Traders Village to open two new restaurants, Fleafall ride, Grand Opening March 22
|Photo courtesy Traders Village|
Traders Village Grand Prairie (TVGP) will celebrate the return of spring Saturday, March 22, with the grand opening of two new restaurants and the new Fleafall drop ride that’s sure to produce screams of delight.
March 09, 2014
LifeLine Shelter holds ninth annual gospel concert
|Members of the First Baptist Church's Serendipity Singers led by Joel Salazar sing "Dig a Little Deeper" at the Lifeline Shelter Gospel Concert, Saturday night at Calvary Baptist Church. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
LifeLine Shelter for Families held its 9th annual gospel concert Saturday night at Calvary Baptist church.
the large crowd got to see an array of talented singers and musicians performing an assortment of gospel music.
March 08, 2014
Boat crews brave Saturday's chill to practice for Dragon Boat Festival
|A Dragon Boat crew practices at Joe Pool Lake for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival on April 12. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Saturday's cold, dreary weather did not keep boat crews away from the practice session for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival on April 12 at Loyd Park on Lake Joe Pool.
March 07, 2014
Police search for missing man
Grand Prairie police with assistance from a helicopter and K-9 are searching the area around South SH 360 and Kingswood/Green Oaks for a missing 54 year old man.
Ismael Rodriguez, a mentally challenged man, was reported missing from the 2800 block of Alcot around 6 pm today.
Hispanic MaleAnyone seeing Rodriguez is asked to call 911.
54 years old
Missing several teeth
Grand Prairie Genealogical Society to host annual research lock-in
Beginner, novice or expert researchers are welcome. Society members and library staff members will be on hand to help answer questions, help with searching for information.
Spring Break impaired driving enforcement underway
March 06, 2014
School district dedicates Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Milam Elementary
|Dr. Ellen Ochoa speaks at the dedication ceremony of the Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Grand Prairie ISD held a dedication ceremony Thursday for its new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) academy, the Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Ben Milam Elementary School.
Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Director of the Johnson Space Center and a veteran astronaut, is the first Hispanic woman to go into space. She made a total of 4 space missions, logging nearly 1,000 hours in orbit. Prior to her astronaut career, she was a research engineer.
Chamber of Commerce to host 2014 State of the City
Grand Prairie United Charities garage sale set for March 22
March 05, 2014
Man flees from police, daughter in car
Carlton Adams, 35, has been charged with Endangering a child - felony 2 and Evading arrest - felony 3. He is also being held on a no bond warrant out of Colorado for failure to appear.
The incident began around 10 am when an officer stopped Adams on a minor traffic violation near Shady Grove and SH 161. As the officer was exiting his patrol car, Adams sped off and appeared to throw a small baggie from the car. Officers later searched the area, no baggie was found.
Primary election results
March 04, 2014
Mobile office of Representative Marc Veasey to visit Main Library
A Day of Action, Affordable Care Act enrollment event
March 03, 2014
Police seek public's help identifying robbery suspect
The Grand Prairie police are asking the public's help in identifying a robbery suspect that injured a loss prevention employee at Bloomingdales at the Outlet Mall.
The suspect stole a stack of True Religion jeans from the store then fled in a silver or white older Ford Taurus.
Fire destroys a strip center on East Main
|Thick smoke and debris filled the air from a fire at a strip plaza at 3424 East Main Street. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter|
Smoke and debris from a fire at a strip center filled the air on the east side of Grand Prairie Monday afternoon. The fire that broke out around 1 pm completely destroyed a building that housed six businesses in the 3400 block of East Main.
March 02, 2014
School canceled Monday
Firefighters brave bitter cold temperature battling a house fire
|Neighbors console the homeowner as firefighters battle to control a house fire in the 400 block of SW 14th. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter|
Grand Prairie firefighters braved bitter cold temperatures and patches of frozen ground to battle a fire that heavily damaged a house in the 400 block of SW 14th Sunday afternoon.
March 01, 2014
Winter precipitation impacts for Sunday
For the Dallas/Fort Worth area, hazardous travel conditions are expected but ice accumulations should be light. Many bridges, overpasses, and secondary roads will likely be icy and some main roads may also become icy. In addition, any sleet will also result in hazardous road conditions.
Local church's outreach program offers high quality musical education at low cost
|Rachel Edwards learns to play the guitar at Iglesia Renovacion Espiritual church's music outreach program. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Each Saturday, Iglesia Renovacion Espiritual Church is filled with the sounds of classical, hip-hop, jazz and Christian music as students get private lessons and practice their musical techniques at the church's community outreach program, Grand Prairie School of Music.
Weather Service issues Winter Weather Advisory for Sunday
February 28, 2014
Arctic blast arrives on Sunday, chance of freezing rain
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said an arctic cold front will arrive on Sunday with temperatures plunging 30 to 40 degrees in just a few hours. The front will bring a chance of rain and a few storms to the area.
February 27, 2014
LifeLine Shelter Gospel Concert set for March 8
Police Chief goes on patrol, makes six arrest, seizes narcotics
|Photo courtesy Grand Prairie Police|
If you are a lawbreaker in Grand Prairie, your next encounter with the police might be with Grand Prairie's top cop, Police Chief Steve Dye.
Last week, the chief spent some time on patrol. His efforts netted 6 arrests and seized a large amount of narcotics. His arrests took a known gang member and a known car thief off the streets.
Lone Star Park to host job fair for 2014 Spring Thoroughbred Season
|File photo ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie is hosting Job Fairs on Tuesday, March 4 from 10 am - 2 pm and Thursday, March 6 from 4 - 8 pm for seasonal, part-time and full-time positions.
Applications will be accepted and interviews conducted for employment during the 2014 Spring Thoroughbred season, which begins Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, July 12.
February 25, 2014
Grand opening of Animal Clinic of Grand Prairie's new clinic
|Dr. Mark Sheets, DVM (center) at Tuesday's ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons at the grand opening of the Animal Clinic of Grand Prairie's new building. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Dozens of well wishers packed the Animal Clinic of Grand Prairie, 614 North Belt Line, Tuesday for the grand opening of its new 7,500 square foot full service animal clinic. One featured guests was Dr. Bob Wilson, DVM, owner of the clinic for 41 years before retiring in 1999.
February 24, 2014
Police seek help identifying robbery suspect
Grand Prairie police are asking the public's assistance in indentifying the suspect that robbed the Shell Gas Station, 2501 South Belt Line Road.
Obituary - Timothy Gene Patterson
Memorial service: Saturday March 1, 2014 at First United Methodist Church, Mansfield. Visitation with family and friends will be at 1:30pm. Service will begin at 3PM. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Tara Patterson Memorial Fund for the women's basketball program at Southwestern College, 100 College St., Winfield, KS 67156.
February 22, 2014
Grand Prairie ISD hosts Special Olympics basketball tournament
|Opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Texas basketball tournament at Grand Prairie High School. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter|
More than 1,100 athletes and over 100 teams from across the Dallas/Fort Worth area took part in the Special Olympics Texas Area 10 basketball tournament held Friday and Saturday.
The Summit hosts "Non Profit Expo"
|Doris Ford (L) explains the mission of the Soroptimist International of Grand Prairie at Saturday's "Non Profit Expo" at The Summit. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
February 21, 2014
Fire damages apartments on Westchester
|A firefighter sprays water on hot spots at a fire at the Grand Courtyard Apartments. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
The fire department was called to an apartment fire at the Grand Courtyard Apartments, 525 West Westchester, around 7:30 pm Friday.
Two students, school bus driver injured in accident on SH 161
|Firefighters remove an injured special needs student from a school bus involved in an accident at the intersection of Trinity Boulevard and frontage road of SH 161. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Two Grand Prairie ISD special needs students and a bus driver received minor injuries Friday afternoon when the school bus they were riding was struck in the rear by a commercial box truck around 3 pm at the intersection of the northbound frontage road of SH 161 and Trinity Boulevard.
February 19, 2014
Art Council's production of "Dreamgirls" opens February 21
|Grand Prairie Arts Council's production of "Dreamgirls" ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Performances are set for:
NTTA approves project to extend SH 360 south from Camp Wisdom
The agreement requires Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to fund $294 million, NTTA to be responsible for road operations and maintenance. The agreement must still be approved by the Texas Transportation Commission.
Grand Prairie Police top 10 most wanted
February 18, 2014
Soroptimists to host Women Influencing History annual awards dinner and auction
Early voting open through February 28
Days and hours of voting:
The Summit to host "Non Profit Expo" on February 22
This free event showcases over 30 local nonprofit organizations and the services they provide to benefit Grand Prairie.
February 17, 2014
Carbon monoxide blamed for death of Dallas man
Firefighters responded around 9:30 pm Sunday to 86 East Mountain Creak Lane on a report of a man unconscious in a house that was filled with gas.
February 15, 2014
Local author releases book on Texas and Grand Prairie politics
|Author Warren Landrum signs a copy of his new book about Texas and Grand Prairie politics for Max Coleman. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter|
Dozens attended the book release party at Victor's Event Room for local author Warren Landrum's third book titled, "Texas Politics - Grand Prairie Style: Campaign 2013".
In the book, Landrum, a Grand Prairie City Council candidate in 2013, gives a candidate's-eye-view into the complicity of local "Good Old Boy" politics in the great state of Texas.
Betty Warmack Branch Library hosts African American Heritage Celebration
|In honor of African-American History Month, the Betty Warmack Branch Library hosted an African dance performance featuring the featuring the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter|
In celebration of African-American History Month, the Betty Warmack Branch Library, hosted an African American Heritage Celebration on Saturday featuring the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble.
Fire damages Armstead Avenue home
|A Grand Prairie firefighter puts water on a fire in the second floor of a home in the 1900 block of Armstead Avenue. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter|
Just before 8:30 am Saturday morning, Grand Prairie firefighters responded to a house fire in the 1900 block of Armstead Avenue.
February 13, 2014
Obituary - Wade Hampton Burgess, Jr
Wade was a very intelligent man, skipping four grades in school before going on to obtain a GED and enter the military. Wade was a jack of all trades, excelling in many areas of life. He entered the Army Air Corp at an early age before moving on to become a United States Marine. He was a Veteran, serving in Korea in 1951. Serving as a Marine was his greatest joy. During his time in the Marines, he met and married Jo Ann Burgess and together they had four children.
Grand Prairie Unity Coalition holds annual banquet
|Richmond Punch entertained quests at the annual Grand Prairie Unity Coalition Banquest. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter|
The Grand Prairie Unity Coalition celebrating ten years of service, held its annual banquet Thursday night at the Ruthe Jackson Center.
West ISD sixth graders take part in Dubiski's financial literacy program
|Beth Rustenhaven (L) shows West ISD sixth grade students the Dubiski Career High School MarketPlace's radio station. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
On Thursday, one hundred sixth graders from the West Independent School District took part in Dubiski Career High School's MarketPlace financial literacy program.
February 12, 2014
Dubiski students featured speakers at Chamber of Commerce luncheon
|Dubiski Career High School students give a presentation at the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon in preparation for the upcoming state Business Professionals of America and Distributive Education Clubs of America competitions. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Members of Dubiski Career High School's Business Professional of America (BPA) and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) were the featured speakers at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.
Woman in serious condition after two alarm fire on Hollow Oak Drive
|Firefighters attack the fire in the garage of a house in the 2900 block of Hollow Oak. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
A woman is in serious condition in the wake of a two alarm fire at a house in the 2900 block of Hollow Oak Drive.
February 11, 2014
2014 Lone Star Music Series headliners include fan favorites and new faces
More wintry weather expected Tuesday
A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for all of North Texas through 6 pm for lingering slick spots from overnight freezing drizzle and a light wintry mix possible through the day, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth said Tuesday morning.
February 10, 2014
Winter Weather Advisory in effect through 6 pm Tuesday
On and off freezing drizzle will continue overnight for the majority of north and central Texas. Icy road conditions are already occurring in the Dallas area with temperatures expected to continue falling through the night.
Freezing Rain Advisory in effect from midnight Tuesday morning to 6 pm
Wintry precipitation expected Monday night through Tuesday
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said light wintry precipitation will affect Grand Prairie Monday night through Tuesday evening. Although precipitation amounts are expected to be light, it will be enough to cause a light glazing on elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses.
February 05, 2014
Lone Star Park to hold National Anthem auditions on February 18
Soloists, duos, groups, choirs and instrumentalists are invited to try out for a chance to sing the National Anthem during one of Lone Star Park’s 50 live racing dates in 2014.
Middle school teacher resigns, accused of shouting at student
In a statement from Grand Prairie ISD, "The District immediately relieved the teacher of her duties and initiated an investigation. As a result of this thorough investigation, the individual is no longer employed with the Grand Prairie ISD."
Police Chief briefs City Council on 2013 crime statistics
The presentation given by Assistant Police Chief Don Trask highlighted last year's key performance indicators:
February 03, 2014
Grand Prairie Arts Council spring theatre production "Dreamgirls" opens February 21
Dreamgirls follows the story of a black all-girl singing trio from Chicago called "The Dreams" and the behind-the-scenes reality of the entertainment industry.
A show about a time in American musical history when rhythm and blues blended with other styles of popular music creating a new American sound.
February 02, 2014
Grand Prairie United Charities Valentine Luncheon postponed
Ralph Giessner, a longtime community leader, passed away and his funeral is on Wednesday, February 5.
February 01, 2014
The Bilge Pumps filled the Uptown with sounds of Celtic music
|The Bilge Pumps with their nautical music and high-energy shenanigans played Saturday night at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Grand Prairie's own pirate band, the Bilge Pumps, filled the Uptown Theater Saturday night with the sounds of nautical songs, sea shanties, Celtic music and adding a huge dose of silly comedy.
Wintry precipitation expected on Sunday
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said a cold front will move through Grand Prairie today with temperatures falling into the 30s overnight tonight.
Temperatures will be near or below freezing across much of the area early Sunday morning as a strong upper level disturbance approaches. Widespread rain will develop Sunday morning and continue through the day.
January 31, 2014
School district to conduct public hearing on TAPR report
Assistant Police Chief Shaw retires after thirty-five years with Grand Prairie PD
|Assistant Police Chief Michael Shaw at Thursday's retirement reception at the Ruthe Jackson Center to honor his 35 years of service with the Grand Prairie Police Department. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
It was a packed Ruthe Jackson Center Thursday afternoon as hundreds of well wishers attended a reception to honor Assistant Police Chief Michael Shaw who retired after thirty-five years with the Grand Prairie Police Department.
One officer injured in lengthy police chase
|The suspect's vehicle after a lengthy police chase that ended at Highway 161 and Interstate 30. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
One officer was injured Thursday morning after a lengthy police chase through four cities. The chase ended near Highway 161 and Interstate 30 when the suspect wrecked his vehicle.
An officer, who police did not identify, was injured when he fell 8-10 feet from an embankment on Highway 161 while chasing the suspect who fled on foot from his wrecked vehicle.
Police spokesman Detective Mark Beseda said the officer was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. He is expected to fully recover.
The incident began around 10:30 am when an officer on routine patrol observed a maroon 1995 GMC Suburban stopped in the middle of the roadway in the 1600 block of Dalworth. The officer then observed a female run into the street and get into the passenger side of the vehicle.
The officer believed he observed a prostitution offense. When he attempted to make an investigative stop of the vehicle, it fled at a high rate of speed.
The lengthy chase went through three other cities, Arlington, Irving and Dallas. At times the suspect drove the wrong way on major highways such as Loop 12 and Interstate 30.
For the safety of the public, officers backed off of the chase and did not pursue the wrong way on highways, utilizing the Dallas Police helicopter to follow the suspect, relaying location information to officers on the ground.
The pursuit continued back into Grand Prairie where the suspect crashed into a street sign as he attempted to travel the wrong way on the service road of northbound 161 at IH 30. The suspect fled on foot from the wrecked vehicle.
The suspect was apprehended and taken into custody. He was transported to the Grand Prairie Detention Center.
At the detention center the suspect, who police identified as Andrew Solis, 20, told officers he had swallowed a large amount of narcotics during the pursuit. He was transported to a local hospital and later released.
Solis has been charged with felony evading arrest as detectives continue the investigation. Additional charges are expected.
The identity of the female passenger was not released and she has not been charged with a crime.
January 30, 2014
Fire destroys family's home
|Fire destroyed a family's home in the 1100 block of Shawnee Thursday morning. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
A fire that broke out around 8 am Thursday morning destroyed a family of four's home in the 1100 block of Shawnee.
Crystal Parker, daughter of the homeowner, said her twin thirteen year-old siblings were at home waiting for their dad to carry them to school when they smelled smoke.
Parker said her brother discovered the fire in a storage area. He tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but was unable to control the fire.
After calling 911, the two went to a neighbor's home.
Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy said no one was injured in the fire that destroyed the interior of the house. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Chief Murphy said due to today's high winds, fire crews would be standing-by the structure for several hours to make sure the fire does not rekindle.
Hearts and Hoses is assisting the family with some of their immediate needs.
January 28, 2014
The Grand Prairie Arts Council announces its 2014 Theatre Season
DreamGirls, Feb. 21-23 & Feb. 28-March 2Season tickets are now on sale. Season ticket packages are offered at $44, $59 and $74, for all five shows; choose your price level, reserved seat and performance day. Purchase your tickets online at www.artsgp.org or by calling the Uptown Theater Box Office at 972-237-8786. For more information visit GPAC's website at www.artsgp.org or call the Grand Prairie Arts Council at 972-642-2787.
If you like Motown - you will love DREAMGIRLS! A time in American musical history when “ rhythm & blues” blended with other styles of popular music creating a new American sound.
Hello, Dolly! June 13-15 & 20-22
A whirlwind race around NYC at the turn of the 20th century, as we follow the adventures of America's most beloved matchmaker!
Aladdin, Jr. August 1 & 2
Public performances of GPAC’s Summer in the Arts Musical Theatre Workshop & Production.
Noises Off, Oct. 3-5 & 10-12
Called the funniest farce ever written: a cast of itinerant actors rehearse a flop called Nothing's On, in the plot of this classically comic play.
The Wizard Of Oz, Dec. 5-7 & 12-14
Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy's imagination.
January 24, 2014
Chamber of Commerce creates Asian Business Division
|Photo by Alex Sprinkles/Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce|
The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce has opened an Asian Business Division with an office at Asia Times Square, Phase 2, 2625 West Pioneer Parkway, to serve Grand Prairie's fast growing Asian population. About 10 percent of the city's 175, 000 population is Asian.
The Chamber's new division will focus on providing tools and resources to the Asian business community to build a strong business community in the city.
Over the next five years, the Chamber of Commerce's Asian Business Division will drive growth to the city's strong, diverse economy by:
- Continuing to increase business and jobs in the area.
- Taking a strategic approach to building Asian Business Division’s brand and images.
- Improving the value of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce to the community.
- Creating a dynamic business development strategy that satisfies a diverse employer base.
For more information and how to join, contact the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Asian Business Division 2625 W. Pioneer Pkwy, Suite 800, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051; by calling 903-285-9973; by email email@example.com or visit our website www.grandprairiechamber.org.
January 23, 2014
Police seek assistance in identifying robbery suspect
Grand Prairie police are asking the public's help in identifying a suspect that robbed the Metro PCS store, 2200 block of Interstate 20, on January 18.
The suspect entered the store at about 10:15 am. He pointed a black semiautomatic handgun at the victim and demanded money. The suspect fled in a waiting car outside the front doors.
The suspect is described as a male 5'10" between 190-200 pounds. He fled in a 4-door passenger car similar to a Toyota Corolla.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Grand Prairie Police Department's Major Crimes Unit at 972-237-8877 or Crime Stoppers at 972-988-TIPS.
City to host free spring gardening classes
Everyone is invited, bring a friend to learn about outdoor landscaping; growing flowers and vegetables with little expense; and reducing out-of-pocket costs.
Each classes is limited to 100 people. It is first come first serve.
The Spring Gardening Class schedule is as follows:
February 13th – Prescription for Spring Landscape Maintenance - Limit the toil and trouble that comes with gardening in the summer months.For more information call 972-237-8102.
February 20th – Spring into Vegetable Gardening - Grow your own vegetables, put quality produce on the table, reduce your grocery bill and improve your health through this process made simple.
February 27th – Perennial Color - Improve your curb appeal by adding color to the landscape that comes back year after year.
March 13th – Organic Gardening 101 - “GO GREEN” by using tried and true methods to rid your garden and landscape of unwanted creatures.
March 20th – Containers: Stretching the Space - Increase your landscaped areas by using containers and learn how to recycle even an old boot into a planter!
March 27th – Going Native - This class will help you develop a landscape that will grow on for years and reduce your water bill, fertilizer and replacement costs. Winners of the Flock to the Library flamingo-decorating contest will be announced at 6 p.m.
January 22, 2014
Seven hour standoff ends with man's arrest
|Members of the Grand Prairie Police SWAT team get into an armored vehicle to move to a house where an armed man was barricaded. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
A standoff lasting nearly 7 hours Wednesday morning ended when Grand Prairie SWAT officers had to enter a home to capture an armed, wanted felon in the 1800 block of Family Circle.
The entire incident began around 6:30 pm Tuesday when Julian Ripple, 22, went to his girlfriend's family home in the 5700 block of Appalossa Drive. There he stole a firearm, fired it into the air and fled the scene before officers arrived.
At about 4 am Wednesday, officers were sent to the house on Family Circle for a disturbance involving Ripple and family members. During the disturbance, Ripple displayed a firearm and assaulted a family member. The family, fearing for their safety, fled the home.
Responding officers were unable to make contact with Ripple who was inside the house.
The SWAT team was called in due to Ripple barricading himself in the house with a firearm.
Negotiators used a "throw phone" to make contact with Ripple who refused to surrender.
After nearly 7 hours of failed negotiations, SWAT officers entered the home. Ripple was taken into custody without injury.
He was arrested on two outstanding warrants, a narcotics charge and prohibited weapon charge. He has also been charge with: Aggravated Assault-Deadly Weapon (Family Violence) and Criminal Mischief. He is being held in the Grand Prairie Detention Center.
Detective Mark Beseda said the investigation continues and more charges are expected.
Sam Buchmeyer, spokesman for the Grand Prairie ISD, said two nearby schools, Ben Milam Elementary and Seguin Elementary, were not put in lockdown. He said the incident did not pose a danger to the students. It was too far from the schools and the area around the incident was well controlled by police.
Buchmeyer said the district did have to make adjustments to their bus routes due to the police activity.
January 21, 2014
Smoking ordinance passes with unanimous council vote
|Dr. John Carlo, MD speakes at Tuesday's City Council Meeting opposing the proposed smoking ordinance because of the exemptions to some businesse like bars, pool halls and bowling alleys. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
In a unanimous 9-0 vote Tuesday night, the Grand Prairie City Council passed a revised smoking ordinance replacing the current smoking ordinance that was adopted in 1986.
The new ordinance eliminates smoking in most public places like restaurants, city facilities and commercial buildings.
It took months of hard work for the city staff to draft the new, comprehensive ordinance. The staff conducted surveys with residents, held public meetings, got input from the city's Public Health Advisory Committee and held several meetings with the City Council before the final draft of the ordinance.
The ordinance does exempt bars, pool halls, bowling alleys and bingo parlors. Smoking is also allowed at Lake Joe Pool campsites and on all golf courses.
Several people spoke at the council meeting in opposition to the ordinance with its exemptions. The speakers cited concerns for the health of both customers and workers at these exempted businesses.
In a statement issued after the vote, the American Heart Association said, "Mayor Jensen and the Grand Prairie City Council tonight voted to adopt a smoke-free indoor workplace law that fails to protect all workers and the public from the proven dangers of secondhand smoke."
Joel Romo, Smoke-Free Texas Co-Chair said, “We are disappointed by the vote tonight and we will continue to push for a strong, comprehensive ordinance to ensure that Grand Prairie citizens live and work in a safe, smoke-free environment.”
January 20, 2014
2014 Martin Luther King Day parade
Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2014
SWAT negotiates surrender of barricaded man
The incident began around 12 am at the Sugar Creek Apartments, 900 block of Duncan Perry Road when officers responded to a disturbance.
Detective Lyle Gensler said, "Officers located a female outside the apartment that was actively involved in a disturbance with her roommate. The female was determined to be intoxicated and was arrested. The officers informed the roommate of the arrest."
After the arrest of the female, the man called 911 through Texas Relay wanting police to release the female or he was going to kill himself. He indicated he had a gun.
After several hours of negotiation through Texas Relay, SWAT was able to take the man into custody. He is being held at Parkland Hospital for a 72 hour mental evaluation.
January 19, 2014
Big change in weather the end of this week
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said the next few days for Grand Prairie will be pleasant but a strong cold front will arrive on Thursday.
After high temperatures in the upper 60s and 70s on Monday, high temperatures on Friday will only be in the upper 30s and 40s. Strong northeast winds will accompany the front as it moves across the region on Thursday.
Forecasters said they are closely watching the potential for precipitation behind the front Thursday night and Friday. The chance of precipitation depends on the strength of an upper level disturbance late in the week. Currently, there is just not enough confidence to put freezing rain in the official forecast.
Watch for updates to the forecast.
January 18, 2014
Young Women's Leadership Academy joins statewide network
The YWLA, an open-enrollment college preparatory program for GPISD students, opened in the fall of 2012 with an all-girls program for students in sixth through eighth grades. Following the success of the inaugural year, the school expanded to include a class of freshmen, with intentions to grow the program into a full secondary school (with middle school and high school programs) by the fall of 2016. There are currently 1,150 students enrolled in grades 6 to 9, and the first class graduates in 2017.
Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, the YWLA will transition to the network of all-girls schools supported by the Foundation for the Education of Young Women. FEYW is a Dallas-based non-profit organization that assists districts in starting and supporting single-gender, college preparatory public schools for girls, a majority of whom come from economically disadvantaged households. FEYW’s three pillars are college readiness, service leadership and health and wellness.
Current FEYW network schools are: the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin; the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in San Antonio; the Talkington School for Young Women Leaders in Lubbock; the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth; the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy in Houston; and the organization’s first school, Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School in Dallas.
Since the organization’s existence, FEYW has invested funds and resources with impressive results: 100% of seniors graduate from high school, and 100% are accepted to college. Amy Bean, Foundation for the Education of Young Women’s executive director, said, “We are excited to add the Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Arnold Middle School to our network of exemplary schools. Our schools tap into the intellectual curiosity and creative spirit that’s inherent in all young women, and the rigorous college preparatory environment enables students to become independent, lifelong learners. We look forward to working with Grand Prairie ISD to achieve outstanding results for the girls attending the school.”
Background about the GPISD-FEYW partnership:
The leadership of Grand Prairie ISD and FEYW have worked closely for a number of years to launch the YWLA, which is modeled on the programs of six successful FEYW sister schools around the state. FEYW supports the district by promoting network best practices, offering targeted professional development, and assisting with the implementation of a local advisory council.“The partnership between the Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Bill Arnold Middle School and the Foundation for the Education of Young Women will create opportunities for our young women to explore college and career choices,” said Dr. Susan Hull, Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent of Schools. “This partnership will serve to give our girls a voice in their future.”
Additionally, FEYW provides seed funds to afford enhanced learning experiences for the students.
Single-gender academic programs in Texas—A snapshot:
- 30% of Texas girls do not graduate from high school, with higher rates of non-completion for Latina students.?li>
- Extensive studies indicate that girls perform significantly better in single-gender programs, regardless of ethnicity or economic background: When compared to their co-educational counterparts, these students are more likely to pursue STEM coursework, score well on the SAT, and attend college.
- 75% of the students at FEYW schools are on track to become first-generation college students.
- FEYW schools have a combined graduation rate of 100%.
- Combined, the schools’ graduating classes have received (to date) more than $17 million in scholarships.
January 15, 2014
South Grand Prairie High School Theater Department's musical "Spamalot" opens January 17
|South Grand Prairie High School's Theater Department's production of "Spamalot" at South Grand Prairie High School Theatre. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
South Grand Prairie High School Theater Department's production of the Tony Award winning musical "Spamalot" is opens on January 17 at the South Grand Prairie High School Theatre, 301 West Warrior Trail.
"Spamalot" retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. It features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows, killer rabbits and French people.
Friday, January 17, 7 pmReservations can be made in advance by calling the South Grand Prairie High School Theatre Box Office 972-343-1660. Seating is limited. All tickets are $10. Tickets will be sold at the door.
Saturday, January 18, 2 pm
Saturday, January 18, 7 pm
Unity art contest open to students
Artwork will be displayed and awards announced during the 9th Annual Grand Prairie Unity Coalition Banquet at the Ruthe Jackson Center.
Contest groups include elementary, middle school and high school. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be awarded. Entry cost is free. Entries must be received by Monday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. at the reception desk in the lobby of the Grand Prairie Independent School District Education Center, 2602 S. Belt Line Road. For more information, call 214-364-0156, or visit artsgp.org.
Teen in serious condition after auto-pedestrian accident
|Police examine a vehicle involved in an auto-pedestrian accident at the intersection of Acosta and East Pioneer Parkway. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
A Grand Prairie teen is in serious condition at Parkland Hospital in Dallas after an auto-pedestrian accident Tuesday night. The fourteen-year-old boy is a student at Kennedy Middle School.
The accident occurred just after 8 pm at the intersection of Acosta Street and East Pioneer Parkway.
Sergeant Eric Hansen, Traffic Section, said the victim was riding a scooter across Pioneer Parkway against the pedestrian "Do Not Walk" signal when he was struck by a 2010 Honda Civic driven by Thanh Nguyen, 49, of Grand Prairie.
The teen was flown by CareFlite helicopter to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
Sam Buchmeyer, Grand Prairie ISD spokesman, said counselors were at Kennedy Middle School on Wednesday to help students. He said the school district will evaluate if the additional counselors will remain at the school.
January 14, 2014
One injured in auto-pedestrian accident
|A CareFlite helicopter lifts off with a juvenile patient involved in an auto-pedestrian accident at Acosta and East Pioneer Parkway. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
A CareFlite helicopter was used to transport a juvenile injured in an auto-pedestrian accident Tuesday night.
The accident occurred around 8:30 pm at the intersection of Acosta and East Pioneer Parkway. Traffic was temporarily shut down to land the helicopter on Pioneer Parkway.
More details will be published as they become available.
January 11, 2014
GPISD Experience gives parents information about district's schools
|Tim Whiting, a history teacher at the Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute, gives information to an interested parent at Saturday's GPISD Experience. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
An estimated 5 to7 thousand parents attended the GPISD Experience held Saturday at Dubiski Career High School to learn more about what the Grand Prairie ISD has to offer students.
The third annual event was a showcase for the entire district where parents got important information about the district's Schools of Choice, Programs of Choice and traditional schools.
Administrators, teachers and students were on hand to help parents get a good picture of what each campus has to offer students. With the district's open enrollment, parents could use the information to select the school or program that is best for their students.
Applications to attend a 2014-2015 School/Program of Choice, Intradistrict/Interdistrict Transfer and Pre-K Tuition Based program will be accepted between January 13 – 31.
Sam Buchmeyer, school district spokesman, said the district responded to the parents' desire to end the long line and camping out at the district office for the opening day of applications. Beginning this year, all applications will be online. Parents that do not have an internet connection, an electronic tablet or smart phone, can get help at selected campuses and the administration office.
Chamber of Commerce holds ribbon cutting at re-opening of Chick-fil-A
|Robin Harris (center) cuts the ribbon at Saturday's Grand Re-opening ceremony of the Chick-fil-A, 3970 S. Carrier Pky. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
Members of the Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting at Saturday's Grand Re-opening ceremony at the Chick-fil-A, 3970 South Carrier Parkway.
The restaurant recently re-opened after being closed for eight weeks while it was remodeled.
Owner Robin Harris said about 400 square feet was added to the kitchen area and the dining room was rearranged to give multiple condiment areas and more useable seating area.
Harris said with the additional kitchen area and new dining room arrangement, there should be less crowding at the counter and a more comfortable dining room for customers. She said the children's play area was unchanged.
January 10, 2014
Police Department's DWI Intensive Mobilization made streets safer during the holidays
The Police Department was able to show an increase in Traffic Citations issued from the 2012 year. In 2012 Officers funded by STEP Grants issued 6,851 citations. In 2013 STEP officers issued 15, 039 citations. This was an increase of 120%.
In addition to the DWI STEP, Grand Prairie Officers participated with the Tarrant County No Refusal Program. During the No Refusal period if a suspected intoxicated driver refused a breath specimen a search warrant was obtained and a blood specimen taken.
During the Mobilization period there was only one intoxication accident that resulted in serious injury. During the New Year’s Eve special assignment TXDOT funded officers along with City Patrol officers arrested 8 Intoxicated Drivers and obtained search warrants on about half of those offenders.
STEP grants fund officers to work overtime to enforce traffic safety laws regarding Speed, Occupant Safety, Intersection Traffic Control and Impaired Driving. These areas are the primary source of motor vehicle collisions. The enforcement efforts of TxDOT funded STEP officers help reduce these crashes and the costs associated with them.
Changes to “School of Choice” Program Include New Features at the 3rd Annual GPISD Experience
As a result of feedback following last year’s event, the District is making additions and revisions to the event and the registration process that directly follows.
At this year’s Experience, in addition to schools and programs of choice, parents and students can find out about traditional schools and support programs for students in GPISD. Attendees last year asked to learn more about the “quality of life” in Grand Prairie so representatives from Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation, Grand Prairie Police, local realtors, GPISD Council of PTAs, the GP YMCA, the GPISD Education Foundation, and many others will be in attendance as well.
Parents who attended last year requested an online guide or app so the District has created a free app in GUIDEBOOK for families to experience as many of the events and activities this day has to offer.
Additionally, there will be sessions specifically for parents in an area called Mom 2 Mom. Topics presented are listed in the Guidebook app.
What: The Third Annual GPISD Experience
When: Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Dubiski Career High School - 2990 S. Hwy 161, Grand Prairie, TX 75052
The District also heard from parents asking if there was a better way to register for schools and programs of choice than lining up and camping out. The answer is yes. Over the past year, the District has developed a process for applying to schools and programs of choice and transfer applications for traditional schools. This year, the process is completely electronic. No waiting in line, no camping out at the District’s Education Center. Parents and students across GPISD will have the power to choose the educational programming that best meets the needs of their student.
Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, January 13, at 8:00 a.m. through Friday, January 31, at 5:00 p.m. More information about the process can be found at www.gpisd.org/choice.
Source: Grand Prairie ISD
Police to hold women's self-defense class
January 08, 2014
Chamber of Commerce to host Dragon Boat Festival
GPISD's Young Men’s Academy awarded foundation grant to study ozone
The project, titled “Ozone North and South,” is a near-earth ozone study conducted by the two cooperating schools.
The ozone study has two aspects, including a biological component and a technological constituent.
The biological component involves planting a bio-indicator garden with ozone sensitive plants that students can observe for ozone damage over the course of the study. The technological constituent comprises gathering real time ozone data near the garden that will be uploaded to Google Earth as part of the “Global Ozone Project,” and addition to a world-wide database for use by other entities both nationally and across the world.
January 07, 2014
Parent and Child Time Together calendar
Lila Thorn sworn in as District 3 Council Member
|Lila Thorn (center) is sworn in as the City of Grand Prairie District 3 Council Member. Don Postell (L), City Attorney, administered the Oath of Office.©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
At Tuesday night's City of Grand Prairie Council Meeting, Lila Thorn was sworn in as the District 3 Council Member after winning the December 10, 2013 runoff election to fill the unexpired term.
The seat became vacant in August, 2013 with the death of her husband, Bill Thorn.
Grand Prairie launches ‘Get Fit GP’ citywide health initiative
The new program features a website, www.gptx.org/GetFitGP, with tools, tips and community resources for residents to get up, get out and get fit. To kick off the program and to celebrate January as Healthy Resolutions Month, Get Fit GP is offering residents a coupon for a free day pass to any city recreation center in January.
“With our lakes, parks and trails, our award-winning recreation venues and programming, farmers market, health clinics, community gardens and libraries – Grand Prairie offers more healthy lifestyle opportunities than residents realize,” Mayor Ron Jensen said. “Get Fit GP is designed to tie together all our resources with one website – connecting people to resources to get fit and stay fit.”
The website highlights certain topics each month, encouraging residents to participate in activities hosted by the city and its partners. Current partners include American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Baylor Medical Center at Irving, CareNow, GPISD, Medical Center of Arlington, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Novo Nordisk, Parkland, United Healthcare, Sam’s Club and the YMCA. To participate and to learn more, visit www.gptx.org/GetFitGP.
January 03, 2014
Police Academy graduates nine new police officers
|Officer Shane Larsen (L) and Mark Caldwell (R) are sworn in as Grand Prairie police officers at Friday's Police Academy graduation ceremony held at the Ruthe Jackson Center. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014|
After twenty-nine weeks of intense training, nine cadets graduated Friday to become Grand Prairie Police Officers.
The ceremony held at the Ruthe Jackson Center also honored five additional officers who completed a shorter academy after their transfer to Grand Prairie from other area police departments.
The fourteen graduates were selected from a field of 403 applicants.
In addressing the class, Police Chief Steve Dye congratulated the recruits for completing one of the toughest academies in the area. He added that Grand Prairie only hires the best of the best.
The recruits will now begin their field training that will last 16 weeks for basic graduates, 11 weeks for the lateral transfer officers.
Grand Prairie United Charities to host Valentine Luncheon on February 5
December 26, 2013
Christmas tree recycling locations
- Home Depot Parking Lot, 3850 Carrier Parkway
- Home Depot Parking Lot, 5280 State Highway 360
- Grand Prairie Landfill, 1102 MacArthur Blvd.
Trees are also collected on your normal garbage collection day. However, these trees will not be recycled into mulch but will be collected as garbage. For more information please call 972-237-8061 or visit www.gptx.org/recycling.
December 25, 2013
Day long manhunt ends with two officers shot, suspect killed
Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013
A manhunt that began early Christmas morning ended that afternoon with two officers and the suspect shot.
It all began around 4:30 am in the 3100 block of North Camino Lagos when an officer tried to stop a suspicious vehicle that police later learned was stolen.
The vehicle fled leading the officer of a short pursuit that ended in a field near Lake Ridge Parkway and England Parkway.
The suspect exited his vehicle and opened fire on the officer. The officer returned fire as the suspect ran to a heavily wooded area. The officer was not injured.
Additional officers from Grand Prairie, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Midlothian and Mansfield police departments converged on the area to setup a perimeter.
A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter and police K-9 units searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
Around 2 pm, residents near the 600 block of East Seeton Road called police reporting a suspicious person walking in the area.
Two officers spotted the suspect who opened fire on them, striking both officers. The officers were transported by ground ambulance to a Dallas Methodist with non-life threatening injuries where they were treated and released.
Other officers located the suspect in a nearby field as he tried to flee to a neighborhood. He was shot after refusing commands to drop his weapon.
The suspect, a sixteen year-old, was flown by air-ambulance to a Parkland Hospital where he died of his injuries.
Grand Prairie police did not release the name of the suspect.
December 21, 2013
Roy Rogers legacy honored at the Uptown Theater
|Roy Rogers, Jr. performed classic cowboy and classic cowboy holiday music Saturday at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013|
The Roy Rogers Jr. Show, starring Roy Rogers Jr. and son, Dustin Rogers along with the Original High Rider Band performed two classic cowboy holiday music concerts Saturday at the Uptown Theater.
One of the most popular shows in Branson, MO, the family retired last month now only making some limited appearances around the country at select venues.
Rogers, Jr. and the Original High Rider Band performed classic cowboy music reminiscent of the sounds of the Sons of the Pioneers, the group founded by his father
December 20, 2013
Grand Prairie Branch NAACP delivers Christmas to over one hundred children
Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013
One hundred and fifteen children got presents and food for Christmas day, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Grand Prairie Branch NAACP, Grand Prairie United Charities, DeSoto Walmart, Santa Cop and Santa Spot.
At a party held Thursday night at David Daniels Academy, wrapped presents and food for a Christmas meal were passed out to the parents while the children had juice and cookies.
Santa and Mrs. Claus even took time out of their busy schedule to stop by, to spend some time with the children.
December 19, 2013
Victim Relief Ministry and a local church help a resident in need
|Carlos Diaz (L) and Pastor Freddy Carrasquillo (R) of the Inglesia Renovacion Church build a wheelchair ramp at the home of a person in need. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013|
Volunteers with the Grand Prairie Police Department's Victim Relief Ministry (VRM) and members of Iglesia Renovacion Espiritual church joined forces at this time of giving to help a Grand Prairie resident in need.
The resident who is now wheelchair bound had a deteriorating ramp at her home that prevented her from getting out of the house for necessary medical treatments.
With VRM providing materials and volunteers, Pastor Freddy Carrasquillo of Iglesia Renovation Espiritual church got a team of craftsman together to remove the old ramp and construct a new, code compliant wheelchair ramp.
He said one of the missions of the 170 member church is service to others.
"The best way to share our love and faith is through service," Pastor Carrasquillo said.
December 18, 2013
Santa Cop and Santa Spot delivered gifts and food for Christmas
Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013
Members of the Grand Prairie Police and Fire Department along with dozens of volunteers, delivered gifts and food for Christmas Wednesday night to some of Grand Prairie's less fortunate families.
December 17, 2013
Santa is coming to help Camp Corral
December 16, 2013
Returning soldier surprises children at school
Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013
Two Dickinson Elementary Academy students got an early Christmas surprise Monday morning when their Army sergeant dad walked into the school after returning home from a deployment in Kuwait.
Dickinson students gave Sergeant Domingo Rodriguez a hero's welcome as they waved flags, displayed posters thanking the twenty-year veteran for his service.
The happy reunion with the children, Emya and Domingo, Jr., brought tears to both students and staff.
When asked what is the one thing he is excited about doing with his dad, Domingo, Jr. said, "Staying home with him."
Austin Elementary students evacuated after electrical fire
|Grand Prairie Fire/Rescue outside Austin Elementary school after an electrical fire evacuated students. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013|
Students at Stephen F. Austin Elementary, 815 NW 7th, were evacuated after an small electrical fire spread smoke through the school.
The fire that broke out around 9 am was confined to an exhaust fan in a restroom.
School district spokesman Sam Buchmeyer said the students were orderly evacuated and later placed in the gym to get out of the cold weather.
Fire crews extinguished the fire and exhausted smoke from the building.
After the building was determined safe, students were returned to classrooms.
Buchmeyer said the area involved is in an isolated portion of the building and it has been cordoned off.
He added there will be no disruption of classes.