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      Harlingen outlaws texting while driving, de-annexes part of city

      After a three-year battle, people in a west part of Harlingen are finally free from the city.

      The Harlingen City Commission voted three to two Wednesday night to de-annex a portion of the city west of Stuart Place and north of Expressway 83.

      It was back in 2008 when the city first annexed the area.

      Some living in the area didn't like the taxes they had to pay the city in exchange for services they said were insufficient.

      I think it TMs time to let these people go, said a proponent of de-annexation. They TMve been at this for far too long.

      Others said they liked being part of Harlingen.

      My husband and I, we weren TMt in favor of it, but now that it TMs been three years, we TMre very happy with the way things are, said an opponent of de-annexation. Garbage pick up twice a week, everything is real nice.

      Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell wanted to table the issue in order to learn more before making a vote.

      A frustrated crowd chanted that a vote be made.

      You can add the City of Harlingen to the growing number of valley communities that outlawed texting while driving.

      The Harlingen City Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to make texting and driving illegal.

      The new measure will take effect at the start of 2012.

      Violators could get a fine of up to $200.

      In addition to Harlingen, the cities of Brownsville, McAllen, Mission and Peitas have drafted similar laws.