Saturday, December 20, 2014
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Grace Heritage Ranch: A taste of days gone by

The Schalk family, including parents Brian and Mary and their three younger sons, Caleb, Matthew and Joseph have adopted a simpler lifestyle.

Four years ago, they decided to downsize their home and upsize their land. Moving to Santa Monica, about 30 miles north of Harlingen, they purchased a 100-acre homestead – Grace Heritage Ranch. Here they raise animals and provide most of their organically grown food supply. They live off the land for most of their needs.


UTPA surveys Winter Texans on border security

Researchers at the Business and Tourism Research Center at The University of Texas-Pan American are looking for community input on the recent events in the Rio Grande Valley. This past summer, hundreds of security forces, including up to 1,000 National Guard troops and hundreds of additional state troopers, were sent to the Valley in response to the dramatic increase in the number of undocumented immigrants, especially children, to the U.S and to deter human and drug trafficking. 

The mission of the National Guard is to maintain a visible presence in the area to deter human and drug trafficking operations in support of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).  Steve McCraw, state DPS director, last week said currently National Guard troops man observation posts and call in potential illegal activity they spot to state troopers.


Rainy brings Patsy Cline tribute to Valley resorts

In her first show of the 2014-2015 winter season, Lorraine “Rainy” Mancuso performed for a near capacity crowd of Winter Texans at Alamo Rec-Veh Resort. She has been doing Patsy Cline Tribute shows for 17 years.

She has also been part of a Legends show that is presented in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada for the last few years. The show includes tributes to Patsy Cline, Elvis, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison and Lady Gaga.


North Pole opens at Mission Historical Museum

The North Pole Village has traveled south to the Mission Historical Museum (MHM) in a special exhibit that will be on display from now through Dec. 31. It will be open for public viewing in the museum’s annex located at the corner of Doherty Ave. and Tom Landry Blvd. Admission is free.

The village is on display courtesy of the efforts of Ben Olivarez with the assistance of two MHM helpers. It is part of an extensive collection of Department 56 pieces he and his wife, Kathy, have been collecting for a number of years.


Juarez-Lincoln students present ‘Into the Woods’

LA JOYA –This Way! Musical Theatre Company at La Joya Juarez-Lincoln High School presents “Into the Woods” Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 18 to 20. Performances will be held at the La Joya Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. each day.

The musical links the plots of several of the Brothers Grimm fairytales, such as Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood, to delve into what happens after “happily ever after.”


Festival of Lights is Trolley-la-la-la good time

From the illuminated castle representing Argentina to the Chinese pagodas, the narrated trolley ride at the Hidalgo Festival of Lights is a great way to see the lights. The guides explain what each illumination represents and the ties between Hidalgo’s Festival Lights and many BorderFest displays.

Other displays such as “The Night Before Christmas Mice” and “Christmas Shrek” are made of three-dimensional characters that are easily recognized. Look for scenes such as the “Penguins of the North Pole” frolicking near the “Eskimo Family.”


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