Thursday, July 19, 2012

New STC Board of Trustees Leadership Elected


During its May 2012 meeting, South Texas College’s Board of Trustees elected a new board leadership team. Rose Benavidez, District 1 trustee, takes over as board chair from outgoing chair Gary Gurwitz, District 4 trustee. Roy De Leon, District 7 trustee, was elected the vice chair and Graciela Farias, District 2 trustee, was elected the secretary.

Board leadership changes every two years. Members nominate fellow members for the three leadership positions and then the entire seven-member board votes with a majority rule for each position.

“As I enter my first full term on the board, it’s quite an honor to be named as chair,” said Benavidez. “I am thankful for this opportunity and have learned much from my fellow board members. Their commitment serves as further motivation and I look forward to continue to work diligently for student access and success.” 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tomorrow: RGC Library Special Event


Award-winning bilingual storyteller and musician Sue Young will be entertaining families with ¡Cuentos y canciones para toda la familia! free performances at Rio Grande City Public Library on July 19, 2012 at 3:00pm and “Create a Song” workshop for Teens at 5:30pm.  

"Sue Young’s talent appeals to the whole family," says Jeanette Larson, Books Editor of Parent: Wise Austin Magazine.  "Just as important, she knows how to use music to expand a child’s knowledge and interests”.  She has been called a “Spanish language Raffi” and a “storyteller extraordinaire. “ Sue wrote the 2009 and 2011 theme songs for the Texas Reading Club and her CD release “The Legend of the Quetzal – Tales and Tunes of Latin America” received a 2007 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award. Based in Austin, Sue has performed for thousands of kids throughout Texas and around the US.  Her songs have been recognized by the Kerrville Folk Festival, The Santa Fe Bluegrass and Traditional Music Festival, the Discoveries 2012 Songwriting Competition, and Songs of Conscience for Children. Sue Young’s July 2012 performances in the Rio Grande Valley area are funded by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Visit to learn more about this and other library events.  For more information on the event you may contact Norma Gomez Fultz, Library Director at 956-487-4389.

Five Starr County Students First to Graduate STC’s DECSA


When it comes to computers, Eli Bazan and Kadejah Zarate of Grulla High School, Mayda Garcia of Rio Grande City High School, and  Luis Silva and Erwin Unate of Roma High School, all recent Starr County area high school grads, know more about computers and technology than most students their age. And that’s all due to the fact that they earned their associate’s degrees in computer science in May 2012 from South Texas College weeks before earning their high school diplomas. And it was all made possible through STC’s Dual Enrollment Computer Science Academy (DECSA).

“Through the academy, academically gifted students in Starr County that show an interest and aptitude in computers can apply and be selected for the free program to study computer science, with an emphasis in programming and the new field of medical electronic records,” explained Lupe Chavez, director of high school programs and services for STC. “We are very proud of these first five graduates who persevered through some very rigorous work. They are well positioned to earn bachelor’s degrees in the field and possibly go on to the master’s and PhD levels.”

The five DECSA graduates are well on their way to future success. Combined, they earned more than $ 200,000 in scholarships with plans to continue their studies at Lindenwood University in Missouri, Texas State University, The University of Texas at San Antonio and The University of Texas-Pan American.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Starr County Org. Applauds Presidential Decision


President Obama signed into law new drug legislation that will permanently ban the deadly chemical compounds marketed and sold as bath salts and incense in the United States. 

“President Obama’s swift approval of this federal ban is the final nail in the coffin for the legal sale of bath salts in smoke shops and convenient stores in New York State and throughout the rest of the country,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, (D-N.Y.) the bill’s author.

“This law will close loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to circumvent local and state bans and ensure that you cannot simply cross state lines to find these deadly bath salts, and I’m pleased that after a great deal of effort, it has become law. We have seen bath salts catalyze some of the most heinous crimes in recent months across Upstate New York, and the President’s signature ensures that the federal government can fight this scourge with a united front, across state lines and at our borders.”

The new law’s unique force is that it prohibits not only the compounds currently identified as “bath salts,” but also outlaws similar compounds that may be produced in the future. In addition to the identified compounds, the law also prohibits other any synthetics that may have different chemical formulas but produce the same effects.

Friday, July 13, 2012

New Local Mini-Documentary Highlights RGC Library's Recent Efforts to Preserve History


After a lifetime of service, The Rio Grande Herald, Rio Grande City's official newspaper of record stopped printing in 2010. After the newspaper's closing, the Herald's last editor Kenneth Roberts, decided to donate the Herald's archive copies to the Rio Grande City Public Library. RGC's Library director Norma Gomez Fultz then immediately began the process of preserving the unique and irreplaceable newspaper archive, a process that inevitably took over two-years to complete.

The Library's efforts resulted in the production of an online searchable database of the Rio Grande Herald's newspaper archive spanning from the year 1972 - 2010. You can explore the archive by visiting the Rio Grande City Public Library's website, or by going directly to the archive database.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Starr Co. Community Closet 2nd Annual Festival Set for July 14


The 2nd Annual Starr County Community Festival committee has been hard at work planning and finalizing preparations for the annual fundraiser.  Last year the festival was very successful and the members are hoping for an even bigger success this year.  

Over 300 Starr County Children received a uniform shopping spree at Wal Mart through monies raised and with the support of the community many more children will begin the school year with a brand new uniform.  The Starr County Community Closet also assisted many families in dire need of clothing, housing and other essential necessities.

This year the festival which will be held on July 14, 2012 at the Starr County Fairgrounds will be host to a Team Roping Competition, Live Music throughout the day, A Poker Tournament, Poker Run, Kid Rides, BBQ Cook- off, Food Booths,Car Show, and much more.  The committee members and volunteers worked very hard  to provide entertainment for every age group.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Starr Co. Sheriff's Dept. Rescue Vehicles from U.S. Army


Starr County Sheriff's receives three (3) emergency rescue vehicles from the United States Military to be used for special operations.  The vehicles were given free of charge to the sheriff's office as they became available as surplus military equipment. The vehicles will also be utilized to assist officers to rescue residents in case of flooding or other emergencies. Officers will receive training to operate this vehicles in order to prepare in case of disasters or other emergencies.

Pictured left to right:  Officer Ismael Guerra, Jr., Sheriff Rene Fuentes and Sgt. Roberto Molina. (County of Starr Public Relations Office)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

County Helps Prepare Care Packages for Hundreds of Local Students


Project Fresh Start is a project started by the United Way of south Texas to help students start the school year with basic school supplies. Volunteers gathered recently to prepare the packages that will be distributed to 900 9th grade students at the beginning of the school year. This project is possible by monthly monetary contributions of Starr County employees and Elected Officials as well as other participating entities and sponsors of the United Way.  Pictured left to right: Cynthia Garcia Fuentes-Public Relations Director, Ventura Hinojosa and Delia Perez-County Attorney's Office, Judith Solis-Assistant County Attorney and Tiffany Alaniz, Nikki Cantu and Dominique Villarreal Starr County Attorney's Office Assistants.  (Starr County Public Relations Office)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Starr County's Stephen Saenz Headed to London Olympics


(File Photo)

Stephen Saenz a Rio Grande City High School Graduate is headed for London to represent Mexico in the Olympics in August.  He is presently attending Auburn University where he is classified as a junior.  Stephen is a two time state Shot Putter Champion and has received numerous awards during his career.

Stephen is the 21 year old son of Long time educators Ricardo and Ofelia Saenz who are very proud of his accomplishments.  Stephen will compete on August 3, 2012 and will also participate in the Opening Ceremonies on July 27th.  We are extremely proud of Stephen and wish him the best of luck in London.  (Starr County Public Relations Office)

Guillen Announces Funds to Help South Texas Families Cover Summer Cooling Costs


As temperatures and utility bills both continue to rise across Texas, State Representative Ryan Guillen (D-Starr County) today reminded South Texas residents that $97 million in funds is available to help ease the burden of high-energy costs that come with our state's hot summer months.

Help is available through a network of 43 city, county, and nonprofit agencies serving all 254 counties in the state through the Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs' Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP).

"South Texas summers often take a physical and financial toll on our communities' most vulnerable residents," said Rep. Guillen. "This program helps income eligible households pay a portion of their utility bills while learning how to better manage their energy usage for a more affordable home environment."

According to TDHCA Executive Director Tim Irvine, CEAP plays a critical role in the Department’s mission of promoting affordable housing, given that energy costs consume a much greater percentage of a low-income household’s annual income than that of the average Texas household.

“The cost of cooling a home absolutely can impact a family’s ability to afford their home,” Irvine said. “This program helps many of the state’s most vulnerable residents, especially elderly persons and persons with disabilities, meet their utility costs and avoid a potential health or financial crisis. Just as important, it can help them achieve greater self-sufficiency in the long term.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Texas School Nurses Org. Honors Memory of Maria I. Ramon


The Texas School Nurses Organization from Region One presented a memorial plaque to the family of Maria Imelda Ramon in her honor.  The Plaque states "In memory of Maria Imelda Ramon for her leadership, professionalism and eagerness to serve and was a living example to others.  Her devotion and dedication will be missed by all".

Ms. Ramon began her nursing career in 1964 and joined the Air Force in 1968 and was deployed overseas to the Vietnam War.  There she helped to care for many injured soldiers.  She returned to Rio Grande City and became the Health Services Director.  She dedicated the rest of her life to school nursing.  Ms. Ramon's passion was helping children and their families in promoting better health.

She was an active member of numerous  local and state organizations and served as an officer at both regional and state level of the Texas School Nurse Organization. Pictured:  Mr. Roel Gonzalez-RGCCISD Superintendent, Her Health Services Staff, Ms Rosanne Olson, RN-President of Texas School Nursing Organization, and her sisters Yolanda Alvarez and Delia Olivarez. RGCCISD Public Relations

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chance 2 Be Program Announces Graduate, Arturo Montes


Arturo Montes the 7th person to finish all the requirements for graduation through the Chance 2 Be Program recently celebrated his accomplishement. " May is a bittersweet time of the year for me. It’s a time where my fellow classmates and I celebrate the end of an academic year and move on to much greater things like college. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t all so simple to get here," said Montes.
He continues by making the following statements, During the year I was faced with many obstacles like not being able to sleep or eat properly. I couldn’t seem to focus in class anymore and failed to do the daily activities I was so used to doing. I was devastated and stopped going to school completely.
I was relieved when I came in contact with Chance 2B, a place that allowed me to do things at my own pace and bend my schedule to where I could finish all my school work and repair all my pesky disorders. Finally Lady Luck was looking my way. I had enough time to finish my required lessons and obtain my old self again.
I am grateful that I will be able to walk with all my peers in graduation and thankful for the wonderful opportunity Chance 2B gave me. The community should surely recognize this facility as a place where they should go to if they have some sort of problem or have an ambition to continue their education. Congratulations to Arturo Montes for all that he has accomplished this year.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

GRSE Students Surpass Principal’s Reading Challenge


In order to motivate students to read GRSE principal, Mrs. C. Bazan, agreed to the students’ challenge of dressing up and acting like a baby for a day if they read more than 4,000 books in the 2011-2012 school year.  Students went above and beyond our school goal and read approximately 6,500 books in the school year.  Hats off to all readers and teachers for a job well done!