Saturday, May 23, 2015
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    Memorial Day services planned across area

    20150522 Memorial-Day-ServicesArmy veteran Lupe Gonzalez said he has two birthdays – his actual day of birth and the day he returned from Vietnam. He doesn’t celebrate publicly but he does make sure to go to church and pray for those who fought alongside him.

    “I do remember all the people who did not return. I pray for them and for all those that did get back,” Gonzalez said. “I was one of the lucky ones.”

    The principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the keynote speaker for the A.C.E. Club of Mission Memorial Day program. One of the points he said he always tries to make when speaking about the military is that soldiers don’t like war.

    Read more: Memorial Day services planned across area

    Chief appraiser answers questions regarding hike in property appraisals

    20150522 COUNTY Chief-appraiserThe chief appraiser for the Hidalgo County Appraisal District went before the court to explain the recent controversy over the increase in appraisal values to Hidalgo County homes and property. From the onset, County Judge Ramon Garcia and Chief Appraiser Rolando Garza made it clear that the Appraisal District is not affiliated with the county or a department within Hidalgo County, but is its own entity overseen by Texas Comptroller. None of the local taxing entities, including Hidalgo County, have jurisdiction over appraisals.

    In April, about 158,000 appraisal notices were sent to 45 percent of Hidalgo County residents. Garza says of the 94 employees in his office, 45 of them are appraisers and each year they physically inspect about a third of the properties in the county. The rest of the properties are appraised according to section 23.01 of the Property Tax Code.

    Garza explained the process his office takes to evaluate property is complicated. There are three methods appraisers use: the market, income approach, and cost approach, what it would cost to rebuild a home. When reviewing properties, appraisers look at a number of criteria including data of verified sales of properties, building permits, mapping changes and surveys, and aerial photography. They also evaluate recent sales of nearby homes and take into account the current market value of homes for sale.

    Read more: Chief appraiser answers questions regarding hike in property appraisals

    Induction and reorganization for SISD trustees

    20150522 SISD Candidate-swear-in 8688Sharyland’s school board inducted its two new members and reorganized the officers at Tuesday’s special board meeting after the district’s May 9 election.

    The new officers are:

    • Ricky Longoria, president
    • Noe Oliveira, vice president
    • Julio Cerda, secretary
    • Melissa Smith, assistant secretary

    Smith defeated her place No. 3 opponent Cesar Aguilar with a vote count of 1,236 versus 611. Jose “Pepe” Garcia won the majority for place No. 4 with 759 votes. Suzanne Peña had 730 votes, Kevin Sparks had 337 votes and Robert Puente had 22 votes, despite dropping out of the race in April.

    Read more: Induction and reorganization for SISD trustees

    Pioneer High’s Nora Monie best in state

    20150519 State Track Nora Monie lg-03State championships are hard to come by. They’re the ultimate prize for every high school athlete across the Lone Star State, but only a select few ever get to experience the feeling of having that highly sought after gold medal draped around their necks while standing atop the center platform of the medals podium.

    Pioneer High’s Nora Monie joined that exclusive club just one week ago as she became the first female athlete from a Sharyland ISD school to claim a University Interscholastic League State Championship and as she joined powerlifting (a non-UIL sport) champion and fellow Lady Diamondback Alexandra Winfree as the only two state champions in Pioneer High School history. And she did so by throwing the discus 141 feet 8 inches at the UIL State Track and Field Championship Meet held at the University of Texas at Austin last week.

    “Nora is one of those athletes that coaches dream of having,” Sharyland ISD Athletic Director Richard Thompson said. “She’s competed for either Sharyland High or Pioneer High for four years and she’s excelled each year. She has now reached the pinnacle by earning a state championship.”

    Read more: Pioneer High’s Nora Monie best in state

    Quinta Mazatlan announces summer camps for kids

    20150522 IMAGE ENT-IN Quinta-Mazatlan-hosts-summer-activities-for-kidsQuinta Mazatlan believes that outdoor play and exploration is critical to kids’ growth and development so they will be hosting summer camps for children ages six to 12. The camps are half a day from 8:30 to 11:30, Tuesday to Friday. All the age groups receive a lunch and all art materials and tools needed for the camp.

    Quinta Mazatlan is nestled in a Tamaulipan Thorn Forest just a block south from LaPlaza Mall in McAllen. The camps seek to foster an appreciation for and love of nature by inviting campers to explore the world around them through hands-on, outdoor and experiential learning.

    The youngest campers, age six to eight, can choose from four camps or attend them all. Close Encounters of the Animal Kind will be held June 9-12, Outdoor Adventure will be June 23-26, Camp “Unless” based on the Lorax Story from July 14-17, and Dinosaur Camp is July 28-31.

    Read more: Quinta Mazatlan announces summer camps for kids