Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Post 9-11 Vets joined fight to protect America

George Rice “felt compelled to do my part.”

Joe Swoboda “felt it was something I needed to do.”

There are many reasons young men and women join the military, some out of necessity, others out of desire. For veterans like Rice and Swoboda, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 struck a chord and compelled them defend their country and put down those who posed a threat.
“When I joined, I joined to fight,” said Rice, a Mission resident who served in the U.S. Army. “I wanted to serve in a fighting capacity – I wanted to be that guy.”

Read more: Post 9-11 Vets joined fight to protect America

IMAS offers art lessons, science exploration

20181107 IMAS Bldg 2304 GUSaying that rather than import big collections for exhibits that require charging of additional entry costs, Education Director Claudia Martinez, said the International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS) in McAllen has decided to feature their own collections and collections of local museums that can be easily traded. The museum will concentrate on offering art and science activities to patrons instead.

When the Winter Texan Times arrived, Martinez was in the museum’s art studio working on sugar skulls to be used for the annual Day of the Dead celebration to be held that Saturday. She and fellow artists were preparing 100 sugar skulls from sugar, powdered meringue and water to be colored by those who attended the festival.

Read more: IMAS offers art lessons, science exploration

VA coordinators help traveling veterans receive services

20181107 VA Traveling Veterans SherylRusso 0196The VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health System for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides services for veterans in a 21-county area that stretches from Corpus Christi to Laredo to Brownsville, including the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

According to Sheryl Russo, Traveling Veterans Coordinator with TVCBHS in Harlingen, approximately 4500 veterans are traveling veterans who come to Texas each year seeking a warmer winter climate. Of that 4500, about 1800 need medical services of some kind while they are in the Valley. Because each veteran is assigned to a VA facility and primary care team according to his or her permanent home address, the veteran’s records need to be shared before he/she can receive coordinated care in the Valley.

Read more: VA coordinators help traveling veterans receive services

Wild by Nature - October 31, 2018

20182031 Wild by Nature Column Kiskadees LEG4762Last week I featured the top birding hot spots in Hidalgo County here. This week I will be doing the same for Cameron County.
With three of the top 13 birding hot spots in the country and three of the four top hot spots in the state of Texas, Cameron County is easily one of the top birding counties in the United States.

While the aforementioned rankings are based on the number of bird species that have been reported to eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project with more than 100 million bird sightings submitted by birders each year, all one has to do to know that Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Los Fresnos, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center (BNC) and the South Padre Island Convention Center are among the best birding hot spots in the country, is to visit them.

Read more: Wild by Nature - October 31, 2018

Daylight Saving Time, Butterflies and Texas BBQ

FromthepublisherTime is coming to an end. Daylight Saving Time, that is.

This Sunday, November 4, Daylight Saving Time ends, and we’ll all need to set our clocks back one hour – unless you live in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and a few other places like the Virgin Islands.

But for those of us in Texas, and most of the United States, the saying “Spring Forward, Fall Back” helps us to remember when to move our clocks forward one hour (Spring) and when to move our clocks back (Fall). While the time officially changes at 2 a.m., Sunday, most folks just set their clocks back before going to bed Saturday night.

Don’t forget, or you find yourself in the church parking lot an hour before everybody else. I suppose worse things could happen. Have a great weekend.

– JB –

Read more: Daylight Saving Time, Butterflies and Texas BBQ

Southern Anthem’s Mike Pausewang passes

20181024 SouthernAnthem Mike PausewangMike Pausewang may have been behind the scenes of the wildly popular family band known as Southern Anthem, but he was as much of the driving force as his family stars on stage.

Pausewang died at the age of 51 at his home on Aug. 20. Southern Anthem was named 2017-18 Family Vocal Group of the Year by the Valley Star Awards, a people’s choice-style award. The band regularly filled Winter Texan resort venues and were booked heavily for performances throughout the Valley.

Due to Pausewang’s passing, the group will not be returning to the Rio Grande Valley this year, according to 17-year-old Mikaela Pausewang, lead singer and guitarist for the band.

Read more: Southern Anthem’s Mike Pausewang passes

Murder, mystery and more at Brownsville Museum tour

20181024 Murder Mayhem Mystery BHA Tour 2Rumor has it that if anyone takes a toy from little Daisy Starck’s gravesite that she will come to your house and tickle your feet.

These “horror” stories and many more will be shared as the Brownsville Heritage Museum presents its second, Murder, Mystery and Mayhem tour from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. The museum is located at 1325 E. Washington St.

Starck is widely considered the victim of the first auto-pedestrian accident in Brownsville in 1879. According to program director Ashly Guzman, Daisy was playing with her ball when it rolled out into the street. “She ran after it and was run over by a carriage,” Guzman said.

Read more: Murder, mystery and more at Brownsville Museum tour

Getting your line-dancing groove on

20181024 Line Dancing Casa del valle 01Keith Floyd saw some people dancing, -- or doing something like that.

Whatever it was, it caught his attention and curiosity. He was simply fascinated by what he was seeing.

“What is that?’ he asked.

“They’re line dancing,” was the reply.

“I had never heard of it,” said the Jacksonville, Fla., native and now full-time resident at Casa del Valle RV Park in Alamo. “But I definitely got hooked.”

Read more: Getting your line-dancing groove on

Where to go for a fun Halloween

20181024 Halloween party WT Miller 2347There are several Halloween or fall festival events planned throughout the Valley. Here is a roundup of a few you might enjoy – plus a few public Halloween dances planned in the RV & mobile home resorts.

The Historical Happy Hour: “Stranger Things” Halloween Costume Party will be held at the Brownsville Heritage Museum, located at 1325 E. Washington St. in Brownsville from 5 - 7 p.m, Friday, Oct. 26. The actual party will be held at the Old County Jail located at 1201 E. Van Buren St. Come dressed as your favorite “Stranger Things” character or any other character. Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed Halloween costume and the best “Stranger Things” costume.

The event is free for museum members, $5 if RSVP's and $10 at the door. Call (956) 548-1313 for more information.

Read more: Where to go for a fun Halloween

48th annual Pow Wow set for Lark Library

20181024 Indian Pow Wow dy 032The 48th annual Dak' ee si Pow Wow will be held from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at Lark Community Center, 2601 Lark Ave. in McAllen. The event is free and open to the public.

Dak' ee si means the fall ceremony of celebration and the event is a way for the Native American tribe to share its culture and history with other tribes and non-natives.

There will be gourd dancing from 11 a.m. - noon and again from 5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. There will also be intertribal dances throughout the day.
Each type of dance has its own meaning. There are several opinions regarding the gourd dance, a dance that is used to honor a warrior. Many state that the dance originated with the Kiowa Tribe.

Read more: 48th annual Pow Wow set for Lark Library

Wild by Nature - October 24, 2018

20181024 WILD Chachalaca LEG4439 003As a life-long Valley resident, and as a wildlife photographer for nearly as long, I have visited, and photographed wildlife in, nearly all the nature centers across the Rio Grande Valley. My familiarity with these sites, and my appreciation for what each one has to offer, is why I will be featuring some of the top nature centers in the Valley here in the weeks to come.

With more nature centers across the Valley than there are tail feathers on a Chachalaca, I will let the numbers speak for themselves by sharing some statistics about each of the Valley’s top birding hot spots.

Read more: Wild by Nature - October 24, 2018

Celebrations, Festivals and Voting

FromthepublisherThis week we will see a big lineup of community festivals and activities all throughout the Rio Grande Valley – from Mission to Brownsville – including fall festivals, Halloween parties, and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

Of course, we’re all familiar with Halloween dances and parties, fall festivals and haunted houses. But I’d venture to say that many of us aren’t too familiar with the Mexican traditions behind the Day of the Dead celebration. Except, of course, those who have attended some of the Dia de los Muertos events that can shed a little light on the subject for the unacquainted. As the Hispanics living in the Rio Grande Valley have taken a more active role in trying to preserve their Mexican heritage and pass it down to younger generations, we have seen these celebrations and altar displays become more popular. Some of the museums report that their Dia de los Muertos events are better attended than any other they host throughout the year.

Read more: Celebrations, Festivals and Voting

Day of the Dead festivals and events planned

20181024 CityofMission STA by Charlie IMG 0778Halloween is traditionally known as a night of mischief, horror and costumes.

Dia de los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead”, isn't a Mexican version of Halloween, even though it does deal with the dead, calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls), and there are plenty of sweets to be shared – usually decorated as calacas and calaveras.
However, Dia de los Muertos is about celebrating life; specifically the lives of loved ones who have deceased.

Originated in Mexico thousands of years ago with the Aztecs and others, but now celebrated all over Latin America, Dia De Los Muertos is recognized Nov. 1-2 (another similarity to Halloween's Oct. 31 tradition and during the Catholic faith's All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls Day on Nov. 2). The traditions portray the belief that during this celebration those who have gone on to their eternal sleep awaken to celebrate with loved ones.

Read more: Day of the Dead festivals and events planned

Winter Texans feel ‘safe’ in Mexican border town

20181024 TOURIST DAY Progreso Moering IMG 6654Concern about border troubles don’t seem evident in at least one popular Mexican border town on the Rio Grande River. Nuevo Progreso, which is just a short walk or drive across the international bridge, has been a popular spot for tourists from the U.S. for decades.

While the perception of trouble on the border may make news headlines in some border locations, the Winter Texans who come to the McAllen metro area and many full-time Texas residents still find Mexico’s Progreso to be a charming place to go shopping, enjoy a meal, get a manicure/pedicure and buy cheaper prescription drugs and liquor.

Read more: Winter Texans feel ‘safe’ in Mexican border town

STC Theatre opens 2018-2019 season with Miss Holmes

South Texas College (STC) Theatre kicks off its 2018-2019 season this month with Christopher M. Walsh’s play, “Miss Holmes”, inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The production will run from Oct. 18-20 at 8 p.m. and will include a matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21. Performances will take place at STC’s Cooper Center for Communication Arts Black Box Studio Theatre located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd., in McAllen.

Read more: STC Theatre opens 2018-2019 season with Miss Holmes

Wild by Nature

Welcome to Wild by Nature. My name is Luciano Guerra and this is my weekly nature and wildlife column. As a photographer and a life-long Valley resident, I have been observing and photographing the Rio Grande Valley’s amazing diversity of wildlife for as long as I can remember. From the tiniest and most delicate of the Valley’s butterflies to alligators large enough to kill a man, I have seen most and photographed many of the different species of wildlife that we here in deep south Texas are so fortunate to have all around us.

Over the years I have developed a passion for observing and photographing the unique, and all too often elusive, wildlife that inhabits the Rio Grande Valley. In the weeks and months to come, I will be using this column to share this passion with those interested in learning more about the birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the South Texas thorn scrub as well as nature centers, backyards, parks, and other places in the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: Wild by Nature

Fall exhibits feature Kaffe Fassett, “Lights,” and Millefiori!

20180921 Texas Quilt Show FASSETTSeptember 17, 2018—La Grange, TX—The Texas Quilt Museum presents three exciting exhibits for this fall, including one by a legendary artist and innovator. They will run October 4 through December 23, 2018. Museum curator Dr. Sandra Sider describes the trio as “a magnificent array of quilted art bursting with originality, color, and luminosity.”

Kaffe Fassett’s love of color imbues his designs in knitwear, needlepoint, and patchwork, as can be seen in the exhibit Bold By Design: Kaffe Fassett Quilts. It will feature 23 of his works from his prolific library of patchwork and quilting publications.

Read more: Fall exhibits feature Kaffe Fassett, “Lights,” and Millefiori!

VSO 2018-19 Season Subscriptions On Sale Now through September 29

The Valley Symphony Orchestra and Peter Debrowski, Music Director/Conductor, presents the 2018-2019 “SYMPHONY...That’s Entertainment,” five-concert series package which opens on September 28 with Concert I - A Night In Paris; October 26 with Concert II - A Harry Potter Halloween; December 7 with Concert III - A Touch of Frost; March 1, 2019 with Concert IV - Hooray For Hollywood and wrapping the season with Concert V - The 3B’s: Beatles, Brahms And Beethoven on April 5, 2019. All five concerts will be held at the McAllen Performing Arts Center located at 801 Convention Center Blvd on Friday evenings from 8:00 – 10:00 PM.

Read more: VSO 2018-19 Season Subscriptions On Sale Now through September 29

Until we meet again

FromthepublisherAs we come to the close of another wonderful winter season in the Rio Grande Valley we look back on all the great times we have enjoyed with you, our Winter Texan friends. We so much enjoy seeing you come down to deep South Texas each year to get away from the cold weather, but also to be with friends and neighbors.

After 31 years as publisher of the Winter Texan Times, I am still amazed at your zeal for life, your love of country and your caring nature. You make me proud to be the publisher of a newspaper that serves people who have earned my deep respect and appreciation for who you are and the values you bring to our local communities all across the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: Until we meet again

Share the fun!

Wow has time flown by this Winter Texan season!

Now that it is coming to a close, we here at the Winter Texans Times would love for you to share with us – and all our readers – what this season was like for you in the Rio Grande Valley.

What was your favorite event? Did you work with any charities? Did you compete in sports or any type of competition (like the chili cook-off in Llano Grande Resort and Country Club?).

Read more: Share the fun!

Local News
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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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