Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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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

Is the Obamacare 'domino effect' a strategy for implementing socialized medicine in the U.S., asks AMAC

Failures of the Affordable Care Act outweigh benefits

WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 2 - There won't be an October surprise prior to the 2016 Presidential Elections, at least not as far as Obamacare is concerned, says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

"The cat's already out of the bag.  In fact, Lamar Alexander, often described as one of the most responsible Senators sitting in Congress, says that when the 2017 enrollment period begins on November 1 - seven days before voters are to pick the next president of the United States - it won't come as a shock that consumers will have little choice in picking a health insurance plan.  They'll have fewer plans to choose from and the ones that will be available will be grossly expensive," reports Weber.

Read more: Is the Obamacare 'domino effect' a strategy for implementing socialized medicine in the U.S., asks...

Taiwanese exhibit opens at IMAS

McALLEN – The International Museum of Art & Science, 1900 Nolana in McAllen, has opened an exhibit of native objects from the National Museum of History in Taiwan.

Featuring 40 native weavings from the Taiwanese indigenous peoples, including the Atayal, Truku, Amis, Puyuma, Paiwan and Rukai tribes, it will now be on display through Oct. 2. It gives IMAS visitors a rare glimpse into their unique lifestyles and value systems.

For more information, call IMAS at 956-682-0123.

MOSTH hosts Cuban model hobbyist

EDINBURG – The Museum of South Texas History welcomes miniature model hobbyist Rafael Morales as a guest speaker presenting, “Big Transport in a Small Scale,” starting at 2 p.m. in the Courtyard Gallery this Sunday, May 22.

Morales made a career in the aviation industry, which led him to create miniature models of historic transportation. Since 1992, Morales has painted and built miniature models in 1:48 and 1:350 scales for carriages and naval models, respectively.

Read more: MOSTH hosts Cuban model hobbyist

27th annual Festival celebrates accordion kings and queens

AUSTIN – Whether making a weekend trip or starting off on vacation across Texas, it might be worth a stop to start off the summer fun with a little bit of music at the 27th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival. Texas Folklife will bring its annual celebration of the state's accordion roots music to Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 4, at 7 p.m.

In keeping with its mission to preserve and present Texas's diverse musical heritage, the festival will feature stars and legends in polka, Cajun, zydeco and conjunto. This year's accordion stars will include David Lee Garza and special guests, the Magnolia Sisters, Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, and the Czech Melody Masters.

Read more: 27th annual Festival celebrates accordion kings and queens

Kick-off set for Family Summer Adventure Challenge

EDINBURG — Families looking for something different to do this summer are invited to participate in the RGV Family Summer Adventure Challenge (FSAC) at the Edinburg World Birding Center. Explore, discover interesting facts and win by taking on 12 challenges at 21 nature sites throughout the Valley this summer while enjoying the outdoors.         

The Family Summer Adventure Challenge takes participants to the different nature centers and parks of the Rio Grande Valley while completing the challenges. Upon completion and a journal submission, participants’ names will be placed in a drawing to win prizes.

Read more: Kick-off set for Family Summer Adventure Challenge

May 2016 Calendar of Events

May 21 – The Aglow International McAllen Community Lighthouse invites the public to a complimentary

prayer breakfast from 9:30 a.m. to noon for the first anniversary of their organization. For location and directions, call Criselda Alvarado, president, at 534-7941.

May 21 – The Rio Grande Valley Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist, presents an advanced nature photography workshop at the South Padre Island Birding Center, 6801 Padre Blvd. It is open to any level of photographer. Fee is $50. For details and registration, go to rgvctmn.org.   An advanced workshop will be held Saturday, May 21. Registration is required; space is limited. Payment can be made by check or online with PayPal. For additional information, see rgvctmn.org or contact Heidi Linnemann at 797-2872 or hhlinnemann@aol.com.

Read more: May 2016 Calendar of Events

Local News
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Top News

  • Welcome to Texas!

    FromthepublisherWelcome to our Take Home Edition of the Winter Texan Times. In this edition we want to share some of the reasons more and more retirees are choosing the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as their winter home. As they seek a warmer climate, they also enjoy the warm, friendly people who make their winters much more fun and… Read More +

  • It’s Safe in the Rio Grande Valley

    20190313 Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez courtesyFor decades, the Rio Grande Valley of Texas has been a favorite destination for retirees from the Midwest and Canada looking to head south for the winter to escape the snow, ice and cold, harsh weather. In addition to the warm, semi-tropical climate here in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), Winter Texans frequently… Read More +

  • There’s no better place to winter than the Rio Grande Valley

    20190313 Larry MainzLarry Mainz loves the Rio Grande Valley.

    He and his wife, Jan, became Winter Texans seven years ago. He fondly calls the Valley, “Disney for old people.”
    He says people need to know that “there's no better place. If you don't like living here,… Read More +

  • Monarch Fest at Quinta Mazatlan

    20190313 Monarch Festival Quinta MazatlanThe third annual Monarch Fest at Quinta Mazatlan will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset Dr. in McAllen.

    The event celebrates the northward migration of the iconic butterfly from Mexico through the United States and into… Read More +

  • Jazz Festival features Swing Street Big Band

    20190313 Swing street group photo steveThe Swing Street Big Band is keeping big band music alive and their recent pairings with local high schools will be a lesson that musicians can perform for a long time.

    McAllen High School will be hosting a Jazz Festival Saturday, March 16 in the school auditorium at… Read More +

  • You’ll receive a warm welcome in Texas!

    20190313 WT Friendly Progreso Winter Tourist Appreciation Day MOERING DSC 0445Alan Johnston remembers coming to the Rio Grande Valley from Minnesota 29 years ago.

    One of the first things Johnston saw were signs that said “Welcome Back Winter Texans.”

    After the couple's unimpressive experiences in Arizona and… Read More +

  • RGV low cost of living appeals to Winter Texans

    20190313 WT Cost Don Wes Flea Market DSC 0701 KODavid Howard and his wife live 4,200 miles from the Rio Grande Valley.

    The couple will take their time each year, leaving their home in the Canadian province of Labrador and Newfoundland to arrive at their summer home at Bit-O-Heaven RV Park in Donna.… Read More +

  • Warm weather draws Winter Texans to South Texas

    20190313 WT Weather Softball Canada vs USA MILLER IMG 6737Terry Hirschfeld was in her Kentucky home when she started making a list of “warm states.” She was tired of the cold.
    Texas made her short list.

    Now that she and her husband are here living on… Read More +

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