes

Rio Grande City Public Library will be offering an informal program for practicing English conversation every Tuesday and Thursday beginning Sept 6 from 9:00am – 11:00am. Classes are free. You may register at the library located at 591 E. Canales St or call 956-487-4389. Library hours are Monday – Thursday
8:30am – 7:00pm and Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm.

Habrá un programa informal para practicar su inglés conversacional en la biblioteca de Rio Grande. Puede inscribirse en la biblioteca ubicada 591 E. Canales St o llame a 956-487-4389. Horario de la biblioteca es de lunes - jueves 8:30 am - 7:00 pm y viernes de 8:30 am - 5:30 pm. Las clases son gratis. Simplemente llegue con ganas de aprender.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Guillen Recognized by Texas Deer Breeding Industry

AUSTIN —State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr) was recognized as a friend and supporter of the Texas Deer Association (TDA), a non-profit organization in Texas dedicated to improving the quality of Texas deer herds. Rep. Guillen was presented the award by TDA President David Hayward at TDA's annual convention luncheon on Aug. 12 in San Antonio.

"Deer breeding and hunting in Texas are multi-million dollar industries that positively affect our state's economy and attract avid hunters and wildlife enthusiasts from across the world and creates jobs." said Rep. Guillen, Chairman of the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. "It was a pleasure working in conjunction with the Texas Deer Association during the state's past legislative session to ensure an even brighter future for these important industries."

TDA President David Hayward recognized Chairman Guillen for his leadership on deer-related legislation throughout the past legislative session as well as his continuing commitment to support the needs of the industry as a viable contributor to the Texas economy. Hayward stated, “Chairman Guillen has been a guiding force supporting due process for deer permit holders as well as many legislative and regulatory changes having a positive impact on the sound management of deer-breeding and deer-hunting industries.”

The Texas Deer Association's primary goal is to increase quality hunting opportunities for all Texans. To achieve this goal, the TDA advocates wise management practices, promotes research and technology regarding improvements to deer herds through the practice of controlled breeding, and recognizes that hunting and wildlife management are lifelong enterprises. For more information, please visit

Thursday, September 1, 2011

RGC Library Invites All to Celebrate Grandparents Day

Rio Grande City Public Library celebrates National Grandparents Day Thursday Sept 8, 2011.
It is a day to honor your grandparents. Every person is a grandchild we encourage you to bring your Grandparent/s to visit the library and read books to each other. It is a wonderful opportunity for grandparents to read and promote the power of books and reading to their own grandchildren. We will also have activities you can do at the library.

In 1978, the resolution declaring National Grandparents Day as the first Sunday after Labor Day was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. The goal is to honor grandparents and to strengthen the bond between grandparents and grandchildren. Additionally, to strive to draw compassionate attention to the eldest of society's elderly--those in nursing homes. We will be honoring grandparents of My Sweet Home Adult Day Care.

Stop by and register for a free library card. Library hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 7:00pm and Friday 8:30am- 5:30pm. Let us tell you about our books and our upcoming programs. The library is located at 591 E Canales St, Rio Grande City or call 956-487-4389. You can also find us on the web at and on Facebook.

Local Cop Re-Arrests The Same Man He Had Just Rescued

Rio Grande City Police Officer Robert Treviño re-arrested Reymundo Gomez, the very man he had just rescued from the Rio Grand only weeks ago, after Gomez once again attempted to evade arrest. (Source Article 1, Article 2)