Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Winter Texans bring Christmas joy to children

20171123 OPERATION CHRISTMASChristmastime is a time many of us think of others and seek ways to help those in need – those who are less fortunate. So many children go without proper food, shelter and essential medical care every day along the border.

These needs seem to be magnified at Christmas. And Winter Texans seem to have some of the biggest hearts to be found, as they organize and work together to create wonderful events to make Christmas special for needy children and their families.

Read more: Winter Texans bring Christmas joy to children

RGV welcomes return of Ralph Kuster's variety musical performances

20171123 Ralph Kuster PhotoRalph Kuster's vocal range is only surpassed by the beautiful tone of his voice and the vast number of songs he knows.

Since 2012 Kuster, has performed in the Rio Grande Valley. A Canadian in the summer months, Kuster used to be a regular performer in Branson, Mo. He now looks forward to performing for Winter Texans each season in the Rio Grande Valley. His first performance of the season, “Timeless Treasures,” will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Border Theater, located at 905 N. Conway Ave. in Mission. Tickets are $10 per person.

Read more: RGV welcomes return of Ralph Kuster's variety musical performances

Bit-O-Heaven holds craft sale

20171116 Bit O Heaven CraftFair GREGu IMG 4801

New wardrobes for American Girl dolls

Rosie Armstrong displayed new wardrobe items designed to fit the popular American Girl dolls many Winter Texan’s granddaughters have.

Christmas is coming soon and craft sales are often a great source for people seeking gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person who has everything. Even when not seeking Christmas gifts, craft sales are always fun to attend. Bit-O-Heaven RV Park in Donna held its monthly craft show On Friday, Nov. 10, and offered several sources of unique gifts of fun items to furnish Valley homes.

T-shirts are often popular wear among Winter Texans, who enjoy the warm weather in the Rio Grande Valley. Kathy Webber had a great variety of shirts with Valley themes such as “Winter Texan for Life,” for those wishing to advertise ­– or maybe brad a little – that they are vacationing in the warm Valley. She also offered specialized themes such as the one for quilters, “Quilter for Life,” a hobby many women (and men) enjoy during their leisure time. She had too many themes to list so look for her table at next month’s craft sale.

Read more: Bit-O-Heaven holds craft sale

Many parks with new or improved ‘toys’ for Winter Texans

20171116 Pine to Palm Pickleball HM IMG 2955

Pine to Palm resident Dave Gemmell enjoys playing on one of the two new pickle ball courts at the resort, which also built 20 new shuffleboard courts for residents.

There are new “toys” to welcome Winter Texans back at many parks and resorts across the Rio Grande Valley this year.

From new cooks and paved roads to amenities for furry friends, Winter Texan parks are investing in their property and welcoming back their guests with several improvements.

Residents of Pine to Palm RV Resort in Weslaco have brand new shuffleboard courts waiting to be broken in, as well as new two pickleball courts that were added due to the demands of that rapidly growing sport.

Read more: Many parks with new or improved ‘toys’ for Winter Texans

Halloween bash starts social season at Victoria Palms

20171109 Victoria Palms Halloween contest 2

Winter Texans at Victoria Palms Resort went all out with their costumes for the Halloween Bash and dance.

Halloween marks the start of the social season at many of the larger parks in the Rio Grande Valley and Victoria Palms is no exception. Early arriving Winter Texans joined year-round residents by showing up in costumes and dancing the night away to the music of Danica for the park's Halloween bash.

Costumes ranged from witches to warlocks, and a variety of colorful costumes including a “molting rooster” who kept losing his tail feathers, and a pink bunny reminiscent of the Energizer Bunny. Park Manager Lori Fanaselle said the party is always the beginning of the new season.

Read more: Halloween bash starts social season at Victoria Palms

A Salute To Our Veterans

FromthepublisherAs I look forward to the patriotic Veterans Day events this weekend, I feel deep gratitude for the brave men and women who have served our country valiantly, defending freedom and liberty. This nation has refused to allow tyrannical despots to destroy the freedom of our people, or that of our friends and allies.

This weekend we not only honor those who served valiantly in past wars, but also our sons and daughters and grandchildren who have stepped forward to serve their country, to protect their families, friends and, yes, even millions of people they never met so they may enjoy the freedom to live happy lives, enjoying the blessings of this great nation.

Read more: A Salute To Our Veterans

Taco Tuesday is hit at Sleepy Valley

20171102 taco tuesdayThe Winter Texan season has just begun. We are seeing cars and trucks with Iowa, Minnesota or Quebec license plates. There definitely are signs that the Winter Texans are arriving in the Rio Grande Valley.

One of those delicious signs this past Tuesday was a wonderful aroma wafting from the rec hall at Sleepy Valley Resort in Mission. Just the smell of the acclaimed “Best Charro Beans in the Valley” was good enough to at least earn that distinction and be placed on a ballot for voting somewhere. If there are no charro bean competitions around, there should be.

Read more: Taco Tuesday is hit at Sleepy Valley

Dancing the night away at Trophy Gardens

20171102 main picture tro gardensALAMO – Brenda Taepke started dancing when she was 6 years old, growing up in Michigan.

She hasn't stopped since. In fact, as a Winter Texan living at Trophy Gardens RV Resort in Alamo, Taepke said she dances every day, whether it's at a nearby resort or park, or at the Riverside Club in Mission or even in Progreso, Mexico – she's ready to hit the dance floor.

Read more: Dancing the night away at Trophy Gardens

Nature is Calling

FromthepublisherIf you’ve just arrived in the Rio Grande Valley, welcome! You’ve arrived just in time for two of my favorite events – the Texas Butterfly Festival at the National Butterfly Center in Mission and the RGV Birding Festival in Harlingen.

First up is the Texas Butterfly Festival, which kicks of this Saturday, Nov. 4 with a free Community Day, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lots of family-friendly activities are planned. The day actually begins at 8 a.m. with the festival’s inaugural Monarch 5K Trail Run and 1K Fun Run. The Fun Run is designed to celebrate the huge variety of butterflies found around the Mission Trails outdoor recreational area that is home to the National Butterfly Center, a National Wildlife Refuge tract and Bentsen-RGV State Park, Headquarters of the World Birding Center.

Read more: Nature is Calling

RGV Winter Texan visitors on the rise

20171019 AlamoPalms mgr RockyRamirez n Ida 3756Local resorts report increased reservations again this year

Alamo Palms Mobile Park Manager Rocky Ramirez and resident Ila Wisdom, a Fort Worth native, stand on her front porch next to a bottle tree. Wisdom is planning an early returning Winter Texan get together on Friday in her yard at the park. Ramirez, like many managers across the Rio Grande Valley, is expecting an increase in reservations for the 2017-18 season.

Don Wilson remembers when he and his wife Jeni were making their first stint as park managers a few years ago at Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort in Mission. They oversaw the park, which has approximately 245 RV spaces.

“The park would be full and there would be a waiting list of as many as 30 people wanting to get in,” Wilson said. “That's a good problem to have.”

The Wilsons, who moved to the Valley from Las Vegas, then took a few years off to travel in 2011 and came back in June 2015. They noticed something had happened. A strange quiet, comparatively speaking, had engulfed the resort. The park had fewer Winter Texan visitors than before.

Read more: RGV Winter Texan visitors on the rise

RGV Birding Festival brings excitement

20171019 LeastGrebe at Estero Llano Grande Bill Supulski

The Least Grebe is one of the species that participants in this year’s RGV Birding Festival may expect to see. Photo taken by Bill Supulski at Estero Llano Grande.

When the Amazon Kingfisher bird was spotted along Highway 107 in Cameron County, it caused a stir. That “stir” was so big that Cameron County Sheriff Eddie Lucio had to send deputies to oversee traffic.

The Amazon Kingfisher is a rare bird. In the American Birding Association (ABA) lingo, it’s a Code 5. (See the ABA Code list accompanying this story.)

Read more: RGV Birding Festival brings excitement

Women’s Basketball quarterfinalists UTRGV ready for new season to start

20171019 UTRGV WOMENS BASKETBALLIn the past three seasons, the UTRGV Women’s Basketball Team has put together some impressive accolades.

During that time frame, the Lady Vaqueros have won 57 games, earning a berth to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament and a pair of invitations and appearances in the Women’s Basketball Invitational quarterfinals. But that past has little to no bearing on this year’s squad.

Read more: Women’s Basketball quarterfinalists UTRGV ready for new season to start

Welcome Back, Winter Texans

FromthepublisherWelcome back, folks.

It seems like it’s been forever since you were here with us enjoying the great weather and abundance of fun activities in the Rio Grande Valley. While it’s been a busy summer, we are always eager for a new Winter Texan season to begin.

Welcome to Texas! We’re glad you’re here!

Read more: Welcome Back, Winter Texans

Palmhurst begins construction of Shary Chapel Municipal Park

20171005 Palmhurst Centenial Shary Mansion dy 038The city of Palmhurst has begun development of the long-waited Shary Chapel Municipal Park, which the city fathers have envisioned as a scenic centerpiece for the small, close-knit community.

Mayor Ramiro Rodriguez and City Planner Lupe Garcia outlined plans for the park located adjacent to the iconic Shary Memorial Chapel. The project will be done in phases and could take several years to complete, as the city tries to complete the work as budget funds become available.

Read more: Palmhurst begins construction of Shary Chapel Municipal Park

Lions Club works with schools to prevent potential vision loss

20171007 lions club eye photo

Adabelle DeLuna, 4, who attends pre-kindergarten classes at Bryan Elementary School, has her eyes checked by Tim Milam as fellow Mission Lions Club member Ron D’Andrea looks on Sept. 15. Progress Times photo by Joe Hinton

Imagine a machine that can cut the time of a task that once took two days down to about a half hour. That’s exactly what the Mission Lions Club has brought to area schools with a small camera-sized instrument that in five seconds can perform an eye exam.

The task is screening pre-kinder and kindergarten students for vision problems, and the results have demonstrated the importance of the screenings. The Mission Lions Club has used a special camera-like, hand-held screening device to perform over 1600 vision exams so far this school year, and they typically detect abnormalities in 20-25 percent of the children, requiring them to be referred for further examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, said Mission Lions Club member Ron D’Andrea. The Lions Club vision screenings are performed at no cost to the families or the school district, and the device can detect many problems that would not have been caught using the traditional eye chart exam method.

Read more: Lions Club works with schools to prevent potential vision loss

Area residents pitch in to help Hurricane Harvey victims

20170828 HUrricane ReliefAll across the Valley in nearly every community the picture was the same, stacks of bottled water and dry goods accumulating on pallets for transport north to hurricane victims.

Mission resident Stephanie E. Casas was among the many area residents who were dropping off items Monday at one of two donation sites set up by the City of Mission earlier this week to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Read more: Area residents pitch in to help Hurricane Harvey victims

McAllen Remains Watchful of Tropical Storm Harvey

Hurricane story image(McAllen, TX) While much of the southeastern coast of Texas is preparing to bear the brunt of Tropical Storm Harvey, which is expected to be upgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane before it reaches landfall, Hidalgo County and the city of McAllen specifically, are not expected to feel the storm’s impact to the extent locations outside of the Rio Grande Valley will. 

Read more: McAllen Remains Watchful of Tropical Storm Harvey

TRVA names top Valley parks

The Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA) last week announced the top RV parks in the Rio Grande Valley. The top parks for 2016 are: Llano Grande Park in Mercedes, named the Top Large RV Park in Texas; VIP RV Park in La Feria, Top Medium-sized RV Park; and Oleander Acres, Top Small-sized RV Park.

In a special awards ceremony held at the Riverside Club in Mission Salome Welliver, president of the Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association RGV Chapter, gave out the awards. Welliver explained the selections were based on a lengthy application process where information must be submitted in many categories.

Read more: TRVA names top Valley parks

RGV Birding Festival is Nov. 3-6 in Harlingen

Don’t miss out on the 23rd Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival taking place this weekend – Nov. 3-6 – in Harlingen. The festival is known for its high quality fields trips and seminars about birds who live in or migrate through the Rio Grande Valley.

The festival is headquartered at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium located at 1204 Fair Park Blvd.

Read more: RGV Birding Festival is Nov. 3-6 in Harlingen

South Texas Balloon Festival is Nov.4-6

Look for the skies over Mercedes to be filled with colorful balloons once again on Nov. 4-6 as the 2nd Annual South Texas Balloon Festival takes place at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Grounds, located at 1000 N. Texas Avenue.

Visitors will have opportunities to take to the air through a variety of activities including balloon rides, both tethered and commercial, skydiving with tandem jumps, and on helicopter rides.

Read more: South Texas Balloon Festival is Nov.4-6

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Top News

  • Product Costume Show will be held at Mission Community Center on Jan. 12

    20190109 TCF Product Costume Show jmb 0070This weekend the Texas Citrus Fiesta is hosting three competitions all rolled into one big event where the winners will be announced. The Product Costume Show is the main event, and those attending the show will see all of this year’s costumes as they are presented to the judges.

    Read More +

  • Mission Historical tour date changed

    20190109 Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 2014 jmb 0005Mission Historical Museum is scheduling a limited number of tours of local historical sites in and around Mission. The tours are being led by local historian, artist and architect Manuel Hinojosa. Due to a scheduling conflict, the date of the next tour has been changed to Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 8:30… Read More +

  • Mission Community joins forces for free health fair

    Mission, TX – The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the City of Mission and Mission Regional Medical Center to host the 24th Annual Mission Community Health & Wellness Fair. The event will be held at the Mission Event Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is free, open to the public and will provide free screenings, awareness, and… Read More +

  • RGV Woodcarving Show is Jan. 11-12

    The 2019 Rio Grande Valley Woodcarving Show will be held from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12, at the Nomad Shrine Club, located at 1044 W. Nolana, Pharr.

    If you can imagine it, they can probably carve it. Hundreds of exhibits in approximately 27 show categories will be on display during this popular two-day event.

    Read More +

  • Williamson Branch making musical achievement

    2019 Williamson Branch 1As the Williamson Branch, the bluegrass family band with the rich sound, soaring vocals and prolific harmonies, departed the Rio Grande Valley following a great beginning to 2018, they couldn’t have mapped out a much better, or busier, remainder the year.

    And that hustle and bustle continues into 2019 as… Read More +

  • Helen Russell & Company

    20190102 Helen Russell promo3 pianoHelen Russell remembers music being a part of her family ever since she was a child, when her parents would travel to entertain and encouraged her to sing and learn to play multiple instruments starting at the age of 6.

    From that love of music she went on to… Read More +

  • Famous matadors to perform at Santa Maria Saturday

    20190109 Bull Michelito Lagravere 1567Bullfight dedicated to David Renk

    As Santa Maria Bullring, the only bullring in the United States, marks its 19th year, this weekend’s bullfight is being dedicated to the passing of American icon David Renk, “El Texano,” who left an impressive mark on the bullfighting world, performing triumphantly at the… Read More +

  • Winter Texans celebrate New Year’s Eve

    20190109 WTsCelebrate David Howard and wifeDavid Howard politely excused himself from the conversation. Time was of the essence.

    “I have to go give my wife our New Year’s kiss,” he said.

    The time was early still for South Texas standards on this day - 9:30 p.m. -… Read More +

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