Wednesday, December 28, 2011

RGC FFA Volunteer at Relay For Life Event


The Rio Grande City FFA members and RGC FFA parents under the supervision of Mrs. Randy Lee Martin volunteered their time for the Annual Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society held at the Joe R. Sanchez stadium. The Relay for Life helps to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for breast cancer. Picture from Left to Right Standing Araceli Lopez, Mario Medrano, Devin Saenz, Billy Ryan Melton, Dario Leal, Eli Lopez, Mrs. Randy Martin, Justin Cody Salinas, Beto Garza Jr., Jason Gorena, Garrett Gonzalez, Jimmy Garza, Cody Lee Lara. Kneeling from Left to Right Nemisis Reyes, Cory McKee, Sarah Salmon, Dayna Gonzalez, Holly Garcia, Hilary Garcia, Amberly Solis, and Gloria Vargas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

RGC High Students Observe Red Ribbon Week


"Rio Grande City High School hosted a Grand Student assembly to kick off National Red Ribbon Week Campaign in October.  The student body was addressed by our Honorable County Judge, Eloy Vera, who gave an excellent first-hand account of the dangers and risks involving substance abuse and living on the Texas border.  He told a vivid story of growing up in South Texas with the same pressures and risks of falling prey to drugs and drug dealing, yet chose education as a key to success.  He motivated the students to be the next leaders of tomorrow and to be confident that eduction would pave their way to long-term success in life.  Other events followed throughout the week to promote healthy-living, such as law enforcement presentations, educational videos, lunch with Mr. Ciggy and a parade & bonfire.  All efforts were coordinated by Counselor, Jessica Vera-Rios, LPC and events were carried out by Kids Against Drugs (KADs).  A special thanks goes out to Judge Eloy Vera, USBP, Tri-County CSCD, Sheriff's office, RGCPD, BRBHC, STCADA, DEA, RGCCISD PD, J.P. Pinky Cruz, Baldemar Garza and Chuy Alvarez. Together, we are making a difference! " Persons in Picture from left to right: Mr. Adolfo Pena, Principal; Jessica Vera-Rios, LPC, Edgar Luna, Judge Eloy Vera, Justin Guerra, Gisi Avila, Kendra Saenz and Jasmine Pruneda. (kneeling):Rios and Erika Serna.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Local College Honored for Increasing Graduation Rate


During the fall 2011 semester, South Texas College was one of only four community colleges from across the state to receive special recognition from the Texas Association of Business. The award was presented in Austin to applaud the college's efforts to increase its graduation rate, as well as help students progress through the higher education system in a timely manner.

“We hear a lot about the colleges that aren’t pushing students to succeed, pushing them to get a degree,” said Texas Association of Business President and CEO Bill Hammond. “STC is one of four community colleges that are getting it right. Each of the honorees has shown significant improvement in the number of students completing degree plans and improvements in student achievement.”

STC was honored in the very large community college category, along with Howard Community College in the small category, Paris Junior College in the medium category, and Blinn College in the large category. TAB asked The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to use its outcome-based model, called Momentum Points, to measure the relative improvement of all community colleges on metrics such as developmental education completion, transfers, credit accumulation and certificate and degree completion between fiscal years 2007 and 2010. These are areas TAB believes are critical for producing better results. Based on these measures, STC stood out from its peers in the state.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

VMS Students Produce Math Themed Video


VETERANS  MIDDLE  SCHOOL -  Several Veterans Middle School 7th graders from Mrs. Christina M. Chapa’s Math class are participating in the Math Counts “Reel Math Challenge”.  These students created and starred in their own math video. This free online competition encourages student innovation. The 7th graders from VMS worked on this video project for two months before submitting it for competition.  In order for VMS to go to the next round, their video must be viewed, voted for, and ranked in the top 20 most popular videos.  Our community can support the VMS Reel Math Challenge Video by going to and look for the VMS Math video under the tab “New Videos” or search by problem 26.  On the right side of the video, click on the “like” button.  Voting ends on February 1, 2012 and you can vote once a day. Please support our students! Pictured above are 7th Grade Math students who created this video: Gabby Pena, Alexa Posas, Kiara Benavidez, and Dayla Trillayes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Guillen Encourages Holiday Fireworks Safety


AUSTIN — With the holiday season in full swing, State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr County) today reminded South Texans of the importance of fireworks safety during this time of year. Lighting fireworks can be a fun activity for families and friends to take part in during the winter holidays, but with that fun comes responsibility and necessary safety precautions.

"The National Council on Fireworks Safety states that you should only buy consumer fireworks from a licensed store or stand and never buy fireworks from an individual’s house or from someone on the street," said Rep. Guillen. "Also, it's crucial that all firework activities be done under close adult supervision in safe areas away from dry grass and buildings."

You can help ensure a safe holiday fireworks experience for you, your family, and neighbors this year by following these tips:

  • Never experiment with homemade or altered fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outdoors.
  • Keep a bucket of water, wet towels and a garden hose nearby.
  • Light one firework at a time and then move back quickly after lighting it.
  • Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals.

VMS Holds Successful Toy Drive


VETERANS  MIDDLE  SCHOOL – Students at Veterans Middle School donated over 1000 toys for the annual Toy for Rio Kids Drive that was sponsored by the Rio Grande City Police Department.  Student Council members and sponsors from VMS spearheaded this charitable service project so that needy children from our community could have a new toy on Christmas morning.  Pictured above are some of the VMS Student Council members, Mrs. Maricela O. Garcia (VMS Principal), Ms. San Juanita Olivarez (Student Council Sponsor) and officers from the RGC Police Department.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

RGC FFA Team Advances at University Competition


The Rio Grande City FFA Leadership Development Event Junior Skill team advanced to the Area 10 competition held at Texas A&M University Kingsville on November 21st, 2011. The team competed against teams that are from San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley. The team placed 8th place overall in their event. Pictured from left to right Mrs. Randy Lee Martin - RGC FFA Advisor, Justin Cody Salinas, Beto Garza Jr, and Christian Olivarez.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Roma Students Design Ornament Displayed at State Capitol


AUSTIN — Last week, State Representative Ryan Guillen, D-Starr County, presented the House District 31 ornament designed by members of the Roma High School Art Club to be displayed on the Lone Star Celebration Christmas Tree in the House Chamber at the Texas State Capitol.

Back in November, art teacher Monica Gillette and Roma High School Art Club members Hector Ochoa, Jessica Moreno, Michelle Garcia, Alexia Barrera, Vivian Cortez, were asked to decorate the District 31 ornament in a way that showcases the unique character of the district.

"Mrs. Gillette and her students truly went above and beyond in designing this year's ornament," said Rep. Guillen. "It's a very impressive display of art that effectively captures the spirit of our region's growing birding industry."

GRSE Students Spread Holiday Cheer to Needy Families


Safety Patrols at General Ricardo Sanchez Elementary had a toy, clothes and food drive in order to spread some holiday cheer to less-fortunate families. Every item collected was donated to the Starr County Community Closet which serves families in need.  We greatly appreciate parents, students and staff’s donations.

Local Rep. Urges Moves that Could Make Insurance Companies "Provide Rebates"


AUSTIN —  State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr County), joined by 30 other Texas House Democrats, urged Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman to withdraw an effort that would cost Texas policy holders an estimated $260 million.

TDI recently submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USHSS) to delay implementation of the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule. The MLR rule is a provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act that would require insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of policy premium dollars on actual medical expenses, rather than in-house overhead, marketing, advertising, or bonuses. Under the MLR, if insurers fail to comply with these standards, they must provide rebates to policyholders. In Texas, rebates would amount to approximately $350 for each policy holder.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vaccination Required for Most New College Students


Students who will be new to South Texas College in the spring 2012 semester can get a jump on preparations for the semester by doing one simple thing – ensuring they have gotten a Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination.

A new Texas law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2012 that requires all incoming college freshmen to have an initial Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination or booster dose. It is important to note there are several exceptions including students who were enrolled in the college in the fall semester and are returning for the spring, students 30 years of age or older at the start of the spring semester, students enrolled in only online courses or continuing education courses, or students enrolled in dual enrollment courses held off the college’s campuses.

“All incoming freshmen, transfer students and returning students who did not attend STC in the fall 2011 semester will be required to show proof of immunization against bacterial meningitis,” explained Kim McKay, interim dean of enrollment services.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

South Texas Lyric Opera annual performance of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” Dec. 11


South Texas Lyric Opera, the Rio Grande Valley’s premier opera company and sponsored in part by South Texas College, celebrates the holiday season with its sixth annual performance of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”

Fully staged with a live orchestra, the story centers on Amahl, who is a poor, crippled shepherd boy living with his widowed mother. They encounter the three kings destined to visit the newborn Christ and through the course of the tale, the young boy is cured of his lameness because of his selflessness.

At one hour in length and performed in English, the performance takes place on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the Rio Grande City High School Paco Zarate Fine Arts Auditorium located at 144 FM 3167 in Rio Grande City.

“This is a story appealing to children of all ages, with magical themes and glorious music,” said Dr. Mazias de Oliviera, founder and artistic director of STLO. “It was written specifically for young imaginations that can easily relate to a child with a head full of dreams. This is a great event for the entire family with uplifting themes of hope, which is particularly important in this day and age.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

UTPA to Host Christmas Concert Dec. 18


The University of Texas-Pan American invites the public to ring in the holiday season with the pageantry and beauty of the Mariachi tradition.

The University's Department of Music presents the award-winning UTPA Mariachi Aztlán in Mariachi Christmas Concerts, Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium. The concerts will also feature performances by the Luz de Luna Folkloric Dance Ensemble and McAllen High School's Mariachi Oro.

Monday, December 5, 2011

FEMA Visits Local College


“Disaster” is a word not lightly used and certainly not a situation anyone hopes to face. However, Valley residents can rest assured that graduates from South Texas College’s Emergency Medical Technology Program will be well prepared to face a major disaster head on should one occur in the region.

Recently STC hosted FEMA at its Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City, where students learned from top-level federal trainers about health care management of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive events. The course was offered to the college and its students free of charge as part of an effort to ensure national disaster preparedness on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center and the Texas A&M University System.

“This is awareness training and meant to make responders as prepared as possible,” said Ernie Witener, FEMA training specialist. “With these agents we are discussing, time is essential and makes the difference between life and death. It all boils down to better protecting the public and that’s why we are here working with these students.”