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As first class of UTRGV medical students participates in “White Coat” ceremony at local campus, Edinburg reports it’s lowest June unemployment figure in almost a decade

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Featured: Guy Bailey, Ph.D, President, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; William H. McRaven, Chancellor, The University of Texas System; and Havidán Rodríguez, Ph.D.,  Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, on Saturday, July 23, 2016. The three UT System leaders were among hundreds of other dignitaries, family, and well-wishers who gathered at the UTRGV  Performing Arts Complex auditorium in Edinburg to congratulate the inaugural class of 55 students who are beginning their first year of medical school in Edinburg. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation played key roles in 2013 in securing a full-fledged medical school from the Texas Legislature for deep South Texas. Rodríguez also is a former member of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors.

Photograph By DAVID PIKE

For the first time in almost a  year, Edinburg’s unemployment rate rose above five percent, based on the June 2016 estimate by the Texas Workforce Commission, but that figure still represents the best showing for that month in the city since June 2008, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Edinburg, with a 5.4 percent monthly unemployment rate, along with McAllen (5.1 percent) and Harlingen (5.7 percent), were the only three cities in deep South Texas to post figures for June 2016 under six percent, the Texas Workforce Commission reported on Friday, July 22, 2016. According to the latest data, there were 36,322 people employed in Edinburg during the month of June 2016. That performance represents an increase of 612 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for June 2016 (36,322) and June 2015 (35,710).

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Edinburg EDC Director Agustín García, Jr. reports that city’s strong economic growth and local governments’ financial integrity help community qualify for one of nation’s best bond ratings for investors

Image Courtesy RGV FC TOROS

Featured: An artist’s rendition of the 9,700-seat RGV FC Toros Stadium, located on 1616 South Raúl Longoria Road in Edinburg, one of many symbols of economic growth in the city. On Thursday, July 21, 2016, a press conference will be held beginning at 9 a.m. at the amphitheater, located on the park side of the professional sports complex, to announce the naming rights for the venue.

Image Courtesy RGV FC TOROS

The city’s continuing strong economic growth and the strategies by its elected leaders to protect taxpayers and manage public funds have resulted in one of the nation’s best bond ratings for investors, sending a strong message nationwide that the future remains bright for people to live, work and do business in Edinburg. The ratings, which were released on Monday, July 11, 2016, focused on several bonds previously issued by the city and the Edinburg EDC. Fitch Ratings upgraded those bonds to “AA”. “The improved ‘AA’ ratings mean that the Mayor, City Council, and Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, through their policies and actions, continue to demonstrate their excellence in helping shape an economy that means more good-paying jobs, a great environment for businesses of all sizes, and a high quality of life for our community,” said EEDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr.

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Thirteen O’Clock Theatre Presents Peter and the Starcatcher, which is free for students, on July 22, 23, 29 and 30 at McAllen High School auditorium

The cast of Peter and The Starcatcher.

Featured: The cast of Peter and The Starcatcher. Top row, from left: Daniel Garza of Edinburg; Jonathan Taméz of McAllen; and Priscilla Perales of Stuard, Florida. Second row, from left: Annemarie Alaníz of Alamo; Óscar Camacho of Cadereyta Jiménez, Nuevo León, Mexico; and Zebastian Duchene of McAllen. Third row, from left: Mauricio González of Mission; Immanuel García of Alton; and Micaela Cantú of Mission. Fourth row, from left: Selena Flores of La Victoria; Joshua Duazo of McAllen; and Alan González of Mission. Bottom Row: Gerrad García of Edinburg; Diana Furman of McAllen; and Ricky Godínez of McAllen.

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Featured, from left: Zebastian Duchene of McAllen; Joshua Duazo of McAllen; Immanuel García of Alton; Daniel Garza of Edinburg; Mauricio González of Mission; Selena Flores of La Victoria; Jonathan Taméz of McAllen; Annemarie Alaníz of Alamo; and Micaela Cantú of Mission.

Photographs By JASON BARRERA

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Sen. Zaffirini named to UT campus newspaper’s The Daily Texan Hall of Fame; award ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, September 16, 2016

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Featured: Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, at the rostrum (large desk) facing the Texas Senate chamber at the State Capitol Building. The portrait behind her is of Stephen F. Austin, known as the “Father of the Republic of Texas”, done shortly before his death on December 27, 1836.

Photograph By SENATE MEDIA SERVICES

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, is one of six 2016 inductees into The Daily Texan Hall of Fame, the non-profit Friends of The Daily Texan announced recently. The organization was established in 2013 to support quality journalism and a strong future for the student newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin. While a UT undergraduate, Zaffirini served as a reporter, feature writer, copy editor, headline writer, assistant editor and special issue editor for The Daily Texan. “This award is especially meaningful to me because working for The Daily Texan was an amazing experience that strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in communication and public service,” Zaffirini said. “What’s more, I am grateful to the Friends of The Daily Texan not only for this honor, but also for their work to promote quality journalism and to ensure the success of The Daily Texan in the digital world. I share their belief in the power of student journalism, and, equally important, their commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

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Edinburg’s retail economy again registers best monthly rate of improvement – almost 11 percent – among Valley’s major cities for May 2016 – and better than Texas average

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Featured, from left: Daniel Rivera, Founder, Grindstone Coworking of Edinburg (www.TheGrindstone.co) and Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, reviewing key data about the strength of the Edinburg economy prior to a broadcast interview on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 on KURV710 Talk Radio.

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

For the second consecutive month, Edinburg’s retail economy during May 2016 had the best rate of improvement – 10.78 percent – over the same month last year among the Valley’s major cities, while by comparison, cities statewide reported a combined average improvement of 2.7 percent in May 2016 compared with May 2015, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. These figures are based on sales made in May 2016 by businesses that report tax monthly. For May 2016, Edinburg’s retail economy generated $1,730,440.77 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,561,948.68 during the same time in 2015, representing the improvement of 10.78 percent, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the Edinburg EDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city.

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As UTRGV announces $100,000 hiring of football consultants, blue-ribbon committee studying issue to hold its second meeting on Wednesday, July 13

Photograph by JEFF HUEHN, UTSA ATHLETICS

Featured: Eric Soza, the first quarterback for the University of Texas at San Antonio, which set a record for the highest-attended game, with an attendance of 56,743, for an NCAA Division 1 FSC start-up program on September 3, 2011 at the Alamodome.

Photograph by JEFF HUEHN, UTSA ATHLETICS

Fresh from announcing the selection of a football feasibility consultant group, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is set on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, to hold the second meeting of a 22-member, blue-panel committee that will help determine the possibility of a college football team being created for UTRGV, which is the state’s largest public university south of San Antonio. The location and time of the meeting, which will be closed to the public, and the agenda for UTRGV’s football feasibility study committee will be announced at a later date by university officials. But the selection of College Sports Solutions, LLC, to conduct the university’s football feasibility study is sure to be among the top items to be discussed when the special UTRGV advisory panel meets later this month.

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Edinburg construction passes $100 million during first five months of 2016, with city building permit issued in May for first phase of Bert Ogden Arena

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Featured, from left: Mayor Richard García, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., and Mayor Pro Tem Richard Molina on Thursday, February 27, 2015, during groundbreaking ceremonies for the Bert Ogden Arena, the future home of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers professional basketball team, which is part of the NBA Development League. In May 2016, the first building permit, for work valued at $3.5 million, was issued by the city for construction of the 189,000 square-foot multi-events complex, whose total value will approach $90 million. The Bert Ogden Arena is located at the corner of Interstate 69-Central and Alberta Road in Edinburg.

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Construction and related building activities in Edinburg from January through May 2016 have passed the $100 million level, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has reported, with the month of May 2016 accounting for almost $18 million of that amount. The most valuable projects, not including the value of the lots, which led the way in May 2016, were: $3,500,000 –Cantú Construction, 429 S. I-69C, Edinburg Arena Subdivision; $3,481,532 – Edinburg Regional Medical Center, 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Trenton St. Subdivision; $1,560,000 – Jeff Knits, 1010 E. Chapin, Tex-Mex Survey Subdivision; $633,559 – R&E Villarreal & Sons, 2945 Regency Drive, The Boardwalk Subdivision; and $510,000 – Chris Ryan Homes & Investments, LLC, 2502 Hampton Avenue, Bentley Estates Subdivision.

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Edinburg’s 4.5 percent unemployment rate for May 2016 is the best showing for that month since 2007, reports Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr.

Photograph By ROBERTO GONZÁLEZ/Texas Border Business/Mega Doctor News

Featured: Edinburg Mayor Richard García, who also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, speaking with journalists after delivering his State of the City Address at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

Photograph By ROBERTO GONZÁLEZ/Texas Border Business/Mega Doctor News

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for May 2016 of 4.5 percent marked the eighth consecutive month that the city posted a figure lower than five percent, with McAllen, with a 4.4 percent unemployment rate for May 2016, being the only other Valley city under five percent, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The May 2016 figure of 4.5 percent is the best showing for that month since May 2007, when the city posted a 4.3 percent unemployment rate. In addition, Edinburg’s unemployment rate has been under five percent during 10 months out of 17 months since January 2015. According to the latest data, which was released on Friday, June 17, 2016 by the Texas Workforce Commission, there were 36,727 people employed in Edinburg during the month of May 2016. That performance represents an increase of 615 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for May 2016 (36,727) and May 2015 (36,112).

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$29.1 million Legends Edinburg off-campus student luxury apartments complex, designed for UTRGV community, has begun construction for Fall 2017 opening, announces Edinburg EDC

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Featured: Artist’s rendition of a segment of Legends Edinburg, a 310,680 square-foot upscale student residential complex, the latest multi-family community that is coming to the city as a result of the continuing growth of both Edinburg and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, including its new medical school. The School of Medicine will open for the Fall 2016 semester.

Rendition Courtesy DOMUS DEVELOPMENT, LLC

Construction has begun on a $29.1 million luxury, off-campus community designed to serve The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, and which will bring 588 beds to the market, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Legends Edinburg is located near the corner of Chapin Street and Sugar Road, just 1/10 mile from the Edinburg campus. Legends Edinburg will be ready for move in for Fall 2017, according to Domus Development, LLC, the owner of the complex, which will feature one-, two- and four-bedroom units.

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“Blessed beyond measure” – Jesús “Jesse” M. Ozuna of Edinburg advancing his career upstate in legislative leadership, while following his heart for Rep. Ana Hernández, D-Houston

Photograph By LORENA BALLI

Featured: Jesús “Jesse” M. Ozuna of Edinburg, and his girlfriend, Rep. Ana Hernández, D-Houston, appearing before the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court in Edinburg on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Ozuna, the Chief Administrator for Hidalgo County Commissioner Precinct 4 Joseph Palacios, was honored for his distinguished service to the region and received well-wishes for his new position, effective in July, as Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs for Mayor Sylvester Turner in the City of Houston.

Photograph By LORENA BALLI

Another local man has made good, helping further promote the image and reality that South Texans always have what it takes to excel in any profession, including in the highly-skilled world of legislative affairs for Houston, which is the nation’s fourth largest city. “We want to make sure you understand we really want to wish you well, we really enjoyed the work you have done for us,” Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García told Ozuna, who since 2012 worked himself up the proverbial ladder of success from being a right-of-way agent to helping lead the 115-member staff for Hidalgo County Commissioner Precinct 4 Joseph Palacios of Edinburg.

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