Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hidalgo County Offers You a Clean Slate

Hidalgo County is offering people who owe outstanding fines to Justice of the Peace courts a clean slate by making a payment on their collection website. Anybody who owes money to the JP courts is not able to renew their license or use other services unless the fine is paid.

Rather than pile on to people who may be having trouble making payments, Hidalgo County is offering this easy to use payment option to give people the opportunity to wipe the slate clean in terms of late payments.

Hidalgo County reports that they have roughly $35 million in unpaid fines still outstanding. This is an effort to both help the public and make it easier to collect on these receivables.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chili's in Sharyland to Donate Net Profits to Saint Jude's Children's Hospital

For immediate release
Contact: Rob Neagle 956-984-9000 or

Have a Presidente Margarita, save a life...

Chili's Grill & Bar invites the community to join them on September 26th when 100% of the day's profits will be donated to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

(Mission, TX) - Chili's Sharyland at 2419 East Expressway 83 in Mission will donate all of their net profits on September 26th to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to further help them in their fight to find a cure for pediatric cancer and other diseases.

"We are proud and honored to be able to help this great cause," said Rob Neagle, Managing Partner at our hometown Chili's. "I hope the entire community will join us on the 26th and show their support for the brave kids at St. Jude!"

Chili's Grill and Bar is a longtime supporter of St. Jude. The popular restaurant brand continues to work towards a 10-year commitment to raise $50 million for the hospital. The annual Create-A-Pepper campaign invites guests to design a custom pepper logo and make an individual donation to St. Jude.

"Where else can you go have a fresh hand-shaken Presidente Margarita, or some fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs and save a child's life while doing so?" said Neagle.

Chili's Grill & Bar is the flagship brand of Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT), a recognized leader in casual dining. Chili's offers a fun, energetic atmosphere and a distinct, fresh mix of grilled American favorites at more than 1,500 locations in 31 countries and two territories. Brinker's wholly-owned restaurant brands include Chili's® Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®. Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill®.

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Choice Power Helping Food Bank RGV

During the entire month of September, First Choice Power will track canned food donations made at the three chambers from Sept.1 to Sept. 30. The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley will post an update on its website on Sept. 16. First Choice Power will award the chamber who collects the most cans with a $250 donation to keep or donate to the charity of its choice and will make a $250 donation to food bank in honor of that winning chamber. All Donations will count toward First Choice Power's goal to provide 1 million meals to Texans in need.

First Choice Power also will donate a meal to the Texas Food Bank Network for each person who:
  • Drops off a donation at the First Choice Power Mission Local Office, 2423 E. Expressway 83, Suite 400, Mission,TX (956) 424-0068
  • Retweets the company's #HungerAction/#FoodFirst message on Twitter in September
  • Comments on any Hunger Action Month blog posts on the company's blog, The Current
  • Posts a comment on First Choice Power's Facebook posts related to Hunger Action Month

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sergio Muñoz Jr. Announced Reelection Campaign for Texas House of Representatives


September 15, 2011

Sergio Muñoz Jr. Announces Reelection Campaign for Texas House of Representatives

South Texas Democrat to run a second term for District 36 House Seat with continued support from local area leaders and the community

MISSION, TEXAS – Today, Texas State Representative Sergio Muñoz Jr. announced that he would seek reelection to the District 36 House seat to which he was first elected in 2010.

Commenting on his reelection campaign, Representative Muñoz said, "This session was very challenging, but even with the session being as difficult as it was, we were able to produce some effective legislation for South Texas. I appreciate the knowledge I gained and wish to return and do more. I am committed to public service and the people of District 36."

Representative Muñoz, a local attorney and community servant, had an extraordinary inaugural session in the legislature that included the passage of major bills and amendments bearing his name. He was honored by his Democratic colleagues for his legislative achievements and earned the inaugural House Democratic Leader's Award, an award given to the House Democratic freshman who best symbolizes the principles and values of the Texas House Democratic Caucus.

During the five-month legislative session, and special session, Muñoz authored, coauthored, sponsored and cosponsored an array of bills and amendments – including measures approved by the full House which honored major achievements by constituents in his House District 36, including HCR 56 which welcomed home our veterans and honored their service. Among them, measures that: restored $630,000 in funding for Bachelor's of Applied Technology Degree programs at South Texas College; reduce high school dropout rates; increased penalties to punish human traffickers; increased funding for law enforcement to investigate predators who use the internet to prey on young people and children; protect private property rights; continue the telecommunications discount for public schools and colleges, nonprofit hospitals, and public libraries throughout Texas; and fought vigorously against the budget cuts made to education, health and human services, and other vital programs to Texas and South Texas.

Mr. Muñoz will continue to focus on his vision for the people of District 36 during the next legislative session, "I want to continue to work for the people of District 36 to address the issues and maximize our resources for the betterment of deep South Texas. Now is the time to unite amongst one another to find solutions to the challenges we face. Let me continue to be your voice in Austin. We all need to work together cooperatively, both locally and in Austin, to produce the desired results we all want for our families and businesses. I won't give up."

Representative Muñoz believes that we need to have a balanced approach as we tackle the issues and look towards providing a better future for our communities and families.

Mr. Muñoz was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. He is the son of Sergio Muñoz Sr., and Connie Muñoz. He and his sister Marla graduated from Mission High School. He went on to graduate with a business administration degree from the University of Texas in Austin, and is a graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, magna cum laude. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Hidalgo County Bar Association.

Media contact: Brian Godinez at 956.655.4655 or

# # #

Shaine Mata

See my Ratepoint Profile:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Event: Dog Days of Summer Are Over at Mission Sports Complex

Celebrate "man's best friend" this weekend at the Mission Sports Complex. The event will include a dog parade, Muttsquerade, dog competitions (including cutest and ugliest dog), Pet/Owner look-alike, Spazziest Dog, Waggiest Tail, and more.

The event includes vendors, music and lots of fun. This is a great family event.

Register today at

For sponsorship or vendor information  
Lindslee Brunson at 789-6345

Smashburger in McAllen Adds New Items to the Menu

Smashbuger in McAllen, Texas has announced new additions to their menu. Some are temporary and some are permanent additions.

Smashburger Does Vegetarian

Starting September 28, the Smashburger menu will include the Black Bean Burger, which is a vegetarian, made from scratch patty, smashed, seared, and seasoned on the grill like their traditional burgers. Order a side of veggie fries and it's like heaven.

Other Additions

Other items are being added to the Smashburger menu, which you ought to check out.

  • Texas Dog - 100% Angus beef hot dog with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, jalapeños, chipotle sauce, tomatoes, and onions. 
  • Chili Cheese Fries - fries topped with chili, cheddar cheese, onions, and jalapeños.
  • Fried Jalapeños - with a side of buttermilk ranch dressing. 
  • Permanent shake flavors: Oreo, Butterfinger, and Nutter Butter. All made with authentic Häagen Dazs ice cream. 

For a Limited Time Only

When they say a limited time only, it means get your rump over to Smashburger ASAP. You don't want to miss these new items, you may never get a chance to try them again. The items will be available from September 26 to October 31st. It sounds like a long time; but, you'll forget. Do it now. Wait, do it September 26; put it on your calendar.

  • Windy City Smashburger - Sit down for this one. Layers of melted cheddar cheese, haystack onions, lettuce, tomato, and Gulden's spicy mustard on a pretzel bun. 
  • Banana shake - Yes, a banana shake Simple, delicions, and people keep asking for it. Made with Häagen Dazs as well. 
Not just any burger, Smashburger.

Here's the press release

STFC: Cinesol 36 Hour Film Race Results

Here are the Results of the 36 Hour Film Race

The 6th Annual 36 Hour Film Race was a great success! We had 17 teams
register. Eleven made the deadline. Three turned in late. Three
dropped out.

The teams had 36 hours to do a 10 minute horror short film. They had
to include a Harlingen mural, a Locals Lounge sticker, a DJ, and say
"I think we're back in business". Here are the 14 films, team names
and the awards they won.

1. Better - Gorillaman Pictures
Best Actress - Ivana Gonzales
2. Dead - Quad "S" Entertainment
3. Final Broadcast - Ozzie Lozza Productions
Best Use of Harlingen Mural
4. Gameshow - C.A.B. Films
Best Use of Sticker
Best Lighting - Edwin Mendoza
Best Makeup - Patty Moreno & John Flores
Best Special Effects - Johnathan Torres
Best Supporting Actress - Laya Hernandez
Best Supporting Actor - John Flores
Best Actor - Rob Garcia
Best Director - Albert Mancha
Best Film
5. Good Samaritan - Shrinking Mushroom
6. Half and Half - 2160 Productions
Best Editing Trick (Mirror Scene) - Joe Martinez
7. It Came From Outer Space - Half-Assed Films
Best Fight Scene
Best Musical Score
8. Las Cruces - Unusual Productions
9. The Last Gig - Team Fuaa
Best Wardrobe - Esteban L. Garcia
10. Rancor - Green Leaf Filming Society
Best Death Scene
Best Editing - Daniel Ledesma
Best Cinematography - Michael Sandoval
1st Runner Up
11. Replay - Legit Pictures
Best Bromance - Tomas Lopez & Julio Hernandez
Best Script - Christian Blake, Tomas Lopez & Julio Hernandez
12. Sick and Tired - Lighthouse Productions
13. Sweaters - Intelligente Pulpo Productions
Best Comedy Relief - Josh Palacios
Best Ensemble
Best U18 Film
14. Welcome to Eden - Impossible Films

Don't forget we will be at UTPA this weekend. Go to CineSol Film
Festival for more information.

Special guests include Alvaro Rodriguez, Luis Robledo, Jacob Roman,
Jose Cruz Jr., Pepe Quintanilla, Rogelio Agrasanchez, Jose Lomas, Joe
Castro and Steven Escobar.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

STFC - Short Film Project

Texas Short Film Project

This casting call was sent to us. Please contact them for more information.

Three short films, three minutes long by three Méxican directors. The
Texas Short Film Project presents: La Intemperie del Amor/ The
FILMS, invite you to become part of this ambitious project. If you are
an Actor, Producer or Filmmaker send your info to this following
address. The three films will be shot in the RGV on September 14-17,
2011. We are looking for leading roles fluent in spanish.

The lives of PAULA, ALLY and SOLEDAD collide with a murder along a
deserted road.

Three females between the age of 16-25, fluent in spanish.
Three males between the age of 16-25, fluent in spanish.
One male between the age of 40-50 fluent in spanish.
One female between the age of 40-50 fluent in spanish.

Also calling out all producers and executive producers who are
interested in becoming part of this project.

Thank you

José Lomas Hervert

Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce hosts upcoming business seminars

Contact: Laura Espinoza or Martha Noell at



Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce hosts upcoming business seminars

The Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting three business
seminars in the upcoming weeks.  With its chamber members in mind, the
Weslaco Chamber of Commerce strives to provide relevant and necessary
information that aids in the development of local businesses.

The Lunch and Learn Series will continue on Wednesday, September 28
with the topic "Staying Calm When the Market Goes Wild", presented by
MFS Investment Management, which is based out of Austin, TX.
Sponsored by Edward Jones Investments, this topic will cover the
timely issue of how to handle your investments in a shaky economy.
The seminar will take place at the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, 322
S.  Missouri.  The fee is $5, lunch included.  Space is limited.
Reservations can be made at 968-2102.

On Tuesday, October 4, the Weslaco Chamber will be hosting business
seminars presented by Techsoft Training.  These seminars involve HANDS
ON learning, with lap tops available for each attendee to follow along
with the lesson.  Techsoft Training is a Houston-based company that
offers a complete range of technology and business skills training
from basic desktop applications to complex business systems. Techsoft
delivers training solutions to businesses and individuals looking to
increase productivity and improve effectiveness.

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Social Media for Businesses – Creating and
managing Facebook business pages, in addition to Twitter and LinkedIn.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Graphic Design 101 with Picknik, PowerPoint, and
Pixir – High quality graphic design on a limited budget!  Learn how to
capture and manipulate images (resizing, cropping, etc.), creating
composites and optimizing images for web and email using cost
effective programs and websites.

For one session, the cost is $75 for members, $85 for non-members.
For both sessions, the cost is $135 for members, $150 for non-members.
Limited seats available.  Payment must be made at the chamber office,
255 S. Texas, in order to reserve a seat.  Seminars will be held at
the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, 322 S. Missouri.  Call 956-968-2102
for more information.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cinesol Film Festival Coming Soon

CineSol Film Festival
It's Closing Weekend at UTPA September 17-18
The CineSol Film Festival continues with it's Closing Weekend at UTPA
September 17-18.

Saturday, September 17th
We start off our Closing Weekend with Deseada. Deseada is a 1951
Mexican movie on loan from the Agrasanchez Film Archive. It will be
followed by a panel discussion: The Golden Age in Mexican Film: A
Discussion With Rogelio Agrasanchez Jr. and Alvaro Rodriguez.

We will be screening several documentaries, such as Una Ruta Nada
Santa, New Children/New York, Damn!, Challenge of a Champion: The
Story of Lane Frost and Red Rock, Where Soldiers Come From and
Portraits on the Malecon.

Jose Quintanilla has been involved as jury, film critic or staff top
film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Guadalajara, Toronto
and many more. He will be discussing Film Festivals: A Tool to Promote
Movies/A Good Place for Films.

In the evening, we will be screening The Summer of Massacre. Here is
their website and here is festival info on our website. Director Joe
Castro will be appearing at the screening. Also doing the Q&A will be
Steven Escobar. He is an Edinburg graduate, UTPA graduate, and an Emmy
Award winner for Editing on The Amazing Race. Steven produced, edited,
and did the special effects for the movie.

Sunday, September 18th
Alvaro Rodriguez (Edinburg native, co-writer of MACHETE) and Luis
Robledo (A LONELY PLACE FOR DYING) will be conducting a panel on
Script to Screen: Evolution of a Movie.

We will be screening features (Wuss, Close Up), Experimental (Sixty in
60), documentaries (How to Boil a Frog, City Dark). We will be
re-screening the Argentinian documentary El Ambulante.

Director Joe Castro and Steven Escobar will be doing a Panel
Discussion on Video Distribution: Working With Home Video Media
Distributors to Sell Your Motion Picture for a Profit.

We will be screening several shorts including: Stuffer, Surviving
Hunger, Make the First Move, Gustavo, Un Minuto, Two Wheels, Arthur
and Dinosaur Ballet. Gustavo stars RGV native Jose Lomas. Two Wheels
is a documentary by 14 year old Sharyland student Jacob Roman. Arthur
stars the daughter of a Harlingen native.

We end our UTPA Closing Weekend with the short Hard to Love, followed
by the feature A Lonely Place for Dying. Hard to Love stars
Brownsville native Marisilda Garcia and McAllen native Luis Robledo. A
Lonely Place for Dying stars Luis Robledo and James Cromwell. Q&A with
Luis Robledo afterwards.
September 19-23, we will be at the University of Texas at
Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. Visit our website for more
information on the Brownsville schedule.

Empty Bowls 2011

It's that time of year again. Head on over to to purchase your Empty Bowls 2011 tickets.

Food Bank RGV's Empty Bowls 2012 event will be held at the Pharr Events Center, located at 3000 North Cage, Pharr, TX 78577. Lunch will be available from 11 am to 2 pm on September 22, 2011.

Empty Bowls 2011 has food samples from great restaurants. As part of your admission, you can pick up a hand-made bowl made by local artists. In addition, there is a silent auction on many donated items.

Don't miss out on this annual event that grows larger every year.
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