Xavier Alvarez

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Public input encouraged for new Mission, McAllen development

A development company on Wednesday continued its efforts to gather public input on a residential and commercial development encompassing more than 3,000 acres between Mission and McAllen, inviting local residents to design this community themselves. Killam Development, a Laredo-based company with a history of real estate development and ranching, announced in December that it acquired about 3,400 acres in the two cities from previous owners, Hunt Valley Development. The company has held two workshops this week with city leaders and the public in order to gain input and design ideas on how to create a new community. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Organ donors’ families mark Christmas season with memories of their loved ones

A single Christmas tree, lightly decorated with white and silver ornaments, wrapped with light blue ribbons and white Christmas lights, topped with a glittery silver star stood in the middle of a bustling La Plaza Mall. Surrounding the tree were the families of recently deceased organ donors, who were creating custom-made ornaments to honor their lost loved ones. The children and toddlers, some of who were offspring of the deceased, were having a blast filling the ornaments with artificial snowflakes and decorating the outside of the crystal clear orbs. All the while, the parents, grandparents and event runners helped them out as they mingled over coffee and chocolate chip cookies provided by Donate Life Texas. The celebration is part of a partnership with Simon Malls and Donate Life Texas. La Plaza Mall welcomed the organization in their mission to have more people register as organ donors in order to save lives in the future. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Illnesses mounting and finances dwindling, Starr County family makes most of modest home

Jorge Espinoza and his family of six live in a small, downtrodden trailer home owned by his mother in the outskirts of a Starr County community. Parts of the walls are missing insulation and drywall. Next to the entrance is a child-sized mattress embedded in the wall, acting as a replacement for the missing insulation. The interior is dark with few small streaks of light pouring from the makeshift curtains draped over the windows. The only source of light was a bulb in the kitchen that is connected to the living room. Both areas take up about two thirds of the entire home. The only bedroom in the house is on the far end left, opposite of the living room. When asked where her kids sleep, Dinorah, Jorge’s wife, simply pointed to the couch she was sitting on. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

UTRGV invites community to participate in folklórico event this weekend

For the first time, Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad Veracruzana will be performing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Edinburg and Brownsville...

Tonight Show appearance lands Mission High grad free tuition

Alma Zamora thought she was only posing for a selfie with late night TV host Jimmy Fallon when he dropped the bombshell: she was going to have the remainder of her college tuition paid for, courtesy of The Tonight Show. Earlier this month, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon filmed an episode in Austin at the Bass Concert Hall where the show, in association with Samsung, gave three University of Texas students a holiday bundle of products. Zamora was one recipient. Along with the gifts, Fallon announced that the students would also have their remaining tuition paid off courtesy of the show. Read the full story at themonitor.com.