Christine Bolaños covers human interest, social & criminal justice, education & business issues for international, national & local outlets. IWMF Fellow-El Salvador. NAHJ Austin VP-Print. Bilingual.
Pflugerville ISD sets max tax rate for FY 2018
A daughter of Mexican immigrants, Magdalena “Maggie” Juarez’s connection to her Latino roots is as strong as her pride in her American upbringing.
In a first-of-its-kind event, seven Mexican delegates learned about municipal police, cadet training and operations during a visit at Pflugerville Police Department headquarters Friday morning.
When Westwood High School rising senior Prathyush Shankar prepared for his family vacation to India in 2015, he expected nothing out of the ordinary.
Instead, the then-15-year-old was met by several friends and relatives in Chennai who were displaced after severe flooding hit the area. Heavy rainfall continued through December, claiming more than 500 lives and leaving 1.8 million people homeless.
“Everyone was scrambling. We could see some waterlines on some of the roads,” Shankar said. “It was eye-opening. The state of their lives was so different than before.”
Witnessing the devastation — people needing supplies, shelter and general support — Shankar decided he couldn’t just sit back. He founded Shot in the Arm, a nonprofit with the goal of mobilizing relief efforts locally and internationally.
Adrian Rios’ life turned upside down when his mother was diagnosed with a non-cancerous but inoperable brain tumor a few years ago.
All seemed hopeless as the tight-knit family of four, whose extended family lives in Puerto Rico, prepared to say goodbye to their matriarch. Then medical staff at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston offered Bruny Rios an experimental surgery that could give her a second lease on life.
The first and last days of the school year are among several changes that could occur through the Pflugerville school district becoming a District of Innovation.
The Texas Association of School Boards is recommending the Pflugerville school district pay their teachers and staff more and consider offering greater stipends to special education and bilingual teachers.
Three Pflugerville veterans received the TX-17 Congressional Veteran Commendation during a ceremony Friday at First Baptist Church.
Brock Fleming of Round Rock was only 7 when he succumbed to a rare form of childhood brain cancer in December. During his short life and the seven months he fought for his life, he continued to bring joy into his family’s lives while rallying the Round Rock and Austin communities together in support of him and raising awareness of his disease.
Since his passing, the Flemings and Team Brock members are trying to find a “new normal.” Their new purpose is not only raising awareness of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, an inoperable brain tumor at the base of the brain, but also to raise funds to cover expenses for medical research intended to find a cure.
Chesiel John finds her art in the strangest places.
It could happen while she’s strolling on a sidewalk, browsing at a thrift store or during an all-day outing at a junkyard. The objects vary widely, from paper rolls to straw and yarn to leather books and old denim. She generally discovers them in Salado, Hutto, Austin, Round Rock, Burnet and Taylor — all communities with personalities and stories to tell.
About eight individuals — a mix of parents, staff and one elementary-aged student — spoke against the board’s decision to approve boundary changes affecting students involved in English as a second language programs that are being rezoned from Highland Park Elementary to Mott Elementary in the fall.
Six candidates — one incumbent and five new contenders — are vying for two seats on the Pflugerville school district board of trustees with one incumbent running unopposed in the May 6 election.
The Pflugerville school district reported 4,421 student absences on the Day Without Immigrants protest and boycott Feb. 16 highlighting the contributions of immigrants to U.S. business and culture.
District officials said the absences resulted in an 82.3 percent attendance rate compared to the 95.93 percent attendance rate the same day last year.
Interim Police Chief Jessica Robledo asked members of the black community to trust in their local law enforcement and “meet us in the middle” during a Black Pflugerville community group meeting Monday.
Robledo addressed about 50 people who attended the weekly meeting, asking the community “accept us as your guardians, role models, brothers and sisters and recruiters.” Robledo’s comments garnered applause and hugs from the crowd.
Pflugerville parents and Central Texas educators gathered last week to take part in a presentation and panel discussion to address disparity between minority and nonminority students in gifted and talented programs and ways to identify gifted students.
The event on Jan. 25 was a collaboration between Black Pflugerville, a nonprofit community group that encourages active participation of the black community in Pflugerville; Educators in Solidarity, an activism, advocacy and outreach group to build capacity for “anti-racist educators”; and the Pflugerville school district.