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Category: City & Government

Famous carrier set to arrive at port early Saturday

The former USS Ranger, star of movies and television, is scheduled to arrive in Brownsville early Saturday morning to be cut up for scrap.

The decommissioned Forrestal-class aircraft carrier departed Bremerton, Washington, on March 5 under tow for the 16,000-nautical-mile voyage to Brownsville. The Navy announced in December that International Shipbreaking Ltd., based at the Port of Brownsville, had won the contract to tow and dismantle the aging warship.

The Ranger was built at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. in the mid-1950s and commissioned in 1957 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. It’s the only vessel of its class to spend its entire career in the Pacific Ocean.

The ship made 22 deployments in the Western Pacific and played an active role in Vietnam. The Ranger, the only West Coast-based carrier to deploy in support of Operation Desert Storm, was decommissioned in 1993 after more than 35 years of service.
The vessel ship spent eight years on the “donation hold” list, though the USS Ranger Foundation was unable to raise the funds necessary to convert the ship into a museum or to tow it up the Columbia River to Fairview, Oregon, which had proposed berthing the ship there as a museum.

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D.A.’S OFFICE DRUG TESTS EMPLOYEES

For the first time in more than 15 years, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office drug tested all 58
assistant district attorneys and investigators. All tested negative for drugs.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 4.57.55 PMDistrict Attorney Luis V. Saenz said drug testing employees is a good practice to assure the community that the
County’s top law enforcement agency is drug free.

“I tested all assistant D.A.s, investigators and myself to assure the public that the Office’s law enforcement and
those who prosecute defendants are drug-free,” Saenz said. “I believe the public would like to see more county
offices do the same thing, especially other county law enforcement offices.”
The District Attorney’s Office began drug testing in January.

REP. LONGORIA APPOINTED TO APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE; NAMED VICE-CHAIR OF INVESTMENTS & FINANCIAL SERVICES

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AUSTIN, TX—Today, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced committee assignments for the 84th Legislative Session. State Representative Oscar Longoria (House District 35) will serve as Vice Chair of the Investments & Financial Services Committee and will continue his appointment to the House Appropriations Committee.

Representative Longoria’s continued appointment to the House Appropriations Committee secures his influential leadership position and his significant impact on the budget-writing process that will benefit the Rio Grande Valley.

Representative Oscar Longoria issued the following statement:

“It is an honor to serve as Vice-Chair of Investments and Financial Services and I value the trust instilled in me by the Speaker of the House. Through these appointments, I hope to continue to create positive impacts in our region and foster legislation that will positively affect not only the Rio Grande Valley, but also all of Texas.

I look forward to working closely with House Appropriations Chairman John Otto, Investment and Financial Services Chairman Tan Parker and my fellow committee colleagues to create viable solutions that will benefit our Texas families and communities. This will be another important session as we continue to build upon the foundation of UTRGV, work on restoring funding to education, and focus on Transportation, among many other important issues.”

Representative Oscar Longoria proudly represents House District 35, which encompasses both Hidalgo and Cameron Counties and includes the cities/towns of: La Joya, Sullivan City, Peñitas, Alton, Edinburg, Monte Alto, Edcouch, La Villa, Mercedes, Weslaco, Santa Rosa, Primera, Palm Valley, Combes, Harlingen, and La Feria.

REP. SERGIO MUÑOZ NAMED VICE-CHAIR OF APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE ARTICLES VI, VII, & VIII

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AUSTIN, TX – Chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, John Otto (Dayton) has named State Representative Sergio Muñoz, Jr. (Palmview) as Vice-Chair of subcommittee on Natural Resources (VI), Business and Economic Development (VII), and Regulatory Agencies (VIII). In addition to his new Vice-Chairmanship on the subcommittee, Representative Muñoz continues to have an active role in the entire state budgeting process through the Appropriations Committee.

“I am deeply honored to have a continued role in this subcommittee and would like to thank Chairman Otto for allowing me to serve as Vice-Chair,” said Representative Muñoz. “My role in this subcommittee further ensures that the Rio Grande Valley has a substantial voice in the budgeting process of essential state agencies, such as Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Workforce Commission, and the Texas Department of Agriculture.”

Subcommittee on Articles VI, VII, & VIII covers a variety of state agencies that are crucial to the economic and social stability of Texas:
• “Article VI includes Texas’ natural resource agencies, which are entrusted with protecting, managing, and developing the state’s agricultural, wildlife and environmental, water, and oil and gas resources, as well as state parks and lands.”
• “Article VII includes agencies charged with supporting business and economic development, transportation, and community infrastructure.”
• “Article VIII includes agencies that regulate business professionals and service industries.”

Source: House Research Organization, http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/pdf/focus/2013CSSB_1.pdf
Following his two recent appointments as Vice-Chair, Representative Muñoz commented, “My appointment in this subcommittee and on the Insurance Committee provides me with a rare opportunity to impact insurance related issues in multiple steps of the legislative process.”

Representative Sergio Muñoz, Jr. has served in the Texas Legislature since 2011 and represents all or parts of the cities of Hidalgo, Granjeno, McAllen, Mission, Palmview, and Pharr. His Capitol office is located at E1.508 in the Capitol extension. Constituents are encouraged to come by to meet the Representative and his staff.

Embattled county drainage district manager to step down

A long feud came to a head Wednesday when Hidalgo County drainage district Manager Godfrey Garza announced he will step down once his company’s contract ends Feb. 16.
Now that Garza’s tenure has ended, the drainage district board — composed of the county commissioners — will create a new position to perform Garza’s responsibilities. But to avoid potential conflicts of interest, the new manager will be a county employee with a salary, not a contractor like Garza.

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