THE ALAMO HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL JROTC DRILL TEAM took first place in the Open Division Color Guard competition at the 2017 National High School Drill Team Championships held in Daytona Beach, Florida. The winning team consisted of cadets Liz Lopez, Rafika Islam, Abby Zepeda, Gabby Woodward and Cecelyn Sierra. Other awards included third place in the Challenge Division Color Guard, seventh overall in the Unarmed Drill Division, fifth in the National Unarmed Knock-Out Drill competition for Cadet 1st Sgt. Abby Zepeda and a certificate of excellence for the entire team.

OLMOS PARK POLICE CHIEF RENE VALENCIANO HAS BEEN DESIGNATED as the city’s animal services manager in a recently approved ordinance updating “established comprehensive rules and regulations for animal control in the city,” according to officials. The manager’s responsibilities are to “administer and enforce all laws and regulations of the state and the city pertaining to animals which authorize the local health authority or animal services officers to enforce the same.”

THE LANDA BRANCH LIBRARY, 233 Bushnell Ave., will be closed through Sept. 20 for renovations and improvements to the building. Located in the Monte Vista Historic District, the home-turned-public facility is officially known as The Hannah Landa Memorial Branch Library. It is named for Hannah Mansfeld Landa, wife of Harry Landa, and it was their private residence from 1929 to 1946. Constructed in the Italian style, the two-story home was built of stucco, stone tile and other permanent materials, library officials said. Harry Landa bequeathed it to the city after his wife’s death. The library will undergo “a complete exterior restoration and interior improvements to realign public service areas for better customer service and to refresh furniture and paint,” according to officials. The “project will ensure that the beautiful Landa Branch Library remains an iconic part of the San Antonio Public Library system for years to come.” The library’s gardens, playground and book drop will remain open during the closure.

THE SAN ANTONIO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT RECENTLY HONORED THREE TEACHERS with the 2017 Distinguished Teachers of the Year award. The honorees were Lamar Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Andrea Lucas, Young Women’s Leadership Academy math teacher Christian Stephanie Aguilera and Edison High School Spanish teacher Luz Perez. The three teachers were “selected earlier this year from a group of 88 teachers who were named Teachers of the Year” for their respective school, according to officials.

THE RIVER WALK WAS NAMED “NO. 1” in the Texas top-10 list of USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel awards contest. A full list of the winners can be found at

THE ALAMODOME HAS INSTITUTED A CLEAR-BAG POLICY FOR ALL EVENTS held at the venue, a new security policy that began June 10. To be allowed into the Alamodome, “bags or purses must be clear, plastic, vinyl or PVC, and cannot exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches in size,” according to officials. Prohibited bags now include “all purses, bags or containers larger than a small clutch purse, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, computer bags, camera bags, binocular cases and seat cushions.”

CREATIVE CIVILIZATION PRESIDENT GISELA GIRARD RECEIVED the Hispanic Marketing Achievement Award at the 21st Annual Hispanic Marketing Conference and Awards in St. Paul, Minnesota, on May 25. Creative Civilization “is a full-service advertising, marketing and communications agency with offices based in Austin and San Antonio.”

A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF the Encore SoFlo residential development took place June 7 at 326 S. Flores St. City leaders and other officials were on hand at the ceremony for the planned 339-unit downtown rental housing development. It will also feature 5,000 square feet of retail space, as well as a parking garage, officials say.

ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING THE TEXAS CAVALIERS took part in a recent charitable benefit for The 100 Club of San Antonio, with Two Tons of Steel as the headlining band. Proceeds from the June 14 North Side event went to the club, which provides support to families of law enforcement officers and firefighters critically injured or killed in the line of duty. The 100 Club places “a strong emphasis on higher education funding for surviving dependent children,” a spokeswoman said. Known for selecting King Antonio, the Texas Cavaliers is a men’s group supporting children’s charities with its Fiesta River Parade. In addition, Brian Strange and The Strange Brothers brought their “high-energy Americana to the live show,” the spokeswoman added. Strange’s late father, Don Strange, was a well-known caterer. Held on National Flag Day, the benefit at Big Texas Ice House, 16620 U.S. 281 North, paid special tribute to fallen firefighters.

MIDDLE SCHOOLERS AT ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL won top honors during their first appearance in the World Scholar’s Cup regional competition and qualified for the Global Round for summer. The contest was held in May in Houston, with all three St. Luke’s teams advancing to the Global Round. St. Luke’s swept the regional competition, taking first place in the team debate, team writing and team challenge competitions. Christopher Duke, the private school’s director of intermediate and middle level, is the team’s adviser. Eighth-grader Claire Brown finished as the overall junior champion and debate champion. Samuel Spezia-Lindner, also an eighth-grader, earned a first place as the writing champion and the top score in the scholar’s challenge across all subjects. Sixth-grader Malakia Koreshi was the school’s other top finisher with first-place honors for the art and social studies challenge exams and second place in debate, the spokeswoman said. Each team member received individual awards for ranked finishes. Established in 2007, the academic competition features students from Korea, Singapore and the United States, according to a spokeswoman.

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