Author Archives: George Cox, VBR managing editor

George Cox is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years experience as a newspaper writer and editor. A Corpus Christi native, he started his career as a reporter for The Brownsville Herald after graduating from Sam Houston State University with a degree in journalism. He later worked on newspapers in Laredo and Corpus Christi as well as northern California. George returned to the Valley in 1996 as editor of The Brownsville Herald and in 2001 moved to Harlingen as editor of the Valley Morning Star. He also held the position of editor and general manager for the Coastal Current, a weekly entertainment magazine with Valleywide distribution. George retired from full-time journalism in 2015 to work as a freelance writer and legal document editor. He continues to live in Harlingen where he and his wife Katherine co-founded Rio Grande Valley Therapy Pets, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the benefits of therapy pets and assisting people and their pets to become registered therapy pet teams.

Personal Touch Secures Customers

Smith Security technician Alvin Lopez installs a security system control panel at a Weslaco business. (VBR)

  As technology races ahead by leaps and bounds, one thing never changes when operating a business. In the end it’s all about customer service. Across the Rio Grande Valley there are several locally owned companies offering residential and commercial security systems, and they all say their success is grounded in connecting with customers. Unlike some national security companies that contract with sales representatives and service technicians, these businesses take…

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Under Attack: Scammers Want Your Money

Frost Bank Vice President Sylvia talks to business leaders about digital theft and fraud. (VBR)

The chances of becoming a victim of electronic fraud are growing every day for both individuals and businesses. “We see fraud on a daily basis,” said Frost Bank Senior Vice President Mickey Boland as he introduced a presentation on how to protect your money and your identity in a digital world at the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce. With so many options to conduct financial transactions online and with wireless devices,…

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Bountiful Harvest Predicted for Citrus

Citrus cover

Rio Grande Valley citrus groves and packing houses are buzzing with activity as this year’s harvest season kicks into high gear for what is predicted to a bountiful yield that could pump as much as $200 million into the local economy. “I think we are shaping up to have a really good year,” said Dale Murden, president of Texas Citrus Mutual. “Our estimates are above last year. The crop is…

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RGV Farmers Increase Cotton Acreage

Rows of cotton wait to be processed at the RGV Gin Company at the Port of Harlingen.

A 52-percent increase in cotton acreage in the Rio Grande Valley this year has paid off for farmers. But, as is typical in the tough business of farming, some growers did better than others. “The crop has been harvested now,” Hidalgo County AgriLife Extension Agent Brad Cowen said. “Yields are kind of scattered this year. It was a really good year for some and not so good for others.” Valley…

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Making Dreams Come True

Owner Carrie Fullerton moved Glitzy Glam Parties to downtown Harlingen about a year ago.

Gliztzy Glam caters to princesses Every little girl dreams of being a princess. Carrie Fullerton can make that happen. Fullerton’s business, Glitzy Glam Parties, offers an all-inclusive upscale party planning service with specialty themes for children ages 3 and up. She takes care of all the details, right down to the invitations and clean up. “I have been doing parties for 17 years and I was an elementary teacher for…

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Harlingen School District Dedicates New Academy

Harlingen School Superintendent Art Cavazos speaks during the dedication of the district’s new Media Arts and Communications Academy. (VBR)

“Creative incubator” gives hands-on experiences Although the Harlingen school district’s the new Media Arts and Communications Academy opened with the start of the school year, officials introduced it to the community at a ceremony this week. HCISD Superintendent Art Cavazos said the academy serves as “a creative incubator to inspire students” who are considering a future in the field. The academy teaches classes in television, radio and graphics arts production.…

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Body Language Speaks Volumes

Jan Hargrave demonstrates the body language of a handshake during her presentation.

Whether sitting down for a tough negotiation or interviewing a potential new hire, most business people would like to be able to know more about their conversational counterpart than just the words coming out of their mouth. Learning to read a person’s body language can give valuable insight into what’s going on behind the verbal exchange. Body language expert Jan Hargrave says research shows 55 percent of personal communication is…

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Magic Valley Celebrates 80 Years

Magic Valley Electric Cooperative celebrated 80 years in South Texas during festivities at its headquarters in Mercedes. Founded in 1937 by a group of Rio Grande Valley farmers and ranchers to bring electricity to rural South Texas, one year after the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 was enacted during the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt. It provided federal loans for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve isolated rural…

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Harlingen Farmers Market Expands in New Location

Workers put the finishing touches on a shade structure at the new location for the Harlingen Farmers Market.

Market reopens in two days Workers are racing to complete a shade structure before Saturday’s reopening of the Harlingen Farmers Market at its new location at First Street and Tyler Avenue next to City Hall. “We will have shade for 20 vendors,” market manager Kate McSwain said. “We have 32 vendors lined up right now. That’s a big increase over last year. I’m very excited.” The market will be open…

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Partnership Bridges Technology Gap

Three students present their concept for a mobile app that would scan the contents of an individual’s refrigerator and pantry and find recipes to use those ingredients.

Code/Interactive and Mission EDC join forces with school district Students at Mission Consolidated Independent School District’s Rafael Cantu Junior High School displayed computer coding skills Friday that they are learning as part of a program to better prepare young people to succeed in the high-tech job market. The Mission school district has launched the program in partnership with the Mission Economic Development Corporation and Code/Interactive of New York which brings…

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