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August 30, 2014

Dozens take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Asia Times Square

Dozens took part in a big way in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Saturday afternoon at Asia Times Square.

To make sure everyone got really wet and cooled off in the Texas heat, the Grand Prairie Fire Department brought out its new hybrid firefighting apparatus, a quint, to hose water on all the participants.

Asia Times Square owner Matthew Loh took the challenge one step further, using hundreds of pounds of crushed, he chilled an above ground swimming pool so everyone could take a nice, chilly dip.

Note - Due to technical difficulties with host Yahoo, unable to post photos. Go to Grand Prairie Reporter Facebook page for photos.

August 29, 2014

Grand Prairie United Charities to host benefit luncheon

Grand Prairie United Charities will host a benefit luncheon, Pay it Forward, on October 9 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Ruthe Jackson Center, 3113 S Carrier Pkwy.

There will be both a silent and live auction featuring the always outstanding auctioneer, Jeff Copeland.

Individual tickets are $25.

For information on group tickets or to donate items for the auction, call 972-262-2014 Ext. 11.

August 28, 2014

Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon cutting for renovated apartment complex

Alex Tynberg, owner of Terraces on the Parkway apartments, cuts the ribbon at a ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome one of its newest members, Terraces on the Parkway apartment community located at 1109 North Carrier Parkway.

Continue reading "Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon cutting for renovated apartment complex" »

August 26, 2014

Mosaic artwork going up at I-30 Park and Ride

Tammy Chan, Project Manager for the City of Grand Prairie, tells visitors about the glass tile mosaic artwork being installed at the Park and Ride on Interstate 30. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

This week ten participants in the Grand Prairie Weed & Seed Train Program began installation of glass tile for the mosaic artwork that will decorate the Park and Ride off of Interstate 30 near Belt Line Road.

Continue reading "Mosaic artwork going up at I-30 Park and Ride" »

Toastmaster club honors Tammy Sanders with communicator award         

Press Release - Toastmasters

Tammy Sanders, a member of the World Renowned Grand Prairie Toastmasters since September of 2013, was recently honored this month for receiving her Competent Communicator award. Sanders is employed by Comerica Bank where she is the head of the Retail Bank Texas Customer Care organization. In her role, Sanders often gives formal and informal presentations and joined Toastmasters to enhance her presentation and ability to "think on her feet."

Continue reading "Toastmaster club honors Tammy Sanders with communicator award         " »

Ranger Civitan Club seeks nominations for special education teacher award

The Ranger Civitan Club of Grand Prairie is pleased to announce the 2014 Ranger Civitan Club GPISD Special Education Teacher and Support Employee of the Year Awards Program.

All nominees will be honored at a special breakfast to be held in their honor on September 6. All GPISD Special Education Teachers and Support Employees are invited to attend the Breakfast.

Continue reading "Ranger Civitan Club seeks nominations for special education teacher award" »

Teacher arrested at school for public intoxication

An Arlington ISD school teacher was arrested Friday at West Elementary School for public intoxication. West Elementary is located at 2911 Kingswood Blvd. in Grand Prairie.

A co-worker at the school called 911 to report the intoxicated teacher.

Police arrested Megan Updegraff, 28, at the school. She was charged with Public Intoxication, a class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500.

Continue reading "Teacher arrested at school for public intoxication" »

August 23, 2014

Fire Department test hopeful candidates

©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Saturday morning, forty-three applicants took the Grand Prairie Fire Department's physical agility test to become a firefighter. The test, held at Fire Station #3, simulates the physical demands firefighters face. It is one of the steps in the department's hiring process.

Continue reading "Fire Department test hopeful candidates" »

Four thousand pounds of peppers sold at Hatch Chile Fest

Charles Gray watches over one of the four roasters used to roast 4,000 pounds of peppers at the Hatch Chile Fest at the Farmers Market. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

It took four roasters to prepare the four thousand pounds of Hatch chile peppers that were sold at Saturday's 4th Annual Hatch Chile Fest at the Grand Prairie Farmers Market.

Continue reading "Four thousand pounds of peppers sold at Hatch Chile Fest" »

August 22, 2014

Hundreds show up for school superintendent's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

School superintendent Dr. Susan Simpson cheers as Mayor Jenson and city council members take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Dubiski Career High School. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Mayor Ron Jensen, city council members, school board trustees, school administrator and teachers were among the hundreds that showed up at Dubiski Career High School Friday afternoon to accept Grand Prairie ISD School Superintendent Dr. Susan Simpson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Continue reading "Hundreds show up for school superintendent's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" »

August 21, 2014

Former school teacher found guilty in hit-and-run death of six year-old boy


Tammy Lowe
Tammy Lowe, the former Adams Middle School teacher, was found guilty of manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of John Paul Raidy, 6, on January 24, 2013.

Raidy was struck while crossing North Carrier Parkway at the Holiday Hills Drive intersection.

Lowe surrendered to police five days after the accident and was charged with failing to stop and render aid, and manslaughter.

At the beginning this week's trial, Lowe pleaded guilty to the failing to stop and render aid.

She now faces up to 20 years in prison for manslaughter and 10 years for failing to stop and render aid.

Hatch Chile Fest Saturday at Farmers Market

Ground breaking for new kids dental clinic

Mayor Ron Jensen (center) and Dr. Joseph Anwah, D.D.S., to his left, along with members of The Kid's Dentist staff and members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons break ground for a new dental clinic building. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Mayor Ron Jensen along with members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons took part in a ground breaking ceremony Thursday for The Kid's Dentist new clinic to be located at 2337 South Belt Line.

Continue reading "Ground breaking for new kids dental clinic" »

August 19, 2014

Texas Trust Credit Union gives $10,000 to GPISD Education Foundation

Submitted Photo

Press Release - Texas Trust Credit Union

The Grand Prairie Independent School District's (GPISD) Education Foundation has received $10,000 from Texas Trust Credit Union for the class of 2015. Texas Trust presented the check to the GPISD Education Foundation at the school district's convocation event, marking the start of the new school year.

Continue reading "Texas Trust Credit Union gives $10,000 to GPISD Education Foundation" »

August 16, 2014

Eighty-one pets find new homes at Empty the Shelter

Gary Lockett gets a kiss from Zander, a pit bull he was looking to adopt at Saturday's Empty the Shelter Day. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

More than thirty persons were in line for the opening of Prairie Paws Adoption Center Saturday morning to get a pet at the Empty the Shelter event.

The event that took place at shelters throughout the metroplex including Prairie Paws featured no adoption fees for adoptable pets.

Continue reading "Eighty-one pets find new homes at Empty the Shelter" »

Texas Family Musicals brings "The Cab Calloway Story" to the Uptown Theater

Monte Howell and the cast of Texas Family Musicals' production "The Cab Calloway Story" at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Texas Family Musicals brings the national premiere of “The Cab Calloway Story” to the Uptown Theater. Penned by award winning playwright, Larry Parr, this show is destined to be sent to Off Broadway in 2015.

Continue reading "Texas Family Musicals brings "The Cab Calloway Story" to the Uptown Theater" »

August 14, 2014

Pet adoption fees waived on Empty the Shelter Day - August 16

On Saturday, Prairie Paws Adoption Center, 2222 W. Warrior Trail, will waive adoption fees for all dogs and cats as part of Empty the Shelter Day.

More than 30 North Texas area animal shelters will take part in the event to get approximately 5,000 pets adopted in one day.

Prairie Paws will be open Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

Continue reading "Pet adoption fees waived on Empty the Shelter Day - August 16" »

August 12, 2014

Texas Family Musicals' final show of the summer season opens August 15

Texas Roadhouse to host back-to-school donation drive on August 15

August 08, 2014

Uptown Theater art show and reception

The Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation Department is hosting an art show at the historic Uptown Theater, 120 East Main Street, with art from active senior citizens.

The show features paintings, photography, zentangle, origami, jewelry, wood carving, pottery, and stained glass created in parks department classes.

Continue reading "Uptown Theater art show and reception" »

Heat advisory in effect until 7 pm Saturday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Heat Advisory for Dallas and Tarrant counties until 7 pm Saturday

Temperature - highs 100 to 105 degrees with heat index values 105 to 107 degrees.

Impacts - those exposed to the extreme heat over a prolonged period may develop heat related illnesses.

Continue reading "Heat advisory in effect until 7 pm Saturday" »

"Who Wrote the Book of Love" opens at the Uptown

Texas Family Musicals' production of "Who Wrote the Book of Love" opened Friday night at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

The first of four performance of Texas Family Musicals' production of "Who Wrote the Book of Love" opened Friday night at the Uptown Theater.

This new 60s musical comedy about group of friends that try to fulfill their dreams of stardom takes you back to a time when rock n roll was coming alive. The musical is filled with great hit songs of the 60s, laughter and romance

Continue reading ""Who Wrote the Book of Love" opens at the Uptown" »

August 05, 2014

Classes begin at Uplift Grand Preparatory


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2014

Close to 300 students began their 2014-2015 school year Tuesday morning when Uplift Grand Preparatory, located on the site of the First Baptist Church, 122 NE 2nd opened for classes. The charter school will have classes for students in K-2 and 6-7 this year eventually expanding to a K-12 school serving over 1500 scholars.

August 04, 2014

Obituary - Leonard Eugene Jones Sr


Leonard Eugene Jones Sr, of Memphis, TN passed away peacefully at Foxbridge Asst Living in Memphis, on July 25, 2014. He was 78. Born in Memphis June 21st 1936, he attended Merrill and Gordon Elementary Schools and was a graduate of Humes High School - class of 1955. He played 1st Chair Clarinet in the High School Band.

He served in the Navy for nine years and the National Guard for over 25 years.

He was retired from Cooper Tire Company.

Leonard was preceded in death by his wife of 28 years, Jo Ann Savage Jones; his daughter, Gracie Mattocks; and his brother, Forrest Robert Jones. He is survived by his son, Leonard Eugene Jones Jr (Peggy) of Memphis; his brother, Gordon Lee Jones (Jean) of Lakeland, TN; and step-mother, Pauline Jones of Piperton, TN.

Continue reading "Obituary - Leonard Eugene Jones Sr" »

August 03, 2014

Friends and family hold candlelight vigil for Laura Onwudinanti

Friends and family of Laura Onwudinanti hold a candlelight vigil for the South Grand Prairie High School and Baylor University graduate that was killed in a car accident on July 29. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Dozens of friends and family gathered in the marching band's practice area of the South Grand Prairie High School parking lot Sunday night for a candlelight vigil to honor Laura Onwudinanti, the former student who was killed in a car crash on July 29.

Continue reading "Friends and family hold candlelight vigil for Laura Onwudinanti" »

August 02, 2014

Grand Prairie teen dies from car crash injuries

Photo by Grand Prairie Police

A thirteen year-old boy died Saturday afternoon at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth from injuries he sustained in a two vehicle accident Friday at State Highway 360 and New York Ave.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie teen dies from car crash injuries" »

July 31, 2014

Lamar Elementary not to house immigrant children

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced that immigrant children will not be coming to temporary shelters in North Texas. One of the proposed shelters was the vacant Lamar Elementary school.

Health and Human Services officials told Jenkins that with the recent drop in the number of children crossing the border, current shelters along the United State and Mexico border are able house the children.

July 30, 2014

"Who Wrote the Book of Love" opens August 8 at the Uptown Theater

Texas Family Musicals' "Who Wrote the Book of Love" plays August 8,9,10 at the Uptown Theater. Take a trip down memory lane with this new 60's musical comedy where a group of friends are trying to fulfill their dreams of stardom and 57 Chevys. This fresh new show will remind you of a time when life was simpler and your summer nights were filled with music, laughter and romance.

July 26, 2014

Volunteers paint mural to honor community leader Johnie Stanton

Honesty Newman, 6, helps paint a mural honoring community leader Johnie Stanton. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Volunteers from across the community gathered at the Stanton Garden located across from the Dalworth Recreation Center to complete a mural to honor community leader and long time Dalworth Recreation Center employee, Johnie Stanton who died in 2012.

Continue reading "Volunteers paint mural to honor community leader Johnie Stanton" »

Farmers Market holds inaugural "Mrs. Ruthe's Fig and Fudge Festival"

City Councilman Jeff Wooldridge serves as a judge and samples an entry in the fig perserve contest at the Mrs. Ruthe's Figs and Fudge Festival at the Farmers Market. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

The Grand Prairie Farmers Market held its first "Mrs. Ruthe's Fig and Fudge Festival" Saturday to honor the city's Grand Dame and Mayor Pro Tem Mrs. Ruthe Jackson who died last year.

Mrs. Ruthe, who loved picking figs from her mother's trees and ate chocolate fudge every chance she got, each year would sell her figs at the Farmers Market to raise money for LifeLine Shelter for Families.

Continue reading "Farmers Market holds inaugural "Mrs. Ruthe's Fig and Fudge Festival"" »

July 25, 2014

Texas Family Musicals' production of "The Night the Music Died" opens for its final weekend at the Uptown

Richard Barrella as "The Big Bopper" in Texas Family Musicals' production "The Night the Music Died." ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

It was a near full Uptown Theater Friday night for one of the final performances of Texas Family Musicals' (TFM) production, "The Night the Music Died."

Continue reading "Texas Family Musicals' production of "The Night the Music Died" opens for its final weekend at the Uptown" »

July 24, 2014

Dallas County Offers Free Back to School Immunizations

United Realty & Associates opens office in downtown area

Chris Brickman (center) owner of Runited Realty & Associates cuts the ribbon for the realtor's new office located in historic downtown Grand Prairie. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome United Realty & Associates to downtown Grand Prairie.

The full service real estate firm located at 111 West Main opened its office in the recently renovated historic downtown area.

Continue reading "United Realty & Associates opens office in downtown area" »

Police seek robbery suspect

Grand Prairie police seek the public's help identifying two robbery suspects.

On July 15th at around 10:05pm, two suspects entered a convenience store in the 3500 block of South Carrier Parkway. The suspects attempted to purchase beer but could not produce valid identification.

Continue reading "Police seek robbery suspect" »

July 22, 2014

Theater Dance Day - summer camp performers at the Uptown Theater

Summer campers from the Dalworth Recreation Center perform at Theater Dance Day at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

About 150 Summer Campers, ages 6-15, took the stage Tuesday at the Uptown Theater for Theater Dance Day.

Theater Dance Day is part of a six week Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation summer camp initiative focused on theater, dance, and fitness.

Continue reading "Theater Dance Day - summer camp performers at the Uptown Theater" »

Tip a Cop July 24 at Texas Roadhouse for Special Olympics

July 21, 2014

Three injured in two alarm apartment fire

Grand Prairie firefighters fight a two alarm fire at an apartment complex in the 300 block of Renfro Street. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Three people had to be transported to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation after a fire Sunday night at an apartment complex in the 300 block of Renfro Street.

The fire that broke out around 9:30 pm went to two alarms and heavily damaged two units.

Continue reading "Three injured in two alarm apartment fire" »

July 18, 2014

School Board discusses using Lamar Elementary to house undocumented children


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2014

It was standing room only at Thursday's Grand Prairie ISD School Board meeting to hear the presentation about the federal government's plan to temporarily use vacant Lamar Elementary as a short term shelter for unaccompanied children that have crossed the border.

Dr. Vern Alexander and Dr. Jerry Hunkapiller stated that the building was in need of repairs that would take some time to make before children could be housed in the building. The cost of these repairs and upgrades along with operating expenses would be covered by federal funds.

Continue reading "School Board discusses using Lamar Elementary to house undocumented children" »

July 15, 2014

Notice of Public Hearing on Interstate 30 Improvements

Click on Public Hearing to view larger version of Public Notice.

July 14, 2014

Lions Club to host benefit car show on July 19

The Grand Prairie Host Lions Club, in conjunction with Grand Bank of Texas, Garden Ridge and Mustang Sally’s Productions, will be hosting the 2nd annual Grand Prairie Lions Classic Car Show on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

The event will be a full class show with awards given in 27 different classes, including “Best of Show”. Proceeds will benefit The Texas Lions Camp, a summer camp for handicapped, diabetic and children with Down syndrome.

Continue reading "Lions Club to host benefit car show on July 19" »

July 11, 2014

Texas Family Musicals opens summer season with "The Roy Orbison Experience"

Chris Trimboli as Roy Orbison in Texas Family Musical's "The Roy Orbison Experience" at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Texas Family Musicals opened its 2014 Summer Season Friday night at the Uptown Theater with a celebration of the music of Roy Orbison.

The Roy Orbison Experience features Chris Trimboli as Roy Orbison, the legendary rock and roll artist from Wink, Texas. He is joined by a spectacular cast of singers and dancers. U

Continue reading "Texas Family Musicals opens summer season with "The Roy Orbison Experience"" »

One killed in traffic accident on North Carrier Parkway

Photo by Grand Prairie Police

A Grand Prairie man is dead after a traffic collision that occurred at about 12:48 pm Friday at the intersection of North Carrier Parkway and Highway 161 frontage road.

Police said Benny Torres, 27, was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze in a southeasterly direction on Carrier Parkway when he ran the red light at the northbound frontage road of Highway 161. A 1994 Isuzu box truck that was on the frontage road entered the intersection and collided into the passenger side of the Chevrolet.

Continue reading "One killed in traffic accident on North Carrier Parkway" »

July 10, 2014

Dallas man dies from injuries after motorcycle crash on Tuesday

A Dallas man died Thursday morning at Methodist Dallas Medical Center from injuries he sustained in motorcycle crash Tuesday night on Interstate 20 and Carrier Parkway.

Police said Francisco Moreno, 47, was riding a 2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle eastbound when he collided with the back of trailer being pulled by a pickup. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Continue reading "Dallas man dies from injuries after motorcycle crash on Tuesday" »

Grand Opening for Golden Chick on Carrier Parkway

Jennifer DeBaun (center), co-owner, cuts the ribbon at Thursday's ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons at Golden Chick restaurant's grand opening. Bob Fitch Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of Golden Chick's newest restaurant located at 900 South Carrier Parkway.

Continue reading "Grand Opening for Golden Chick on Carrier Parkway" »

July 09, 2014

School district's statement on Lamar Elementary School as possible shelter for unaccompanied children

Statement by Grand Prairie Independent School District

As you may have heard, the Grand Prairie ISD was contacted by officials in Dallas County and asked about using the former Lamar Elementary School (and former AEP) as a possible shelter-in-place for children who are currently in South Texas in make-shift shelters. We are currently on a short list of potential sites to be used and no final decision has been made.

Continue reading "School district's statement on Lamar Elementary School as possible shelter for unaccompanied children" »

Dubiski Career High School Receives $10,000 National Grand Prize for Act Out Loud Teen Safe Driving Campaign

Dubiski Career High School took the grand prize in this year’s Act Out Loud teen safe driving program sponsored by The Allstate Foundation and National Organizations for Youth Safety. The program, now in its seventh year, encourages teens to talk openly about the number one killer of their friends and peers, car crashes.

More than 200 schools participated in this year's event by designing a t-shirt, poster and hosting a teen safe driving rally. The schools were judged on student involvement, strength of teen safe driving messages, creativity of activities, and community and school administration involvement.

Continue reading "Dubiski Career High School Receives $10,000 National Grand Prize for Act Out Loud Teen Safe Driving Campaign" »

July 07, 2014

Message from Mayor Ron Jensen about shelter for unaccompanied children at Lamar School

As you may know by now, Dallas County and the Grand Prairie Independent School District have offered the old Lamar Alternative Center for consideration as a temporary shelter for some of the unaccompanied children that have crossed the border into Texas. As mayor, I did not volunteer our city as a shelter location, but the city of Grand Prairie will handle it in a professional and caring manner.

Continue reading "Message from Mayor Ron Jensen about shelter for unaccompanied children at Lamar School" »

July 04, 2014

Grand Prairie school possible site to house immigrant children

Lamar Elementary School located in the 2000 block of Walnut Street was named one of three possible sites to house about 2,000 unaccompanied children that have illegally entered the United States.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced the selections but said nothing has been decided and the list could change. He said the county would like to hear from the community before a final selection is made. Jenkins can be reached at 214-653-7949.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie school possible site to house immigrant children" »

Governor Perry appoints Dr. Hull to State Board for Educator Certification

Governor Rick Perry has appointed Grand Prairie Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Susan Hull to the State Board for Educator Certification for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017. The board develops certification and continuing education requirements and standards of conduct for public school teachers.

Continue reading "Governor Perry appoints Dr. Hull to State Board for Educator Certification" »

July 02, 2014

Police search for murder suspect


Billy Wayne Jarrett

Update 7/5/2014: Just after noon, a citizen spotted the suspect near the 1500 block of North Belt Line and called police. Jarrett was arrested without incident. He is charged with murder and held on a $100,000 bond.

At approximately 1:10 am, Wednesday morning, police responded to a stabbing in the 1500 block of North Belt Line Road.

Police found an unresponsive male with a stab wound in the chest lying in the roadway.

The victim was transported to Dallas Methodist Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Based on evidence collected at the scene and witness statements, detectives obtained a murder arrest warrant for Billy Wayne Jarrett.

Police describe Jarrett as:

Continue reading "Police search for murder suspect" »

June 30, 2014

High School singing duo reunite for performance at The Uptown

Grand Prairie High School Alumni and former singing partners Michael Smith and Dahn Keith Scott reunite for "A Trip Back Home" concert Monday night at The Uptown Theater's Graff Chevrolet Ultra Lounge. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

After 35 years, Grand Prairie High School Alumni and singing duo Dahn Keith Scott and Michael Smith reunited Monday night for a concert at The Uptown Theater.

The two began singing and writing songs together while still in high school. After graduation in 1978, they entertained at upscale restaurants and hotels around the Dallas area for almost 2 years.

Continue reading "High School singing duo reunite for performance at The Uptown" »

Dallas Children's Charities makes donation to Children First Counseling Center

Hallie Brady, Natasha Alexander, Roy Whitfill, Steven Howard, Richard Whitman and Darcy Harris. Submitted photo

By Richard Whitman - Dallas Children's Charities

On June 26, Dallas Children’s Charities made a donation to Children First Counseling Center. The donation is to provide continued funding to the Play Therapy Center and related program.

Children First provides mental health services for children and adolescents who have been victimized by abuse and/or neglect.

Continue reading "Dallas Children's Charities makes donation to Children First Counseling Center" »

June 25, 2014

Police announce enhanced DWI enforcement for 4th of July

The Grand Prairie Police Department, with funding from the Texas Department of Transportation, will have additional officers looking for intoxicated drivers starting Friday, June 27th and going through Monday, July 7th.

Grand Prairie Police and TxDOT encourage citizens to make responsible decisions. Make a plan to stay where you are, designate a driver or call a cab.

Continue reading "Police announce enhanced DWI enforcement for 4th of July" »

June 24, 2014

Advantage Academy becomes one of the first charter schools in Texas to access Permanent School Fund guarantee

Press Release/Advantage Academy

Eagle Advantage Schools, Inc., a 501©3 non-profit organization which operates Advantage Academy and its three public charter school sites, has become one of the first in Texas to access the Permanent School Fund (PSF) guarantee. Advantage Academy currently has over 1,700 students enrolled in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Permanent School Fund operated by the Texas Education Agency guarantees bond issues to Texas public schools, allowing districts to borrow at a substantially lower interest rate. The PSF guarantee was previously reserved for traditional public schools only.

Continue reading "Advantage Academy becomes one of the first charter schools in Texas to access Permanent School Fund guarantee" »

June 21, 2014

Grand Prairie Wellness Center to Close

Press Release/Martin Media Management

After serving almost 50,000 patients and providing about $7.9 Million dollars in services since 2001, the Grand Prairie Wellness Center plans to close its doors at the end of June 2014. The center provided free medical and low-cost dental services to low-income families, many who walked to the clinic for service.

“The Wellness Center has been financially stressed for some time now due to the loss of three large grants and bleak prospects for replacing them or even growing our income,” Chuck Poffenbarger, Board President, said. “At a Board of Directors Special Meeting Tuesday night, June 17, the board concluded that we are no longer a financially viable organization and should terminate patient services at the end of this month, June 30th.”

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Wellness Center to Close" »

June 18, 2014

Fallen Grand Prairie police officer remembered at 10th anniversary memorial service

Denise and Erin Hunter, wife and daughter of slain Grand Prairie police officer Sergeant Gregory Hunter, release a white dove at Wednesday's memorial service marking ten years since Sergeant Hunter was slain at the Walmart parking lot. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2010

Hundreds of police officers, firefighters, Walmart employees and local citizens gathered Wednesday morning at the time and spot, ten years ago, that Sergeant Gregory L. Hunter was gunned down.

For many, it brought back vivid memories of the day in 2004 that the highly decorated officer, devoted husband, father and Christian was killed protecting the citizens of Grand Prairie.

Continue reading "Fallen Grand Prairie police officer remembered at 10th anniversary memorial service" »

June 17, 2014

Mrs. Ruthe’s Fig and Fudge Fest at Grand Prairie Farmers Market

File photo ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2010

Press Release/City of Grand Prairie

The Grand Prairie Farmers Market, 120 W. Main St., is gettin’ figgy with it for the inaugural Mrs. Ruthe’s Fig and Fudge Fest on Saturday, July 26 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The city lost its legendary Grand Dame and Mayor Pro Tem Mrs. Ruthe Jackson at age 92 last year. Mrs. Ruthe loved picking figs from her mother’s trees and ate chocolate fudge every chance she got. This festival will celebrate her life of service.

Continue reading "Mrs. Ruthe’s Fig and Fudge Fest at Grand Prairie Farmers Market" »

June 16, 2014

New sculpture welcomes visitors to Lake Parks area

A crane lowers a bronze sculpture on to its display at Mildred Walker and State Highway 360. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Thanks to the generous donation from the Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Development Corporation, a new seven foot bronze sculpture was installed Monday at the intersection of Mildred Walker Parkway and State Highway 360.

The sculpture is part of a Gateway and Streetscaping project that welcomes people to the Lake Parks area.

Continue reading "New sculpture welcomes visitors to Lake Parks area" »

June 14, 2014

Hot Rods and motorcycles fill Market Square

Some of the more than 70 cars and bikes that lined the streets around Market Square for the 6th annual Car & Bike Show. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

More than 70 hot rods, custom and antique cars along with a variety of motorcycles of all types filled the streets and parking lots around Market Square Saturday for the 6th annual Car and Bike show.

The large crowd got an up close look at fine craftsmanship of the cars and bikes then voted for their favorites.

Continue reading "Hot Rods and motorcycles fill Market Square" »

June 13, 2014

Get fit GP to host ‘guys night out’ at QuikTrip Park June 17

June is Men’s Health Month, and Get Fit Grand Prairie is hosting “Guys Night Out” at the AirHogs baseball game at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17. The night—free with a Get Fit GP voucher—includes men’s health screenings, kids activity zone, obstacle course, dunk tank, bounce house, prizes and more.

Anyone (not only the guys) with a Get Fit GP voucher will receive a free ticket to the game, redeemable at QuikTrip Park, 1600 Lone Star Parkway. Pick up a voucher at any of the following locations (or print voucher from www.gptx.org/GetFitGP):

Continue reading "Get fit GP to host ‘guys night out’ at QuikTrip Park June 17" »

Chamber welcomes new member at ribbon cutting

Linda Ness (center) with Rainwater Business Advisors at Friday's ribbon cutting ceremony at the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce office. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

A ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming Rainwater Business Advisors to the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce was held Friday after the monthly Coffee Cup Connection meeting at the Chamber office.

Rainwater is a mergers and acquisitions firm that serves and advises business owners on selling their companies for the maximum amount, while minimizing risk and tax implications.

Continue reading "Chamber welcomes new member at ribbon cutting" »

June 12, 2014

Arts Council's summer musical "Hello Dolly!" opens Friday at the Uptown Theater

©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Hello Dolly’s opening on Broadway. To honor this landmark musical, the Grand Prairie Arts Council, celebrating its 35th anniversary, made Hello Dolly! its 2014 Summer Musical, opening on Friday at the Uptown Theater.

Performances at set for June 13-14 and 20-21 at 8:00 pm; June 14-15 and 21-22 at 2:00 pm at the Uptown Theater, 120 East Main Street, Grand Prairie, 75050. Tickets are $11, $17 and $22 with discounts for groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets available online: www.artsgp.org, or call the Uptown Box Office: 972-237-8786.

Continue reading "Arts Council's summer musical "Hello Dolly!" opens Friday at the Uptown Theater" »

June 11, 2014

Threat of severe weather on Thursday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth advised there is a significant chance of severe weather across parts of North Texas on Thursday.

A cold front will move through the area during peak heating which will lead to a very unstable atmosphere. Thunderstorms are expected to develop along and ahead of the front and quickly become severe.

Continue reading "Threat of severe weather on Thursday" »

June 10, 2014

School district offers free summer meals program

Chamber of Commerce spotlights two businesses

By Alex Sprinkles/Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Golden Chick in Grand Prairie joined the Chamber May 21, 2014. Golden Chick is a fast-food restaurant serving golden fried chicken to over 120 stores. Golden Chick opened a new location in Grand Prairie to serve our community their delicious fried chicken at the beginning of 2014. For your catering needs contact Store Owner Jennifer DeBaun, goldenchickgp@gmail.com or call (214) 924-4817. Or for lunch stop by 900 S. Carrier Pkwy in Grand Prairie.

Continue reading "Chamber of Commerce spotlights two businesses" »

June 09, 2014

High school singing duo to reunite after 35 years for a performance at the Uptown Theater

Dahn and Michael in 1978 promotional photo

Grand Prairie High School 1978 alumni and singing duo Dahn Keith and Michael Smith, will reunite after a 35 years for an evening of music on June 30 at the historic Uptown Theater.

Michael and Dahn began singing and writing songs together while still in high school.

Continue reading "High school singing duo to reunite after 35 years for a performance at the Uptown Theater" »

June 07, 2014

Crawfish Boil at the Farmers Market

Dustin Clement owner of Heads and Tails Crawfish checks some of the 800 pounds of crawfish he cooked for the annual Crawfish Boill at the Farmers Market. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

A Saturday's Crawfish Boil at Farmers Market more than 800 pounds of boiled crawfish, 200 pounds of potatoes and 800 ears of corn was served to the hundreds of visitors.

The festival included a beer garden, live music by the band Crawfish and plenty of free fun for the youngsters.

One killed in fiery crash on South Belt Line

One person killed in fiery crash in the 1700 block of South Belt Line. Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Update 6/10/2014: Police identified the victim as Adrian Rosales, 20, of Grand Prairie.

One person was killed Saturday morning in a fiery crash in the 1700 block of South Belt Line.

Police said the accident occurred at about 10 am when a car traveling southbound at a high rate of speed swerved to avoid a car that was trying to pull out of Kingston onto South Belt Line.

Continue reading "One killed in fiery crash on South Belt Line" »

June 06, 2014

"Our Town" photography show at the Uptwon

Michelle Tilley talks with Nancy Boone about her photograph in the National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town Photography Show." ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Friday night, the Uptown Theater hosted the "Our Town Photography Show" featuring photographs by participants in the city's "Weed and Seed" Program.

Assisted by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, the City of Grand Prairie and several local sponsors, the ten participants got cameras, lessons in art, photography and learned how to mat and frame photographs.

Continue reading ""Our Town" photography show at the Uptwon" »

Suspect in police officer shooting faces attempted murder charge


Andre Darnell Hall
Arlington police said the suspect in Thursday night's shooting of a Grand Prairie police officer faces a Criminal Attempt Capital Murder charge.

Andre Darnell Hall, 35, is being held in the Arlington jail. Bond has not yet been set.

The Grand Prairie officer, a member of the SWAT, was shot in the arm while serving a narcotics search warrant at the Forest Ridge Apartments, 2508 Forest Point Drive, in Arlington.

Injuries to the officer were non-life threatening.

Police officer shot serving search warrant

Police outside of unit at the Forest Ridge Apartments in Arlington after a Grand Prairie police officer was shot serving a warrant. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

A member of the police SWAT team was shot Thursday night while serving a narcotics search warrant in Arlington.

Police spokesman Detective Mark Beseda said the SWAT team was serving the warrant around 9:30 pm at the Forest Ridge Apartments, 2508 Forest Point Dr.

As officers made entry into an apartment unit, the suspect opened fire, striking the officer in the hand.

Continue reading "Police officer shot serving search warrant" »

June 05, 2014

Principal makes good on promise to students, eats worms

Dickinson Elementary School Principal Julio Toro eats fried worms to make good on a promise to students that reached an advanced level on the STAAR assessment. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

On Thursday, Julio Toro, Principal at Dickinson Elementary and Christi Harris, Assistant Principal, made good on their promise to eat worms if students scored an advanced level in two or more categories of the STAAR assessment.

Fifty-two students in the third, fourth and fifth grade achieved advanced levels on the assessment. They assembled in the computer lab where Mr. Toro had a deep fryer setup along with worms ready for frying.

Continue reading "Principal makes good on promise to students, eats worms" »

June 04, 2014

Second suspect in last week's cell phone robberies surrenders to police

Robert MungiaJohnathan Walton

Tuesday morning, Johnathan Walton, 17, wanted in connection with last week's cell phone robberies, surrendered to police.

On May 27, police were investigating the cell phone robberies of two individuals when an off-duty officer in his marked take home vehicle spotted the suspect's car. When the officer tried to stop it, the suspects fled, leading police on a chase through neighborhood street.

Continue reading "Second suspect in last week's cell phone robberies surrenders to police" »

June 03, 2014

Grand Prairie first graders given free dental kits by local Masons

By Rhenda Gray

All first graders at eight Grand Prairie elementary schools recently received free prevent tooth decay kits through the Fantastic Teeth Fan Club. Jimmy Emmons led members of Thomas B. Hunter Masonic Lodge, Mountain Creek Masonic Lodge, and Sam R. Hamilton Masonic Lodge in assembling and delivering 877 kits to the schools.

The Fantastic Teeth Fan Club, sponsored by Masonic Home and School of Texas, strives to prevent suffering from toothaches, reduce missed school days due to dental problems, and cut costs for dental treatment.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie first graders given free dental kits by local Masons" »

June 02, 2014

Crawfish Boil at Farmers Market on June 7

Roy Orbison Experience opens July 11 at the Uptown

May 29, 2014

Grand Prairie Pushups for Charity fundraiser to support our troops

Grand Prairie Pushups for Charity is hosting a fundraiser on May 31 at 10 am at the Grand Prairie Police Crossfit Gym, 1502 College Street, to support our troop through the Boot Campaign, which helps veterans by providing jobs, housing, education, wellness, urgent assistance and family support.

Participants at Pushups for Charity raise money by completing as many pushups as possible in 90 seconds. The Grand Prairie PUC has set a goal of raising $2,500 and completing 10,000 pushups.

Go to http://www.crowdrise.com/grandprairiepuc to join the Grand Prairie Pushups for Charity team.

May 28, 2014

UT Arlington teams with GPISD to pave way for more students to earn college degrees

UT Arlington President Vistasp M. Karbhari speaks at Tuesday's press conference announcing a partnership between the Grand Prairie Independent School District and UTA. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Press Release: University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington announced Tuesday a new partnerships with the Grand Prairie Independent School Districts for a significant expansion of Bound for Success, the early admissions initiative aimed at increasing the number of high school students who earn a college degree.

The collaborative program provides high-achieving students deferred, unconditional admission provided they graduate with a recognized college preparatory diploma and satisfy the Texas Success Initiatives requirements.

Continue reading "UT Arlington teams with GPISD to pave way for more students to earn college degrees" »

Three in custody after armed robberies, police search for fourth suspect

Officer Richard Gambino takes an armed robbery suspect into custody in the 2000 block of South Belt Line. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Police have two juvenile females, one adult male in custody and are still searching for another male, all suspects in two armed robberies that occurred Tuesday evening.

The first robbery occurred around 6:20 pm at the Barbara Bush Elementary School, 511 East Springdale. An individual walking in the neighborhood had their cell phone stolen at gun point.

The victim gave dispatchers a description of the suspects and their vehicle, a white Lexus with a black rear bumper.

Continue reading "Three in custody after armed robberies, police search for fourth suspect" »

May 26, 2014

One dead after watercraft accident on Joe Pool Lake

One man is dead after two personal watercrafts collide Monday evening at Joe Pool Lake.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy said two couples were riding their personal watercrafts when one collided broadside with the other, striking the driver.

The collision was witnessed by an off duty Dallas firefighter who was boating with his family. The firefighter pulled the unresponsive victim from the water, administered CPR while his wife drove the boat to shore where they were met by Grand Prairie paramedics.

Continue reading "One dead after watercraft accident on Joe Pool Lake" »

May 25, 2014

Chance of rain the next 5 to 7 days

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said a slow moving upper level low will bring chances of showers and thunderstorms to Grand Prairie for the next 5 to 7 days.

Locally heavy rain is possible which may result in flooding or flash flooding.

Continue reading "Chance of rain the next 5 to 7 days" »

May 24, 2014

"There Will Be No Sad Songs" the last concert of Hank Williams

Kevin Kratzke as Hank Williams in the Texas Family Musicals production of There Will Be No Sad Songs. ©Bob Fitch/Grandf Prairie Reporter - 2014

Texas Family Musicals recreated the final concert of country music icon Hank Williams with its production of There will be No Sad Songs that played Friday and Saturday at the Uptown Theater..

Starring Kevin Kratzke, No Sad Songs began with Willimam's struggling in his final performance on December 16, 1952 at the Austin Skyline Club. The concert lasted on 22 minutes.

Continue reading ""There Will Be No Sad Songs" the last concert of Hank Williams" »

May 21, 2014

Magician, entertainer David Hira delivers motivational message to Chamber of Commerce

Magician, entertainer, motivational speaker David Hira speaks at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

David Hira, entertainer, magician and motivational speaker, was the keynote speaker at the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon held Wednesday at the Ruthe Jackson Center.

Hira, a successful entrepreneur and nationally recognized foreign trade expert, entertained the large crowd as he delivered an inspirational message about building strong teams of diverse people and looking "outside of the box."

Continue reading "Magician, entertainer David Hira delivers motivational message to Chamber of Commerce" »

Postal Service warns customers of fraud attempt

Press Release - Postal Inspection Service

Recently, the Postal Inspection Service has received complaints from individuals nationwide related to fraudulent emails and phone calls. The caller is stating a package that was unable to be delivered. These emails and phone calls are attempting to gather personal identifying information.

The email, which claims to be from the US Postal Service, includes a message related to an attempted or intercepted package delivery. The customer is told to click the link or open an attachment then print the label.

Continue reading "Postal Service warns customers of fraud attempt" »

May 20, 2014

Jorja Clemson, Jeff Copeland and Lila Thorn sworn in to City Council

Council members Jorja Clemson, Jeff Copeland and Lila Thorn are sworn in at Tuesday's City Council Meeting.©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Mayor Ron Jensen honors Grand Prairie Police Officer Mark Calvert for his work with Santa Cop. Officer Calvert retires at the end of May. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Continue reading "Jorja Clemson, Jeff Copeland and Lila Thorn sworn in to City Council" »

City to host Memorial Day Service

40-year-old man killed in motorcycle crash on Carrier Parkway

A motorcyclist was killed Monday evening after a crash at South Carrier Parkway and Desco Lane.

Police said at about 8:35 pm Michael Steven Holmes, 40, of Grand Prairie was riding a 2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound on Carrier. He lost control of the motorcycle, colliding with a 2008 Honda turning onto Desco from Carrier.

Continue reading "40-year-old man killed in motorcycle crash on Carrier Parkway" »

Arts Council's Annual Summer Musical and 35th Anniversary Celebration

Press Release - Grand Prairie Arts Council

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Hello, Dolly’s opening on Broadway at the St. James Theatre, and the Grand Prairie Arts Council proudly honors this landmark musical by making part of our 35th Anniversary Season, as our 2014 Summer Musical.

Continue reading "Arts Council's Annual Summer Musical and 35th Anniversary Celebration" »

May 18, 2014

Run for the Wall riders stop at Dubiski High

Junior ROTC Cadets salute a veteran that took part in the Run for the Wall motorcycle ride that stopped at Dubiski Career High Saturday. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Hundreds of motorcycle riders with the Run for the Wall, rumbled into Grand Prairie Saturday for a stop along their way to Washington DC. The ride began Wednesday in Rancho Cucamonga, California and concludes on May 23 in Washington DC. There, the riders will take part in Memorial Day services and visit the Vietnam Wall.

The annual motorcycle ride's mission is to promote healing among all veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action, to honor the memory of those Killed in Action from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.

Continue reading "Run for the Wall riders stop at Dubiski High" »

May 16, 2014

Volunteers build learning garden at Lee Elementary

Volunteers work to construct an outside learning garden at Lee Elementary ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

About fifty employees of Sabre, a global technology company, along with teachers, students and volunteers from the community, partnered with REAL School Gardens Friday to construct a learning garden at Lee Elementary School.

Continue reading "Volunteers build learning garden at Lee Elementary" »

Police Memorial Service to honor fallen officer

©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

On Thursday, the Grand Prairie Police Department held its annual Police Memorial Service on the steps of the Public Safety Building to honor those officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Grand Prairie has lost two officers, Lyndon F. King was killed by a drunk driver in 1982 and Sergeant Gregory L. Hunter gunned down in 2004.

Continue reading "Police Memorial Service to honor fallen officer" »

May 14, 2014

Dallas County Health and Human Services to test students at South Grand Prairie High School for tuberculosis

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) will begin contacting students who may have been exposed to tuberculosis after a questionable tuberculosis (TB) screening of a student at South Grand Prairie High School.

After contacted by DCHHS, Grand Prairie ISD sent a letter to parents saying that although it is not a confirmed case of TB, the student is being kept home as a precaution. The school district is currently working with DCHHS to ensure necessary measures and precautions are taken.

Continue reading "Dallas County Health and Human Services to test students at South Grand Prairie High School for tuberculosis" »

May 13, 2014

South Grand Prairie High School Ballet Folklorico performs at the Walt Disney World Resort

Photo by The Walt Disney Company

Press Release: The Walt Disney Company

The South Grand Prairie High School Ballet Folklorico members became stars of their own Disney show on May 11, 2014 when they entertained guests at Waterside Stage in Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort. They traveled over 1,100 miles from Grand Prairie, Texas to take part in the Disney Performing Arts Program.

Continue reading "South Grand Prairie High School Ballet Folklorico performs at the Walt Disney World Resort" »

May 12, 2014

Stormy Monday possible

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said it could be a stormy Monday as a strong cold front moves through the area.

A solid line of thunderstorms is expected to develop and intensify along the cold front by this afternoon. This activity will gradually move southeast through the area this evening.

Continue reading "Stormy Monday possible" »

Blues at the Uptown hosted by radio station KNON

Eric Knudson performs at the Blues at the Uptown hosted by radio station KNON. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Radio station KNON and Number Juan Tequila brought Blues at the Uptown Theater Saturday night. The free concert featured Carolyn Wonderland, Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King, and EKG.

Prior to the concert, fajitas from Los Lupes were sold in the lobby to raise money for the not for profit radio station.

May 11, 2014

Soroptimist International honors Girl of the Year winners

©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014
On Saturday, the Soroptimist International of Grand Prairie awarded Alexa Watson - Dubiski Career High School, Rebecca Bullard - South Grand Prairie High School and Cindy Albarez - Grand Prairie High School each a $1,000 scholarship for being selected Girl of the Year in the Grand Prairie ISD.

Continue reading "Soroptimist International honors Girl of the Year winners" »

DeSoto man drowns at Joe Pool Lake

The Grand Prairie Public Safety Dive Team recovered the body of David Orozco, 44, of DeSoto after witnesses reported seeing him slip under the water around 8 pm Saturday night at the swim beach near Cedar Hill State Park.

Continue reading "DeSoto man drowns at Joe Pool Lake" »

May 10, 2014

Election results - sales tax for recreation center and water park wins

Unofficial results of the May 10 Election.

Proposition 1 - Sales tax for recreation center and water park

For - 3.465
Against - 1,190

Continue reading "Election results - sales tax for recreation center and water park wins" »

Cooler with a good chance of rain next week

An unusually strong cold front and a slow moving upper level storm system will affect Grand Prairie early next week.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said the system will bring another very good chance of widespread beneficial rainfall along with much cooler temperatures.

The best chances of rain and thunderstorms will occur when the front moves through the area on Monday and Monday night. The rain chances will continue into Tuesday with much cooler temperatures in the 50s and 60s.

Continue reading "Cooler with a good chance of rain next week" »

May 08, 2014

Dedication Ceremony for Lorenzo de Zavala Environmental Science Academy

Nancy McGee, Grand Prairie ISD's English Language Arts Facilitator, world recognized explorer and underwater filmmaker, speaks at Thursday's Lorenzo de Zavala Environmental Science Academy dedication. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Grand Prairie ISD held a dedication ceremony Thursday for the Lorenzo de Zavala Environmental Science Academy that opened this school year.

The building that is environmentally focused features:

Continue reading "Dedication Ceremony for Lorenzo de Zavala Environmental Science Academy" »

Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon cutting for new neighborhood market

Margaret Diggs, owner of Lakeridge Neighborhood Market, cuts the ribbon at a ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Lakeridge Neighborhood Market, 5145 Lakeridge Parkway.

Owner Margaret Diggs said the market stocks items to meet the diversity of the neighborhood. The store carries specialty items for a wide range of ethnic food from African to Asian.

Continue reading "Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon cutting for new neighborhood market" »

May 07, 2014

Police nab burglary suspect after lengthy manhunt

Detectives search the vehicle of a suspected burglar that fled from police. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

It was an alert police officer that noticed a broken window to house in the 800 block of Robinson Court that led to the capture of burglary suspect Wednesday afternoon ending a nearly two hour manhunt after the suspect fled from police.

The incident began around 12:20 pm when a officer tried to stop a black Chevrolet Impala for a minor traffic violation. The vehicle fled with the officer in pursuit.

Continue reading "Police nab burglary suspect after lengthy manhunt" »

Dubiski Senior awarded National Merit Scholarship

Press Release - NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP CORPORATION

Today, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced that Paul H. Nguyen, a Senior at John A. Dubiski Career High School, as a winner of one of this year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarships.

The $2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Continue reading "Dubiski Senior awarded National Merit Scholarship" »

Schools Receive $520,000 from Texas Trust just by using a debit card

Press Release - Texas Trust Credit Union

Texas Trust Credit Union's Spirit Debit Reward program has generated more than a half million dollars for local schools.

From August 2011 through the end of March 2014, schools in the Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Athens school districts received $520,213 from Texas Trust. Since the beginning of this year, Texas Trust has donated more than $25,000 a month to participating schools.

Each school has a custom-designed debit card. Schools receive 15 cents each time their school Spirit Debit Reward card is used to make a purchase. Within the five school districts, there are14 high schools, two administration offices, and one education foundation participating in the program.

Continue reading "Schools Receive $520,000 from Texas Trust just by using a debit card" »

May 05, 2014

Three in custody after theft, pursuit

Three suspects are in custody after leading police on a pursuit following a theft at the Home Depot, 3850 South Carrier Parkway, Monday afternoon .

Police were called to the store around 3:50 pm concerning four suspicious persons believed stealing power tools.

When police arrived, the suspects fled from the parking lot in a pickup truck.

Continue reading "Three in custody after theft, pursuit" »

May 04, 2014

Chance of heavy rain and storms later this week

A large upper level system will move from the Rockies to over the Plains by the end of the week that will bring a chance of severe weather to parts of north and central Texas Thursday and Friday.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said computer models differ on the timing and strength of the system, but overall there is the potential for severe storms with locally heavy rainfall due to abundant Gulf moisture. Rainfall amounts could range from between one half to 2 inches, with locally higher amounts possible.

Continue reading "Chance of heavy rain and storms later this week" »

May 03, 2014

Four Performances of Disney's "Little Mermaid" at Uptown on Sunday

©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

The Dallas Summer Musical (DSM) Academy of Performing Arts is presenting four performances of Disney's Little Mermaid Sunday at the Uptown Theater.

There is no cost for admission. Performance times are: 11 am, 12:30 pm, 2 pm and 3:30 pm.

Continue reading "Four Performances of Disney's "Little Mermaid" at Uptown on Sunday" »

27th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration

© Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

The Cinco de Mayo committee in conjunction with the Grand Prairie ISD, City of Grand Prairie, and other community businesses and organizations put together the city's 27th Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration that was held Satuday in the downtown area.

A parade that lasted nearly two hours, kicked off the all day celebration that featured free entertainment, arts and crafts, Tex-Mex festival foods, bounce houses and much more.

Continue reading "27th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration" »

May 01, 2014

There Will Be No Sad Songs at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater

Kevin Kratzke as Hank Williams in Texas Family Musicals' "There'll be no Sad Songs". © 2012- Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Press Release - Texas Family Musicals

The 314 people who crowded into the popular Austin Skyline Club on December 16, 1952 were totally unaware that they were watching the last concert of the legendary country music icon, Hank Williams.

This historical concert comes back to life at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater in There Will Be No Sad Songs Friday, May 23, produced by the Texas Family Musicals starring popular singer/actor Kevin Kratzke. Although he is best known for his expert portrayal of Buddy Holly in the long running production of The Night the Music Died, he thrilled the audience as he played Hank Williams in theaters around the country in 2011. The show will play just one weekend Friday and Saturday at the beautiful Uptown Theater. There are 7:30 p.m. evening performances on Friday and Saturday with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Saturday.

Continue reading "There Will Be No Sad Songs at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater" »

Four Scouts in Troop 498 achieve Eagle award

(L-R), Aaron Vu, Charlie White, Timmy Stuard, and Houston Miller received Eagle Scout awards.

By Judy White

Grand Prairie Boy Scout Troop 498, chartered by The Woods United Methodist Church, is pleased to announce that four of its members have achieved the Eagle Award, the highest honor that can be achieved by a Boy Scout. The four were recognized in a formal Eagle Court of Honor on Monday, April 28, followed by a reception including a video of their Scouting experiences and displays of their achievements. All four boys received final approval for the honor in December, and are members of the H. Ross Perot, Jr. Eagle Class of 2013. All are also members of the Order of the Arrow Brotherhood, Scouting’s National Honor Society.

Continue reading "Four Scouts in Troop 498 achieve Eagle award" »

Prayer at the Bell held at City Hall Plaza

Pastor Joseph Trinh prays during the National Day of Prayer held at the City Hall Plaza. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

For the first time, the city's Prayer at the Bell in honor of National Day of Prayer was held without the leadership of Ruthe Jackson. Instead, Council Member Jorja Jackson Clemson took over the prayer vigil for her prayer warrior mother who died last year.

Continue reading "Prayer at the Bell held at City Hall Plaza" »

Police investigate attempted abduction of a student near Bardin and Robinson Road

Wednesday morning around 8 am, a 13 year-old student at Florence Hill Elementary school was approached near the intersection of Bardin and South Robinson Road by a white male driving a black, four-door Dodge pickup.

The male told the student to get inside of the truck. The student acted properly and fled from the man.

Continue reading "Police investigate attempted abduction of a student near Bardin and Robinson Road" »

April 30, 2014

First Baptist Church to hold moving sale

First Baptist Church will host a moving sale in the Children’s Building, 301 E Church Street, on Thursday, May 1-Saturday, May 3.

The hours on Thursday and Friday are 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Items for sale include children’s toys, books, teaching materials, furniture and many other items. All items are priced to sell. All sales are cash and carry. All sales are final.

For more information, please call 972-262-5146.

Arson investigators search for suspects in string of fires set Wednesday morning

Arson investigators are questioning a 19 year-old in connection with a string of nine fires set between 2 and 3 am Wednesday morning in the area of NE 15th and the 900 block of East Main Street.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy said a witness reported seeing a suspicious person in the area of Travis Elementary School, 525 NE 15th, at about the time of the school's dumpster fire.

Continue reading "Arson investigators search for suspects in string of fires set Wednesday morning" »

April 29, 2014

Dallas Children Charities becomes sponsor of Grand Prairie Youth Boxing Program

Police Chief Steve Dye receives a check from Richard Whitman with Dallas Children Charities to help sponsor the Grand Prairie Youth Boxing Program. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Dallas Children Charities delivered a check to Police Chief Steve Dye on Tuesday to help sponsor the Grand Prairie Youth Boxing Program. To date, Dallas Children Charities has contributed $5,000 to sponsor the boxing program in 2014.

Continue reading "Dallas Children Charities becomes sponsor of Grand Prairie Youth Boxing Program" »

Texas Trust's VP of Mortgage Lending named top performing mortgage professional


For the third consecutive year, Richard Whitman, Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Texas Trust Credit Union, has been named a Five Star Mortgage Professional.

Whitman scored in the top one percent for client satisfaction among 15,700 licensed mortgage loan originators in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. The Five Star Professional award recognizes mortgage professionals based on an independent consumer satisfaction survey. More than 28,500 homebuyers who purchased homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth market between March 2013 and September 2013 were surveyed.

The 2014 award winners were selected based on feedback from buyers of homes worth $150,000 or more. Buyers rated mortgage professionals on key criteria such as integrity, negotiation, and closing preparation, and on whether they would highly recommend the professional to a friend or family member. Award recipients were required to have an active Texas license and no record of disciplinary action.

Continue reading "Texas Trust's VP of Mortgage Lending named top performing mortgage professional" »

April 28, 2014

Community Dental Care opens clinic at E. Carlyle Smith, Jr. Health Center

Mayor Ron Jensen and County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Community Dental Care Center at the E. Carlyle Smith,Jr. Health Center. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Community Dental Care’s Grand Prairie Dental Center held its grand opening for the new state-of-the-art family dental center located at 801 Conover Drive inside the E. Carlyle Smith, Jr. Health Center, Parkland Health & Hospital System’s newest community-oriented primary care center.

Continue reading "Community Dental Care opens clinic at E. Carlyle Smith, Jr. Health Center" »

April 27, 2014

Early voting, April 28 - May 6

Early voting for the May 10 General Election begins April 28 through May 6.

Dates and times:

Monday, April 28, 2014 through Friday, May 02, 2014 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday, May 03, 2014 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, May 04, 2014 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Monday, May 05, 2014 and Tuesday, May 06, 2014 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Continue reading "Early voting, April 28 - May 6" »

Motorcycle officers show off riding skills at competition


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2014

More than a hundred motorcycle officers spent nearly a week in Grand Prairie honing their skills and competing against one another at the JWA Spring Classic Police Motorcycle Skills and Competition held at the Home Depot's parking lot, 5280 South Highway 360.

Continue reading "Motorcycle officers show off riding skills at competition" »

Thousands visit 3rd Annual Main Street Festival

Award winning Texas country musician Roger Creager closed out this year's Main Street Festival with a concert at the main stage. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

More than eleven thousand visitors came to the downtown area for the 3rd Annual Main Street Festival held April 25-26.

Hosted by the Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation Department and sponsored by Texas Trust Credit Union, the two day festival featured performances by Roger Creager and Grammy-Award-Winning Los TexManiacs featuring Rick Trevino, Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez.

Continue reading "Thousands visit 3rd Annual Main Street Festival" »

April 26, 2014

Driver arrested after fatal crash on I-30

A twenty-six year-old Fort Worth woman has been charged with Intoxication Manslaughter in connection with a crash on Interstate 30 Saturday morning that killed a motorcycle rider.

Police said Amber Searcy was driving a 2004 Ford Taurus westbound on I-30 at about 2 am when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the center barrier near Belt Line Road.

Searcy and two passengers exited the vehicle leaving the disabled vehicle parked in the inside lane of traffic without lights.

Continue reading "Driver arrested after fatal crash on I-30" »

April 25, 2014

One injured in explosion at home

Grand Prairie Police, Fire, Irving Police Bomb Squad and the ATF on the scene of an explosion in a home in the 2200 block of Harrier Street. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

A man is in serious condition after some type of explosive device was accidently detonated inside his home in the 2200 block of Harrier Street around 4:30 pm Friday.

The victim was transported by air ambulance to Parkland Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Continue reading "One injured in explosion at home" »

Police seek bank robbery suspect

On April 16th at around 1:15pm, the suspect entered the Viewpoint Bank at 215 N Carrier, robbing the bank at gunpoint.

The suspect fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of money and no vehicle was seen.

Continue reading "Police seek bank robbery suspect" »

Victims in Thursday's fatal accident identified

Police released the identity of the victims in Thursday's fatal accident in the 600 block of Wildlife Boulevard.

Killed in the accident was the passenger, Eduardo Morales, 20, of Irving. The driver, Danny Nicholson, 20, of Irving, was taken by helicopter ambulance to Methodist Dallas Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition.

Continue reading "Victims in Thursday's fatal accident identified" »

April 24, 2014

One killed, one seriously injured in one car crash on Wildlife Boulevard

CareFlite lifts off from Wildlife Boulevard with a patient from an auto crash. Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Update - April 30, 2014 @4:20 pm:On Tuesday, April 29th, Danny Nicholson, the driver, died from his injuries.

An accident that occurred at about 7:30 pm Thursday in the 600 block of Wildlife Boulevard, killed one person and seriously injured another.

The passenger in a sports car was killed when the car left the road and struck a tree. The driver was transported by CareFlite helicopter to Dallas Methodist Hospital with life threatening injuries.

Continue reading "One killed, one seriously injured in one car crash on Wildlife Boulevard" »

Chamber of Commerce welcomes new Sear Appliance Showroom

Juan Banos (center), Store Manager of the new Sears Appliance store cuts the ribbon at the ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday at the opening of the new Sears Home Appliance Showroom, 2305 West Interstate 20.

Store manager Juan Banos said the store carries a full line of home appliances from the top manufacturers and features the Sears Kenmore products. It also has a lowest price guarantee, with the store matching lower prices plus giving an additional 10 percent discount.

Continue reading "Chamber of Commerce welcomes new Sear Appliance Showroom" »

April 23, 2014

Texas Trust Credit Union earns Diamond Award for school district's Spirit Reward Card

Texas Trust Credit Union took home three Diamond awards for outstanding marketing and business development achievements at the annual Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Marketing & Business Development Council conference.

The credit union received awards for:

Continue reading "Texas Trust Credit Union earns Diamond Award for school district's Spirit Reward Card" »

April 22, 2014

County Commissioner Garcia honors Golden Gloves winners

Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia honors the Grand Prairie Youth Boxing Program for winning at the Golden Gloves Tournament. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia delivered a proclamation honoring the Grand Prairie Youth Boxing Program to Police Chief Steve Dye Tuesday at the organization's boxing gym

Dr. Garcia also honored six boxers who recently won at the Dallas Golden Gloves tournament. The winners include:

Continue reading "County Commissioner Garcia honors Golden Gloves winners" »

Twelve paramedics are now part of police SWAT team

A unique partnership between police and fire now make high risk/critical incidents involving the police SWAT team, a little safer.

Recently, 12 selected firefighter/paramedics and one assistant chief completed basic police SWAT training along with receiving advanced tactical medical training to become a part of the police department's elite SWAT team. The SWAT Paramedics are now assigned to one of the two SWAT teams to assist as on scene paramedics during high risk incidents.

Continue reading "Twelve paramedics are now part of police SWAT team" »

April 21, 2014

Historic promotion at Police Department

Police Chief Steve Dye congratulates Larry Simmons who was promoted to Deputy Chief at a promotion ceremony at the Public Safety Building. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

It was a historic moment for the Grand Prairie Police Department Monday afternoon with the promotion of Lieutenant Larry Simmons to Deputy Chief. Simmons became the first African-American to attain the chief rank in the department's 105 year history.

Others promoted at the ceremony are:

Continue reading "Historic promotion at Police Department" »

April 17, 2014

Chamber of Commerce and City host Dragon Boat Festival

On April 12 the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Grand Prairie held a Dragon Boat Festival at Loyd Park on Lake Joe Pool. Twenty-two teams participated in the one day event.

Winners include:

Continue reading "Chamber of Commerce and City host Dragon Boat Festival" »

Long lines mark opening of Dairy Queen

Raquel Esparza and her dauther Emma Esparza, 2, enjoy a drink with their meal at the opening of the new Dairy Queen. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Enthusiastic about the return of Dairy Queen to Grand Prairie, customers were standing in line outside the restaurant to place their orders at Thursday's grand opening. Located at 2640 West Interstate 20, the restaurant is one of only a few DQs in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

The one hundred promotional DQ Cakes that were on hand Thursday, sold out in less than forty minutes. Customers who bought one of the cakes received a “Grand Prairie DQ Premier Customer” membership card worth fifty-two free Steak Finger Country Baskets (one per week for an entire year).

Continue reading "Long lines mark opening of Dairy Queen" »

April 16, 2014

Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy presents first musical

Students at the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy perform "Dora's Pirate Adventure" at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Twenty-eight outstanding middle school students at the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy (GPFAA) performed its first musical Wednesday night to a packed crowd at the historic Uptown Theater.

The musical, Dora's Pirate Adventure, is about Dora the Explorer and her friends on an adventure to save their treasure chest from the Piggy Pirates.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy presents first musical" »

Funeral for former Police Chief Fred Conover

Members of the Grand Prairie Police Honor Guards salute former Police Chief Fred Conover at Wednesday's funeral service. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Hundreds attended Wednesday's funeral service for former Police Chief Fred Conover who died on April 10 at 83.

Conover who was a Grand Prairie High School graduate, joined the Grand Prairie Police Department in 1954. He worked his way through the ranks to become Chief of Police in 1961. He was promoted to Director of Public Safety over police, fire and civil defense in 1971.

Continue reading "Funeral for former Police Chief Fred Conover" »

April 15, 2014

Dairy Queen returns to Grand Prairie, Grand Opening on April 17

The opening on April 17 of Dairy Queen's (DQ) newest restaurant in the nation, marks the long awaited return of the popular restaurant to Grand Prairie. The doors open at 10 am with the first one hundred customers who buy a DQ Cake will receive a “Grand Prairie DQ Premier Customer” membership card that entitles them to fifty-two free Steak Finger Country Baskets (one per week for an entire year).

Located near the Premium Outlets Mall at 2640 W. Interstate 20, the Grand Prairie DQ is one of a few in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The 4,440 square foot DQ seats 102 guests inside and another 24 outside in the open-air patio.

Continue reading "Dairy Queen returns to Grand Prairie, Grand Opening on April 17" »

April 13, 2014

Lockheed Martin employees receive President’s Volunteer Service Awards

President Obama’s 2013 President’s Volunteer Service Awards (PVSA) will be presented to more than 2,900 outstanding Lockheed Martin employees including 235 from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, and from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training in Fort Worth.

The awards were given during National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014.

Continue reading "Lockheed Martin employees receive President’s Volunteer Service Awards" »

Grand Prairie sales tax election for mega recreation center and water park, public meeting on April 22

On May 10, Grand Prairie voters will be asked to vote for or against using a ¼ cent retiring sales tax to build and operate a mega recreation center and indoor/outdoor water park. In 2015, the city will pay off the debt to build QuikTrip Park and The Summit. This means that the 1/8 cent tax for each of these venues can go away or be continued for another project for voter approval.

There will be a public information meeting about the sales tax and the proposed recreation center on April 22 at 7 pm at The Summit's Wings Theater.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie sales tax election for mega recreation center and water park, public meeting on April 22" »

Run for Shelter 5K set for Apil 19

April 10, 2014

Horse racing opens at Lone Star Park

Horses exit the final turn to head for the finish line in the second race of opening night at Lone Star Park. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Spring Thoroughbred racing returned to Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie Thursday night. The season runs through July 12.

Opening weekend is packed with exciting Thoroughbred racing, great music and many more entertaining activities you won’t want to miss.

This weekend's entertainment include:

Continue reading "Horse racing opens at Lone Star Park" »

Police nab wanted felon after lengthy chase

Grand Prairie police arrested a wanted felon after a 20 minute, multi-city chase came to a fiery end in Euless.

The chase began around 10:55 am Thursday morning when officers attempted to stop a vehicle that a wanted felon was believed to be inside.

During the chase, the passenger jumped out of the car, fleeing on foot. He was immediately taken into custody and faces charges for evading on foot.

Continue reading "Police nab wanted felon after lengthy chase" »

Chamber of Commerce welcomes Chicken Express to city

Ryan Moore (center), owner of Chicken Express, cuts the ribbon at Thursday's ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday to welcome Chicken Express, 5165 Lake Ridge Parkway, to Grand Prairie.

For owners Ryan and Amy Moore, this their second Chicken Express restaurant. Their other location is in Cedar Hill.

Continue reading "Chamber of Commerce welcomes Chicken Express to city" »

April 09, 2014

Car crashes into house, elderly woman injured

Firefighters remove an elderly woman from a car that crashed into a house in the 900 block of SW 5th. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

An elderly woman was injured Wednesday night when the car she was driving crashed into a house in the 900 block of SW 5th around 9:00 pm.

The woman was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Continue reading "Car crashes into house, elderly woman injured" »

"Marty Party" at The Summit on May 10

"His Eye is On the Sparrow –The Ethel Waters Story" opens April 11 at the Uptown Theater

By Texas Family Musicals
File photo - Jen Percival as Ethel Waters in "His Eye is on the Sparrow" at the Uptown Theater on October 27, 2012. © 2012- Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Texas Family Musicals is bringing back one of its most popular shows to the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater, the Off Broadway bound musical Ethel Waters-His Eye is on the Sparrow. Performances will be on April 11 at 7:30 pm and April 12 at 2:30 and 7:30 pm.

This moving and emotional production stars New York actress, Jen Percival who is just recently starred in Big River at New York’s Westchester Broadway Theater.

Continue reading ""His Eye is On the Sparrow –The Ethel Waters Story" opens April 11 at the Uptown Theater" »

April 08, 2014

Boy Scouts to host car show in September

April 05, 2014

The Summit pickleball team bring home medals from Texas Senior Games

Tom Collins with The Summit pickleball team competes in the Men's Doubles event at the Texas Senior Games held in San Antonio. Submitted photo

Eleven members of The Summit pickleball team traveled to San Antonio to take part in the annual Texas Senior Games.

The three day pickleball tournament held April 1-3 attracted 200 players, 50 and older, from across Texas.

Continue reading "The Summit pickleball team bring home medals from Texas Senior Games" »

April 04, 2014

Arts Council kicks-off April Concerts in the Park

The Tejas Brothers kicked off the Grand Prairie Arts Council's April Concert in the Park series at The Summit Garden Plaza. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Friday night, The Tejas Brothers opened the Grand Prairie Arts Council's Concerts in the Park series at The Summit.

A large crowd gathered in the Garden Plaza to hear The Tejas Brothers play their unique blend of Texas music with a Latin flair.

Continue reading "Arts Council kicks-off April Concerts in the Park" »

April 03, 2014

Auntie Anne’s at Grand Prairie Premium Outlets wins “Pretzel Perfect Store Award”

Auntie Anne’s, Inc., the world’s largest franchisor of hand-rolled soft pretzels, recently honored franchise partner Texas Pretzels, Inc. and manager Jennifer Tucker of the Grand Prairie Premium Outlets location with its prestigious “Pretzel Perfect Store Award.”

One of the highest honors awarded in the Auntie Anne’s franchise system, the “Pretzel Perfect Store Award” recognizes top-performing stores who are committed to providing high-quality guest experiences. Boasting more than 1,080 stores domestically, only 28 Auntie Anne’s stores were presented with this esteemed award.

Continue reading "Auntie Anne’s at Grand Prairie Premium Outlets wins “Pretzel Perfect Store Award”" »

Senator Royce West speaks at Young Men's Leadership Academy

State Senator Royce West speaks to the students of the Young Men's Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Thursday morning, State Senator Royce West spoke to students at the Young Men's Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School about leadership, commitment, education and economic reality.

Calling the students "men of the future," Senator West told the young men, "Each and every one of you will be responsible for being a leader."

Continue reading "Senator Royce West speaks at Young Men's Leadership Academy" »

April 01, 2014

Man with a child in the car leads police on a low speed chase

Police stop a blue Ford Mustang at the Sunridge Apartments after the driver led officers on low speed chase with a child in the car. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Police took a man into custody at the Sunridge Apartments, 145 West Pioneer Parkway, just after 11 pm Monday night after leading officers on a 15 minute low speed pursuit with a child in his car.

The incident began on Grand Prairie Road when the suspect fled from a traffic stop. The child was strapped into a child's car seat in the rear passenger seat.

Continue reading "Man with a child in the car leads police on a low speed chase" »

March 31, 2014

Police seek identity of theft suspect

Grand Prairie police are asking the public for help identifying a suspect that stole over $300 worth of clothing on March 11 from the Saks 5th Avenue store at the Grand Prairie Premium Outlets mall.

The suspect was wearing a green Texas Rangers ball cap, blue t-shirt, blue shorts, and appeared to be wearing an ankle monitor on his left ankle.

Continue reading "Police seek identity of theft suspect" »

Officers bring home trophies from motorcycle competition

Officer Bo Stegall competes in the Coppell-Grapevine Police Motorcycle Skills Competition held March 22 and 23. Photo by Sergeant Eric Hansen

Motorcycle officers Bo Stegall and Tim Sliva brought home trophies from the Coppell-Grapevine Police Motorcycle Skills Competition held March 22 and 23 at Grapevine Mills Mall.

Continue reading "Officers bring home trophies from motorcycle competition" »

March 30, 2014

Motorcyclist is city's first traffic fatality for 2014

An Arlington man became the city's first traffic fatality for 2014 after the motorcycle he was driving collided with a car at the intersection of southbound SH 360 and New York Avenue Saturday afternoon.

Sergeant Eric Hansen, Traffic Section, said the accident occurred around 5:35 pm when Christian Brown, 23, driving a 2007 Yamaha motorcycle at high speed, failed to stop for a red light at the intersection. The motorcycle slammed into the driver's side of a 2007 Kia that had moved into the intersection on a green light.

Continue reading "Motorcyclist is city's first traffic fatality for 2014" »

One dead in fiery crash on I-30

A fiery crash Saturday night on Interstate 30 kills one unidentified person. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Update: 3/31/2014 - Police updated information on the accident. Victim is Darrell Juarez, 29, of Grand Prairie and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

One unidentified person is dead after a fiery crash Saturday night on eastbound Interstate 30, east of Belt Line Road.

Police spokesman Detective Lyle Gensler said the crash occurred around 9:15 pm.

Continue reading "One dead in fiery crash on I-30" »

March 29, 2014

Chamber of Commerce welcomes Main Street Workwear to Downtown

Alan Ladd, owner of Main Street Workwear, cuts the ribbon at Saturdays ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of Main Street Workwear in downtown Grand Prairie.

The store features a full line of Dickies work clothes items from hospital scrubs to attractive work slacks.

Continue reading "Chamber of Commerce welcomes Main Street Workwear to Downtown" »

Grand Prairie Farmers Market opens season

Fire Chief Robert Fite extends his arm to beat Police Chief Steve Dye in the Chase the Chief 1K fun run at Saturday's opening of the Grand Prairie Farmers Market. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Hundreds packed Market Square Saturday morning for the opening of the Grand Prairie Farmers Market.

With thirty vendors on hand, visitors shopped for a range of items from fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh bread and sweets, meats, coffee, a variety of arts and crafts items and much more.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Farmers Market opens season" »

SUV leaves Interstate 20, crashes into vacant building

Grand Prairie firefighters remove debris from around a SUV that crashed into a vacant building in the 3900 block of Westcliff Road. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

The driver of a SUV westbound on I-20 Saturday morning at about 7:30 am, lost control of his vehicle and veered off the freeway between South Belt Line Road and the Dechman Bridge.

The SUV traveled several yards through a field before it crashed into a vacant building in the 3900 block of Westcliff Road, burying the vehicle completely inside the structure.

Continue reading "SUV leaves Interstate 20, crashes into vacant building" »

March 26, 2014

Advantage Academy earns four star rating from the Texas Comptroller’s Office

Advantage Academy, a North Texas public charter school with over 1,600 students, announced today that it has earned a four star rating from the Texas Comptroller Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST) for three years in a row.

"Advantage Academy has made great strides and a conscious effort towards excellence both financially and academically,” said Angela McDonald, Advantage Academy Superintendent. “I am proud of our FAST rating and am confident that we will continue to see continual improvement in both areas."

Continue reading "Advantage Academy earns four star rating from the Texas Comptroller’s Office" »

March 25, 2014

YMCA H. Wayne Hanks Christian Leadership Breakfast on April 10

Open auditions for the Grand Prairie Arts Council's Summer Musical "Hello, Dolly!"

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Hello, Dolly’s opening on Broadway at the St. James Theatre, and the Grand Prairie Arts Council proudly honors this landmark musical by making part of our 35th Anniversary Season, as our 2014 Summer Musical.

"And what do you do for a living, Mrs. Levi?" asks Ambrose Kemper in the first scene of this most delightful of musical comedies. "Some people paint, some sew...I meddle," replies Dolly ... and we are off on a whirlwind race around New York at the turn of the twentieth century, as we follow the adventures of America's most beloved matchmaker! Hello, Dolly! is full of memorable songs including Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Ribbons Down My Back, Before the Parade Passes By, Elegance, Hello, Dolly!, It Only Takes a Moment and So Long, Dearie.

Continue reading "Open auditions for the Grand Prairie Arts Council's Summer Musical "Hello, Dolly!"" »

March 24, 2014

Mayor test drives rebuilt police motorcycle city donated to Dubiski Career High School

Mayor Ron Jensen congratulates Dubiski Career High School Automotive teacher Michael Weston for the outstanding work students did rebuilding a used police motorcycle the city donatated to the school in November. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Mayor Ron Jensen got to experience the craftsmanship of Dubiski Career High School Automotive Technology students firsthand Monday when he took the former police motorcycle for a test drive the students rebuilt.

The bike was donated to the school by the city after it was taken out of police service with more than 80,000 miles on it.

Continue reading "Mayor test drives rebuilt police motorcycle city donated to Dubiski Career High School" »

March 21, 2014

Chance of rain over the weekend

A cold front will push through Friday night bringing a chance of showers and thunderstorms to Grand Prairie. Some of the thunderstorms could strong, producing gusty winds, downpours and small hail. But, severe weather is not expected.

Continue reading "Chance of rain over the weekend" »

March 20, 2014

Mayor Jensen delivers his first State of City address

Mayor Ron Jensen gives his first State of the City address to a large crowd of listners at the Ruthe Jackson Center. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2014

Hundreds of listeners packed the Ruthe Jackson Center Thursday night to hear Mayor Ron Jensen's first State of the City address.

Hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Grand Prairie, Mayor Jensen gave an overview of the city's 2013 accomplishments and a list of goals for 2014.

The mayor's top goals for 2014 include:

Continue reading "Mayor Jensen delivers his first State of City address" »

Free lacrosse clinic for fifth and sixth graders

Grand Prairie United Charities golf tournament set for April 30

March 19, 2014

Martial arts champion delivers anti-bullying message to youth boxers

Fire Chief Robert Fite speaks at the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Daniel Puder, champion mixed martial arts fighter, author and founder of My Life My Power, a non-profit anti-bullying organization, delivered a motivational message Wednesday evening to the boxers in the Grand Prairie Police Youth Boxing program.

Bullied in his youth because of a learning challenge, Puder credits his involvement in sports for developing him into the person he is today.

Continue reading "Martial arts champion delivers anti-bullying message to youth boxers" »

Fire Chief featured speaker at Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Fire Chief Robert Fite speaks at the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Fire Chief Robert Fite was the featured speaker at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon at the Ruthe Jackson Center.

Chief Fite, who came to the department in 2012 after almost four years as chief of the Georgetown, Texas fire department, spoke to the large crowd about how the chief role of the department has changed from fire protection to emergency medical provider.

Continue reading "Fire Chief featured speaker at Chamber of Commerce luncheon" »

March 18, 2014

Grand Prairie Airport event features free airplane rides for youth

File photo ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013
A Young Eagles Rally, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), will take place Saturday, March 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Aviator Air at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, 3122 S. Great Southwest Parkway. In honor of the event, Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen has proclaimed March 22, 2014 Young Eagles Day.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Airport event features free airplane rides for youth" »

Police seek the public's help identifying robbery suspect


Grand Prairie police are seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect that robbed the Valero at 701 North Belt Line Road on February 22.

Suspect's description:

5'9"
130 pounds
Short hair
Blue eyes
The suspect also has a distinct tattoo of the number “7” between his eyebrows, dots or teardrops below his eye and stars on his neck.

Continue reading "Police seek the public's help identifying robbery suspect" »

5k and ‘Chase the Chiefs’ 1-mile fun run during Farmers Market opening day festivities March 29

The Get Fit GP wellness initiative presents a spring kickoff event featuring the first ever Get Fit GP 5K Run/Walk and “Chase the Chiefs” 1-Mile Fun Run on Saturday, March 29 – opening day at Grand Prairie Farmers Market.

During the 1-mile fun run at 8:15 a.m., participants of all ages can chase Police Chief Steve Dye and Fire Chief Robert Fite as a warm-up for the 5K starting at 8:30 a.m. at Grand Prairie Farmers Market, 120 W. Main St.

Continue reading "5k and ‘Chase the Chiefs’ 1-mile fun run during Farmers Market opening day festivities March 29" »

Grand Prairie Libraries’ Tech Café serves up coffee and answers

Wednesday, April 2, from 10 a.m. – noon, get your questions about your eReaders, iGadgets and your electronic whatchamacallits answered at a Grand Prairie library during Tech Café, complete with coffee and cookies.

The libraries offer Tech Café once a month to help customers access digital content such as ebooks, emagazines, and eaudiobooks. Tech Café sessions will run through June 2014. Bring your own wireless device (ereader, tablet, laptop or phone) to your nearest Grand Prairie library and learn how to access our newest apps and electronic services.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Libraries’ Tech Café serves up coffee and answers" »

Hiring Our Heroes, job fair for veterans on March 20

On March 20, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, is hosting Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans.

The job fair, for veteran job seekers, active duty military members, Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses, will be held at the Grand Prairie Reserve Complex, 379 Armed Forces Drive, Building 8300.

Continue reading "Hiring Our Heroes, job fair for veterans on March 20" »

March 17, 2014

Lone Star Park to hold additional job fairs for 2014 Spring Thoroughbred Meet

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie is hosting two additional Job Fairs on Tuesday, March 18 from 10 am - 2 pm and Thursday, March 20 from 4 - 8 pm for seasonal, part-time and full-time positions.

Lone Star Park will accept applications and conduct interviews for employment during the 2014 Spring Thoroughbred season, which begins Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, July 12.

Continue reading "Lone Star Park to hold additional job fairs for 2014 Spring Thoroughbred Meet" »

North Texas Congressional Delegation to host U.S. Service Academies Forum

Congressman Marc Veasey, TX-33, is co-hosting the North Texas U.S. Service Academy Forum on Saturday, April 5 from 8 am-noon at Mountain View Community College, 4849 W. Illinois Avenue, Dallas.

The informational forum is for middle and high school students from across North Texas who are interested in attending a U.S. Service Academy.

Continue reading "North Texas Congressional Delegation to host U.S. Service Academies Forum" »

March 15, 2014

Weather Service prepares volunteer weather spotters for tornado season

With tornado season rapidly approaching, about 80 persons interested in identifying and spotting tornadoes, took part in the National Weather Service's storm spotter training course held Saturday at the Charles V. England Public Safety Training Complex.

Hosted by the cities of Grand Prairie and Irving, the training prepared volunteer amateur radio operators and interested residents to accurately report weather conditions to the Weather Service.

Continue reading "Weather Service prepares volunteer weather spotters for tornado season" »

March 14, 2014

Strong storms possible on Saturday

A spring-like storm system will bring a round of rain and thunderstorms to Grand Prairie on Saturday. The storms will occur mainly during the afternoon and evening hours, some will be strong to severe.

The main severe threats are large hail and damaging winds, but there is some potential for an isolated tornado.

Continue reading "Strong storms possible on Saturday" »

March 12, 2014

Free concert features US Navy band

March 11, 2014

Grand Prairie Arts Council presents April Concerts in the Park

Celebrating a month of great entertainment! April Concerts in the Park in Grand Prairie's Central Park in The Summit Garden - overlooking the lake! Enjoy a fabulous line-up of entertainment! Bring the whole family and your lawn chairs or a blanket. Food and beverage concessions available, no outside food or drink allowed in the park.

FREE Concerts RAIN OR SHINE! Fridays in April - 7:00 pm. The Summit Garden - 2975 Esplanade, Grand Prairie, 75052. Rain venue: The Summit Ballroom.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Arts Council presents April Concerts in the Park" »

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.

Continue reading "Traders Village to open two new restaurants, Fleafall ride, Grand Opening March 22" »

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.

Continue reading "LifeLine Shelter holds ninth annual gospel concert" »

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.

Continue reading "Boat crews brave Saturday's chill to practice for Dragon Boat Festival" »

March 07, 2014

Police search for missing man

Update 10:50 pm - Missing person has been found and is safe.

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.

Description:

Hispanic Male
54 years old
5'04"
140-150 pounds
Missing several teeth
Anyone seeing Rodriguez is asked to call 911.

Grand Prairie Genealogical Society to host annual research lock-in

As a service to anyone interested in family research, the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society is hosting its annual library lock-in, March 21 from 6-10 pm at the Grand Prairie Main Library, 901 Conover.

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.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Genealogical Society to host annual research lock-in" »

Spring Break impaired driving enforcement underway

In 2013, Spring Break DUI-alcohol related fatalities in Texas were up over 23 percent compared to Texas Spring Break 2012. So with the 2014 Spring Break on the horizon, it’s more important than ever for motorists to be aware of roadway safety. That’s why the Grand Prairie Police Department is joining forces with other law enforcement agencies across Texas and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to eliminate drunk driving. The associated media campaign will kick off this week and run through the end of March. Extra officers will be out in force throughout the City of Grand Prairie from March 7, 2014 to March 23, 2014.

Continue reading "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.

Continue reading "School district dedicates Ellen Ochoa STEM Academy at Milam Elementary" »

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


A Dallas man is in the Grand Prairie jail facing felony charges after fleeing from police Wednesday morning with his 3 year-old daughter in the 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.

Continue reading "Man flees from police, daughter in car" »

Primary election results

Unofficial results of the Democratic and Republican parties Primary Election:

Dallas County

Democratic
Republican
Tarrant Count
Democratic
Repbulican

March 04, 2014

Mobile office of Representative Marc Veasey to visit Main Library

Staff from the office of Representative Marc Veasey will be at the Main Library, 901 Conover Drive, on March 6 and April 10 to provide advice and assistance with federal agencies and issues including:

Continue reading "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.

Continue reading "Police seek public's help identifying robbery suspect" »

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.

Continue reading "Fire destroys a strip center on East Main" »

March 02, 2014

School canceled Monday

Due to inclement weather, the Grand Prairie ISD will be closed on Monday, March 3.

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.

Continue reading "Firefighters brave bitter cold temperature battling a house fire" »

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.

Continue reading "Winter precipitation impacts for Sunday" »

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.

Continue reading "Local church's outreach program offers high quality musical education at low cost" »

Weather Service issues Winter Weather Advisory for Sunday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for freezing rain effective from 6 am - 9 pm Sunday.

Continue reading "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.

Continue reading "Arctic blast arrives on Sunday, chance of freezing rain" »

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.

Continue reading "Police Chief goes on patrol, makes six arrest, seizes narcotics" »

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.

Continue reading "Lone Star Park to host job fair for 2014 Spring Thoroughbred Season" »

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.

Continue reading "Grand opening of Animal Clinic of Grand Prairie's new clinic" »

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.

Continue reading "Police seek help identifying robbery suspect" »

Obituary - Timothy Gene Patterson

Timothy Gene Patterson, 57, was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.

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.

Continue reading "Obituary - Timothy Gene Patterson" »

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.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie ISD hosts Special Olympics basketball tournament" »

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
More than twenty-five nonprofit organizations setup booths and put on presentations to show their missions, at Saturday's inaugural Non Profit Expo held at The Summit.

Continue reading "The Summit hosts "Non Profit Expo"" »

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.

Continue reading "Fire damages apartments on Westchester" »

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.

Continue reading "Two students, school bus driver injured in accident on SH 161" »

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
The Grand Prairie Arts Council's production of Dreamgirls opens Friday at the historic Uptown Theater, 120 East Main.

Performances are set for:

Continue reading "Art Council's production of "Dreamgirls" opens February 21" »

NTTA approves project to extend SH 360 south from Camp Wisdom

The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) Board of Directors today approved the project that extends 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.

Continue reading "NTTA approves project to extend SH 360 south from Camp Wisdom" »

Grand Prairie Police top 10 most wanted

February 18, 2014

Soroptimists to host Women Influencing History annual awards dinner and auction

On March 20, Soroptimists International of Grand Prairie will host " One Enchanted Evening" the Women Influencing History annual awards dinner and auction.

Early voting open through February 28

Early voting by personal appearance for the March 4, 2014 Democratic and Republican Party Primary Elections began Tuesday.

Days and hours of voting:

Continue reading "Early voting open through February 28" »

The Summit to host "Non Profit Expo" on February 22

The City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation Department is partnering with Grand Prairie Rotary Clubs to host the Non Profit Expo on Saturday, February 22, from 9 am to noon, at The Summit, 2975 Esplanade.

This free event showcases over 30 local nonprofit organizations and the services they provide to benefit Grand Prairie.

Continue reading "The Summit to host "Non Profit Expo" on February 22" »

February 17, 2014

Carbon monoxide blamed for death of Dallas man

Fire officials blame carbon monoxide from a generator for the death of a 58 year-old Dallas man remodeling a home.

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.

Continue reading "Carbon monoxide blamed for death of Dallas man" »

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.

Continue reading "Local author releases book on Texas and Grand Prairie politics" »

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.

Continue reading "Betty Warmack Branch Library hosts African American Heritage Celebration" »

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.

Continue reading "Fire damages Armstead Avenue home" »

February 13, 2014

Obituary - Wade Hampton Burgess, Jr


Wade Hampton Burgess, Jr. was born on November 19, 1928 in Bay City, Texas. He went to be with the Lord on February 10, 2014. Visitation will be Friday February 14th at 1:00 pm at Chambers Funeral Home in Cisco and the funeral service at 2:00 pm in the funeral home chapel. Burial will follow at the Oakwood Cemetery in Cisco.

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.

Continue reading "Obituary - Wade Hampton Burgess, Jr" »

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.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Unity Coalition holds annual banquet" »

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.

Continue reading "West ISD sixth graders take part in Dubiski's 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.

Continue reading "Dubiski students featured speakers at Chamber of Commerce 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.

Continue reading "Woman in serious condition after two alarm fire on Hollow Oak Drive" »

February 11, 2014

2014 Lone Star Music Series headliners include fan favorites and new faces

Each year, the Lone Star Music Series at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie draws some of the top bands from around the country and this year’s line-up will offer chart-topping fan favorites and new faces. The popular Lone Star Music Series drew over 115,000 fans in 2013 in a combined 9-concert series.

Continue reading "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.

Continue reading "More wintry weather expected Tuesday" »

February 10, 2014

Winter Weather Advisory in effect through 6 pm Tuesday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Winter Weather Advisory until 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.

Continue reading "Winter Weather Advisory in effect through 6 pm Tuesday" »

Freezing Rain Advisory in effect from midnight Tuesday morning to 6 pm

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for Grand Prairie effective from midnight Tuesday morning to 6 pm Tuesday.

Continue reading "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.

Continue reading "Wintry precipitation expected Monday night through Tuesday" »

February 05, 2014

Lone Star Park to hold National Anthem auditions on February 18

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie is hosting its 18th annual National Anthem auditions on Tuesday, February 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 pm, weather permitting.

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.

Continue reading "Lone Star Park to hold National Anthem auditions on February 18" »

Middle school teacher resigns, accused of shouting at student

On Monday, the Grand Prairie ISD received a complaint from a parent alleging a math teacher, Dedi Townsend, at Truman Middle School berated a student in class.

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."

Continue reading "Middle school teacher resigns, accused of shouting at student" »

Police Chief briefs City Council on 2013 crime statistics

At Tuesday's City Council Briefing session, Police Chief Steve Dye gave the mayor and council members an update of the Police Department's performance in 2013. Chief Dye said he would give a more in depth update this summer after the FBI crime rate figures are released.

The presentation given by Assistant Police Chief Don Trask highlighted last year's key performance indicators:

Continue reading "Police Chief briefs City Council on 2013 crime statistics" »

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.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie Arts Council spring theatre production "Dreamgirls" opens February 21" »

February 02, 2014

Grand Prairie United Charities Valentine Luncheon postponed

The Grand Prairie United Charities Valentine Luncheon 2014 (February 5) has been postponed until Wednesday, February 19.

Ralph Giessner, a longtime community leader, passed away and his funeral is on Wednesday, February 5.

Continue reading "Grand Prairie United Charities Valentine Luncheon postponed" »

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.

Continue reading "The Bilge Pumps filled the Uptown with sounds of Celtic music" »

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.

Continue reading "Wintry precipitation expected on Sunday" »

January 31, 2014

School district to conduct public hearing on TAPR report

The Grand Prairie Independent School District Board of Trustees will conduct a public hearing to discuss the 2012-2013 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) as part of its regular meeting on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

Continue reading "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.

Continue reading "Assistant Police Chief Shaw retires after thirty-five years with Grand Prairie PD" »

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.


Andrew Solis

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

The Grand Prairie Arts Council (GPAC), celebrating 35 years in the arts, announced its 2014 Theatre Season. All presented at GPAC’s performance venue, the Uptown Theater in downtown Grand Prairie.
DreamGirls, Feb. 21-23 & Feb. 28-March 2
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.

Season 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.

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.
"Our goal is to ensure that the area competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital, and talent so that it remains a premier place for all people to live, work, play and raise a family," said Lynn McGinley, Chamber of Commerce President. "We need all businesses in our area to participate in order to be successful."

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 sally@grandprairiechamber.org 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

The city of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation Department will host free Spring Gardening Classes at the Grand Prairie Memorial Library, 901 Conover, every Thursday, 6:30-8 pm, beginning February 13 to March 17, excluding March 6.

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.
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.
For more information call 972-237-8102.

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.


Julian Ripple

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

Police negotiators managed to get a barricaded man that had threatened suicide to surrender Monday morning. Police had to use Texas Relay, a service that provides telephone access for people with speech or hearing loss, to communicate with the deaf 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 Foundation for the Education of Young Women’s (FEYW) board of directors, in partnership with the Grand Prairie ISD Board of Trustees, has announced that the Foundation’s network is expanding to welcome a seventh school, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) at Bill Arnold Middle School.

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.

Additionally, FEYW provides seed funds to afford enhanced learning experiences for the students.

“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.”

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.
Learn more about the Foundation for the Education of Young Women: Visit http://www.feyw.org/ or call 214.824.1400. To learn more about Grand Prairie ISD, visit www.gpisd.org.

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.

Performances:

Friday, January 17, 7 pm
Saturday, January 18, 2 pm
Saturday, January 18, 7 pm
Reservations 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.

Unity art contest open to students

Students throughout Grand Prairie are invited to submit a piece of original artwork representing the theme “What Does Unity Look Like?”

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 Grand Prairie Police Department conducted an intensive DWI Mobilization during the Christmas and New Year’s Holiday Season. Through funding from the Texas Department of Transportation Officers increased DWI patrols in order to reduce alcohol related crashes.

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

On Saturday, the Grand Prairie Independent School District will host the 3rd annual GPISD Experience. Last year’s event attracted approximately 5,000 people from across the Metroplex who were interested in finding out more about the District’s schools and programs of choice. Parents are encouraged to join us for a fun day experiencing all that a GPISD education has to offer. From student performances, demonstrations, and interactive events your family can spend a day focused on education at this FREE event.

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 Dorr Foundation has awarded a grant to Yolanda Hover, 7th grade science teacher at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School, and Laura Preston, a teacher at Salem High School in Salem, New Hampshire.

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 city of Grand Prairie and community partners introduce “Get Fit Grand Prairie,” a new citywide wellness initiative connecting residents to local resources for improving health through physical fitness and healthy food options, especially for kids.

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

Christmas tree recycling begins December 26, 2013, to January 10, 2014 at the following locations:
  • Home Depot Parking Lot, 3850 Carrier Parkway
  • Home Depot Parking Lot, 5280 State Highway 360
  • Grand Prairie Landfill, 1102 MacArthur Blvd.
Please remove all ornaments, stands and plastic bags from the tree. Artificial trees or trees sprayed with artificial snow cannot be accepted for recycling. Acceptable trees will be recycled into mulch. Free mulch is available at the landfill to all Grand Prairie residents.

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.

December 13, 2013

Holiday tribute to Roy Rogers at the Uptown Theater on December 21

Submitted photo

The Texas Family Musicals will present a final Holiday tribute to the King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater on Saturday, December 21 at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

The Roy Rogers Jr. Show, starring Roy Rogers Jr. and son, Dustin Rogers was one of the most popular shows in Branson, Missouri until the family recently made the decision to retire last month. Their last show at the famed RFD Theater was November 27, 2013. According to Roy Rogers Jr., they will still make some limited appearances around the country at select venues. One of their final shows will be at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater on December 21.

The Roy Rogers Christmas special will feature Roy Rogers Jr. (Dusty) and the Original High Rider Band performing classic cowboy holiday music reminiscent of the sounds of the Sons of the Pioneers, the group founded by his father. It will also star Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' grandson, Dustin, who has a remarkable sound and look reminiscent of his grandfather.

“We are pleased to bring this show to the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater this holiday season," said Mike Skiles, Executive Producer of the Texas Family Musicals. "Knowing this show will be one of the last performances of this legendary group will be a bittersweet experience. However, it is an honor to provide our older audiences with an experience to relive their childhood and the younger audiences the opportunity to see what the 'King of the Cowboys' was all about.”

The final season of “Roy Rogers Jr. and The High Riders” was announced earlier this year by Dustin Rogers who also serves as the general manager of the legendary show.

“It has been our extreme pleasure to carry on my father’s legacy and perform true cowboy music for all these years”, said Roy Rogers Jr. "Being able to perform next to my son and backed up by great musicians has been the highlight of my life. We look forward to seeing our friends and playing at the beautiful Grand Prairie Uptown Theater on December 21.”

Tickets are available at the Uptown box office Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m or by calling (972) 905-4555 from 9:00 am through 8:00 pm.

Reservations may be made anytime ONLINE by going to www.texasfamilymusicals.com. Tickets are $30 and $35 with special discounts for groups, seniors and students.

Grand Prairie ISD selected as a National Leadership Center by Scientific Learning Corp

In recognition of the Grand Prairie ISD's exemplary implementation of Fast ForWord® and the Reading Assistant™ programs, it has been selected as a National Leadership Center by Scientific Learning Corp. Grand Prairie ISD is the first National Leadership Center in Texas and one of only three across the United States.

The school district first introduced Fast ForWord® online reading intervention in 2011. It plans to expand its Fast ForWord implementation and add the Reading Assistant™ program to a total of 24 schools.

"Scientific Learning brings an opportunity to make a real and lasting difference in the quality of student learning by actually re-training the brain to comprehend and process more quickly and with greater consistency," said Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Hull. "We are excited to be a Leadership District because Scientific Learning is a difference maker."

In Grand Prairie ISD, which enrolls approximately 28,000 students, 72 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, 27 percent are limited English proficient, and 9 percent receive special education services. The district began using the Fast ForWord program in 2011-12 in four schools to close reading gaps for struggling readers, English learners, and students with disabilities. During the 2013-14 school year, it is expanding the Fast ForWord program and adding the Reading Assistant online reading tool to 20 additional schools.

"The challenges we face in our district are not unique to Grand Prairie. Until the day comes when we have 100 percent of our students performing at the highest level as defined by our state's standards, we will have a need for Scientific Learning," said Deputy Superintendent of Academics Dr. Greg Firn. "In my previous experiences with the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs in North Carolina and Connecticut, we focused on 'Prevention to Intervention' rather than 'Response to Intervention,' and we saw incredible results. If we can intervene early and aggressively in students' learning experiences, we can fill in any deficits or delays and build the foundational cognitive skills they need to participate in the full curriculum. Working with Scientific Learning, we can propel all our students — from struggling learners to advanced learners — to higher performance."

Source: GLOBE NEWSWIRE

December 12, 2013

One shot another injured in robbery

Around 1:30 am Thursday morning, Grand Prairie police received multiple calls of a shooting at the Budget Suites, 1050 South Highway 360.

Arriving officers found one victim outside his room suffering a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The victim was transported to Dallas Methodist with non-live threatening injuries.

Another victim that was struck in the head with object was treated at the scene.

Police spokesman Detective Lyle Gensler said the investigation is ongoing in what appears to be a robbery.

December 11, 2013

Ginger Vaughn


Ginger Vaughn, 58 of Eastland, TX went home to be with the Lord, early Friday morning December 6, 2013. Services were held Tuesday, December 10 at the First Baptist Church in Eastland with Dr. Shawn Brewer and Rev. Tim Plant officiating. Burial was in the Eastland City Cemetery.

Ginger was born December 15, 1954 in Grand Prairie to Carl and Nell Boyd Poindexter. She graduated from Grand Prairie High School and on December 16, 1978 she married Pat Vaughn in Grand Prairie. Ginger and Pat shortly after, moved to Eastland and have lived here for the past 25 years. Ginger worked for several places including Hood King Motor Company, Eastland National Bank, Eastland Memorial Hospital and Accounts Payable at EBAA Iron for the last 20 years. Ginger was an avid shopper, always put others first and enjoyed cooking for others.

She was preceded in death by her parents. Survivors include her husband, Pat Vaughn of Eastland; daughter, Katie Vaughn of Abilene; 2 brothers, Tom Poindexter of Grand Prairie and Boyd Poindexter of Mansfield; 2 sisters, Sharon Poindexter of Grand Prairie and Carla Barlett of Arlington; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and her dog, Texie and granddog, Diva Faith.

Memorials may be made to Cancer Services Network in Abilene or to the American Cancer Society.

December 10, 2013

City unveils statue honoring former Mayor Charles England

Tammy Chan uncovers a statue of former Mayor Charles England at Tuesday's unveiling ceremony at City Hall Plaza.©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

City Council members along with friends and family of former mayor Charles England gathered in front of City Hall Tuesday evening for the unveiling of a statue of England.

The statue, funded by the Sports Facilities Development Corporation, honors England for his twenty-one years of service as Mayor of Grand Prairie. It will be set in a permanent place in City Hall Plaza near the City Hall entrance.

LilaThorn wins City Council District 3 runoff election

Lila Thorn won the runoff election to fill the unexpired term of Grand Prairie City Council District 3. The seat became vacant in August with the death of Council Member Bill Thorn.

Unofficial final vote:

Lila Thorn - 502
Kurt G. Johnson - 329

December 09, 2013

Fire destroys vacant mobile home, arson suspected

Firefighters battle the fire of a vacant mobile home in the 600 block of Shady Creek. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Firefighters encountered freezing temperatures and sleet covered ground Monday morning as they battled a fire that destroyed a vacant mobile home in the 600 block of Shady Creek.

No one was hurt in the fire that broke out around 10:15 am.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy said fire investigators determined arson was the cause of the fire and have launched an investigation.

Due to safety concerns, Chief Murphy said, portions of the mobile home were torn down after the fire.

December 08, 2013

Grand Prairie ISD closed December 9

Due to icy conditions, Grand Prairie ISD will be closed Monday, Dec. 9. Make-up day will be June 5.

December 07, 2013

Temperature to remain below freezing through Sunday

Winter weather will continue across North Texas today and this evening. Arctic air will remain in place and keep temperatures below freezing through Sunday morning.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said Pacific moisture and weak lift from an approaching upper level disturbance will bring a thirty percent chance of light snow or flurries to North Texas today and this evening. No significant snow accumulations are expected.

Travel will remain extremely hazardous across the entire region through Sunday

December 06, 2013

Recreation center open to shelter residents without power

Grand Prairie residents who are without power may seek overnight shelter at the Tony Shotwell Recreation Center, 2750 Graham St., from 5 p.m. Friday, December 6, through 8 a.m. Saturday, December 7.

Grand Prairie Police will be on site to assist with check-in.

List of city closures due to winter storm

Several city facilities and events have been closed/canceled due to icy conditions.
  • Garbage/Recycling: No garbage collection Dec. 6. Service will resume on the next scheduled collection day.
  • Prairie Lights: Closed Dec. 6
  • Landfill: Closed Dec. 6
  • The Summit Active Adult Center: Closed Dec. 6
  • Grand Prairie Libraries: Closed Dec. 6
  • Tourist Information Center: Closed Dec. 6
  • Recreation Centers: Closed Dec. 6
  • Kirby Creek Natatorium: Closed Dec. 6
  • Candle Light Memorial Service Dec. 7: Canceled
  • Grand Prairie Farmers Market Dec. 7: Closed
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Dec. 7:

December 05, 2013

Grand Prairie ISD schools closed December 6

Due to inclement weather, the Grand Prairie ISD will be closed on Friday, December 6.

Man believed to be armed shuts down a Home Depot

Photo by Grand Prairie Police

Several police officers responded to the Home Depot, 3850 South Carrier Parkway, after an employee reported a man believed to be armed was in the store.

Police were called to the store around 1:45 pm after the employee told police that a man who had made threats towards an employee earlier was inside the store and appeared to be armed.

Officers rushed to the store, captured the suspect as he was leaving in a vehicle. Another person in the vehicle was briefly detained, then released.

No weapon was found on the suspect nor in the store.

The suspect was arrested on an outstanding Dallas warrant, police continue to investigate the incident.

Arts Council's holiday production "Annie" opens December 6

Grand Prairie Arts Council's holiday production of "Anne" that opens December 6 at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Featuring a cast of more than 60 talented local and regional performers of all ages, including the lovable mutt Sandy. The popular comic strip heroine takes center stage in one of the world's best-loved musicals.

Performances are set for December 6 & 7 and 13 & 14 at 8:00 pm; December 7 & 8 and 14 & 15 at 2:00 pm at the Uptown Theater, 120 East Main Street, Grand Prairie, 75050. Tickets are $11, $17 and $22. A $2 per ticket discount is available by phone for groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets online at www.artsgp.org, or by calling the Uptown Theater Box Office at 972-237-8786.

For more information contact the Grand Prairie Arts Council: 972-642-ARTS or visit our website: www.artsgp.org.

December 04, 2013

Winter Storm Warning issued for Thursday evening through Friday, ice accumulation expected

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of North Texas including Grand Prairie for freezing rain and sleet. The warning is in effect from 6 pm Thursday to 6 pm Friday.
  • Timing - Rain is expected to transition to freezing rain Thursday evening and continue through Friday while mixing with sleet
  • Main Impact - Ice and sleet accumulations will create hazardous travel conditions on area roads, especially on bridges and overpasses. Significant travel impacts are possible during this event. Ice accumulations may make Road surfaces impassable at times through Friday afternoon
  • Other Possible Impacts - Ice accumulations may bring down trees and power lines, and could cause power outages
  • Accumulation - One quarter to one half inch of ice accumulation is possible during this event. The highest accumulations will tend to be on elevated surfaces such as bridges, overpasses, trees and power lines. Up to one half inch of sleet accumulation is possible
A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected or occurring. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

Do not ignore this weather event, keep updated on the latest weather conditions.

December 03, 2013

Weather Service issues Winter Storm Watch for Thursday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Winter Storm Watch effective from Thursday evening through Friday afternoon.
  • Timing - Rain is expected to transition to freezing rain Thursday evening and continue through Friday
  • Main Impact - Bridges and overpasses may become slick due to ice
  • Other possible impacts - Ice accumulations may bring down trees and power lines, and could cause power outages
A Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.

The Weather Service said minor changes in the track and timing of the storm system could have significant impacts on precipitation amounts and locations of wintry precipitation.

Keep up with the latest weather information concerning this weather event.

Police find elderly woman missing from assisted living home

Grand Prairie police found an elderly woman about two miles from the assisted living center where she was reported missing about four hours earlier.

The eighty-seven year-old woman, who suffers from dementia and other health issues, walked away for the assisted living center in the 2100 block of Butterfield Trail between 4:30 - 5 pm, Tuesday.

She was located at about 8:15 pm near Prairie Oak Boulevard and Kingswood Boulevard after a caller reported seeing her walking.

Search One Rescue with its search dogs assisted police in the search.

December 01, 2013

Arlington high school student killed in traffic crash

A two car crash Sunday at Highway 161 and SW 14th killed an Arlington high school student. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

A sixteen year-old Arlington girl was killed Sunday afternoon in a traffic crash at the intersection of the southbound Highway 161 frontage road and SW 14th Street.

Sergeant Eric Hansen, Traffic Section, said Caitlyn Carlile, a sophomore at Arlington Sam Houston High School, suffered fatal injuries in the crash that occurred at about 2:50 pm.

Caitlyn Carlile was the back-right side passenger in a 2005 Ford Taurus driven by Ann Carlile, 42, of Arlington.

Sergeant Hansen said, the Taurus was traveling westbound on SW 14 when it failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection.

A 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Joseph Almaguer, 46, of Grand Prairie, was travelling southbound on the Highway 161 frontage road when it collided with the passenger side of the Taurus. Almaguer was not injured.

Caitlyn Carlile was taken by ambulance to Medical Center of Arlington where she was pronounced dead at 3:18 pm. Ann Carlile and Brittany Carlile, 19, another passenger in the Taurus, were transported to Medical Center of Arlington for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The collision remains under investigation. This is the 19th traffic fatality in Grand Prairie this year.

Two armed robbery suspects in custody after lengthy car chase

A man and a women are in jail after robbing an individual Sunday afternoon, then leading Grand Prairie police on a lengthy car chase.

Shortly before 2 pm, police were called to the Krogers, 514 South Carrier Parkway after a women was robbed at gunpoint of her purse.

A patrol officer in the area of the Krogers spotted the vehicle that the victim described. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the suspects fled, leading officers on a lengthy car chase that went into Dallas.

The suspects wrecked in the 1100 block of East Woodin Boulevard in Dallas, then fled on foot into a wooded area where officers captured both suspects.

Police spokesman Detective Mark Beseda said both the victim's purse and the suspect's pistol were recovered.

City to light Christmas tree on December 5

File photo ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

The city's Christmas tree lighting celebration will be held December 5, 6-7pm, at the City Hall Campus, 317 College Street.

The annual event features Grand Prairie ISD elementary school entertainment, middle school carolers and high school choirs.

Grand Prairie could see wintry mix late this week

A strong front will arrive Thursday bringing a shallow arctic air mass into the region, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Fort Worth said today.

Precipitation is expected to continue behind the front through Friday. Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing across parts of North Texas before daybreak Friday. This will result in the rain changing over to freezing rain.

Stay updated this week for the latest weather forecasts. Conditions could become favorable for sleet and freezing rain in the Metroplex.

November 29, 2013

Tourist center has volunteer opportunities, learn more at meeting on December 5

The City of Grand Prairie is holding a meeting on December 5 at 1 pm at The Summit, 2973 Esplande about volunteer opportunities at the Grand Prairie Tourist Information Center, 2170 N. Belt Line Road.

The tourist center is in need of adult volunteers (ages 18 and older) Monday-Saturday to help visitors to Grand Prairie.

Volunteer responsibilities include providing driving directions and information about area hotels, motels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Shifts are 9 am-1 pm and 1-5 pm once per week, or as needed.

Volunteers are treated to free outings throughout the year and an attractive and fun work environment.

For more information, call Cathy Raymond at 972-595-5402 or email: craymond@gptx.org.

November 27, 2013

Cyber coupon for Prairie Lights

Eighteen-wheeler hauling chocolate, crashes, burns, shuts down Interstate 30

Photo by Grand Prairie Police

An 18-wheeler hauling chocolate products crashed and caught fire just after midnight Wednesday morning on westbound Interstate 30 east of MacArthur Boulevard. The accident shut down westbound I-30 for hours.

Sergeant Eric Hansen, Grand Prairie Police Traffic Section, said the tractor, towing a 53-foot trailer, veered onto the right shoulder of the freeway colliding with two light poles and an overhead highway sign.

The truck driver, John Bonnon, 35, was transported by ambulance to Methodist Dallas Medical Center where he is in stable condition.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Police SWAT team arrests car theft suspect after brief chase and standoff

Members of the Grand Prairie Police Department's SWAT team take up a position at the Clayton's Mark Apartments, 504 SW 23, as police arrest a car theft suspect that ran into an apartment. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Grand Prairie police SWAT team arrested a man early Wednesday morning at the Clayton's Mark Apartments, 504 SW 23rd, suspected of stealing a car and fleeing from police.

Detective Lyle Gensler said the incident began around 2:30 am when an officer patrolling the apartment's parking lot located an unoccupied stolen vehicle. The officer took up a vantage point to observe the vehicle in case someone returned to it.

At about 5:30 am, a male was observed getting into the vehicle and drive off. When the officer tried to stop the car, the suspect fled leading officers on a short pursuit. The suspect abandoned the vehicle in a field west of the apartment complex and fled on foot into a unit.

The SWAT team was called in and at about 8:30 am the suspect surrendered without incident.

November 26, 2013

Prairie Lights display illuminates the holidays, opens Thanksgiving night

File Photo ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Opening Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 28, 2013, Prairie Lights powered by Gexa Energy, 5610 Lake Ridge Parkway, Grand Prairie, the always-popular two-mile drive featuring four million lights that drew 168,000 visitors in 2012, will be better than ever in 2013 with all new custom displays.

Prairie Lights powered by Gexa Energy will be open from 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday non-holidays and 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and holidays, November 28-December 31. Non-holiday Monday through Thursday, cars are $20. Holidays and Friday through Sunday, cars are $30. Rates for larger vehicles vary. Check www.prairielights.org for rates or call 972-237-GLOW (4569).

The theme park also offers a unique out-of-car experience in Holiday Village midway through the drive with concessions, carnival rides, gifts and photos with Santa. For an additional $5/adult and $3/child, guests will enjoy Holiday Happiness, an all-new crackling-with-joy 15-minute musical show featuring holiday song and spirit performed by the talented professional actors and singers of the Texas Family Musicals who dance up a winter snowstorm, delivering a blizzard of laughs. The always-popular Holiday Magic Walk-Through Forest, for an additional $3/adult and $2/child, is so full of lights all will be amazed.

Designer and light engineer Josh Barnett, and his company Lightasmic, deliver displays that have audiences smiling in delight with clever new themes and favorites presented with a new look.

For more information, go to www.prairielights.org.

Tony Shotwell library features Mad Science - A Case for Santa Claus

Tony Shotwell Library, 2750 Graham St., will feature a free family show by Mad Science: A Case For Santa Claus, December 16, from 4:30 pm to 5:15 pm.

A Case For Santa Claus, a show ideal for five- to 14-year-old children, explores how the magical abilities of Santa are actually possible. How do all the presents fit in one bag for children of the entire world? How does Santa go down a chimney and back up? How do reindeer fly? Can Santa travel the world in one night?

The Tony Shotwell Recreation Center meeting room accommodates 120 people on a first come first serve basis. For more information about the event please call 972-237-7541.

Mad Science, is the largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), program provider serving the Dallas area for the last 12 years. For more information about the STEM program contact Deepa Pulianda at deepa.pulianda@msgdallas.com or call 972-241-0475.

November 24, 2013

Early voting for District 3 runoff election begins November 25

Early voting begins Monday, November 25 for the December 10 runoff election for the City of Grand Prairie City Council District 3.

Candidates:

Lila Thorn
Kurt G. Johnson
Location:
Garner Fine Arts Academy
145 Polo Road
Dates and Times:
Monday, November 25, 2013 through Wednesday, November 27, 2013 (8AM – 5PM)
Monday, December 2, 2013 through Wednesday, December 4, 2013 (8AM – 5PM)
Thursday, December 5, 2013 and Friday, December 6, 2013 (7AM – 7PM)

November 23, 2013

Police arrest suspect in Saturday morning shooting

At about 2 am Saturday morning, Grand Prairie police responded to a shooting at Roy's Bar, 2401 West Jefferson.

Responding officers located a male security guard who had been shot several times.

The security guard was transported to an area hospital where he is undergoing surgery and is expected to survive.

Several witnesses identified the suspect as a patron at the bar.

Police located and arrested the suspect at about 10 am in the 1200 block of South Watson Road.

The suspect is currently held in the Grand Prairie Detention Center on a charge of Aggravated Assault.

Police did not release the identity of the suspect or the victim due to the ongoing investigation.

Winter Storm Warning issued for Sunday and Monday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Winter Storm Warning for areas along and west of a line from Sherman to Dallas to Lampasas effective from 6 am Sunday to noon Monday. This area includes Grand Prairie.

A winter storm is expected to affect much of North Texas on Sunday and Monday. The precipitation is expected to arrive from the west after midnight Saturday night and move east across the region during the day Sunday. It is expected to be a mixed bag of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow over much of the region before the event ends on Monday.

Significant accumulations of sleet and/or ice are possible across most of North Texas, including Dallas/Fort Worth area, and an additional layer of snow is possible in the northwest towards the end of the event.

This winter weather event is still evolving, and as more weather data is analyzed during the next couple of days, the forecast may change, continue to check back for the latest updates.

November 22, 2013

Two alarm fire heavily damages house on Nunez Drive


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

A vacant house in the 100 block of Nunez Drive was heavily damaged by a fire Friday evening.

The fire that broke out around 5:30 pm sent flames high into the air as firefighters battled the blaze in the cold rain.

Katherine Allen, daughter of the home owner, said the house has been vacant since the end of summer when they moved to east Texas. She said there were no utilities connected to the house.

Allen said they were in the process of moving the last of their items out of the house. She said most household items had been removed from the home, but she did lose her grandmother's collection of irreplaceable china dolls.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy said the fire that went to two alarms did some damage to the adjacent homes. He said due to many factors including the time of day of the fire and the fire's intensity, the cause of the fire is suspicious in nature.

A task force of arson investigators including an accelerant sniffing dog was called to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire.

Winter Storm Watch issued for Sunday and Monday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Sunday morning through Monday morning.
  • Timing: Sunday morning through midday Monday.
  • Main impact: Sleet and ice accumulations on Sunday into Monday may severely impact travel on all area roads and bridges and disrupt air travel into Monday.
  • Other impacts: Any ice accumulations may cause power outages.
  • Precautionary/preparedness actions: A Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
Look for updates to the forecast.

November 21, 2013

Winter storm outlook for North Texas on Sunday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said a significant round of winter precipitation is expected on Sunday for Grand Prairie.

A large area of precipitation mainly in the form of sleet is expected to move in from the west Sunday morning. Sleet may be heavy and accumulate northwest of a line from Paris, to Dallas, to Lampasas where temperatures should drop to near freezing.

The chance of sleet is expected to continue into Monday morning, but begin to change over to rain by late Monday morning as temperatures warm above freezing.

If temperatures are a couple of degrees colder than currently forecasted, a significant ice storm could be possible for much of the area including the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Currently, the greatest accumulations of ice are expected to be across the northwestern locations of North Texas.

This winter weather event is still evolving, and as more weather data is analyzed during the next few days, the forecast may change.

At this time residents should prepare for the possibility of hazardous travel conditions, especially across northern and western parts of North Texas.

November 20, 2013

Friday's cold front could bring wintry precipitation

With a strong cold front moving through on Friday, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth said there is the potential for wintry precipitation by Friday evening into early Saturday. The forecast for Sunday night and Monday morning includes a threat of sleet for parts of North Texas.

Temperatures will drop into the 30s and 40s by Friday afternoon across much of the area with wind chills in the lower 20s. Dress the kiddos warm for school.

Forecasters said it appears that temperatures will drop to below freezing Friday evening across most of the western counties. Freezing rain will be possible during this time. Any ice accumulations should be confined to elevated roads and bridges.

Wintry precipitation events are difficult to predict in North Texas, the Weather Service said. There is some forecast uncertainty on Sunday's and Monday winter weather event.

Look for updates to the forecast the next two to three days.

November 19, 2013

Jeff Copeland sworn in to City Council

Jeff Copeland sworn in to the Grand Prairie City Council Place 7 at Tuesday's City Council Meeting. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Obie, the biggest loser dog to visit Prairie Paws

Grand Prairie breaks ground on landfill gas power generation plant

Mayor Ron Jensen (center) throws a shovel of dirt at the Tuesday's ground breaking for the landfill gas to electric generator plant. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

City officials broke ground Tuesday on an important renewable energy source at the Grand Prairie Landfill. Installation of the landfill’s new gas power generation plant will begin this month and is expected to be fully commissioned in late 2014.

A methane collection system has been in place at the landfill since 2000 to flare off the gas, but this project will use compressed methane to produce electricity which is then fed into the electrical grid. The project will produce about 2 megawatts of power per year.

The city of Grand Prairie is working on the project with the Vertterre Corporation, which is a division of EQM Technologies and Energy Inc.

“The process of using landfill gas, which is methane and carbon dioxide, to create energy is fairly simple,” said Dr. Patricia Redfearn, Ph.D., city of Grand Prairie Solid Waste Manager. “After a filter, dehydration and compression process, the gas is made available to engines that turn a generator, which produces electricity. Through a switching system, that electricity is pushed to the grid and made available to energy providers.”

“Right now we are capturing methane gas from the landfill and destroying it in an environmentally responsible way,” Mayor Ron Jensen said. “With our ability to generate electricity with methane, we will not only keep the environment clean, but will provide a long-term, reliable source of renewable energy.”

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Primrose school's food drive helps Grand Prairie United Charities

Primrose teacher Connie Gensler helps Tyler Dabbs (left) and Abbott Dahl (right) carry in some of the 275 food items the school collected for the Grand Prairie United Charities. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

For the third straight year, students at Primrose School of Grand Peninsula made a field trip to Grand Prairie United Charities (GPUC) to deliver food items the school collected with its "Helping Hand Project." On Tuesday, twenty Pre-KII students delivered 275 food items to GPUC.

Primrose of Grand Peninsula, a private school with 191 students from infants to kindergarten, began collecting food items on November 4 to help feed the less fortunate during the holiday season. To teach students that there are needs within their own community, the school selected GPUC to receive the food so the students would know their donations would be helping Grand Prairie families.

November 18, 2013

Annie - Grand Prairie Arts Council holiday production opens December 6

Featuring a cast of more than 60 talented local and regional performers of all ages, including the lovable mutt Sandy. The popular comic strip heroine takes center stage in one of the world's best-loved musicals. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts, despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City.

She is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous and magical world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations and befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks and his personal secretary Grace Farrell.

Performances are set for December 6 & 7 and 13 & 14 at 8:00 pm; December 7 & 8 and 14 & 15 at 2:00 pm at the Uptown Theater, 120 East Main Street, Grand Prairie, 75050. Tickets are $11, $17 and $22. A $2 per ticket discount is available by phone for groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets online at www.artsgp.org, or by calling the Uptown Theater Box Office at 972-237-8786.

For more information contact the Grand Prairie Arts Council: 972-642-ARTS or visit our website: at www.artsgp.org.

Grand Prairie city services Thanksgiving holiday schedule

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the city of Grand Prairie administrative offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28-Friday, Nov. 29.

Other city services affected are:

Main Library – Closed Nov. 28-29. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1. Items can be renewed online at library.gptx.org or by calling 972-237-5700 during library hours.

Betty Warmack Branch Library – Closed Nov. 28-29. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1. Items can be renewed online at library.gptx.org or by calling 972-237-5700 during library hours.

Tony Shotwell Branch Library – Closed Nov. 28-29. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1. Items can be renewed online at library.gptx.org or by calling 972-237-5700 during library hours.

Water bill payment offices – closed Nov. 28-Dec. 1

The Summit 50+ Adult Activity Center – Closed Nov. 28-29. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Charley Taylor Recreation Center – Closed Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 1. Open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30

Tony Shotwell Life Center – Closed Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 1. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30

Prairie Lakes Golf Course – open sunup to sundown

Tangle Ridge Golf Club – open sunup to sundown

Kirby Creek Indoor Pool – Closed Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 1. Open Saturday, Nov. 30, 1-6 p.m.

Garbage Collection/Recycling – No collection on Nov. 28. Please put garbage and recycling out on next collection day. There is no make-up day.

Landfill – closed Nov. 28

Animal Shelter – closed Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 1-2. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 (closed noon-1 p.m. for lunch)

Tourist Information Center – Closed Thursday, Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. Open Friday, Nov. 29- Saturday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Strong cold front moves in on Friday

Another strong cold front will move through North Texas on Friday. The front will bring a good chance of rain on Friday and temperatures are expected to fall during the day.

The chilly air will hang around through the weekend with highs in North Texas generally in the 40s and lows in the 30s.

Friday And Friday Night: Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cooler. Highs in the mid 50s. Lows in the upper 30s.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly sunny. A 20 percent chance of rain. Highs around 50.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of rain. Lows in the upper 30s.

November 15, 2013

School district dedicates Dalworth community center in memory of legendary coach

Dr. Vern Alexander, GPISD Administrator, speaks at Friday's dedication of the Coach Randolph N. Reed Centerat David Daniels Elementary Academy of Science and Math. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

At a ceremony held Friday at David Daniels Elementary Academy of Science and Math, the Grand Prairie Independent School District dedicated a planned community center in the memory of legendary coach, educator and mentor, Coach Randolph N. Reed.

Coach Reed began his teaching career in the Grand Prairie ISD in 1954 at Dalworth High School and became head football coach. He touched the lives of many students before his retirement in 1987. Coach Reed died in 2012.

Renovations will soon begin converting a former text book depository at David Daniels Elementary into the community center. Work is expected to be completed in September, 2014.

The building will not only be a community center, it will contain memorabilia and artifacts to showcase the historic Dalworth community.

Teletron opens, anchor store at Asian Times Square's expansion

Uy Nguyen (center) President/CEO, Teletron, cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of Teletron at Asia Time Square. The ribbon cutting ceremony was hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Hundreds of customers lined up Friday morning outside Asia Times Square to take advantage of the savings at the grand opening of Teletron, a consumer electronic retail store.

The 40,000 square foot store that anchors the now under construction expansion of Asia Times Square, features high quality home appliances, TVs, audio, video, furniture and health furniture.

The Grand Prairie store is the fifth and largest store opened by Teletron since its beginning in Orange County, California in 2008.

Matthew Loh, owner of Asia Times Square, said the mall's expansion is expected to be completed around January 1, 2014. The renovation of the former Sam's Wholesale Club will feature many new businesses, professional offices, event center and a large restaurant. Also, there will be an courtyard with a stage for open air events.

Loh said the expansion is already seventy percent leased.

November 13, 2013

Uplift Education to open charter school in downtown

At Tuesday's community meeting at the First Baptist Church, Uplift Education CEO Yasmin Bhatia announced the charter school and First Baptist Church are finalizing papers to complete the purchase of the church's campus located at 122 NE 2nd. The school plans to begin classes for the 2014-2015 school year.

Uplift Education, a college preparatory school that operates 13 campuses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, had three of its schools named in Newsweek's list of the top 25 transformative schools in the nation. In the last five years, 99 percent of Uplift students have gone on to college.

Bhatia said the school is happy its construction project can be a part of the revitalization of the downtown area. Although the master plan has not been finalized, the school anticipates building a new primary building and a new middle/high school building as well as a playing field and a new playground.

The school will open next fall with grades K-2 and 6-7, adding two grades each year until it becomes a full K-12 school campus with about 1,500 students.

With no bus service, Ann Stevenson, Chief Administrative Officer, said all students will be dropped off and picked up at the campus. This brings families to the downtown area each day, that should create interest in the restaurants, retail stores, Farmers Market and the arts district around the Uptown Theater, she said.

The First Baptist Church will continue to meet downtown until a new building is constructed on its property at Mayfield and Robinson Road.

Food drive for National Homeless Awareness Month

Dallas, Tarrant County joint DWI press conference held at Public Safety Building

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez speaks about the Sheriff's department's emphasis on DWI enforcement at Thursday's joint Dallas County and Tarrant County DWI press conference at the Grand Prairie Public Safety Building. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Members of law enforcement agencies from across Dallas and Tarrant County held the first ever joint DWI press conference Thursday morning on the steps of the Grand Prairie Public Safety Building.

Coordinated by Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia to raise awareness of drinking and driving during this holiday season.

The conference featured speakers from law enforcement agencies, county officials, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, a DWI victim and a DWI offender.

With Texas ranking #2 in the nation in DWI related deaths, Police Chief Steve Dye urged the public to drink responsibly during the holidays. He said people should:

Limit alcohol consumption
Choose a designated driver
Call a cab or a friend to drive you
He added, if the public spots a suspected drunk driver, to call 911.

"For those who choose to drink and drive, beware," Chief Dye said. "We will have additional law enforcement personnel on the streets targeting DWI and we will be implementing "No Refusal" protocol."

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins urged everyone to make responsible choices and not force police officers to make the choice to take away one's freedom.

He added, law enforcement officers will be out in force and the Dallas and Tarrant County District Attorney's offices are prepared to successfully pursue DWI prosecutions.

November 12, 2013

Free e-waste recycling for Grand Prairie businesses and residents November 16

Fire Department divers help Irving police recover stolen vehicles

Photo by Grand Prairie Fire Department

Divers with the Grand Prairie Fire Department helped Irving police Monday recover two stolen cars submerged in a small body of water off of Riverside Drive.

The cars were spotted after the water level was lowered by the City of Dallas, draining the tributary to recover 28 cars submerged at another location.

Santa Cop now collecting toys and family referrals

Grand Prairie’s Santa Cop is collecting new, unwrapped toys and gifts for Grand Prairie families in need for the remainder of this month. Especially in need are gifts for teenagers. Collection boxes are available at the following locations:
  • City Hall
  • City Hall Annex
  • Grand Prairie Fire Stations
  • Grand Prairie Libraries
  • Public Safety Building
Families needing assistance are nominated by Grand Prairie police officers, firefighters, city employees or Grand Prairie ISD counselors and have already been identified for 2013. Santa Cop does not accept families who are signed up for other similar programs.

For volunteer information call (214)-723-0474. Santa Cop’s volunteer staff will return calls in the evening.

November 11, 2013

Veterans Day Celebration 2013


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

November 10, 2013

Two alarm fires heavily damages home

Firefighters hose down some furnishings from a 2 alarm house fire Saturday in the 1600 block of Hill Street. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Grand Prairie firefighters battled a two alarm house fire in 1600 block of Hill Street that was called in at about 5:10 pm Saturday.

Battalion Chief Jason Farris said no one was injured in the fire that heavily damaged the single family home.

November 09, 2013

Volunteers cleanup American Memorial Park Cemetery

(L-R)Mildred Alexander, Phyllis Mosley and Sarah Terrace place a flag on the grave site of a veteran at American Memorial Park Cemetery. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

On Saturday, dozens of volunteers took part in a cleanup of American Memorial Park Cemetery, 2000 Avenue D, the oldest known cemetery in Grand Prairie for African Americans.

Over the years the resting place for former slaves, veterans of America's conflicts from World War I to Viet Nam and community leaders has not been properly maintained.

Hosted by the NAACP Grand Prairie Branch, the cleanup drew volunteers from across the city mowed the grass, picked up many bags of trash, uncovered head markers and placed American flags on veterans graves.

Claire Rogers, a senior at Dubiski Career High School and a Grand Prairie Police Explorer, said she located ten grave markers that were covered with dirt and grass. Out of respect for the individuals buried, she removed by hand, the dirt and grass from each marker saying she did not want the persons forgotten.

NAACP Grand Prairie Branch President Angela Luckey said the historic cemetery has a long history improper care and disrespect for the persons buried. She is calling on State and Federal representatives to name the cemetery a historic site and help fund the cost of upkeep.

November 08, 2013

School bus involved in collision, students slightly injured

Grand Prairie Police investigate a school bus accident Friday at Highway 161 and Mayfield Road.©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

A Grand Prairie ISD school bus carrying four middle school students was involved in an accident at Mayfield Road and the Highway 161 northbound frontage road Friday at about 5 pm.

Sergeant Eric Hansen, Traffic Division, said the school bus was westbound on Mayfield. It collided with a pickup occupied by four men that was northbound on the Highway 161 frontage road.

He said an investigation would determine which driver was at fault.

Only slight injuries were reported. No one was transported to the hospital.

Ribbon cutting celebrate completion of the Hunter Ferrell Road project

Mayor Ron Jensen cuts the ribbon at Friday's ceremony for the completion of the Hunter Ferrell Road project. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Officials from Grand Prairie, Dallas County and the City of Irving celebrated the opening of Hunter Ferrell Road Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Constructed as a collaborative effort among Dallas County, the City of Grand Prairie and the City of Irving, the $25 million dollar roadway runs from Belt Line Road to Story Road in Grand Prairie and from Story Road to MacArthur Boulevard in Irving.

Dallas County led the project, which turned a two-lane asphalt road with sharp turns and a flooding problem into a four-lane divided concrete roadway. The complex initiative required a land swap as well as a change to Irving and Grand Prairie city limits.

“This project is long overdue and I am so proud that we could finally make it happen. Projects like this can’t happen without the trust, commitment and shared vision that create a strong partnership,” said Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia. “The City of Grand Prairie and City of Irving share Dallas County’s vision of improved mobility for our residents and I deeply appreciate their partnership on this and so many other projects that will make a difference in our community.”

The Hunter Ferrell roadway project also includes a new 1,000-foot bridge over Bear Creek with a sidewalk and a hike and bike trail that connects to the Grand Prairie and Irving trail systems.

“This was a fantastic effort that leveraged partner dollars to build a much-needed thoroughfare, said Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. “Regional mobility will be faster, safer and the road will allow for future development and other improvements in far South Irving, which is a beautiful area of our city with tremendous potential.”

The massive project also included a monument marking the new common city limit of Irving and Grand Prairie as well as integrated streetscape enhancements and landscaping.

"The more than 1.5 million visitors to our entertainment district will greatly appreciate the easier access provided by the new Hunter Ferrell Road," said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen. "We appreciate Dallas County's and Irving's partnership to make this happen."

The North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Transportation Council (RTC) was instrumental in moving this project forward and providing financial assistance.

November 07, 2013

Uplift Education to buy First Baptist Church's downtown property

Uplift Education, a network of 28 high-performing, tuition-free, public charter schools, is purchasing the First Baptist Church's downtown property.

Ann Stevenson, Uplift Education Chief Administrative Officer, confirmed the purchase. She said attorneys are finalizing the financial documents.

Stevenson also said Uplift Education plans to have its Grand Prairie campus open for the 2014-2015 school year. She added that more information about the Grand Prairie campus would be released next week.

Uplift operates 13 campuses across the Dallas/Fort Worth area, serving 10,000 students. It offers a college preparatory curriculum supported by a positive culture of high expectations and strong student-teacher relationship.

The First Baptist Church website says the church plans to begin construction of a new building in 2014 on its property at Mayfield and Robinson Road.

Chamber of Commerce host ribbon cutting at The Aspens at Central Park

Barry Metcalf (center), Principal of The Aspens at Central Park, cuts the ribbon at the Grand Opening Ceremony at The Aspens at Central Park on Wednesday.©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

On Wednesday, the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting at the grand opening of The Aspens at Central Park apartment community for active adults 62 and over.

Located at 2155 Arkansas Lane, the 128 unit community offers homes from 690 to over 1,000 square foot in size.

It offers such amenities as:

  • Attached and detached garages
  • Storage space available
  • Chef-styled kitchens
  • Designer finishes
  • Plenty of indoor and outdoor events
  • A fitness center
Jamae Stoute, Property Manager, said the units offer all the comforts of home wrapped up in a unique package to provide a stress free lifestyle where there is no more home maintenance.

SGP National Honor Society food drive collects 1,100 food items


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

It took thirty-three computer paper boxes to hold the 1,100 food items students at South Grand Prairie High School donated as part of the school's National Honor Society (NHS) service project, Scare Away Hunger.

Shelby Henry, NHS sponsor, said normally Honor Society students "Trick or Treat" in the community to collect non-perishable food items. She said this year, the organization wanted to get students at SGP involved and kept the food drive on campus.

All the food items collected were donated to the Grand Prairie United Charities to help stock its food pantry.

November 06, 2013

Elected to City Council one day, picking up signs the next

Jeff Copeland removes his campaign signs from a vacant lot near South Carrier Parkway and Desco on Wednesday, one day after being elected to City Council Place 7. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Jeff Copeland, who won Tuesday's election for City Council Place 7, could be seen Wednesday working in the biting wind, removing campaign signs from roadways throughout the city.

"The glory of City Council," Copeland said. "Last night you get elected and the next day you're walking around in a muddy field, yanking on t-posts."

His love for the city and his desire to serve Copeland said, motivated him to begin removing signs shortly after the election. Along with his wife Melanie, the two were up until 3 am Wednesday morning removing signs from polling places so school children would no longer have to look at the clutter.

"Our citizens don't need to see all of these signs up and down the road," Copeland said. "The thing that aggravates me is all of my opponents, none of them have made an effort to get their signs up."

Copeland who fills the remaining term of Ruthe Jackson, who died in August, said Mrs. Jackson was a true servant leader, putting the city and its citizens ahead of politics.

Now that the election process is over Copeland said, "I don't want to be a politician, I want to be a servant leader. If I can do half as much as she did in twice the amount of time, I feel blessed."

Texas Trust Credit Union honored with Excellence in Mortgage Lending Award


Texas Trust Credit Union received the 2013 Credit Union Excellence in Mortgage Lending award from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and CUNA Mutual Group. Texas Trust was the category winner for credit unions with more than $250 million in assets.

Texas Trust was recognized for its mortgage lending portfolio, which has grown from $61 million in 2006 to more than $180 million today. Richard Whitman, Texas Trust's Vice President of Residential Lending, received the award, which was presented at the CUNA Lending Council conference in Phoenix.

The Excellence in Lending Awards, sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group and the CUNA Lending Council, recognize credit unions that generate outstanding lending results through stable, sustainable operations.

Whitman joined Texas Trust in 2006 and was tasked with overhauling its mortgage lending operation. He developed and implemented a long-term strategic plan to restructure the mortgage lending operation to improve efficiencies and expand the portfolio in order to compete.

With more than 50 percent of its production being home equity loans, Texas Trust identified market needs and began marketing more than 100 different first and second lien mortgage choices. The credit union also began investing in marketing its mortgage products in order to drive awareness and increase volume.

Texas Trust's strategy has paid off, as it has become the largest credit union mortgage lender in north Texas, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Member penetration for mortgage lending has gone from two percent to 15 percent. Texas Trust's mortgage operation generated interest income of more than $7 million and fee income of more than $1 million in 2012.

“Being recognized with an Excellence in Lending Award validates all the effort a credit union puts into its lending program,” said Bill Vogeney, Lending Council chair and EVP/Chief Lending Officer at Ent Federal Credit Union, Colorado Springs, Colo. “Texas Trust’s success in mortgage lending is a testament to the value they bring members in the communities they serve.”

"Richard and his team have completely transformed our mortgage lending operation," said Jim Minge, CEO of Texas Trust Credit Union. "His keen understanding of the market gave us the ability to grow our mortgage portfolio and kept us in the black even during the housing meltdown."

Source: Texas Trust Credit Union

November 05, 2013

Results of the City of Grand Prairie Special Election

Election results for the City of Grand Prairie Special election to fill City Council Place 7, District 3 and the Grand Prairie Crime Control and Prevention District tax.

Grand Prairie Crime Control and Prevention District

For - 4,946
Against - 816
Place 7
Charlie Womack - 985
Jeff Copeland - 3,005
R. J. DiLena - 589
Max Coleman - 831
District 3
Bill Nash - 133
Lila Thorn - 772
Kurt Johnson - 650
There will be a runoff election between Lila Thorn and Kurt Johnson

Presentations at Tuesday's City Council meeting

At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Police Chief Steve Dye (center) accepts the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Community Policing Award, presented by Keller Police Chief Mark Hafner, IACP Community Policing Committee Member. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Duone L. Byars with Gexa Energy, title sponsor of Prairie Lights, presents Mayor Ron Jensen with a $50,000 check at Tuesday's City Council meeting to sponsor this year's holiday light extravaganza. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

City Manager Tom Hart (right) honors Ernest Horton (2nd from left), Environmental Service, as City of Grand Prairie Employee of the Month at Tuesday's City Council meeting. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Texas Municipal League 2013 Municipal Excellence Award for Communications Programs for Cities over 25,000 (Animal Shelter Adoption Program) presented to Amy Sprinkles, Patricia Redfearn and Danielle Tate at Tuesday's City Council Meeting. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

City selects new Library Director

The Grand Prairie City Manager’s Office announced the appointment of Amy Sprinkles as the City’s new Library Director.

“When we started the search for a Library Director, we wanted someone who could think out of the box in order to take the Grand Prairie library system into the future,” said City Manager Tom Hart. “The new Library Director needed to be innovative, creative, a change agent and someone willing to break the mold. We were seeking someone who could really market our libraries and someone familiar with using technology to enhance our library services. Amy Sprinkles offers all these traits.”

Sprinkles is currently the Communication and Marketing Director in Grand Prairie. She has a Master of Business Administration degree, has more than 30 years in her professional career, 22 years of success in Grand Prairie, and deep ties to the community. She and her Communication and Marketing staff have garnered more than 50 national and state awards for excellence in programming, campaigns, advertising, public relations and events. Sprinkles will offer a unique approach to the changing library system.

Sprinkles will retain her Communication and Marketing Director hat when she takes over the Library Director position.

“We are able to embark on such creative, unique arrangements like this because of our great staff and lack of adhering to what’s always been done,” said Deputy City Manager Anna Doll, to whom the position reports.

“Amy fits our culture and has the proven ability to take our libraries to the next level and is backed by a great library staff,” said Hart. “I look forward to seeing what her leadership skill will bring to our libraries.”

The Grand Prairie City Council also knows they have a champion for the library system with Sprinkles at the helm.

“Amy brings a high energy level to every project and program she undertakes,” said Mayor Ron Jensen. “I am excited about the future possibilities at our libraries with Amy leading the way.”

Source: City of Grand Prairie

November 04, 2013

Fire Department's restructuring improves safety, no budget increase

File Photo -©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

On November 30, the Grand Prairie Fire Department will rollout Fire Chief Robert Fite's restructuring plan that puts more firefighters at fire scenes and improves the EMS system.

By reassigning personnel and using its resources in a more efficient manner, Chief Fite was able to make the city safer without additional cost to citizens.

Some of the changes include:

  • 21 Firefighters respond to structure fires. Previously, 15 responded.
  • Additional Battalion Chief each shift.
  • Elimination of the ladder truck and engine at Station 8, 3017 Roy Orr Blvd., to be replaced by a Quint (truck/engine combination). Crew members from the eliminated truck will be moved to other assignments.
  • An ambulance will be assigned to Station 8.
  • The ambulance at Station 4, 1502 Duncan Perry, will be used only at peak demand time (Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am - 7 pm). It will be staffed by overtime personnel.
  • An agreement with Allegiance Ambulance to provide emergency service when all Fire Department ambulances are busy. This eliminates pulling firefighters from a truck to staff a reserve ambulance.
  • Creation of an EMS supervisor for each shift.
  • Fire investigator on duty each shift.
  • Fire investigator assigned to business inspections.
A new station will be constructed in the Grand Peninsula area that will house a Quint and an ambulance. The station is expected to be completed in 2015.

November 01, 2013

AirHogs release 2014 schedule, home opener May 19 with "Hogs" home July 4

A Fourth of July game against Lincoln at QuikTrip Park highlights the Grand Prairie AirHogs 2014 schedule. The AirHogs open the season May 15 on the road at Wichita, while the team’s home opener is set for May 19 against Lincoln.

“We are very excited about the 2014 schedule,” said AirHogs VP/GM John Bilbow. “It’s always special to be at home on the Fourth of July. We hope to build on the Southern Division Championship this past season. We have a lot of exciting things planned for the 2014 season.”

Season tickets to AirHogs games can be ordered by calling 972-504-9383.

AirHogs 2014 schedule

Positive West Nile Virus mosquito sample reported, city to ground spray Friday and Saturday

The City of Grand Prairie reports one West Nile Virus positive mosquito sample. This brings the total to 16 positive mosquitoes samples this season in Grand Prairie.

The City’s Environmental Services Department will ground spray the following area for two consecutive nights on Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2, starting at 10 p.m. This area is bound by January Ln. on the north, NW 20th St. on the east, Houston St. on the South, and Duncan Perry Rd. on the west.

Residents in these areas are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be cancelled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimming pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

October 31, 2013

Street and Treat packs Market Square


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Grand Prairie's Market Square and participating downtown merchants put the biggest Halloween event in Grand Prairie on Thursday night.

Street and Treat provided a safe environment for children to trick or treat with free games in Market Square. The kids got to enjoy a variety of activities including games, bounce houses, face painting and of course lots of candy.

October 30, 2013

Man dies in single car crash on State Highway 161

Police investigate a fatal, single car crash on the George Bush Turnpike near Iinterstate 30. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

Update:Police identify victim - Yoseff Anwar Gosey who most recently resided in Houston

A 23 year-old man died at the scene of a single car crash Wednesday afternoon on State Highway 161, President George Bush Turnpike, near Egyptian Way. The accident that occurred at about 1 pm, shutdown the northbound lanes of the turnpike for about two hours.

Sergeant Eric Hansen, Traffic Section Supervisor, said the victim was driving a 2000 Honda CRV northbound on the frontage road when he lost control of the vehicle.

The vehicle left the roadway, traveled down a grassy embankment, then flipped over a retaining wall and landed on its roof in the northbound lanes of SH 161.

The victim, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was the only occupant of the vehicle. There were no other vehicles involved.

Sergeant Hansen said the collision remains under investigation and this is the 18th traffic fatality in Grand Prairie this year.

October 29, 2013

Red light camera amnesty program

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, working in conjunction with the Grand Prairie and Plano Police Departments, will begin flagging all motor vehicle registration renewals for those who have unpaid red light camera notices. Starting on October 29, 2013, the Grand Prairie and Plano Police Departments will implement an amnesty period that will run until December 1, 2013. This grace period is designed to encourage anyone who has delinquent red-light camera notices to take advantage of this opportunity and resolve these notices before their vehicle’s registration is flagged.

To enforce payment of delinquent fines, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles will place a hold on the renewal of a vehicle’s registration until the fine is paid. If the delinquent fine is not paid within 90-days, a flag will be placed immediately after that date. Owners of vehicles with registration flags can have the flag released by paying the fine using convenient payment methods: on-line, phone, mail or in person. Once the fine is paid and the hold is released, the owner can register the vehicle using any of the methods allowed.

Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye and Plano Police Chief Gregory W. Rushin both agree that red light running is completely preventable. The important next phase of enforcement for the Red Light Camera Program is aimed at sending a clear message to violators about the value they place on public safety. There are consequences associated with ignoring the law, and simply refusing to pay the fine does not exempt a violator from accountability. The goal of the program continues to be focused on traffic safety by changing driver behavior and discouraging dangerous driving and the running of red lights.

Grand Prairie reports that there currently have over 39,000 unpaid red light camera violations associated to vehicles registered in Texas and are 91 days or more in arrears.

Additional information regarding these red light camera programs can be obtained from the City of Grand Prairie website.

Source: Grand Prairie Police Department

October 28, 2013

Heavy rain and severe storms expected Wednesday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth advises a powerful fall storm system will move through the central U.S. on Wednesday and Thursday.

Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected by Wednesday afternoon and evening across North Texas. With the expected strength of the system, some severe weather is expected across North Texas.

In addition to any severe weather, very heavy rainfall will be possible in some areas. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches will be possible across parts of North Texas with heavier amounts toward the Arklatex.

Medical Center Arlington opens Emergency Room at Grand Prairie

John Cartusciello (center), Chairman of the Board, Medical Center Arlington, cuts the ribbon at Monday's VIP reception for the grand opening of the ER at Grand Prairie. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Monday's VIP reception for the grand opening of Medical Center of Arlington's off site, full service emergency room located at Camp Wisdom and Lake Ridge Parkway.

Dedicated in memory of Ruthe Jackson, the emergency room will begin accepting patients on October 29, Ms. Jackson's birthday.

Staffed with board certified emergency room physicians and with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, the facility can handle the same emergencies as the Arlington hospital's emergency room.

The emergency room features:

1 trauma room
12 exam rooms (2 rooms decorated for children)
Pharmacy
Complete medical laboratory
X-ray
CT scan
Fluoroscopy and ultrasound testing
Access to on-call specialists
An onsite ambulance to transport patients needing hospitalization
Gary Busby, Manager of Emergency Service, Medical Center Arlington, said the Emergency Room at Grand Prairie can treat anything from a sore throat to a heart attack to a gunshot wound.

He said the 24/7 emergency room, "Is going to give the community a place to come, get seen quickly and get on their way."

October 27, 2013

Chance of severe weather on Wednesday

A storm system currently dropping south will bring a good chance of showers and thunderstorms midweek.

Some storms Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night may produce large hail and damaging downburst winds. Locally very heavy rain may result in flash flooding.

October 24, 2013

Medical Center Arlington's new ER at Grand Prairie to host fall family festival October 26

October 23, 2013

Separate ballot for City Council District 3 creates problem for voters

A separate ballot for the Grand Prairie City Council District 3 seat has created confusion for some voters at both of the city's Dallas County early voting locations.

Toni Pippins-Poole, Dallas County Election Administrator, said a second ballot is necessary because the late closing date for candidate filing for District 3 was past the deadline to make the general ballot. The general ballot includes state amendments, Place 7 - at large candidates and the Crime Control District Sales Tax Referendum.

Voters have to request the ballot that is only at Garner Fine Arts Academy, 145 West Polo Road, and complete another sign in order to vote for the council seat.

Some voters complained that they were not informed that the District 3 seat has a separate ballot and they did not see signs at Garner directing them to the second sign in.

One voter said he left after voting on the general ballot thinking the reason he saw no District 3 candidates was because the recent re-districting put him in another district. After going home and doing an online address lookup that confirmed his residency in District 3, he had to return to Garner for the separate ballot to vote for a District 3 candidate.

When told of the problems, Toni Pippins-Poole said she would have additional signs put in place to help direct voters to the District 3 ballot and also have election workers fully explain the additional ballot. She also said voters can help by finding out what district they reside and letting the election workers know.

Dallas County Election office has a 24 hour phone line, 214-819-6300, for precinct and district lookup.

The City of Grand Prairie has online council district information at: http://gis.gptx.org/maps/

Resident diagnosed with West Nile virus, mosquito spraying scheduled for October 24-25

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) announced the twelfth human West Nile virus case in Dallas County for the 2013 season. The resident lives in Grand Prairie ZIP code 75052 and is diagnosed with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.

The City of Grand Prairie will ground spray the following area for two consecutive nights on Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25, starting at 10 p.m. The area is bound by Westchase Dr. on the north, Westcliff Rd. and Fargo Dr. on the east, Broadsword Ln. and San Jacinto Dr. on the south, and S. Carrier Pkwy. on the west.

Map of Spray Area
Residents in this area are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fishponds during those times. Spraying will be cancelled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimming pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

Police seek identity of theft suspect


Grand Prairie police are asking for the public's help in identifying a theft suspect that stole more than $10,000 worth of jewelry from the Kay Jewelers, 2950 West Interstate 20 on October 16.

Detective Mark Beseda said the suspect entered the store around 4:30 pm, asked an employee to see a white gold bridal ring set. The suspect took the rings and ran from the store. He fled in a white Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The suspect is described as:

Black male
5'-08"
200 pounds
Late 30s to early 40s
Goatee
Wearing a navy colored beanie and a grey sweatshirt
Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1000.00 reward for any information and can be contacted at 972-988-TIPS (8477).

October 21, 2013

State Representative Chris Turner to host health insurance town hall meeting on October 29

October 20, 2013

Learn About the Healthcare Marketplace

Early voting begins October 21 for City of Grand Prairie Special Election

Early voting for the November 5 City of Grand Prairie Special Election to fill vacant City Council District 3, Place 7 (at large) and the Special Crime Control and Prevention District Election will be begin on October 21.

Candidates

Grand Prairie – Early Voting : 10/21/2013 through 11/01/2013

Monday, October 21, 2013 through Friday, October 25, 2013 (8AM – 5PM)

Saturday, October 26, 2013 (8AM – 5PM)

Sunday, October 27, 2013 (1PM – 6PM)

Monday, October 28, 2013 through Wednesday, October 30, 2013 (8AM – 5PM)

Thursday, October 31, 2013 and Friday, November 01, 2013 (7AM – 7PM)

Locations:
Dallas County
Garner Fine Arts Academy
145 West Polo Road
Tarrant County
Asia Times Square
2615 West Pioneer Parkway

CrossPoint Church of Christ
3020 West Bardin Road (Closed Sunday)

October 11, 2013

Call for Entries to Lit on Main Ugly Lamp Contest


Submitted photo
Calling all Ugly Lamps for the Lit on Main Ugly Lamp Contest. Entries are due by Nov. 22 to the Uptown Theater, 120 E. Main St., to make the opening of the display Nov. 27; however, late entries will be accepted and added to the display until Dec. 6. Lamps will be on display in the window of the Uptown Theater during December and available for pickup after Jan. 2, 2014. Entry is free.

Maybe it was a Christmas present you received in 1987, or it was part of an inheritance from your Great Aunt Esther. Or, maybe you’ve decorated your own little piece of amazing that someone else may not view as beautiful. Whatever your laughable lighting accessory may be the Uptown Theater wants it in their Ugly Lamp Contest. Just follow the rules below, complete an entry form available online at www.gptx.org/uglylampcontest, attach it to your lamp and drop it off as instructed below. Don’t worry; you’ll get your lamp back if you want it, or you can donate it for sale or recycling.

The rules: Lamps due by Nov. 22. Turn in at Uptown Theater, 120 E. Main St. Late entries by Dec. 6, 2013

  • Free to enter
  • No religious, political or sexually themed lamps
  • Lamps must be in working order
  • Lamps must be able to sit on a table or stand on the floor
  • Lamps must be safe to move (i.e. no barbed wire or broken glass, etc.)
  • ,li>Lamps must be of a weight that a human being can move - no forklifts
How to vote on Ugly Lamp winners:
The lamps will be on display during December in the front window of the Uptown Theater. Anyone may vote using the ballot box in front of the theater. Voting is free and begins Nov. 27.
Ugly Lamp winners get:
  • First Place Prize: four tickets to show of choice at Uptown Theater in 2014
  • Second Place Prize: two tickets to show of choice at Uptown Theater in 2014
  • Third Place Prize: $25 VISA gift card
For more info call 972-237-8086 or check out gptx.org/uglylampcontest.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Ervin Martin Koerth


Ervin Martin Koerth, 91, of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas formerly of Grand Prairie, passed away October 8, 2013. He was born July 16, 1922 in Dora, Texas to Gus and Cora Koerth.

Ervin was a highly decorated Army veteran who served his country bravely in WWII. During the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded the Purple Heart while assigned as a paratrooper to the 551st Battalion.

After his war service, Ervin went into the tool and dye profession, later starting his own company, LESKO Inc. providing airplane parts to the defense department and a variety of airplane manufacturers.

Ervin was passionate about his love for his family and was a devoted father to his only daughter, Sandra. He made sure his love for fishing was shared with his grandsons. Friends and family knew him as “Mr. Fix It” with a positive influence and a true fighter.

He was predeceased by his parents and siblings. Ervin is survived by his loving wife of almost 70 years, Lois M. Koerth of Hot Springs Village; daughter, Sandra Hoelting (Larry) of Hot Springs Village; grandsons, Brian Kickhoefer (Laura) of San Antonio, Texas, Bart Kickhoefer (Betty) Cleburne, Texas and Harlan Kickhoefer (Vanessa) of Parkland, Florida; and nine great grandchildren.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Monday at Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie with visitation to begin at 10 a.m. Burial will be at Moore Memorial Gardens.

Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Guests may register at www.caruth-hale.com

Caruth Village Funeral Home
P.O. Box 8074
Hot Springs Village, AR 71910
501-984-6111

Veteran TV Stars Tony Dow and Judy Norton Bring Love Letters to Grand Prairie

On Saturday, November 2, The Texas Family Musicals will present two performance of Tony Dow(Leave it To Beaver) and Judy Norton ( The Waltons) in A.R. Gurney’s critically acclaimed play, Love Letters at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in drama, Love Letters centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner (Norton) and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (Dow), as they read the hilarious and poignant letters that have passed between them throughout their lives. Under veteran director, Sam DiRosa (Disney Inc.), Love Letters paints a vivid portrait of two charter members of the privileged set, as their relationship unfolds from what is written—and what is left unsaid—in their letters. A smash hit both OFF Broadway and Broadway, Love Letters captures Andy and Melissa with a precision and depth of feeling only Gurney can command. Love Letters played OFF Broadway 64 times then moved to Broadway for 96 more performances. Since this time, it has been one of the most popular shows to play around the country at professional regional theaters.

DiRosa said, “The letters, as the two legendary actors read aloud—creates many evocative, touching, frequently funny and always telling situations between a man and a woman who are physically apart but remains as close, spiritually as two people could be. The chemistry among these two veteran actors is amazing for the crowds are mesmerized the entire production.”

Continue reading "Veteran TV Stars Tony Dow and Judy Norton Bring Love Letters to Grand Prairie" »

October 09, 2013

Farmers Market to Hold Harvest Fair October 12

Get into the fall spirit at the Grand Prairie Farmers Market’s Harvest Fair from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Market Square, 120 W. Main St. The fair will feature activities for all ages including pumpkin bowling, face painting, mini-pumpkin decorating, Kona Ice, bounce house, and polka music.

The Grand Prairie Farmers Market sells locally grown fruits and vegetables, cheeses, tamales, candles, soaps and much more. The market is open every Saturday, March to December, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about the Farmers Market, call 972-237-4599 or visit www.gptx.org/farmersmarket.

October 08, 2013

Mayor Speaks to Dubiski SkillsUSA Students about Community Service


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

On Tuesday, Mayor Ron Jensen spoke to students at Dubiski Career High School at the SkillsUSA meeting about community service.

Chamber of Commerce Releases Voters Guide for Special City Election

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce released its voters guide for the November 5 City of Grand Prairie Special Election to fill vacant Place 7, at large and District 3 seats.

View guide online at: Voters Guide

City Holds Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Public Smoking Ordinance

Sharon Chaparas speaks at Tuesday's public hearing in support of changes to the public smoking ordinance. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

The public had the opportunity to give their input on a proposed smoking ordinance to the City of Grand Prairie Public Health Advisory Committee at a Public Hearing held Tuesday night at the City Hall Council Chambers.

Proposed changes to the ordinance include eliminating smoking in restaurants, city facilities and other commercial buildings.

Residents may air their views in a email or letter through October 18. Emails may be sent to cmendez@gptx.org and letters can be sent to Cindy Mendez, City of Grand Prairie, PO Box 534045, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053.

The city also has a online survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SmokingOrdGPTX

For more information contact Cindy Mendez at 972-237-8055.

Texas Trust Names Two Dubiski Career High Students to Youth Advisory Council

Submitted Photo

Texas Trust Credit Union selected Jacob Brunson and Isaac Molina, students at Dubiski Career High School, to participate in its Youth Advisory Council for the fall session. Brunson and Molina were among sixteen students from five north Texas school districts and two private schools named to the Council.

The Youth Advisory Council was launched in 2011 as a leadership development program focusing on personal finance. The program is designed to teach and equip high school students with basic financial skills to prepare them for college and beyond.

Council members meet twice a month to learn about personal financial issues, service leadership, marketing and career opportunities in the financial field. The Council will also participate in a community service project benefiting the Children's Medical Center. Members will also participate at several Texas Trust community events throughout the session.

Fifty-six high school students applied for positions on the Council. The students chosen will serve through December 2013.

"The Council is an interactive educational program that teaches and equips students with skills they will use throughout their lifetime," said Amber Danford, senior vice president of marketing. "The students also get to see how a financial institution operates, so they have a better understanding of how our financial system works."

October 07, 2013

Chamber of Commerce to Host Candidates Forum

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce is hosting a candidates forum for the November 5 City of Grand Prairie Special Election to fill vacancies in Place 7 at large, and District 3.

Candidates Forum:

When: Thursday, October 10
Time: 6 pm
Where: Grand Prairie ISD Administration Building, 2602 South Belt Line Road

Film Festival Recognizes Local Women Directors

The 3rd Annual Lois Weber Film Festival will be held November 8 and 9 at the historic Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie. Two D/FW directors, Channing Godfrey Peoples and Julia Dyer will speak about their work.

Friday, November 8

7:30 pm: Red, by Fort Worth director Channing Godfrey Peoples, who will speak following the presentation. Channing also plays the lead character, Red. Originally from Ft. Worth, Channing spent her childhood in community theater and has been drawn to storytelling ever since. She has a MFA in Film Production, from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. More information about her movie can be found at http://www.msredfilm.com.
Saturday, November 9
3 pm: Meek's Cutoff, directed by Kelly Reichardt. Stars Michelle Williams and Bruce Greenwood. Settlers traveling through the Oregon desert in 1845 find themselves stranded in harsh conditions.

5:30 pm: Service: When Women Come Marching Home, directed by Marcia Rock. This documentary portrays the courage of the women in service and once they have left the military; the horrific traumas they faced, the inadequate care they often receive on return and the large and small accomplishments the women work mightily to achieve.

7 pm: The Lois Weber Award is presented to Dallas director Julia Dyer. Her film The Playroom will be shown. Afterwards, a reception will allow attendees to meet and speak with Julia. Julia has worked as a filmmaker in Dallas for more than two decades. She regularly consults on a variety of independent film projects, and has taught directing in the nationally recognized film program of the University of Texas at Austin, of which she is a graduate. More information about The Playroom can be found at http://theplayroommovie.com.

The Film Festival is made possible by the Grand Prairie Public Library System, the City of Grand Prairie and the Uptown Theater. A one-day ticket is $8. A two-day pass is $12. Show your Grand Prairie library card for $2 off. Tickets are available at the Uptown Theater box office. The Uptown Theater is located at 120 E. Main St. in Grand Prairie.

The Grand Prairie Main Library is the site of the Lois Weber Collection, a circulating collection of motion pictures, short films, and documentaries. Named for one of the first successful women directors, this unique collection of more than 400 films (in dvd format) showcases the exciting variety of motion pictures directed by women since the earliest days of film creation. Wanting to focus on both the historical and ongoing contributions of women in the motion picture arts, the Library decided to acquire a core collection of films directed by women, far-ranging in terms of time period, subject matter, style, and country of origin. Library cards are free, even to non-residents. The Main Library is located at 901 Conover Drive, in Grand Prairie. Visit www.gptx.org/library for more information.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

October 06, 2013

Grand Prairie Library Expands E-Branch Collection

The Grand Prairie Public Library System now offers a large collection of digital best-selling and classic books, free for library cardholders, available through their updated eBranch collection.

Overdrive Read and 3M Cloud, two recent additions to the eBranch, are both app-driven tools to enjoy books digitally. All you need is a library card and a smartphone, tablet, e-reader or computer to access hundreds of titles, including exclusive mini-novelas not available in print by authors such as Lee Child and Karin Slaughter.

You can check-out up to three books for two-weeks on 3M Cloud and Overdrive. Get a feel for the Grand Prairie eBranch without travel or the fear of incurring late fees. Once your time has expired the e-book simply erases from your device. You may have a hold on up to five books if they are unavailable for immediate check-out.

Grand Prairie residents and non-residents are invited to visit any of the three library locations, Main Library, 901 Conover Drive; Betty Warmack Library, 760 Bardin Road; or Tony Shotwell Branch Library, 2750 Graham St., with a valid state identification card to register for a free library card. To browse the eBranch visit www.gptx.org/library. For more information call 973-237-5701.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

October 04, 2013

Grand Prairie ISD Rallies to Rachel’s Challenge


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Students from all across the Grand Prairie ISD were on hand Thursday night at the Gopher-Warrior Bowl for a rally to Rachel Scott’s challenge to be kind and compassionate to others.

Rachel Scoot was a student at Columbine High School who was the first student killed in the 1999 shooting. Known for her kindness and compassion for others, her death spawned a global movement by individuals, groups, schools and even school districts to encourage others to demonstrate kindness and compassion towards one another.

“Rachel’s message has touched us all on a very personal level,” said GPISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Hull. “Her challenge is to show compassion to others and embrace kindness. In GPISD, we fully accept that challenge.”

As part of the rally, GPISD and the City of Grand Prairie honored the memory of former City Council Member Mrs. Ruthe Jackson by introducing the Ruthe’s Choice – Service to Your Community initiative. Mrs. Jackson believed service to one’s community is a choice everyone should make.

October 03, 2013

David Friedman’s Listen to My Heart Opens at Uptown Theater


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter ©2013

David Friedman’s Listen to My Heart opened its first of four performances Thursday night at Grand Prairie's historic Uptown Theater.

Five of Broadway's finest singers, Lulu Picart, Fred Ross, Heather Cleveland Krueger, Alison Burns and Craig Sculli, performed Friedman's music that took the audience on a journey through hopes, desires and aspirations.

David Friedman is best known for his composition of numerous Broadway productions, such as Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Song and Dance. He has also written, composed and produced music for several Disney films, including Pocahontas, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Friedman has also written hundreds of songs for singing sensations as varied as Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, Kathie Lee Gifford and Jason Alexander.

Performances will be October 4-5 at 8 pm with an additional matinee performance at 2:30 pm on October 5.

Tickets prices are $20 and $25; $15 for groups of 12 or more; and $12 for students with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase the Box Office, at www.uptowntheatergp.com or by calling 972-237-8786.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Texas General Hospital to Host Health Fair

Dallas County and Department of Public Safety to Provide Election Identification Certificate to Dallas County Residents

Department of Public Safety (DPS) Election Identification Certificate (EIC) mobile stations will be in Grand Prairie next week to assist any voters who are in need of a valid form of photo ID in order to vote in the November election.

The EIC Mobile Station will be at:

Grand Prairie Government Center
106 W. Church St.
Grand Prairie, TX 75050
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
8am – 5pm
This service is completely free to you. There is no charge for Election Identification Certificates to qualified Texas voters who do not already have an approved form of photo ID, which is now required for voting in person.

There are three convenient ways to obtain an EIC:

  • By visiting ANY driver license office during regular business hours
  • By visiting one of nearly 50 driver license offices that are now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. through November 2nd, specifically to issue EICs only
  • And now, by visiting one of these EIC mobile stations, which will make it even more convenient for eligible Texas voters to obtain an EIC closer to home
All applicants for an EIC will need to present proof of citizenship and identity. As a note, many Texans already have an approved form of ID, and will not need or qualify for an EIC. Acceptable forms of ID in addition to an EIC are:
  • Texas driver license issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport
Additionally, please note the list of DPS locations open on Saturdays for EICs. For more information about voting in Texas, please visit www.VoteTexas.gov.

October 02, 2013

Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club to Host Annual 5K/10K Lake Joe Pool Pumpkin Run

The Grand Prairie Metro Rotary will be hosting their 27th annual 10K Run, 5K run/walk and One Mile Fun Run on Saturday, October 12, 2013. This event will raise money for local Alzheimer’s Research and several other local and international charities.

The race will start and finish in Lynn Creek Park at Lake Joe Pool. Registration starts at 6:30 a.m. and the race will begin with a One Mile Fun Run at 8:00 a.m., rain or shine with the 5K & 10K at 8:30 A.M. The registration fee is $25 for all participants until October 11th. Race Day fee will be $30.

There will be a free pancake breakfast for runners with bibs until the award ceremony. All others are asked to pay $1. Parking is FREE for this event (please identify yourself as a Pumpkin Run Participant), however gates will CLOSE at 8:00 A.M. for the safety of the runners and no entrance or exit will be permitted until 9:45 A.M. so please get to the park early!

There will also be FREE Pumpkin Decorating for the kids & FREE Face Painting. Temporary tattoos will also be available for a $1 donation.

All preregistered runners (by October 4th) are guaranteed a commemorative short-sleeve tee shirt. Additional long-sleeve tee shirts will be available for an additional $20 donation.

To register for the 5K or 10K, or for more information, log on to www.pumpkinrun.us or call 214-455-1716.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build good will and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in 167 countries. Rotary International’s motto for 2013 –2014 is ‘Engage Rotary, Change Lives’.

October 01, 2013

Constable Williams Hosts National Night Out Health and Safety Fair


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Roy Williams, Jr. Constable, Precinct 4 held a National Night Out Health and Safety Fair at the new Grand Prairie Government Center.

The fair offered free food, eye and dental exams, immunizations, gun locks and host of other activities to promote safety and well being in the community.

October Frights and Festivities in Grand Prairie

Grand Prairie is scaring up some fun during the entire month of October. The following list includes frights and festivities for all ages.
  • Saturday, Oct. 5, at 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Fall Foods at Market Square, 120 W. Main St. Featuring zucchini, pumpkins, beans, breads and salsas. Visit www.gptx.org/farmersmarket.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 8- Nov. 1, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Green Meadows Petting Farm, Lynn Creek Park, 5700 Lake Ridge Parkway. Admission is $12 for ages two and up, free for children one and under. For group rates visit www.greenmeadowsevents.com
  • Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 11- 26 and Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m., Ripley’s Nightmare at the Wax Museum, 601 E. Palace Parkway. The Asylum of Fear, open year round, will have some special surprises and clowns popping up in unsuspecting places. Visit www.ripleys.com/grandprairie
  • Saturday, Oct. 12, at 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Harvest Fair at Market Square, 120 W. Main St. Harvest Fair will feature food trucks, roasted corn, sausage on a stick, brats, sauerkraut, beer garden, Polka band, “take your own” harvest photos and games, including pumpkin bowling, turkey toss, face painting, mini-pumpkin decorating and a bounce house. Visit www.gptx.org/farmersmarket.
  • Saturday, Oct. 12, at 8 a.m., 27th Annual Pumpkin Run presented by the Grand Prairie Metro Rotary Club, at Lynn Creek Park, 5700 Lake Ridge Parkway. The 1-mile Fun Run begins at 8 a.m. and 10K and 5K run/walk starts at 8:30 a.m. For more information visit www.pumpkinrun.us
  • Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 29-20 and Oct. 26-27 at 2 p.m., Little Shop of Horrors presented by the Grand Prairie Arts Council, Uptown Theater, 120 E. Main St. A spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies. Not appropriate for younger children. Purchase tickets at www.artsgp.org or call 972-237-8786.
  • Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 18-Oct. 26, at 11 p.m., Forest of Fear, at Loyd Park on Joe Pool Lake, 3401 Ragland Road. Free hayrides will tour haunted campsites. Vehicle admission is $10. To reserve a campsite visit www.loydpark.com or call 972-237-4120.
  • Saturday, Oct. 19, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m., Pumpkin Craze at Market Square, 120 W. Main St. Come enjoy pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes, games, a gift market and “take your own” harvest photos. Visit www.gptx.org/farmersmarket.
  • Friday, Oct. 25, 6-8 p.m., Halloween Community Carnival, Charley Taylor Recreation Center, 601 E. Grand Prairie Road. This free event will feature bounce houses, games, candy and lots of fun. Call 972-264-6890.
  • Friday, Oct. 25, 5-7 p.m., Trick or Trail at Tony Shotwell Life Center (formerly Bowles Life Center), 2750 Graham St. Trick or Treat along Bowles Park Trail and enjoy a haunted house and games inside the recreation center. Free. Call 972-237-7529.
  • Saturday, October 26, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m., Monster Mash at Market Square, 120 W. Main St., featuring food trucks, pumpkin patch, games, and costume contest. Visit www.gptx.org/farmersmarket.
  • Saturday, Oct. 26, 1-3 p.m., Kirby Creek Pumpkin Swim, Kirby Creek Natatorium, 3201 Corn Valley Road. Jump in and swim with hundreds of pumpkins in our heated indoor pool. Pick out your favorite and take it home. The cost is $3 per person. Limit one pumpkin per swimmer. Call 972-264-8258.
  • Sunday, Oct. 27, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Haunted Hallway presented by “La Z” Radio, Traders Village, 2602 Mayfied Road. Bring the kids for a day full of ghostly fun featuring a haunted house, pumpkin patch and lots of candy. Parking is $3 per vehicle and admission is free. For more information, call 972-647-2331.
  • Monday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m., Grand Prairie Main Library, 901 Conover Drive. Meet Rita Cook, author of Haunted Fort Worth and Haunted Dallas. Rita has authored more than 1,000 articles on various topics. Hauntings are a special interest, since she grew up in a house full of ghosts. Visit www.gptx.org/library or call 972-237-5700.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m., Grand Prairie Main Library, 901 Conover Drive. Meet Mitchel Whitington, author of Ghosts of North Texas, and Ghosts of East Texas, and editor of anthologies like Haunted Encounters. Mitchel is an author, editor, publisher, and public speaker. Visit www.gptx.org/library or call 972-237-5700.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 18th Annual Little Lunch of Horrors, Pioneer Event Center, 1025 W. Pioneer Parkway. For more information contact Darcy Harris at 972-264-0604, ext. 113. -264-0604 ext. 113
  • Thursday, Oct. 31, 6-9 p.m., Street ‘N Treat at Market Square, 120 W. Main St. Games, bounce houses, candy, prizes and food. Free for all ages. Call 972-237-8112.
  • Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:30-10:30 p.m., Terror at the Uptown, Uptown Theater, 120 E. Main St. Come downtown for a good old-fashioned scare. Entrance fee is $5 per person. Presented by the Grand Prairie Arts Council, www.artsgp.org.

Work Begins on Dazzling Holiday Light Display

Crews begin stringing some of the 4 million lights that make up Prairie Lights. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Crews began stringing the more than 4 million lights that turns Lynn Creek Park into in a magical Christmas wonderland called Prairie Lights.

This year's lighting spectacular will feature hundreds of all new displays in shapes of all kinds that line and arch over the two miles of paths.

Half way through the drive is a stop at Holiday Village where you will find food, gifts, Santa, and two Holiday Magic attractions the Light Show Theater and the Lighted Walk-Through Forest.

The finale of the show is the world's largest light tunnel.

Prairie Lights is open November 22 through December 31. For more information and admission prices go to: Prairie Lights

September 30, 2013

2012-2013 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program

With the 2012-2013 fiscal year ending on Monday, the Grand Prairie Police Department released figures on its Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).

Since late January, STEP grants funded nearly 4400 man hours of traffic enforcement. Officers operating under the grant issued:

  • Nearly 2600 speeding citations
  • Over 600 seatbelt and child safety seat citations
  • Nearly 6000 red light and stop sign citations
  • Made 22 DWI arrests

For the 2013-2014 fiscal year that begins on October 1, the police department's STEP was awarded a total of $402,622.11. The total includes matching funds from the City of Grand Prairie. The grant funds will be used to target DWI, speeding, seatbelts and child safety seats and intersection enforcement.

The goal of the grant enforcement is to reduce traffic collisions and fatalities in Grand Prairie.

September 27, 2013

Prairie Paws Open Late for Cat Giveaway

The Grand Prairie Animal Shelter, 2222 W. Warrior Trail, has too many cats at its slumber party, so we are staying open late and giving them away Thursday-Saturday, September 26-28. Shop for your new cat pal in your PJs until 8 pm Saturday.

Adult cats (older than 6 months) will be FREE and kittens will be $25 during the special. Regular price adoptions are $70.

The three-day Cat’s Pajamas special starts Thursday, September 26-27, during regular hours 10 am – 6 pm, and then the shelter will stay open late from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (closed noon – 1 p.m.) Saturday, September 28, to clear the cattery.

Cats come with a 3-in-1 shot and a $50 spay or neuter voucher if they are not sterilized yet. Those wishing to adopt must complete an application and be approved before receiving their pet, and must provide proof of rabies vaccine and spay or neuter within 30 days of the adoption. Up to two pets per household may be adopted. The offer is valid only for new adoptions.

For more information call 972-237-8575 or visit www.gptx.org/paws.

September 26, 2013

Fifth Annual Taste of Grand Prairie


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Thousands of hungry visitors filled QuikTrip Park Thursday to taste the samples from twenty-five local restaurants at the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Fifth Annual Taste of Grand Prairie.

The annual event not only spotlights restaurants, it also features other local businesses. This year's event offered crafters an opportunity to show off their art.

The event that grows each year had 74 vendors this year. Up significantly from the 54 at last year's event.

September 24, 2013

Police Department Hosts Volunteer Appreciation Dinner


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

To honor the many volunteers that have donated a total of more than 10,000 hours assisting the department, Grand Prairie police hosted its first Volunteer Appreciation Dinner Tuesday evening at the Public Safety Building.

Police Chief Steve Dye and his assistant chiefs served the dozens of volunteers a barbeque dinner.

Volunteers that logged more than one-hundred hours for the year were recognized by Chief Dye in a ceremony.

Chief Dye briefly spoke to the group noting that two years ago the volunteer program was almost dead. Recently, Citizens on Patrol received Best Large Agency of the Year in Texas award and this week the Police Department was given the International Association of Chiefs of Police finalist award for community policing which a volunteer program was a key component.

He noted that Grand Prairie is one of the few cities with a Victims Relief Ministry chapter, a faith based victim service organization.

Ballot Set for November 5 Special Election to Fill Vacant City Council Seats

The ballot has been set for the November 5 Grand Prairie City Council Special Election for the vacant District 3 and Place 7 seats due to the recent deaths of Council Members Ruthe Jackson and Bill Thorn.

District 3 Candidates:

Kurt Johnson
Bill Nash
Lila Thorn
Place 7 Candidates:
Charlie Womack
Jeff Copeland
R. J. DiLena
Max Coleman
Early voting begins October 21 through November 1.

Rain Expected this Weekend

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said there is a good chance of showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday.

A cold front and upper level disturbance will move into the area late Saturday bringing the rain. The system should move out by Sunday afternoon and night. Rainfall totals are expected to average less than 1 inch but local 2 inch plus totals are possible.

Until then, the area will see mostly sunny days and clear nights with above seasonal normal temperatures through Friday.

September 23, 2013

Police Officers run to Honor Grand Prairie's Two Fallen Officers


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Grand Prairie Police Academy cadets led the way as dozens of officers took part in Monday's second annual eight mile run to honor Grand Prairie's two officers killed in the line of duty, Officer Lyndon King and Sergeant Gregory Hunter.

A featured guest runner at this year's event was former Police Chief Glen Hill.

The run that began near NW 7 and Interstate 30, the location near where Officer Lyndon King was killed by a drunk driver, and ended at the parking lot of Walmart on Interstate 20 where Sergeant Gregory Hunter was slain.

Police Chief Steve Dye said the run that is a tradition for the department's academy classes, is a way for recruits to honor the officers that have made the ultimate sacrifices. It also reinforces that although a very rewarding career, law enforcement is still a dangerous profession.

Next year the run will begin at the Walmart and end at NW 7 and Interstate 30.

September 21, 2013

Flight of the Monarch at Central Park


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Grand Prairie celebrated the annual migration of the monarch butterfly from North America to Central Mexico on Saturday at Central Park.

The event included two monarch butterfly releases, kite flying, a kid zone with bounce houses and children crafts, vendors, food, a butterfly costume contest and music by Lucas Miller, recognized as an “American Masterpiece” by the National Endowment for the Arts.

September 20, 2013

Debit Card Swipes get Grand Prairie High Schools $90 Thousand


High schools in Grand Prairie have been the benefactors of nearly $90,000 from Texas Trust Credit Union in the last 13 months.

Through the Texas Trust Spirit Debit Reward card, participating Grand Prairie schools earned fifteen cents every time a Spirit Reward card was used to make a purchase. The schools received a monthly check based on the number of times their school Spirit Reward card was used. In the last 13 months, Spirit Debit Reward cards were used more than 1.5 million times.

South Grand Prairie High School was the highest earning in Grand Prairie, bringing in $27,446.35.

Entering its third year, Spirit Debit Reward program offers more than 35 different Spirit Reward cards to reflect the individual personalities of each participating school. A large number of the cards were custom designed by the students.

The Spirit Debit Reward card is part of Texas Trust's Spirit in Action campaign. Schools earn additional cash rewards when members open checking accounts, take out auto loans, personal loans or mortgages. Cardholders and schools can track how much money is being raised from the Spirit Debit Reward Card for their designated school on the Spirit Rewards Meter.

Chamber of Commerce Spotlights Two Businesses

Staff of the Chateau on Wildbriar Lake pose in the lobby of the luxury senior apartments. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

By Richard Whitman

This month’s featured Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce new business is Chateau on Wildbriar Lake, located at 1515 Hard Rock Road in Irving. Chateau on Wildbriar Lake is an independent senior living community offering a luxurious and peaceful environment that includes unique features such as lake side residences, walking trails, fishing, an outdoor heated salt water pool and wide open outdoor spaces.

General Manager Donyse Jadlowski says, “The resort-like feel of Chateau on Wildbriar Lake is really hitting home with seniors that visit our community.”

“We joined the Grand Prairie Chamber of commerce because Grand Prairie is going through some great changes. With a viable and vibrant senior market and easy access via the new 161 Tollway, it was a good fit for us.” She adds, “The Summit at Grand Prairie’s Central Park is also huge for us, with many of our residents enjoying membership at that facility. Grand Prairie is as big a part of our business as our home city of Irving.”

“The Grand Prairie Chamber has made us feel very welcome, and we really appreciate how we have been welcomed into the community,” says Ms. Jadlowski.

Families and individuals interested in learning more about Chateau on Wildbriar Lake are invited to attend an open house/meet and greet at the facility on Tuesday September 24 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. Additional information can also be found at www.chateauonwildbriarlake.com or by contacting them at 972-399-4800.

The Daiquiri Shoppe also joined the Chamber as a new member for the month.

The Chamber would also like to recognize renewing member Rental Stop. With several area locations, including 2935 S. Highway 360 in Grand Prairie, Rental Stop has been in business for over 25 years, and has a full-time staff of trained professionals to assist with rentals from Tools and Equipment to Parties and Events.

Rental Stop is also a general rental store, which carries a large variety of tools and equipment. Whether it’s a toolbox wrench or a Bobcat Skid Steer, Rental Stop can help make any project easier for both residential customers and commercial contractors.

Don Ellis, manager of Rental Stop says, “We joined the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce a little over a year ago as a way to expand and market our business in the Grand Prairie area.”

To see more of what Rental Stop has to offer, visit them at www.RentalStops.com or contact them at 972-336-0059.

The Chamber would like to thank all new and renewing members for their investment in the Grand Prairie business community. For more information about the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, please call 972-264-1558, or visit them at www.grandprairiechamber.org.

September 19, 2013

Public Meeting on Proposed Smoking Ordinance

The Grand Prairie City Council Public Health Advisory Committee is hosting a public meeting, October 8, at 7 pm, in the City Council Chambers, 317 College Street, to discuss amendments to the City of Grand Prairie’s smoking ordinance.

Changes to the ordinance include eliminating smoking in restaurants, city facilities and other commercial buildings.

Residents are welcome to attend the public meeting to contribute their input. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may submit an email or letter through October18. Emails may be sent to smoking@gptx.org, letters can be sent to Cindy Mendez, City of Grand Prairie, PO Box 534045, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053.

For more information, contact Cindy Mendez at 972-237-8055.

Decomposed Body Found in Vacant Field


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Maintenance workers trimming grass in a vacant field discovered a badly decomposed body Thursday morning near Volturno Drive and Modeli Drive. This is the same general area that Cody Derrick has been missing from since August 21.

Grand Prairie police would not say if they suspect the body to be that of Derrick.

Detective Mark Beseda said the Tarrant County Medical examiner would have to identify the body.

September 18, 2013

Managers vs. Leaders Topic at Chamber Luncheon

Dr. Tara Peters speaks on the differnce between leaders and managers at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamberof Commerce monthly luncheon. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Dr. Tara Peters was the featured speaker at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. She presented a program explaining the difference between leadership and management.

A professional educator for more than nineteen years, Dr. Peters is with the DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood University in Cedar Hill.

Chamber members also heard from Mayor Ron Jensen who spoke about the November 5 City Council election and Crime Control Sales Tax Referendum.

Mayor Jensen explained that this would not be an increase of the City of Grand Prairie's sales tax. It is a continuation of an existing sales tax.

If approved, the city will continue paying off the debt on the Public Safety Building, in addition to hiring and equipping new police officers, Mayor Jensen said.

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is held the third Wednesday of each month. For more information call 972-264-1558

September 17, 2013

Night on the Town with Grand Prairie United Charities

On September 26, the Grand Prairie United Charities (GPUC) will host "Night on the Town" featuring a night of dinner, dancing with entertainment by Back in Tha Day, a rock n roll band playing hits from the 70s through today.

The night will also include a silent and live auction fundraiser to support GPUC's mission to meet the emergency needs of Grand Prairie residents who are experiencing financial setbacks.

Event:

Night on the Town with Grand Prairie United Charities
September 26
6-9 pm
Pioneer Event Center, 1025 West Pioneer Pkwy, Grand Prairie
Individual tickets - $25
Table of 8 - $200
Sponsorships are also available
Call (972)262-2014 x11 for more information and to purchase tickets.

September 16, 2013

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Holds Reception for Mayor Jensen

Mayor Ron Jensen speaks at Monday's reception at the Uptown Theater hosted by the Greater Grand Prairie Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

The Greater Grand Prairie Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted a reception for Mayor Ron Jensen.

Rosemary Trujillo, Chairman of the Board, said the organization held the reception to honor Mayor Jensen for all of his work for the city of Grand Prairie.

Mayor Jensen told the large group that with the recent loss of several city leaders it is good to see an organization like the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that will help support and promote a new generation of city leaders.

Mariachi Los Reyes - Juvenil provided entertainment for the evening.

The mission of the Hispanic Chamber, Rosemary Trujillo said, is to develop, promote and protect all businesses (minority and non-minority owned) in the Greater Grand Prairie area, and to support the advancement, education and economic growth of the free business enterprise.

For information on membership call 817-881-4734 or email at gvaquera@ggphcc.com.

Weather Service Sees Change in Weather Coming Friday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said big changes are possible for Friday and into the weekend as a strong upper level disturbance and cold front will bring decent rain chances to all of North Texas.

Cooler temperatures will also filter into the area Friday night with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s for the weekend.

One in Custody After Police Chase Stolen U-Haul Truck

Grand Prairie police take a suspect into custody in the 400 block of East Tarrant Road after a lengthy car chase ended on Interstate 30. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

A man driving a stolen U-Haul truck is in custody after leading Grand Prairie police on a lengthy chase Sunday evening. The chase began near Oakdale and the President George Bush Turnpike at about 6:15 pm when an alert officer spotted the truck that had earlier been reported stolen.

The pursuit went through Irving and Dallas before coming back to Grand Prairie, ending on westbound Interstate 30 at Belt Line Road when the suspect slowed the truck and jumped from the moving vehicle. The suspect apparently saw an officer about to deploy stop sticks on the freeway.

Police spokesman Detective Mark Beseda said an officer had to jump into the moving truck and stop it before striking some cars.

The suspect, Juan Lujan, 37, fled on foot across Interstate 30. He was captured by pursuing officers in a field south of the freeway.

Inside the truck, officers found tools and equipment. Investigators are going through the equipment to determine if it is stolen.

Lujan has been charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest.

Detective Beseda said the investigation continues and additional charges may be filed.

September 14, 2013

Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association Holds Huge Rummage Sale

Wanda Erwin carries a baby doll as she shops for items at the 1st Annual Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association rummage held Saturday at The Summit. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

With fifty tables and two semi-trailers of merchandise, the Grand Prairie Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association's (CPAAA) first rummage sale was a huge success. Held Saturday at The Summit, hundreds shopped for the many bargains.

The CPAAA is a non-profit volunteer organization of interested Citizens Police Academy graduates who join to promote and improve community relations, increase community involvement and assist and support the Grand Prairie Police Department.

The CPA Alumni has 2 fundraisers a year to pay for our operating expenses throughout the year and to provide support to the Grand Prairie Police Department. This year, the CPAAA has donated money to the Police Explorers group, K-9 unit, Honor Guards, helped purchase child ID kits, stethoscopes for police EMTs and also put on the Police Awards Banquet at Lone Star Park.

Tejano Music Stars Play at the Uptown


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

Legend Flaco Jiménez and Grammy award-winning Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs played before a large crowd Friday night at the Uptown Theater.

Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez, a five-time Grammy award-winning accordionist, is renowned as the king of conjunto music. His musical style was inspired by German, Polish, Czech, Mexican and Texan musical cultures. Over the years, he has expanded to include influences from country and western, rock and jazz music. Jiménez’s distinctive style has helped him expand the genre from his hometown of San Antonio to the rest of the United States and has won him numerous prestigious awards and praise.

Renowned Baja Sexto player Max Baca formed the Los Texmaniacs in the late 1990s, and the group has preformed its unique mix of traditional and contemporary musical styles together ever since. The Grammy award-winning Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs keep their tracks fresh and exciting with elements of rock, blues and jazz.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

September 12, 2013

Book Sale at Main Library October 15-20

File photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

Friends of the Grand Prairie Library will host a book sale in the Meeting Room at the Main Library, 901 Conover Drive, October 15-20.

The sale will feature more than 17,000 items including books, puzzles, videos, CDs and DVDs. Most items are priced at 25 cents to $2.00.

Sale dates and times:

Tuesday, October 15: 5 - 7:30 - A Members Only Sale. Membership is available at the door.
Thursday, October 17: 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday, October 19: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday, October 20: 1– 5 pm ----- All items are half price
A silent auction takes place from October 4 -20. Proceeds from the book sale and silent auction benefits the Grand Prairie Public Libraries.

Cash and checks are accepted but no credit or debit cards, ATM machines are located nearby.

Mosquito Sample Tests Positive for West Nile Virus, City to Ground Spray September 12-13

The City of Grand Prairie reports one West Nile Virus positive mosquito sample. This brings the total to 14 positive mosquitoes samples this season in Grand Prairie. The City’s Environmental Services Department will ground spray the following areas for two consecutive nights, September 12-13 starting at 10 pm.
The area is bound by Polo Rd. on the north, Matthew Rd. on the east, the Joe Pool Dam on the South, and Lake Ridge Pkwy. on the west.
Spray Area Map
Residents in these areas are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain. Maps of these areas are available at www.gptx.org.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimming pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

September 11, 2013

Concorde Career College Breaks Ground on new Grand Prairie Campus

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, city officials and Concorde Career College officials break ground on the school's new campus. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

On Tuesday, officials with Concorde Career College, City of Grand Prairie and members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce broke ground on a new 50,000 square foot medical training facility located on a 7-acre site at 3015 West Interstate 20.

The college, currently located in Arlington, will be moving to the new campus upon completion of the facility.

Concorde Career College has been training healthcare professionals for 20 years offering more than twenty programs that cover a variety of healthcare training from specialized and degree programs to entry-level studies.

September 10, 2013

Friday the 13th Prairie Paws Adoption Special

Prairie Paws, 2222 W. Warrior Trail, will feature a Friday the 13th cat and dog adoption special from 10 am to 6 pm.

One day only, all black cats and dogs will be $35, and $13 on the 13th hour (1 pm to 2 pm). Regular adoption fee is $70, so half off is a howling good deal, as it still includes a $50 spay/neuter voucher, vaccinations and microchip.

Dogs will receive 5-in-1 and kennel cough vaccinations and cats will be vaccinated for 3-in-1 and kennel cough.

Those wishing to adopt must fill out an application for approval before receiving the animal, and must provide certification of rabies and spay and neuter within 30 days of the animal’s adoption. Up to two pets per household may be adopted. The offer is valid only for new adoptions.

The Prairie Paws Animal Shelter is located at 2222 W. Warrior Trail. For more information call 972-237-8675 or visit www.gptx.org/paws.

Arts Council to Present "Little Shop of Horrors" beginning October 18

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies is charming, tuneful and hilarious - with tongue firmly planted in cheek. A down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination!

Little Shop of Horrors is not appropriate for younger children.

Performances are set for October 18-19 and 25-26 at 8:00 pm; October 19-20 & 26-27 at 2:00 pm at the Uptown Theater, 120 East Main Street, Grand Prairie, 75050. Tickets are $11, $17 and $22. A $2 per ticket discount is available by phone for groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets online at www.artsgp.org, or by calling the Uptown Theater Box Office at 972-237-8786.

For more information contact the Grand Prairie Arts Council: 972-642-ARTS or visit our website: www.artsgp.org.

September 09, 2013

Increased DWI Patrols Net Twenty-three DWI Arrests during Labor Day Holiday

The Grand Prairie Police Department closed out the Labor Day DWI Intensive Mobilization program with a total of 23 DWI arrests, 1 minor arrested for DUI, 7 other arrests and 83 citations issued.

A grant through the Texas Department of Transportation to increase DWI patrols during the Labor Day holiday period, funded the additional officers that worked 189 hours on DWI patrol between August 16 and September 2.

In addition to the increased DWI patrols, Grand Prairie officers participated in the North Texas No Refusal operation. From August 30 through September 2 officers obtained search warrants for all breath and blood refusals.

Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association to Hold Fundraiser

September 08, 2013

Dolly Parton Tribute Show at the Uptown Theater

Sandy Anderson with her striking resemblance of Dolly Parton, performed her Tribute to Dolly show Saturday night at the Uptown Theater. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Sandy Anderson gave an unforgettable performance Saturday night at the historic Uptown Theater as she truly became Country Music icon Dolly Parton in her Tribute to Dolly show.

With her striking resemblance, glamorous costumes, wigs and a outstanding singing voice, Anderson could have fooled even the most avid Dolly fan.

Considered as one of the top Dolly impersonator, Dolly herself once said Anderson "even fools my family.”

A Las Vegas based entertainer, Anderson has taken her Tribute to Dolly show on tour to Australia, Sweden, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines. She has performed at Dollywood, with Kenny Rogers, singing “Islands In The Stream,” and opened up for comedian Rich Little.

A three-time winner of the “Country’s Hottest Hitter” Award, an award voted on by her peers, she has appeared on cable TV networks CMT, MTV and VH-1.

September 06, 2013

Positive West Nile Virus Mosquito Samples Reported, Grand Prairie to Ground Spray September 6-7

The City of Grand Prairie reports two West Nile Virus positive mosquito samples. This brings the total to 13 positive mosquitoes samples this season in Grand Prairie. The City’s Environmental Services Department will ground spray the following areas for two consecutive nights on Friday, September 6, and Saturday, September 7, starting at 10 pm:
Area 1 – This area is bound by Sampsell Drive to the north, Hardy Road to the east, Lakeview Drive to the south, and Sheriff Drive and Ridgemar Drive to the west.
Spray Area Map

Area 2 – This area is bound by Winslow Drive and Slaton Drive on the north, Sheffield Drive, Goodnight Trail, and Embers Trail on the east, Kingswood Blvd. and Palmer Trail on the South, and Emerson Dr. and King Harbor Ct. on the west.
Spray Area Map

Residents in these areas are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimming pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

September 05, 2013

Four in Race for City Council Place 7 in November Election

Four individuals have filed to be on the ballot for the November 5, City of Grand Prairie Special Election to fill the City Council Member Place 7, at large, vacancy. The four include:
Charles Womack
Jeff Copeland
Max Coleman
R. J. DiLena
Applications for a place on the November 5 ballot for the vacant Council Member District 3 may be filed now through September 23 from 8 am - 5 pm at:
City Secretary's office
317 College Street
Grand Prairie, Texas 75050
More information: www.gptx.org/elections

September 02, 2013

AirHogs Claim South Division Title

AirHogs celebrate winning the American Association South Division Championship Monday at QuickTrip Park. Photo by Brad Barton

The Grand Prairie AirHogs (54-46) won the South Division of the American Association Monday afternoon. Officially, Grand Prairie won the division when Amarillo lost at Sioux Falls, 4-3, earlier in the afternoon. But, the AirHogs wanted to end the season with a winning streak and did so by beating Lincoln, 4-1, at QuikTrip Park in the last game of the regular season. The AirHogs will face Wichita in the opening round of the playoffs in a best-of-five series beginning on Wednesday, September 4 at QuikTrip Park at 7:05 pm.

Games 1 and 2 of the playoffs will be held at QuikTrip Park on Wednesday, September 4 and Thursday, September 5 at 7:05 pm. The remaining games of the series will be in Wichita beginning with Game 3 on Friday, September 6.

Playoff tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 3 at noon. Fans can order their playoff tickets online at airhogsbaseball.com, over the phone at 972-504-9383, or in person at the AirHogs box office. Playoff tickets are $8, $12 and $15.

This marks the second time in three years that the AirHogs have made the playoffs. In 2011, Grand Prairie won the American Association championship.

Four Children Injured in Lake Joe Pool Boating Accident

Four children were injured, one critically, in a boating accident Sunday night at Joe Pool Lake.

Police said the children were riding on a large tube pulled by a boat when the tube was struck by another boat at about 8:40 pm.

An 8 year-old on the tube was transported by CareFlite to Children's Hospital in Dallas, in critical condition.

A 4 year-old was transported by ground ambulance to Children’s Hospital in stable condition.

The other two children were treated by Grand Prairie Fire/Rescue and released at the scene with minor injuries.

All of the children were wearing life jackets.

Police spokesman Detective Lyle Gensler said the parties involved in the collision have been identified, and the investigation is ongoing.

September 01, 2013

Weak Cold Front Could Bring Rain

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said a weak cold front will move south into Grand Prairie, stalling near the I-20 corridor on Labor Day morning. An upper level disturbance will also drift south over the area and work in tandem with the cold front to help develop isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms.

The increase in clouds and precipitation should hold highs down in the 90s on Labor Day. A strong storm or two can't be ruled out with gusty downburst winds and frequent lightning strikes. Brief heavy rainfall will be possible as well.

It will remain mostly sunny and very hot on Sunday high temperatures between 100 and 105 degrees. A Heat Advisory remains in effect through 6 pm.

August 30, 2013

Heat Advisory Extended Through Sunday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has extended the Heat Advisory through 6 pm Sunday.
Temperature - Highs through Sunday will be 102 to 104 degrees.

Impacts - Maximum heat index values will range from 103 to 106 degrees. The combination of heat and humidity will result in an elevated risk for heat-related health problems.

AirHogs get Ready for Last Homestand of the Regular Season

The Grand Prairie AirHogs open a three-game series with the Lincoln Saltdogs Saturday night, Aug. 31 at QuikTrip Park at 7:05 p.m. There are all kinds of unique promotions set for the weekend series. For tickets, fans can call 972-504-9383 or visit AirHogsBaseball.com.

Upcoming Series against the Lincoln Saltdogs, Aug. 31 – Sept. 2, at QuikTrip Park

Saturday, August 31 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Fireworks Night at QuikTrip Park as there is a big post-game fireworks show slated. It’s also “Strikeout Childhood Cancer Night” sponsored by Cook Children’s. Players will be wearing special jerseys that will be auctioned off during a silent auction during the game. It’s also “What’s in Your Attic Night” sponsored by Regent Pawn & Jewelry. They will have a booth set up and people can bring collectibles and see what they are worth, but they can’t buy or sell anything at the game. Anyone bringing an item to get evaluated can buy a ticket to the game for just $5.

Sunday, Sept. 1 at 6:05 p.m. – It’s Family Sunday with $1 tickets, $1 dollar hot dogs and $1 Pepsi products. Parents can play catch on the field before the game with their kids and then youngsters get to run the bases after the game. It’s also “Military Appreciation Night” sponsored by Texas Army National Guard as the AirHogs will honor veterans during the game. Any active, retired or anyone who has served in the military will get a free ticket to the game when they show their military ID. It’s also “Strikeout Hunger Night” sponsored by Grand Prairie United Charities. Anyone donating non perishable food products will get a free ticket to the game. Grand Prairie United Charities will have a table set up at the main gate collecting food items.

Monday, Sept. 2 at 2:05 p.m. – It’s “Fan Appreciation Day” with $2 tickets and free prizes handed out during the game.

AIrHogs News

AirHogs pitcher Patrick Mincey was named the American Association Relief Pitcher of the Year. Mincey has a record of 5-1 this season with a 1.06 ERA to go along with 22 saves. The RHP has been outstanding out of the bullpen all season striking out 54 while only walking 12 in 50.2 innings of work.

August 29, 2013

AirHogs Strike Out Hunger

Chamber of Commerce Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Alouette Chiropractic

Dr.Tankiso Mochache, D.C. (center), owner of AlouetteChiropractic, cuts the ribbon at the ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for the grand opening of Alouette Chiropractic, 2022 Alouette Drive.

Owner Dr. Tankiso Mochache, D.C. is a 2011 graduate of Parker University who has been practicing in Dallas the past year and a half.

Partnering with Mid-Cities Imaging for x-rays, Dr. Mochache said her patients receive diagnosis, treatment of injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system in one day.

If patients need treatment or medications from a medical doctor, Dr. Mochache can refer patients to a partnering physician that same day.

At the clinic, Dr. Mochache provides passive treatment like ultrasound, myofascial release and electric stimulation as well as active treatment and advise to maintain a healthy body.

"Most of the patients who are involved in motor vehicle injuries don't have a way of getting around," Dr. Mochache said. "So I do provide transportation. I pick them up from home, to therapy and I'll take them back"

For more information about Alouette Chiropractic call 972-955-4134 or email alouette_relief@yahoo.com.

Heat Advisory in Effect Through Friday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a heat advisory effective from 1 pm Thursday to 8 pm Friday, August 30.
Temperature - Highs Thursday and Friday will be near 105 degrees.

Impacts - Maximum heat index values this afternoon will range from 105 to 107 degrees. The combination of heat and humidity will result in an elevated risk for heat-related health problems.

August 28, 2013

City Uses Revolutionary Technology to Kill Mosquitoes

The City of Grand Prairie’s Environmental Services Department can now “fight the bite” a little more easily. In July 2013, the city purchased a revolutionary tool, the Larvasonic Field Arm Acoustic Larvicide, or simply the Larvasonic, that allows for the immediate destruction of mosquito larvae. Grand Prairie is the first city in the metroplex to invest in the $6,900 device.

The Larvasonic, the result of a Intel International Science Fair project, is a device that emits sound waves into pools of stagnant water. The sound waves resonate at the frequency of mosquito larvae internal air volume, causing the larvae to burst. As a result, larvae and pupae are either killed or left to morph into flightless – and therefore harmless – mosquitoes.

The city has traditionally treated mosquito breeding grounds with larvicide, but this method is not always 100 percent effective. Larvicides often take two to three days to dissolve and activate in water. As a result, some larvae may hatch before the larvicide begins to take effect. In an attempt to remedy this, the city now complements its use of larvicide with the Larvasonic. After larvicide is applied to stagnant pools and drainage ditches, the Larvasonic is now used to immediately kill any larvae that are on the verge of hatching. By doing this, the city is able to stop more mosquitoes from hatching and taking flight. Further, because the Larvasonic is an alternative to chemical and biological treatments and does not appear to have any unintended consequences, it is an effective solution to the city’s mosquito problem.

The City of Grand Prairie is using maps and aerial photos supplied by its Geographic Information Systems Division to find vacant and unkempt swimming pools and backed-up drainage ditches in which mosquitoes are likely breeding. They then travel to the site, apply a larvicide and send sound waves into the pool with the Larvasonic.

For more information about the Larvasonic, or to report a stagnant pool or drainage ditch, call 972-237-8550 or visit gptx.org.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

August 27, 2013

Funeral Services Held for City Councilman Bill Thorn


For the second time in two weeks, Grand Prairie is mourning the loss of a City Council Member. Funeral service were held Tuesday at the First Baptist Church for Bill Thorn, City Councilman District 3.

Councilman Thorn died Saturday following the loss of Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson on August 9.

First elected to the City Council in 2005, Councilman Thorn previously served on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission and Airport Advisory Board.

An independent real estate broker, Councilman Thorn was a retired American Eurocopter director, a former Army Officer and Bell Helicopter test pilot. An active member of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, he was selected 2010 Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. He also served with many civic organizations and associations in the area.

A member of the Helicopter Foundation International Board of Directors and served on the Airborne Law Enforcement Vendor Advisory Board, his groundbreaking work establishing helicopter medical programs in major U.S. cities has saved and will continue to save countless lives.

Councilman Thorn was a visionary, using his knowledge of real estate, business and transportation to help set economic growth policies that will benefit Grand Prairie residents for many years to come.

He was a big supporter of the Grand Prairie ISD, in particular Dubiski Career High School. He once said about Dubiski that in the future it will be preparing students for careers in fields that are unknown today.

A friend of the Grand Prairie Reporter, his warm smile, firm handshake, contagious laugh and his interesting life experience stories will be greatly missed.

August 26, 2013

City to Hold Public Meeting on Proposed Smoking Ordinance

The City Council Public Health Advisory Committee is hosting a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 8, in City Council Chambers to receive public comments on the city’s proposed new smoking ordinance.

Proposed changes include eliminating smoking in restaurants and city facilities and restricting smoking in other commercial buildings.

If unable to attend the public meeting, comments may be submitted by email through October 18 at smoking@gptx.org or by mail to:

City of Grand Prairie, Environmental Quality
PO Box 534045
Grand Prairie, Texas 75053

Library Presents Home Decorating Series

Warmack Library will feature a Home Magic Makeover Series starting Tuesday, September 17, at 7 p.m., and ending October 19.

Program instructors from Williams-Sonoma, J.C. Penny, Home Depot, Decorating Den, American Sewing Guild and Dona Rose Interiors will provide tips to tricks in this eight-class series. The class schedule includes Decorating on a Budget, Pillow Magic, Tablescaping, and other great classes:

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 7-8 p.m. - Decorating on a Budget. Al Ramirez, Home Depot

Monday, Sept. 23, 6-7 p.m. - Renovate Your Room. Karen Jensen, School-Age Librarian

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 7-8 p.m. - Basic Home Improvement. Al Ramirez, Home Depot

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7-8 p.m. - Stylish Window Treatments. Tara Caldwell, J.C. Penney

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2-4 p.m. - Current Trends in Decorating: What’s Hot and What’s Not. Peggy Spitaletto, ASID, and Lori Miller, Decorating Den. Door prizes!

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2-3 p.m. - New Traditional Style in Interiors. Dona Rosene Interiors, ASID, NCIDQ certified

Saturday, Oct. 19, 9:30-11:30 a.m. - Pillow Magic. Debra Holster, Branch Manager, member of American Sewing Guild, Quilters Guild of Arlington

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2-4 p.m. - Tablescaping. Carol Jansen, Williams-Sonoma.

The free program has 72 seats available. You may visit Warmack Library at 760 Bardin Road, Grand Prairie, TX 75052 to reserve your seat. For additional information contact Jeanne Murdock at 972-237-5797.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

It’s Raining Cats at Prairie Paws Adoption Center

North Texas may be dry, but it’s raining cats and kittens at Prairie Paws Adoption Center, 2222 W. Warrior Trail. On Friday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Aug. 31, all kitten adoptions will be half priced ($35), and all cats six months of age and older will be free.

Each adopted pet will receive a 3-in-1 vaccination, and all new pet owners will receive a $50 spay/neuter voucher and a free goodie bag.

Prairie Paws Adoption center strives to place as many pets as possible into quality homes with responsible owners. Adoptions are regularly $70.

The Prairie Paws Animal Shelter’s normal operating hours:

Tuesday–Friday: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (closed noon–1 p.m.)
For more information about the “It’s Raining Cats and Kittens” special, pet adoptions or animal services in general, visit www.gptx.org/paws or call 972-237-8575.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

It’s Raining Cats at Prairie Paws Adoption Center

North Texas may be dry, but it’s raining cats and kittens at Prairie Paws Adoption Center, 2222 W. Warrior Trail. On Friday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Aug. 31, all kitten adoptions will be half priced ($35), and all cats six months of age and older will be free.

Each adopted pet will receive a 3-in-1 vaccination, and all new pet owners will receive a $50 spay/neuter voucher and a free goodie bag.

Prairie Paws Adoption center strives to place as many pets as possible into quality homes with responsible owners. Adoptions are regularly $70.

The Prairie Paws Animal Shelter’s normal operating hours:

Tuesday–Friday: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (closed noon–1 p.m.)
For more information about the “It’s Raining Cats and Kittens” special, pet adoptions or animal services in general, visit www.gptx.org/paws or call 972-237-8575.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

August 25, 2013

Services for Councilman Bill Thorn set for Tuesday

Councilman Bill Thorn's funeral will be Tuesday, Augus 27, at 11 am at the First Baptist Church, 122 NE 2nd.

In lieu of flowers, Councilman Thorn preferred those so inclined send flowers to someone they love or make a donation to Lifeline Shelter for Families or Prairie Paws Animal Shelter.

AirHogs Get Ready for August 26-29 Series Against the El Paso Diablos

The Grand Prairie AirHogs open a four-game series with the El Paso Diablos Monday, August 26 at QuikTrip Park at 7:05 p.m. There are all kinds of unique promotions set for the series. For tickets, fans can call 972-504-9383 or visit AirHogsBaseball.com. Upcoming Series against the El Paso Diablos, Aug. 26-29, at QuikTrip Park
Monday, August 26 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Monday Madness with reserved tickets only $5 online with the promo code madness.

Tuesday, August 27 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Twofer Tuesday with a Buy One Get One Free Ticket offer online with the promo code bogo. It’s also Ladies Night with $5 tickets and one lucky lady will win a free massage courtesy of Massage Envy.

Wednesday, August 28 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s also Guaranteed WINS-day, so if the AirHogs don’t win, fans get a free ticket to a future AirHogs game.

Thursday, August 29 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Thirsty Thursday with $2 beer specials. Thursday is also Rivalry Night as anyone wearing their favorite college gear gets into the game for free.

AIrHogs News

Former AirHogs pitcher Jared Mortensen, now in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system, made his debut as a starter for Charlotte in the Florida State League last week and he was outstanding. In game two of a doubleheader, Mortensen threw a complete game shutout (seven innings) allowing only two hits while striking out four and walking two. The Stone Crabs beat Fort Meyers, 6-0, in Mortensen’s debut as a starter.

Back to School Community Health and Education Fair


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

The Grand Prairie ISD held its annual Health and Education Fair Saturday at South Grand Prairie High School. Partnering with Grand Prairie United Charities (GPUC), families received information on health, buying a home, counseling services, immigration issues, and social services, as well as city, county, state, federal, and District services. The GPUC gave school supplies and a back to school outfit to over 500 pre-selected families.

Police Launch No Texting and Driving Campaign


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Beginning September 1, texting and driving in Grand Prairie will be illegal after the City Council passed an ordinance at the August 20, 2013, meeting. The ordinance provides for a fine up to $200.

At a press conference Saturday at South Grand Prairie High School Saturday, the Grand Prairie Police Department in partnership with the Grand Prairie ISD launched a citywide no texting and driving campaign

According to the no texging and driving ordinance, a person commits an offense if the person:

  • Uses a wireless communication device to send, read, or write a text message, view pictures or written text, whether transmitted by Internet or other electronic means, or
  • Engages in gaming or any other use of the device, besides dialing telephone numbers to talking to another person, while operating a moving motor vehicle.
Exceptions include:
  • Use while vehicle is stopped, out of moving lanes of the roadway (this means driver must pull off road and park in a safe place like a parking lot);
  • Strictly to engage in a telephone conversation, including dialing or deactivating the call;
  • As a global positioning or navigation device, if affixed to the vehicle;
  • To communicate with a emergency response operator, fire department, law enforcement agency, hospital, physician’s office or health clinic regarding a medical or other emergency to prevent injury to a person or property;
  • In the reasonable belief that a person’s life or safety is in immediate danger; or
  • Solely in a voice-activated or other hands-free mode.
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August 24, 2013

The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Uptown Theater


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

The Marvelous Wonderettes is a funny, glittery song and dance revue that features a trunk full of pop classics like “Lollipop”, “Stupid Cupid”, “Lipstick on Your Collar”, “Mr. Lee”, “It’s My Party,” “Heat Wave”, “Wedding Bells”, “Leader of the Pack”, “R.E.S.P.E.C.T., “Rescue Me, “Son of a Preacher Man” any twenty other hits.

The Marvelous Wonderettes begins in 1958 where we meet four Springfield High School tees performing a show for their classmates on prom night. While Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy are good friends, a competitive theme emerges when all four girls are announced as candidates for Prom Queen. At the end of Act One, the audience votes and elects the winner. Act Two fast forwards ten years to 1968 where the Wonderettes gather for a class reunion- older, wiser and a little more bruised by the upheavals of the Rock Revolution. But it’s all in fun as the girls pursue dreams that are as big as their crinoline skirts.

The Marvelous Wonderettes is written by Roger Bean and directed by Cameron Kinnear who also serves as the Musical Director. It stars four talented singer-actor-dancers Alexa Bernal, Katie Bianchi, Jessica Bare and Jaclyn Rahmlow. Jessica Bare is the choreographer. Backed by a live onstage band, The Marvelous Wonderettes engages the audience with song, dance and comdedy, and features a visually stunning wardrobe design that captures both pop eras. The show is produced by the Texas Family Musicals. The Producer of the Texas Family Musicals said, “We wanted to end the season with a fun engergetic show that simply gives the audience a good time. Our motto is that our audiences have to feel better after they leave than when they came into the theater…and this show fills this bill.”

The Marvelous Wonderettes plays Saturday, August 24, 7:30 pm and Sunday, August 25, 2:30 pm at the Uptown Theater in downtown Grand Prairie. This production is the final summer show of the Texas Family Musicals 2013 summer season.

Tickets are $35, $33 and $30 depending upon your seating. Discounts are available for groups over 12, seniors and children 12 and under.

Source: Texas Family Musicals

City Councilman Bill Thorn Dies

Bill Thorn, Grand Prairie City Councilman-District 3, died Saturday morning.

In a statement, Amy Sprinkes, City of Grand Prairie Public Information Officer, said funeral arrangements are pending.

In lieu of flowers, Sprinkles said, Councilman Thorn preferred those so inclined send flowers to someone they love or make a donation to Lifeline Shelter for Families or Prairie Paws Animal Shelter.

August 23, 2013

Midnight Basketball Program ends for Year

The Midnight Basketball Program at the Grand Prairie Family YMCA ends for the year. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

With school beginning next week, the Midnight Basketball Program for teens ages 13-18 came to an end for the year Thursday night.

The highly successful program sponsored by the Grand Prairie Family YMCA, Grand Prairie Police Department and Grand Prairie Independent School District offered a safe, positive environment for Grand Prairie youth to have fun and interact with Grand Prairie Police Officers and other positive role models.

David Foster, Grand Prairie Family YMCA Executive Director, said the eleven week program averaged about 30 youth each Thursday night. He said many YMCA basketball coaches along with other volunteers helped teach the youth.

School Board Approves 2013-2014 Budget, No Tax Increase

Thursday night, the Grand Prairie Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2013-2014 school year operating budget.

The balanced budget gives teachers and staff a pay raise, provides more funding for employee health insurance and replacement of seven buses.

Although State of Texas law requires the district to show a 2.39% tax increase due to the increase in property values district wide, the tax rate remains the same it has been since 2008, $1.465 per $100 of property valuation.

August 22, 2013

Citizens on Patrol Unit Takes Top Honors at Conference

File photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter ©2012

The Grand Prairie Police Department's Citizens on Patrol (COP) unit took the Citizens on Patrol Best Large Agency of the Year award at the Texas Citizens on Patrol Conference held last week in Decatur, Texas.

The award presented to the best COP organization from a city of 25,000 or more population, recognized the Grand Prairie unit for advancing and using new programs to enhance the citizen-police partnership.

Ten members of the Grand Prairie unit attended the three day conference that drew COP units from throughout Texas.

Emil Balliet, Grand Prairie Police Volunteer Coordinator, said the department's program is less than two years old. Supervised by Lieutenant Barbara Dixon, COP has thirty-one active members that have contributed 3,615 hours of volunteer service.

"The COP is a group of dedicated citizens who go through hours of preparation and training and then serve as 'extra eyes and ears' on patrol and assist officers as needed," Balliet said.

For more information about Citizens on Patrol and other Police Department volunteer programs, contact Volunteer Coordinator Emil BallietM/a> or call 972-237-8998.

West Nile Virus Positive Mosquito Samples Reported- Grand Prairie to Ground Spray Thursday and Friday

The City of Grand Prairie reports two West Nile Virus positive mosquito samples. This brings the total to 11 positive mosquitoes samples this season in Grand Prairie. The City’s Environmental Services Department will ground spray the following areas for two consecutive nights on Thursday, August 22nd and Friday, August 23rd, starting at 10 p.m.:
Area 1 - This area is bound by Starbridge Lane/Newberry Street to the north, Bardin Road to the east, Camp Wisdom Road to the south, and Robinson Road to the west.
Spray Area Map

Area 2 – This area is bound by Red Oak Drive to the north, Martin Barnes Road to the east, Doryn Drive to the south, and the Hwy. 360 NB Service Road to the west.
Spray Area Map

Residents in these areas are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimming pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk. The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program.

For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

Grand Prairie City Services Labor Day Schedule

In observance of Labor Day, the City of Grand Prairie administrative offices will be closed on Monday, September 2.

Labor Day hours for other city services are as follows:

Main Library – closed, items can be renewed online at library.gptx.org or by calling 972-237-5700 during library hours

Betty Warmack Branch Library – closed, items can be renewed online at library.gptx.org or by calling 972-237-5700 during library hours

Shotwell Branch Library – closed, items can be renewed online at library.gptx.org or by calling 972-237-5700 during library hours

Water bill payment offices – closed

Tony Shotwell Life Center (formerly Bowles Life Center) – closed

Charley Taylor and Dalworth Recreation Centers – closed

The Summit 50+ Adult Activity Center – closed

Prairie Lakes Golf Course – open

Tangle Ridge Golf Club – open

Kirby Creek Indoor Pool – open 1-6 p.m.

McFalls and Bowles Pools and Splash Factory Water Playground – open 1-6 p.m.

Tyre Pool – open 1-6 p.m.

Garbage Collection/Recycling – No trash or recycling pickup, trash will be picked up on your next regularly scheduled day

Landfill – closed

Animal Shelter – closed

Tourist Information Center – open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

August 21, 2013

Mayor Jensen Gives Chamber of Commerce Update of City's Economic Development

Mayor Ron Jensen gives an update of the city at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Mayor Ron Jensen gave an update of the city's 2014 budget and future economic development in Grand Prairie at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

"It's an exciting time to live in Grand Prairie," Jensen said.

He noted there are several areas in the city that are prime locations for future businesses. These areas include:

New service roads of I-20 and I-30
Service roads of SH-161
Area of Mildred Walker Drive and SH-360
Renovated downtown area
Area around Central Park
With sales tax revenue increasing and property valuation going up, Jensen said that coupled with a proposed modest tax increase, ensures a continued high level of service from the city. He said there are plans to bring the Police Department's staffing up to national standards and construct Fire Station #10 in the southern sector of the city..

Mayor Jensen revealed plans to go to voters in May 2015, after The Summit is paid off, for a vote to continue the parks sales tax to build the Epic at Central Park. The Epic will be a water park and recreation center built similar to the award winning Summit.

If the tax passes, the Epic will be completed in 2018.

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is held the third Wednesday of each month. For More information call 972-264-1558

August 20, 2013

Council Passes Ordinance Banning Texting and Driving

The Grand Prairie City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday night that bans texting on a mobile device while driving a vehicle.

The ordinance that becomes effective on September 1 provides for a fine of up to $200.

City Named Purple Martin Conservation Capital of Texas

Gisela Fregoe (center), President of The Purple Martin Landlords Of North Texas, accepts a resolution from State Representative Linda Harper-Brown and State Senator Kelly Hancock at Tuesday's City Council meeting naming Grand Prairie the Purple Martin Conservation Capital of Texas. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

At Tuesday night's City Council Meeting, State Representative Linda Harper-Brown and State Senator Kelly Hancock delivered a resolution naming Grand Prairie the Purple Martin Conservation Capital of Texas.

The resolution honored the Grand Prairie based Purple Martin Landlords Of North Texas organization for its work in educating citizens, promoting purple martin housing in various public locations around the city and supporting research of the birds.

Each year the Mayor and City Council proclaims a Purple Martin Day to raise public awareness and encourage support for perpetuation of the species.

Gisela Fregoe President of The Purple Martin Landlords Of North Texas accepted the resolution on behalf of the organization.

Filing for Special City Election for At Large Place 7 Begins August 21

Applications for a place on the November 5 City of Grand Prairie Special Election ballot for City Council At Large Place 7 begins on August 21 and closes on September 4. Application can be made at the office of the City Secretary at 317 College St., Grand Prairie, Texas 75050 between 8 am - 5 pm.

Any questions regarding the November 5 special city election, contact Cathy DiMaggio, City Secretary, at 972-237-8039.

August 19, 2013

AirHogs Head into August 20-22 Series Atop the South Division

The Grand Prairie AirHogs open a three-game series with the Amarillo Sox Tuesday night at QuikTrip Park at 7:05 p.m.

Grand Prairie and Laredo are tied for first place in the South Division of the American Association (46-41) heading into Tuesday’s game, with Amarillo (45-42) a game back.

There are all kinds of unique promotions set for the series. For tickets, fans can call 972-504-9383 or visit AirHogsBaseball.com.

Upcoming Series against the Amarillo Sox, August 20-22, at QuikTrip Park:

Tuesday, August 20 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Twofer Tuesday with a Buy One Get One Free Ticket offer online with the promo code "bogo".

Wednesday, August 21 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Wet & Wild Wednesday with the first 100 fans through the gates receiving a free water bottle. It’s also Guaranteed WINS-day, so if the AirHogs don’t win, fans get a free ticket to a future AirHogs game. It’s also Super Hero Night as anyone wearing a Super Hero costume gets into the game for free.

Thursday, August 22 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Thirsty Thursday with $2 beer specials. Thursday is also Rivalry Night as anyone wearing their favorite college gear gets into the game for free.

August 17, 2013

Public Hearings on Proposed Property Tax Increase

The City of Grand Prairie will hold two public hearings on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 2.31 percent (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds lower of rollback tax rate or effective tax calculated under Chapter 26, Tax Code). Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted.

The first public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 20, 2013, at City Council Chambers, 317 College St., Grand Prairie, TX 75050.

The second public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2013, at City Council Chambers, 317 College St., Grand Prairie, TX 75050.

The members of the Grand Prairie City Council voted on the proposal to consider the tax increase as follows:

For: Ron Jensen, Richard Fregoe, Jorja Clemson, Ruthe Jackson, Tony Shotwell, Jeff Wooldridge, Jim Swafford and Greg Giessenr
Against: None
Absent: Bill Thorne
The average taxable value of a residence homestead in the City of Grand Prairie last year was $117,572. Based on last year’s tax rate of $0.669998 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed last year on the average home was $787.73.

The average taxable value of a residence homestead in the City of Grand Prairie this year is $118,511. If the governing body adopts the effective tax rate for this year of $0.654841 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $776.06.

If the Grand Prairie City Council adopts the proposed tax rate $0.669998 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $794.02.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearings and express their views.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Elvis Forever Tribute at the Uptown Theater

Kraig Parker at the Uptown Theater Friday night performing his Elvis Forever concert. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

A near capacity crowd filled the Uptown Theater Friday night to see world renowned entertainer Kraig Parker's tribute to Elvis Presley on the 36th anniversary of Presley's death.

With a beautifully lighted stage, Parker accompanied by his ten piece Royal Tribute Band and the Sweet Sensation singers put on a fantastic two set performance.

The first, a tribute to Presley's 1968 Comeback Special, with the second, to his years in Las Vegas.

Parker, with his powerful voice, electric moves and uncanny likeness of Presley, is considered by many to be the world's premier Elvis Tribute Artist.

Special guest emcee for the night was Charles Stone, Elvis Presley's tour producer throughout the seventies.

August 15, 2013

AirHogs Get Ready for August 16-18 Series Against the El Paso Diablos at QuikTrip Park

The Grand Prairie AirHogs open a three-game series with the El Paso Diablos Friday night at QuikTrip Park at 7:05 p.m. There are all kinds of unique promotions set for the weekend series. The AirHogs will play 13 of their last 16 regular season games at QuikTrip Park beginning on Friday night. For tickets, fans can call 972-504-9383 or visit AirHogsBaseball.com.

Upcoming Series against the El Paso Diablos August 16-18, at QuikTrip Park

Friday, August 16 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Grand Prairie Parks, Arts and Recreation Department Night. Select AirHogs players will meet and greet fans at the front gate. The first 100 fans through the gates will receive a FREE AirHogs foam finger.

Saturday, August 17 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Fireworks Night at QuikTrip Park as there is a big post-game fireworks show slated. It’s also Brahmas Night as the hockey team will be honored before the game. And it’s Boy Scout and Cub Scout Campout Night.

Sunday, August 18 at 6:05 p.m. – It’s Family Sunday with $1 dollar hot dogs and $1 Pepsi products. Parents can play catch on the field before the game with their kids and then youngsters get to run the bases after the game. It’s also Dog Day as fans who bring their dog to the game will receive a FREE Frisbee.

August 14, 2013

West Nile Virus Positive Mosquito Sample Reported- Grand Prairie to Ground Spray Thursday and Friday

The City of Grand Prairie reports one West Nile Virus positive mosquito sample. This brings the total to 9 positive mosquito samples this season in Grand Prairie.

The City’s Environmental Services Department will ground spray the following area for two consecutive nights August 15 - 16, starting at 10 pm each night:

The area is bound by Beatty Dr. and Kirby Creek Dr. on the north, Corn Valley Rd. on the east, S. Carrier Pkwy. and Corn Valley Rd. on the south, and S. Carrier Pkwy. on the west.

Spray Area Map

Residents in this area are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during that time. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimming pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

Grand Prairie ISD in Partnership with Discovery Education to Hold Largest Professional Development Event in School History

Grand Prairie Independent School District (GPISD) has partnered with Discovery Education to design and deliver the district’s largest ever professional development event.

This two-day event will prepare teachers to transform their classrooms into digital learning environments and support the district’s goal of ensuring student success through engaging learning experiences, collaborative leadership and a focus on maximizing student achievement.

Educators at this event on August 15-16 will participate in a variety of informative sessions and will hear the latest strategies and tactics to meet the educational needs of today’s digital learner. Ranging from introductory presentations on the basics of digital education to more advanced sessions featuring sample classroom lessons modeling the best practices for integrating educational technologies into instruction.

The two days will be spent preparing more than 2,000 teachers to transform their classrooms into digital learning environments to better prepare students for college, career and citizenship readiness.

Water Emergency Update - Supply Line Repaired

Main supply water line fixed, water on, tested, disinfected. Tanks filling. Back to normal water use today. But remember it is a no outdoor water day under normal water restrictions.

A few minor line breaks around town have caused some residents to be without water this morning. These are unrelated to main supply line. We are working on those as fast as we can. Hats off to the Water Crews for their hard work in difficult conditions and to this wonderful community for cutting back use the past few days so that we never ran out of water as predicted.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

August 13, 2013

"Ms. Ruthe" Laid to Rest

Grand Prairie firefighters pay tribute to Ruthe Jackson with an American flag draped from an aerial truck at Tuesday's funeral services for the Deputy Mayor Pro Tem. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter ©2013

With thousands attending services the past two days, the Grand Lady of Grand Prairie, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson, was laid to rest on Tuesday.

"Ms. Ruthe", 92, died suddenly on Friday.

A member of the City Council since 1985, "Ms. Ruthe" served Grand Prairie as a council member and through various civic/charitable organizations tirelessly with unequaled enthusiasm.

City to Run Out of Water on Tuesday Due to Main Water Line Break

Latest Update @10 pm 8/13:The Grand Prairie emergency water crisis continues. Limit water to personal hygiene only. Repairs continue and are expected to be complete tomorrow, but we will need time to test the lines, disinfect the water and refill the water storage tanks. So continue restricted use through Thursday morning (Aug. 15, 2013). That means use water for essential personal hygiene only.

Because of the great job our citizens and businesses have done conserving water today, we did not run out as predicted this morning. Keep it up through Thursday morning. Hats off to the heroic water crews working 24/7 to repair the line and establish temporary water connections to our neighboring cities.

The City of Grand Prairie reports the city will run out of water on August 13 due to Monday night's main supply line break.

  • Turn off all outdoor irrigation systems until further notice.
  • Do not water lawns manually.
  • Only use water for essential personal hygiene.
  • Use bottled water for drinking.
Recovery expected by Friday.

The supply line that broke was one of two main water supply lines into Grand Prairie from Dallas. All city water wells have been activated, but are not enough to restore water supply to its normal amount.

It is crucial for residents to comply to these restrictions until further notice.

Latest update: Repairs expected late today, with water tanks refilling Wednesday. Full recovery expected by Thursday or Friday. If you have water pressure, only use water for essential personal hygiene. Use bottled water for drinking.

August 12, 2013

Photo Tribute to Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson


Photos and editing by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013 - Music: Windswept - Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Grand Prairie Matriarch Ruthe Jackson Laid to Rest

File photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2008
A town in mourning, Grand Prairie lays to rest the honorable Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson Tuesday, August 13, 2013, at 10 am at the Shady Grove Church, 2404 N. Carrier Parkway, Grand Prairie Texas. Mrs. Jackson passed Friday, August 9, 2013, at age 92.

For more than half a century, Jackson served Grand Prairie in many capacities – City Council Member, environmentalist, business leader, county school board member, library benefactor, PTA leader, historian, active church member, Bible study leader and co-chair of an interdenominational prayer group. Jackson was a member of more than 30 civic or philanthropic organizations and was a founding member of 16. She established eight scholarships and received more than 30 honors and awards from city, county, state and national organizations.

Jackson was first elected to the Grand Prairie City Council “at large” in 1985, then re-elected in 1989 to represent District 5. She was elected “at large” again in 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2011. During most of her tenure on City Council she was Mayor Pro Tem or Deputy Mayor Pro Tem.

Jackson won countless awards for her good works. Here are just a few of her major accomplishments:

Registered Parliamentarian since 1967
Served on the Dallas County School Board from 1975-1992, president for 11 of those years
Served on the Dallas County Historical Commission from 1975 to 1982
Charter Member of Keep Texas Beautiful in 1976 and its first female president
First woman to receive the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award from Keep America Beautiful in 1977
First female chairman of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce in 1984
Co-Chair of Dallas County Sesquicentennial Committee in 1996
2001 National Award for Excellence in Community Service from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
2005 National Recreation and Parks Association Robert M Artz Award for Citizen Volunteer Leadership
2008 United States President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Bush
2008 Governor’s Texas Commission of Environmental Quality Texas Environmental Excellence Award
2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Urban Forestry Program
Grand Prairie Citizen of the Century 2009
“For 20 years she made my job as Mayor enjoyable and fun and, with her as our parliamentarian, easy,” said former Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England, who retired in May 2013. “It would have been hard to serve as Mayor without her being Mayor Pro Tem for so many years. She went to everything! She was a force of nature.“

“Mrs. Ruthe is the only politician I know that was loved by everybody,” said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen, elected May 2013. “You just cannot replace her. I know I told Charlie I couldn't replace him, nor would I try. But, nobody will ever come close to replacing Ms. Ruthe.”

Born in Fort Worth in 1920, Jackson’s family settled in Grand Prairie in 1931. She attended Grand Prairie High School for one year and graduated from Sunset High School in Dallas. Jackson worked for North American Aviation during World War II. She married Vernon A. Jackson in 1944. They had two daughters and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. She served most of her business career as co-owner of Jackson Vending, Inc.

Jackson’s most coveted national honors include being the first Texas recipient of the “Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Environmental Award” from Keep America Beautiful in 1977 and a 2001 national award for Excellence in Community Service from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition, four awards are named in her honor – the Ruthe Jackson Keep Dallas County Beautiful Award, the Ruthe Jackson Youth Award from Keep Texas Beautiful, the Ruthe Jackson Women in History Award from the Soroptomist Club of Grand Prairie and the Shining Star Ruthe Awards given by the Grand Prairie Arts Council. A Dallas County School educational facility also is named in her honor, as is the city of Grand Prairie conference center.

In 1984, Governor Mark White named Jackson an Ambassador for the State of Texas. In 1978 Governor Dolph Briscoe presented her the Texas Bluebonnet Award and in 1991 she received the Althena Award from the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce. Two times Jackson and her husband Vernon were recognized for their service by the Texas State Legislature – in 1991 through House Resolution #270 and in 2001 under House & Senate Concurrent Resolution #126. In 1991, Jackson participated in a National Day of Prayer in Washington, D.C. with President George Bush.

Jackson was preceded in death by her beloved “Mr. Jackson,” Vernon; her parents and sisters Mary Thompson Boyd and Doris Thompson Prewitt. She is survived by sister Laura Thompson Potter of Grand Prairie; two daughters: Xanna Jackson Young and husband J.D. of Brenham, Tx, and Jorja Jackson Clemson and husband Dan of Grand Prairie; five grandchildren: Rendi Hahn and husband Brain, Jay Young, Spencer Clemson and wife Christine, Leanna Garcia and husband Joel, Allison Allison and husband Stephen; and 13 great grandchildren: Katie and Rebekah Hahn; Caleb, Sidney, Ethan and Katelyne Young; Madison Clemson; Blake, Cade and Allie Grace Garcia; Luke, Lane and Boston Allison; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

In lieu of flowers: CrossPoint Church of Christ Building Fund or LifeLife Shelter for Families, Inc.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Main Water Supply Line into Grand Prairie Breaks – Residents Asked to Severely Curtail Water Use

One of two main water supply lines into Grand Prairie from Dallas has broken and residents are being asked to severely curtail their use of water to essential services only for at least 24 hours. Outdoor watering should be discontinued until the line is repaired. All city water wells have been activated, but are not enough to restore water supply to its normal amount.

“Mondays and Tuesdays are usually big lawn watering days for residents who are not allowed to water Saturday and Sunday under our water restrictions,” said Ron McCuller, Director of Public Works. “In order to have enough water for drinking, emergency response and personal hygiene, it is critical Grand Prairie residents curtail outdoor watering and nonessential use of water until this line is repaired and back in service.”

Crews will be work around the clock to repair the line and estimate repairs will take at least 24 hours.

“Once we get the site excavated, we’ll know more about what we are dealing with,” said McCuller. “This is a 60” concrete line, our largest water line in town.”

The break is located in the Carrier Parkway and Camp Wisdom Road area, but affects the entire town’s water supply.

Grand Prairie is currently under mandatory water restrictions, which went into effect June 3, and include:

No watering on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday
Even numbered addresses water lawns on Mondays and Thursdays
Odd numbered addresses water lawns on Tuesdays and Fridays
No watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
However, until the water line is repaired, residents are asked to stop all outdoor watering. Updates on the water break will be posted on the city’s website: www.gptx.org.

Chamber of Commerce Spotlights Two Businesses

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce welcomed six new businesses last month, including this month’s spotlighted new member, Kona Ice North Grand Prairie. Kona Ice is a one of a kind experience serving shaved ice from its colorful mobile truck. Customers can customize their Kona Ice with a variety of delicious flavors including sugar free and dye free selections.

Partners Wayne Reese and Diana Timoteo brought their business to Grand Prairie in June, and have already been very busy in the community, visiting schools, churches, festivals, sporting events and other group functions.

“We came to Grand Prairie from Houston to be part of an up and coming community,” says Wayne. “We then joined the Chamber as a way to further our involvement with the local community and to raise awareness of Kona Ice.” He adds, “Corporate wide, Kona Ice has helped raise over $11 million for local community organizations since 2007.”

To learn more about Kona Ice, or to schedule an event, visit www.kona-ice.com or give them a call at 713-962-2523.

Other new members for the month include Man vs. Beast Exterminating, Plaid for Women-Grand Prairie, Steppers, Secure Staff and Financial Group Trucking.

The Chamber would also like to recognize renewing member Moore Construction Management, located at 1018 West Main Street in Arlington. Started in 1985, Moore Construction Management provides construction services in the form of prime general contractor for commercial building. Some of their projects in Grand Prairie include churches, retail shops, dental clinics, city offices, parks, banks and manufacturing facilities.

Owner Stan More says, “My association with the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce has been beneficial in establishing a relationship with the representatives of local businesses.” Mr. More is also active in the community, and has served on the boards of the Chamber, Lifeline Shelter for Families, the YMCA and others.

To learn more about Moore Construction Management, contact them at 817-861-1788.

The Chamber would like to thank all new and renewing members for their investment in the Grand Prairie business community. For more information about the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, please call 972-264-1558, or visit them at www.grandprairiechamber.org.

August 11, 2013

World Renown Elvis Returns to Uptown Theater

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Services for Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson

File photo - ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2010

Visitation with the family will be on Monday, August 12 from 5-8 pm at The Summit, 2975 Esplanade, Grand Prairie.

Funeral services will be on Tuesday, August 13 at 10 am at Shady Grove/Gateway Church, 2404 North Carrier Parkway, Grand Prairie. Burial will follow at Grand Prairie Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to CrossPoint Church of Christ Building Fund or LifeLine Shelter for Families, Inc.

View obituary
Funeral services are under the direction of Bean-Massey-Burge Funeral Home.

August 09, 2013

"Citizen of the Century" Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson Dies

File photo - ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2010

Grand Prairie lost its "Citizen of the Century," city and civic leader, and ambassador of goodwill, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson died Friday.

Ruthe Jackson, who has lived in Grand Prairie most of her life, has served this city for more than sixty years.

In a statement Amy Sprinkles, Director of Communications, City of Grand Prairie, said:

"Our beloved Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson passed from this life Friday, August 9, 2013, at age 92.

She served on the Grand Prairie City Council from 1985-2013.

During her life of service to the city she loved, she founded at least 20 non-profit organizations in Grand Prairie and Texas, and won countless accolades.

Our hearts and sympathy are with her family during this time of sorrow."

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.

August 07, 2013

Donation Drive Underway to Purchase Body Armor for Police K9

A donation drive has begun to raise $3,000 to purchase body armor for two Grand Prairie Police K9s, Bullet and Rocco.

Bullet and Rocco are dual purpose dogs, meaning sniff for drugs as well as assist in apprehensions.

Officers Montee and Officer Martinez, Bullet and Rocco's handlers, are on call 24 hours on a rotating call out schedule. Both officers and K9s not only respond Grand Prairie calls, they also assist State and Federal agencies as well.

Bullet and Rocco are often in danger tracking violent suspects, assisting in pursuits and burglaries in progress, and conducting building searches for burglary suspects.

Donations can be made online at www.gpk9.com.

For more information contact Sylvia or Max Coleman at 214-952-3255 / email: maxcoleman@sbcglobal.net

Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and Big Bopper Come to Life at the Uptown Theater

Kevin Kratzke as Buddy Holly in Texas Family Musicals' production of The Night the Music Died in July 2012 at the Uptown Theater. © 2012- Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and Big Bopper Come to Life at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater Little did the 480 teenagers and parents who gathered at the popular Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 2, 1959 know but they were witnesses to history. This was the last concert of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. Just hours after the end of the much publicized concert, the plane they chartered at the last minute crashed and all three stars including the pilot were instantly killed.

Through the magic of theater, the Texas Family Musicals Inc. recreates this last concert on stage at the Grand Prairie Uptown Theater Friday, August 9th . The spectacular show The Night the Music Died was first staged at Galveston, Texas in 2004 and played to capacity crowds at Moody Gardens for seven consecutive years.

Recording artist and popular actor, Kevin Kratzke pays tribute to Buddy Holly, a role he has played since the premiere of The Night the Music Died. He hails from Los Angeles and is a veteran actor having worked at numerous theaters around the country. Richie Valens music is performed by Chris Trimboli, from New York who recently played to rave reviews as Roy Orbison in the Roy Orbison Experience, The Big Bopper is honored by Indiana actor /singer Jacob Poiner. Also added to the show this year is Dion and the Belmonts who were there on that fateful evening but did not board the airplane. Dion is played by Ryan Duncan of Hartford, Ct. The Belmonts are played by Erron Crawford, Jon Paul Roby and Joey Simon.

Mike Skiles, Executive Director of the Texas Family Musicals who created the successful show said, “We wanted to pay tribute to these three young rock and roll stars that unknowingly changed the entire history of rock and roll. Little did they know that their music would become ageless for each of their careers lasted less than three years.”

The four stars are joined by a large cast of dancers, back-up singers and musicians who will perform songs from the 1959 era.

The Night the Music Died will have one performance on Friday, August 9, two performances on Saturday, August 10 and one matinee on and Sunday, August 11. The matinees will be at 2:30 p.m. while the evening performance will start at 7:30. The Uptown Theater is located at 120 E. Main Street in downtown Grand Prairie. Tickets are $35, $33 and $30 with special discounts for groups, senior citizens and children under 12. Reservations can be made by calling (972) 905-4555 ext. 1 or online at www.texasfamilymusicals.com

Source: Texas Family Musicals

Firefighters begin Hazardous Material Incident Training

Photo by Grand Prairie Fire Department

This week, Grand Prairie firefighters began the eighty hour state mandated training for certification as a HazMat Technician. The course, being held at the Charles V. England Public Safety Training Complex, is a combination of both classroom and practical exercises.

The Fire Department will train forty-five firefighters as HazMat Technicians.

Currently, the department does not have any HazMat Technicians. It has to rely on either the Dallas Fire or the Arlington Fire Departments for response to hazardous material situation within the city.

"They won't always be there when we need them," Fire Chief Robert Fite said. "We've got to be able to protect our self."

With four major highways, a major railroad line and a large industrial district, Chief Fite said the city is vulnerable to a hazardous material incident.

"If you think about our location, then add the industrial district, we've got to better protect," he said.

After the training and once the necessary equipment arrives, firefighters will be able to respond to hazardous material incidents to stop leaks, make rescues and contain the material. A private company will come in to do the cleanup.

The department is expected take delivery of a fully equipped HazMat response truck-trailer combination in February 2014. It will be assigned to Station 5 (Municipal Airport). Apparatus at Station 8 (3017 Roy Orr Blvd.) will also have equipment for response to the northern industrial districts.

Chief Fite said the training for firefighters and all the equipment was all obtained through grant money.

August 06, 2013

Fill the Bus with School Supplies at Walmart Through August 9

A Grand Prairie ISD school bus is parked at the Walmart to accept donations for the "Mayor's Tools for School" program. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Grand Prairie United Charities with the assistance of the Grand Prairie ISD is holding a Fill the Bus school supply and school clothing drive at Walmart, 2225 West Interstate 20, for the Mayor's Tool For School program.

Tools for School provides pre-screened families in need with children attending the Grand Prairie with a backpack, school supplies and an outfit for the first day of school.

Debby Blubaugh, Executive Director, Grand Prairie United Charities, said volunteers from the Optimist Club of Grand Prairie, Boy Scout Troop 500 and Girl Scout Troup 1373 will be on hand at the school bus to accept donations.

Those making a donation will receive a cold drink courtesy Dr. Pepper.

Walmat will have a grill setup near to bus to sell fresh grilled hot dogs, chips and a drink for $3 with all the money going to Grand Prairie United Charities to help purchase school supplies.

The volunteers with Fill the Bus will be at the Walmart through August 9 accepting donations from 9 am to noon.

August 05, 2013

AirHogs offer “Beat the Heat” Seating for August 5-7 Homestand

The Grand Prairie AirHogs have a unique “Beat the Heat” deal for the Officer’s Club for the August 5-7 homestand against the Amarillo Sox. The AirHogs are charging what the date is, so August 5=$5, August 6=$6 and August 7=$7. This deal is only good over the phone by calling 972-504-9383 or at the AirHogs box office at QuikTrip Park.

The AirHogs are offering the Best Family Deal Ever for Wednesday, August 7 at QuikTrip Park. The deal includes four reserved tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and two game programs, all for just $30!

By phone: To order the Best Family Deal Ever, call us at 972-504-9383 and mention “Best Family Deal Ever”

In person: You can also order tickets in person at the QuikTrip Park Box Office.

Online: You can also order tickets online at www.airhogsbaseball.com.

When ordering you must order a minimum of 4 tickets and enter promo code “Family” to get the special discount pricing. If you select the print at home option for your tickets you must bring your tickets to the QuikTrip Park Box Office either before or on the day of game (August 7) and show your tickets to receive the hotdog vouchers, soda vouchers and program vouchers.

The AirHogs have teamed up with Grand Prairie Premium Outlets, City of Grand Prairie and GPISD to help collect school supplies and clothing for the upcoming school year. Fill the Bus for Back to School runs from now until August 15.

For some, this time of year can create hardship for families living on a limited income to buy clothes and school supplies for their kids. Grand Prairie Premium Outlet shoppers are invited to shop stores for amazing back to school deals. Plus, locate the donation bins at participating stores and help a Grand Prairie student in need. Plus, you will receive a voucher for a FREE ticket to see a Grand Prairie AirHogs baseball game. Donations of new, unused clothing and school supplies will be accepted now through August 15, 2013. Grand Prairie Premium Outlets is conveniently located off Interstate 20 at Great Southwest Parkway.

Along with the Fill the Bus campaign, the AirHogs will hold their own "Back to School Drive Night" during the August 6 game vs. Amarillo. Anybody donating school supplies at QuikTrip Park will receive a family 4 pack of tickets to the game that night.

Source: AirHogs Baseball

Heat Advisory Issued for Tuesday through Wednesday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a heat advisory that is in effect from 1 pm Tuesday to 7 pm Wednesday.
Temperature: Highs on Tuesday will range from 100 to 104 and highs on Wednesday will range from 100 to 106.

Impacts: Maximum heat index values on Tuesday will range from 105 to 107 and Max heat index values on Wednesday will range from 106 to 110. The combination of heat and humidity will result in an elevated risk for heat-related health problems.

Body of Missing Man Recovered at Joe Pool Lake

The body of a man missing since Sunday morning at Joe Pool Lake was recovered Monday morning.

Using sonar technology, officers with the police lake patrol unit located an area of interest at approximately 11:30 am. The officers directed members of the Fire Department's dive team to the location, where the body was recovered.

The victim has been identified as: Kenneth Williams, 43, of Red Oak.

NTTA Releases Video of Saturday's Fiery Truck Crash, Driver Identified

The NTTA released video of Saturday's fiery crash at SH 161 and Interstate 30.

Grand Prairie police identified the truck driver as: James Anthony Long, 59, of Clarksville, Tennessee.

Specific cause of death is pending the finalization of the autopsy by the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

August 04, 2013

Rescue Teams Search for Missing Boater at Joe Pool Lake

A search is underway at Joe Pool Lake for a man believed to have drowned around 5 am Sunday in an area west of the Oasis Marina.

The man, who was boating with others, either dove or fell into the water and did not surface. Other members of the party conducted a search of the area for about forty minutes before notifying authorities.

Grand Prairie Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief Bill Murphy said the search is hampered because the reporting parties are unsure of the location the victim went into the water. He said because of the large search area, rescue crews are using sonar to pinpoint submerged items.

Rescue crews from the Police Lake Patrol, Fire/Rescue and Game Wardens will continue to search until the body is recovered, Chief Murphy said.

Crash on Highway 161 Kills Truck Driver

A fiery crash on State Highway 161 at Interstate 30 kills a truck driver, closing the highway for hours. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Grand Prairie police are investigating Saturday's fiery truck crash that killed the truck driver and shut down State Highway 161 (President George Bush Turnpike) for hours.

See Grand Prairie Reporter video
The accident occurred at about 3:50 pm at the interchange of Interstate 30 and where SH 161 crosses underneath I-30.

Sergeant Eric Hansen, Grand Prairie Police Traffic Section, said a 2012 Freightliner owned by B&M Trucking of Gallatin, Tennessee was westbound on I-30 when the tractor-trailer combination veered off the right shoulder and collided with a guardrail.

The truck, loaded with ceramic tile bound for San Diego, California, continued between the guardrail and a retaining wall, then vaulted onto the main lanes of SH 161 where it burst into flames.

"Police officers working a nearby lane closure were on the scene within seconds and, assisted by passing motorists, attempted to rescue the truck driver but were unable to free him before flames consumed the cab," Sergeant Hansen said.

The truck driver’s name is being withheld until relatives are notified.

Witnesses following the 18-wheeler on I-30 told police there was no apparent reason for the truck to veer off the freeway’s main lanes.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

The collision remains under investigation. This is the 17th traffic fatality in Grand Prairie this year.

August 03, 2013

Truck Driver Killed in Fiery Crash at I-30 and SH 161


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

A truck driver was killed Saturday when his tractor-trailer rig burst into flames after it veered off westbound Interstate 30 and onto State Highway 161. The accident that occurred around 4 pm blocked SH 161 and westbound I-30 for hours.

August 02, 2013

Heat Advisory Extended Through Saturday

The National Weather Service has extended the Heat Advisory until 7 pm Saturday. High temperature is expected to be between 100 and 105 degrees with lows in the upper 70s to lower 80s. Afternoon heat indices between 105 and 107 degrees.

August 01, 2013

Petting Zoo at Farmers Market August 3

The Grand Prairie Farmers Market is getting a little wild with a petting zoo Saturday, Aug. 3, at Market Square, 120 W. Main St. Farmers Market runs 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the petting zoo will be open 9 a.m. – noon. Take a walk on the wild side with chickens, goats, ducks, piglets, a baby cow, sheep and tortoises. The Grand Prairie Waggin’ Wagon mobile animal adoption trailer will also be on site featuring dogs and cats from the animal shelter available for adoption at $70 each.

The Grand Prairie Farmers Market sells locally grown fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, wines, tamales, candles, soaps and much more. The market is open every Saturday, March to December, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information about the Farmers Market, call 972-237-4599 or visit www.gptx.org/farmersmarket.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Petting Zoo at Farmers Market August 3

The Grand Prairie Farmers Market is getting a little wild with a petting zoo Saturday, Aug. 3, at Market Square, 120 W. Main St. Farmers Market runs 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the petting zoo will be open 9 a.m. – noon. Take a walk on the wild side with chickens, goats, ducks, piglets, a baby cow, sheep and tortoises. The Grand Prairie Waggin’ Wagon mobile animal adoption trailer will also be on site featuring dogs and cats from the animal shelter available for adoption at $70 each.

The Grand Prairie Farmers Market sells locally grown fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, wines, tamales, candles, soaps and much more. The market is open every Saturday, March to December, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information about the Farmers Market, call 972-237-4599 or visit www.gptx.org/farmersmarket.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Gopher Cheerleading Squad Takes Honors at Cheerleading Camp

Submitted photo

Members of the Grand Prairie High School Cheerleading squad took honors at the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) Cheerleading Camp at Southern Methodist University, July 26-28, that earned the team an invitation to the NCA National Championship in Dallas, March 1-2, 2014. An honor reserved for only the top performing teams.

The Varsity squad consisting of Marissa Marquez, Elizabeth Hart, Olivia Benamati, Stephanie Ontiveros, Linda Gonzalez, Madison Jimenez, Madison Furrey, Bobbi McKelvy and mascot Jordan Willett represented Grand Prairie High School with pride, dignity, and integrity. Altogether, the Varsity squad earned the following awards:

Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of Stepper's

Terri Bordeaux (center), owner of Stepper's, cuts the ribbon at Thursday's ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for the grand re-opening of Stepper's, 2155 S. Great Southwest Parkway, the once popular night spot that originally opened in the 80s as Stetson's.

New owner Terri Bordeaux recently renovated Stepper's into a non-smoking, over 21 country nightclub and restaurant.

Bordeaux, who teaches dance at the club, said she began her dance career twenty-three years ago teaching dance at the original Stepper's.

Opening two months ago, Bordeaux said the new Stepper's features an enlarged dance floor with an improved sound system.

Featuring a full line of restaurant quality food, a full service bar, Stepper's offers a nightly food or drink special.

"We are not just a bar, not a dive, we are a nightclub," Bordeaux said.

Stepper's opens at 6 pm Sunday-Thursday, 5 pm on Friday with a free happy-hour buffet, and 4pm on Saturday.

Heat Advisory Extended Through Friday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has extended its Heat Advisory through 7 pm on Friday.

A strong upper ridge will remain over the region for the next several days. High temperature for Grand Prairie will be between 100 and 103 degrees Thursday and on Friday with afternoon heat indices between 105 and 109 degrees.

There will be little relief at night as overnight lows remain generally warmer than 77 degrees.

Take extra precautions if you work or planning to spend extensive time outside. Be sure to check on persons with health problems and the elderly.

July 31, 2013

Disabled Veteran to get New Home

Former Dallas Cowboy Bill Bates (center) along with Mayor Ron Jensen (far right), former NFL players and local officials break ground for a new mortgate-free home for returning wounded veteran. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Former Dallas Cowboy Bill Bates, President of Victory Custom Homes, along with several retired NFL players, state and city officials held a ground breaking ceremony Wednesday at SouthStar Communities' The Sanctuary at Lake Ridge for Operation Finally Home.

Operation Finally Home is a non-profit organization established in 2005. Its mission is to provide custom made mortgage free homes to wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen.

The home will be custom built to Veterans Administration guidelines to meet the needs of a disabled veteran injured while serving. It will be a twenty-five hundred square foot, single story, four bedroom with an open floor plan home that will include many custom features. It is to be built on a one acre, level home site to provide easy access for the veteran.

Bates said the name of the veteran, who has been selected to receive the home, will be announced later because he or she is not aware of their selection.

Being built through a partnership with Victory Custom Homes, Dallas Builders Association and Former NFL Players Association, the home is expected to be completed in October.

This is Victory Custom Homes first partnership with Operation Finally Home, Bates said.

West Nile Virus Positive Mosquito Samples Reported- Grand Prairie to Ground Spray Thursday and Friday

The City of Grand Prairie reports two West Nile Virus positive mosquito samples. This brings the total to 7 positive mosquitoes samples this season in Grand Prairie. The City’s Environmental Services Department will ground spray the following areas for two consecutive nights on Thursday, August 1st and Friday, August 2nd, starting at 10 pm:
Area 1 - This area is bound by Wescott Dr., Starbridge Ln., Browning Ln., and Newberry St. on the north, East Bardin Rd. on the east, Camp Wisdom Rd. on the south, and Robinson Rd. on the west. Spray Area Map

Area 2 – This area is bound by Polo Rd. on the north, Matthew Rd. on the east, the Joe Pool Damn on the South, and Lakeridge Pkwy. on the west. Spray Area Map

Residents in these areas are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimming pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Back-to-School Community Health and Education Fair

Stuff the Bus - Back to School Clothing and Supplies Drive

Purchase and drop off an extra shirt, pant, backpack or school supply August 1-15 at one of the donation barrels located inside participating stores at Grand Prairie Premium Outlets to help ensure that children in Grand Prairie Independent School District will be prepared for school.

The start of August means a new school year is approaching and it is time to shop for new school clothes and supplies. For families living on a limited income, this time of year can create a hardship. Many children in the Grand Prairie Independent School District will be in need of new clothes to start their school year off right.

Grand Prairie Premium Outlets is conveniently located off Interstate 20 at Great Southwest Parkway. Stuff the Bus is a partnership between the City of Grand Prairie, GPISD and Grand Prairie Premium Outlets.

Donation Suggestions:

Clothing (for ages 5-17 years)
  • Shirts
  • Khaki pants
  • Denim
  • Socks
  • Shorts (1” above knee max)
  • Underwear
  • Shoes
Supplies:
  • Backpacks, Lunch Boxes
  • Pencils, Pens, Crayons, Markers, Highlighters, Erasers
  • Loose-leaf Paper, Spiral Notebooks, Composition Books
  • Folders, 3-Ring Binders
  • Calculators, Rulers, Compasses
  • Dividers, Pencil Boxes, Kleenex, Hand Sanitizer, Plastic Zip-Bags
  • Glue Sticks or Bottles
  • 3x5 Index Cards, Graph Paper

Grand Prairie to Spray after First Human Case of West Nile Virus

The City of Grand Prairie reports one human case of West Nile Virus. This is the first human case this season in Grand Prairie. The City’s Environmental Services Department will ground spray the following area for two consecutive nights on Thursday, August 1st and Friday, August 2nd, starting at 10 p.m.:
Bound by East Pioneer Parkway on the north, South Belt Line Road on the east, Brandon Street and SE 8th Street on the south, and South Carrier Parkway on the west.

Spray Area Map

Residents in this area are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain. Maps of this area are available at www.gptx.org/FightTheBite.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water, and keeping swimmings pools properly treated and chemically balanced.

To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FightTheBite.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Truck Accident Blocks Railroad for Hours

Crews unload a trailer that buckled whlie crossing the railroad tracks at SW 19th Street Wednesday morning. Photo by ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Rail traffic through Grand Prairie was halted for hours Wednesday when a heavily loaded eighteen-wheeler collapsed while crossing the Union Pacific railroad tracks at SW 19th Street.

The accident that occurred around 10:30 am also blocked both north and southbound SW 19th at the railroad tracks.

The trailer, loaded with compressed cardboard products, had to be unloaded before a wrecker could remove it from the tracks.

Sergeant Eric Hansen, Grand Prairie Police Traffic Unit, said the eighteen-wheeler was southbound on SW 19th, legally crossing the tracks, when the load apparently shifted causing the trailer to buckle. He said members of the Traffic Unit's commercial vehicle enforcement section will investigate the accident to ensure the tractor-rig was in compliance with commercial vehicle regulations.

Grand Prairie School Zone Flashers to be Tested August 1

School zone flashers will be tested 10 am-2 pm on August 1, in preparation for the new school year.

The citywide testing of the flashing lights in school zones verifies that the system is functioning properly, and is also a reminder for motorists to slow down.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

Heat Advisory in Effect Through Thursday

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a heat advisory that is in effect from 11 am Wednesday to 7 pm Thursday.

  • Temperature - highs between 100 and 103 degrees with lows only falling to around 80 degrees.
  • Impacts - the combination of heat, humidity and very warm overnight temperatures will result in elevated conditions for heath related problems.
  • Precautionary/preparedness actions:
    1. Be sure to check on persons with health problems and the elderly as they are the most susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
    2. Never leave Young children, pets or the disabled in an enclosed vehicle even for a short time as temperatures can quickly rise to life-threatening levels within minutes.
    3. Take extra precautions if you work or planning to spend extensive time outside. When possible... reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening hours. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear loose fitting, light colored and weight clothing and drink plenty of water-based fluids. Avoid carbonated products and alcohol as they increase your risk for dehydration.
    4. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location immediately. Heat stroke is an emergency - call 911.

July 26, 2013

"The Roy Orbison Experience" opens at the Uptown

Chris Trimboli as the legendary Roy Orbison in Texas Family Musicals' "The Roy Orbison Experience" at the Uptown Theater. Photo Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

The Roy Orbison Experience, Texas Family Musicals' tribute to one of the greatest singers of all times, opened Friday night at the Uptown Theater.

Starring Chris Trimboli, who sounds remarkably like the Orbison, the tribute features a large cast of singers and dancers. The music is all Roy Orbison in one of the most spectacular tributes ever to the legendary performer.

Show dates and time:

Saturday, July 27 - 2:30 and 7:30 pm
Sunday, July 28 - 2:30 pm
Tickets are $28, $30 and $33 and can be purchased online at www.uptowntheatergp.com or call 972-237-8786..

July 25, 2013

The Grand Prairie Arts Council Announces Auditions for the Fall Theatre Production of "Little Shop of Horrors"

Open Auditions are set for the Grand Prairie Arts Council’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Need a large community cast - ages 17 and up.
Auditions: August 22: 7:00-9:00 pm and August 24: 11:00 am-1:00 pm

Audition Location: Veteran's Park Event Center, 925 Conover Drive, Grand Prairie, 75051 - next door to the Grand Prairie Memorial Library

Attend one audition date. No appointment needed. Prepare a song (or portion of song) 2 minutes in length, in the style of the show. Bring an instrumental CD (formatted to play in CD player) or sing acapella. CD player will be available, no pianist.
Rehearsals:Performances: October 18-20 & 25-27 (8 shows) at the Uptown Theater.

Show Synopsis: A down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination! One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a household name, thanks to a highly successful film version and a score by the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who redefined the animated musical film with Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Charming, tuneful and hilarious, with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Complete Role & Casting Information:www.artsgp.org / or call 972-642-ARTS.

City to Spray for Mosquitoes in Four Areas on July 25-26

The City of Grand Prairie reports four West Nile Virus positive mosquito samples and will ground spray the following areas for two consecutive nights on Thursday, July 25, and Friday, July 26, starting at 10 p.m.

Area 1 – This area is bound by Fish Creek on the north, S. Belt Line Rd. on the east, Newberry St., Payne Pkwy., and San Jacinto Dr. on the south, and S. Carrier Pkwy. on the west.

Area Map
Area 2 – This area is bound by Wendy Dr. on the north, S. Carrier Pkwy. on the east, Westchester Pkwy. on the South, and Robinson Rd. on the west.
Area Map
Area 3 – This area is bound by Wislow Dr. and Slaton Dr. on the north, Sheffield Dr., Goodnight Trl., and Embers Trl. on the east, Kingswood Blvd. and Palmer Trl. on the South, and Emerson Dr. and King Harbor Ct. on the west.
Area Map
Area 4 – This area is bound by E. Warrior Trl. on the north, SE 8th St. and Edelweiss Dr. on the east, Chestnut Dr. and Thornbush Dr. on the South, and Christopher St., Kirby Creek Dr. and Hummingbird Dr. on the west.
Area Map
Residents in these areas are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water. To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk. The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program.

For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite

Source: City of Grand Prairie

July 24, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Welcomes BodyWorx to Downtown

Bridgett Freiburger (center), owner of BodyWorx, cuts the ribbon at Wednesday's ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to welcome BodyWorx to the Chamber and the downtown area.

Located at 123 West Main Street, #202, BodyWorx is a therapeutic massage clinic that currently accepts clients by appointment only.

Owner Bridgett Freiburger said she became a massage therapist after discovering the holistic therapy was the only treatment that would relieve her chronic shoulder pain she developed while in the Marine Corps.

While working full-time, Freiburger attended school at night to attain the necessary training to meet the state licensing requirements. She said unlike some smaller, local massage clinics, BodyWorx is a State of Texas licensed establishment.

Freiburger said BodyWorx focuses on providing customized and alternative treatment for relief of ailments such as chronic pain, arthritis, headaches, insomnia, depression and anxiety.

BodyWorx offers both in and out-of-clinic massage services that include:

Swedish
Deep Tissue
Hot Stone
Sport
Prenatal
For more information and to make an appointment, call 972-246-8187.

Free Back to School Immunizations Scheduled for August 1

Caring for Children Foundation Care Van will be hosting a free Back to School Immunization Clinic August 1 at Arnold Middle School, 1204 E. Marshall Drive, from 9 -11 am.

Children eligible to receive free immunizations must have no insurance, have insurance that does not cover vaccine, has Medicaid or is an American Indian or Alaskan Native. Child must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Child must have complete shot record.

For additional information, please visit www.carevan.org.

July 23, 2013

Heat Advisory in Effect through Wednesday

Update 7/24 @ 9:30 am: The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has cancelled the heat advisory that was in effect until 8 pm Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a heat advisory that is in effect until 8 pm Wednesday.

High Temperature with be 97 to 102 degrees with heat index values between 105 and 108 degrees.

The combination of the heat and humidity will result in conditions that could cause heat-related health problems.

Tip-A-Cop at Texas Roadhouse July 25 to Benefit Special Olympics

Dine and donate to Special Olympics Texas during Tip-A-Cop at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant, 2536 West Interstate 20 on Thursday, July 25.

Grand Prairie Police officers will work the dinner shift for tips that will later be donated to Special Olympics Texas.

The officers will greet and serve patrons and collect donations from 5 to 9 pm.

Pollock Celebrates 95 Years in Business

Pollock Paper a national distributor, janitorial supplies, industrial and retail packaging and food service disposables is proud to celebrate the company’s 95th anniversary.

Founded in 1918 by Lawrence S. Pollock, Pollock remains one of the largest family owned supply distribution firms in the country. Managed today by third-generation President/CEO Lawrence (Lonnie) Pollock, III, and headquartered in Grand Prairie, Pollock maintains offices and distribution centers in California, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Texas.

Since the business was opened in 1918, Pollock has broadened its product scope beyond the original paper-based products. Over the decades, Pollock has expanded into every supply that a business needs. Pollock serves businesses on a local, regional, and national level with an over the road (OTR) fleet that covers 48 states. Pollock prides itself on customer service, customizing delivery per each customer’s requirements. Scheduled runs allow Pollock customers to know exactly when their orders will be delivered.

Earlier this year, Pollock expanded its offerings with an office supply retail website, combining the friendly, responsive care of a local business with the logistical and product offering advantages of corporate office supplies giants that provides same-day shipping and delivery within one to two days for 97 percent of the country. With 30 distribution centers, there is no order too small or large and supplies can be delivered to multiple locations.

Pollock is known for building custom solutions to support companies’ needs. For 95 years, the company’s 400+ employees have stuck to the founder’s philosophy of one-on-one, friendly customer service. With this strong commitment to being realistic, truthful, and honest with customers.

Source: PRWeb

July 21, 2013

Grand Prairie Man Arrested in Fatal Pedestrian Collision on I-30

Update: 7/22/2013 @ 10:37 pm - Police have identified the victim, Brandi Nicole Danley, 41, of Fort Worth.

Grand Prairie police have charged Eliazar Rivera, 47, of Grand Prairie, with Intoxication Manslaughter in connection with the fatal pedestrian collision Saturday night on Interstate 30.

Rivera was driving eastbound in a 1988 Jeep at about 11:00 pm when he struck the unidentified female in the outside lane near NW 7th street. She died at the scene.

Investigators determined Rivera was intoxicated. He was arrested at the scene.

Rivera is currently being held in the Grand Prairie Jail. His bond has been set at $50,000.

The collision remains under investigation. This is the 16th traffic fatality in Grand Prairie this year.

AirHogs get ready for July 23-28 Homestand

The AirHogs begin a six-game homestand Tuesday night as El Paso and Wichita visit QuikTrip Park.

Upcoming Series against the El Paso Diablos, July 23-25, at QuikTrip Park

Tuesday, July 23 at 7:05 p.m. – Buy one get one free tickets online at airhogsbaseball.com.

Wednesday, July 24 at 7:05 p.m. – Best Family Deal Ever. Fans get 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas for ONLY $30.

Thursday, July 25 at 7:05 p.m. – Thirsty Thursday with $2 beer specials.

Upcoming Series against the Wichita Wingnuts, July 26-28, at QuikTrip Park
Friday, July 26 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s QuikTrip Night as fans can get in free with AirHogs ticket vouchers from QuikTrip stores. It’s also Pirate Night. Select AirHogs players will meet and greet fans at the front gate.

Saturday, July 27 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Fireworks Night at QuikTrip Park as there is a big post-game fireworks show slated.

Sunday, July 28 at 6:05 p.m. – It’s Family Sunday with $1 hot dogs and $1 Pepsi products. Parents can play catch on the field before the game with their kids and then youngsters get to run the bases after the game.

Pedestrian Killed Crossing I-30


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

A woman was killed around 11:00 pm Saturday night while crossing Interstate 30 near NW 7.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. The identity of the victim has not been released.

July 19, 2013

Tarrant County Commissioner Nguyen to Hold Town Hall Meeting

July 18, 2013

Annual Photo Contest for City's Calendar Now Open for Entries

Grand Prairie residents are invited to enter the 2014 City Calendar Photo Contest. Entries accepted through Oct. 1, 2013. A panel of judges will select photos most appropriate for the 2014 City Calendar.

Photo must feature Grand Prairie and be suitable for publication. Photos will be used in city publications. Credit will be attributed in calendar, but may not be possible in other publications and uses. Winning photos will be published in the calendar. No cash awards will be offered. Entrants must include name, address, email address and phone number with entry. Winners will be notified in November 2013. The city calendar will be printed in December 2013.

Send entries to:

Amy Sprinkles
Marketing and Public Information
City of Grand Prairie
P.O. Box 534045
Grand Prairie, Texas 75053
asprinkles@gptx.org
Source: City of Grand Prairie

Chamber of Commerce Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Salcedo Group

Michael Salcedo (center), President of Salcedo Group, cuts the ribbon at the ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons at Thursday's grand opening of the Salcedo Group's Grand Prairie office. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at Thursday's grand opening of the Salcedo Group's Grand Prairie office at 110 SW 2.

The family owned civil engineering firm provides surveying, structural engineering and construction management services to both government and private sectors. The firm will maintain its Dallas office where it has been in business for the past eleven years in the Oak Cliff area.

Firm president Michael Salcedo, a Grand Prairie resident, said he sees great development opportunities throughout Grand Prairie and wants to be on the front end of that development.

"I believe there are a lot of great things happening on Main Street in Grand Prairie and we want to be a part of it," Salcedo said to the large crowd of Chamber members and city officials as he showed off the firm's modern office space.

Salcedo said the firm will be involved in the community.

"We have been successful in Oak Cliff in Dallas by being engaged with our community," he said. "That is what we hope to do here."

July 17, 2013

Mosquito Spraying Scheduled for July 18 and 19

The City of Grand Prairie reports its first West Nile positive mosquito from a trap and will ground spray the following area for two consecutive nights on Thursday, July 18, and Friday, July 19, after 10 p.m.:

The area is bound by Gramley on the north, South Belt Line Road on the east, Marshall Drive on the south, and SW 3rd Street on the west.

View Map

Residents in this area are advised to stay indoors, keep pets inside, and cover fish ponds during those times. Spraying will be rescheduled if wind speeds are above 10 mph or in the event of rain.

All Grand Prairie residents are asked to help eliminate the areas that mosquitoes need to breed by emptying, removing or covering any receptacle that can hold water. To prevent mosquito bites, residents are advised to use an insect repellent containing at least 30 percent DEET (lower concentration for children) and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

The City of Grand Prairie conducts regular tests on mosquito samples throughout the city as part of its West Nile Virus surveillance program. For more information on vector control in Grand Prairie, please visit: www.gptx.org/FighttheBite.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

DeSoto Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash

A 30 year-old DeSoto man was killed Wednesday afternoon when he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a fire hydrant in the 800 block of West North Carrier Parkway.

Police said the accident occurred at about 4:10 pm as Christopher Morgan was riding a 1999 Honda motorcycle westbound on Carrier Parkway at a high rate of speed.

After striking the fire hydrant, Morgan became separated from the motorcycle, landed on the grassy outside shoulder and struck a street sign.

Morgan, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The collision remains under investigation. Speed is believed to be the primary cause of the collision.

This is the 15th traffic fatality in Grand Prairie this year.

Three in Custody after Chase into Dallas Wednesday Morning

Three are in custody after Grand Prairie police chased their car into Dallas early Wednesday morning.

Police spokesman Detective Mark Beseda said the incident began around 3:00 am when an officer tried to stop the car the three were in for a traffic violation at State Highway 161 and Arkansas Lane.

The driver fled from the officer who pursued the vehicle into Dallas.

During the pursuit, occupants of the vehicle threw items from the car that included narcotics and a handgun. All known thrown items were recovered by officers.

The vehicle stopped near Interstate 30 and Cockrell Hill Road. All three occupants then fled on foot. Two were taken into custody by pursuing officers. The third was captured a short time later.

The suspects have been charged with:

Evading Arrest in a Vehicle
Evading Arrest on foot
Possession of a controlled substance (Narcotics)
Theft of a Firearm
Unlawful possession of a firearm
Detective Beseda said the investigation is ongoing as detectives interview the suspects to gain more knowledge on what led up to the pursuit.

County Commissioner Andy Nguyen Speaks at Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen speaks at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen was the featured speaker at Wednesday's Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

Commissioner Nguyen, who described his life after the fall of Vietnam to the time his family escaped to America in 1981, said he hoped his message will inspire people to overcome business or personal challenges.

Mayor Ron Jensen also addressed the large crowd with a short presentation highlighting the Police Department's 2012 Annual Report.

Mayor Jensen said he will be at future luncheons to give Chamber members a brief update of important topics involving the city.

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is held the third Wednesday of each month. For More information call 972-264-1558

Police Chief Gives Annual Report to City Council

File photo - Grand Prairie police arrest suspect after lengthy car chase. Photo by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - ©2013

At Tuesday's City Council Briefing Session, Police Chief Steve Dye gave council members his annual report that showed in 2012 there were more than 1,800 less crime victims than in 2011, a record breaking 24 percent decrease in crime.

Although experiencing a recent surge of high profile murders that give the perception of a greater crime problem Chief Dye said, preliminary crime figures this year show only a modest 3 percent increase in crime. He added crime is still down 21 percent from two years ago.

Chief Dye gave an analysis of this year's eleven murders:

9 involved family violence
1 involved work place violence
1 involved a narcotics related robbery
He pointed out, all of these are near impossible for law enforcement to prevent.

While crediting the crime reduction to the hard work of the men and women in the department, the support of city officials and the community's involvement, Chief Dye pointed out several challenges facing the department.

  • Number of highway miles in the city and the many wrecks on them.
  • Tourism and special events that create traffic problems.
  • Population density in some areas.
  • Future growth, size and shape of the city.
The department is developing immediate, three and five year plans to address these problems.

Some of the statistics for 2012 include:

5,745 - Total crimes
235,947 - Calls for service
12 - Traffic fatalities
1- Homicide
35 - Water rescues
44 - SWAT Unit activations
168 - K-9 deployments
$490,915.90 - Drugs seized (estimated street value)
Chief Dye said that although there were more citizen contacts, arrests and tickets written, complaints against officers were down in 2012.

Chance of Rain Decreases, System Moves into New Mexico

The upper level low that has brought Grand Prairie some much-needed rain during the last few days has moved into New Mexico. The system will continue move southwest into Mexico tonight and Thursday.

There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms today, but they won't be as numerous as yesterday.

Rain chances will decrease more tonight with only a slight chance of thunderstorms on Thursday.

Highs today will be in the mid to upper 80s to the lower 90s. Temperatures will warm up into the low to mid 90s Thursday and mid to upper 90s Friday through the weekend.

July 16, 2013

Rodney Anderson to Seek Texas House Seat

Former State Representative Rodney Anderson announced on Tuesday that he will seek the Republican nomination for the Texas House of Representatives District 105 seat, challenging incumbent Linda Harper-Brown of Irving.

Harper-Brown, who recently announced she would seek re-election to the seat, received the endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott on Monday.

Anderson, a Grand Prairie resident, was elected to the state legislature in 2010, but the 2011 redistricting plan put him and Harper-Brown in the same district. He chose not to run for the seat in 2012.

District 105 takes in a large portion of Grand Prairie and Irving.

The Republican Primary is on March 4, 2014.

Police Seek Public's Help in Death Investigation of Tot's Mother


Grand Prairie police are seeking the public’s assistance in the death investigation of Elisa "Kiki” Johnson, 26, whose body was found on July 6 after her 3 year-old daughter led police to her apartment.

Police were sent to the Williamsburg Apartments, 2421 South Carrier Parkway, on July 6 at about 9:40 am to check on the welfare of the unattended child walking in the complex.

Detectives believe Johnson's last known contact was on Wednesday, July 3rd between the hours of 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner has not released the cause of death for Johnson.

Anyone who may have information about the death of Johnson or may have seen any suspicious activity at the apartment complex prior to the discovery of her body is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 972-988-TIPS (8477) or the Grand Prairie Police Major Crimes Hotline at 972-237-8877.

July 15, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Spotlights Two Businesses

By Richard Whitman

The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce welcomed several new businesses last month, including this month’s spotlighted new member, Strategies for Success, which offers motivational training and consulting services in English and Spanish.

“Our vision is to teach and inspire adults to expand their thinking and beliefs about themselves and their ability to achieve, to cultivate a deeper sense of self-worth and confidence, and act on the development of their greater potential,” says owner Lucy Cantu. “We want to inspire people to pursue their dreams,” she adds.

Strategies for Success has partnered with the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce to offer their Women of Wonder program beginning in September. To learn more, visit www.trainingbylucy.com or contact Lucy Cantu at 972-841-4042.

Other new members for the month include Subway (121 E. Main), U Save Collision Center, Congressman Marc Veasey and Schneider Electric.

The Chamber would also like to recognize long-time renewing member Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, located at 1001 Performance Place in Grand Prairie’s entertainment district. Verizon Theatre is one of the most advanced indoor performance spaces in the United States, and the first venue of its kind. The 6300 seat venue was designed to accommodate a wide range of stage productions from concerts to family shows.

“We are glad to be in Grand Prairie,” says General Manager Larry Fontana. “With its central location and easy access from anywhere in the Metroplex, being located in Grand Prairie has been key to Verizon Theatre’s success.”

To learn more about Verizon Theatre, or to view upcoming events and shows, you can visit them at www.verizontheatre.com.

The Chamber would like to thank all new and renewing members for their investment in the Grand Prairie business community. For more information about the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, please call 972-264-1558, or visit them at www.grandprairiechamber.org.

July 14, 2013

"All Shook Up" Ends Two Day Run at the Uptown

Texas Family Musicals concluded its two day run of the 2005 Broadway musical All Shook Up, on Sunday at the Uptown Theater.

Set in the 1950s, this musical about a leather-jacketed stranger who shakes up a small Midwestern town featured music from the legendary King Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley.

Texas Family Musicals continues its summer season at the Uptown Theater on July 25 with the opening of The Roy Orbison Experience, a tribute to the iconic native Texas singer and songwriter.

Featuring Chris Trimboli, there will be six performances of this tribute that captures everything from Orbison's early days to his final years.

Tickets are availaible online or by calling the Uptown Theater at 972-237-UPTN.

July 11, 2013

Traffic Switch at Great Southwest Parkway and Lake Ridge Construction Area

There will be a major traffic switch at the construction area at Great Southwest Parkway and Lake Ridge on Monday, July 15, 2013.

The change will not have any effect on the current southbound traffic route on Great Southwest Parkway to Lake Ridge. Traffic will continue to follow the detour to get to High Hawk and Polo Road.

Traffic changes starting Monday, July 15:

The intersection at Great Southwest, High Hawk and Lake Ridge will partially re-open to allow northbound traffic on Lake Ridge to pass through the intersection and continue on Lake Ridge to Polo Road, or turn right onto High Hawk, or use the dual left turn to turn left onto Great Southwest Parkway.

Southbound traffic on Lake Ridge from Polo will be able to turn right to go north on Great Southwest or turn left onto High Hawk as the southbound part of Lake Ridge will remain closed for further construction. This approach must turn left or right.

Northbound traffic on High Hawk will be able to pass through the intersection onto Great Southwest or turn right onto Lake Ridge to get to Polo.

The intersection will be an all way stop.

July 10, 2013

Texas Trust Credit Union and Security One Federal Credit Union File Intent to Merge

Security One Federal Credit Union of Arlington and Texas Trust Credit Union of Mansfield announced on Wednesday their intent to merge, pending regulatory and member approval.

The two credit unions have signed an intent to merge with the Texas Credit Union Department and the National Credit Union Association. Once the merger is approved by regulators and by Security One members, Security One will transfer its assets and liabilities to Texas Trust.

The combined credit union will have assets in excess of $815 million and more than 65,000 members, making it the 18th largest credit union in Texas and the 264th largest in the U.S.

The merger benefits the members of Security One by making more competitive services available to them, and benefits Texas Trust by giving it a bigger presence in Arlington. The merged financial institution will have 12 convenient branches, counting the two existing Security One branches, which will be brought under the Texas Trust name upon completion of the merger.

Among the services that the merger makes available to current Security One members are Texas Trust's mobile and online banking, an expanded surcharge-free ATM network, an in-house loan department offering mortgages and auto loans, as well as investment products and services. Texas Trust also offers an independent insurance agent and small business financial services, including SBA lending. Security One members will also benefit from Texas Trust's lower rates.

"Competing in today's financial market is more challenging than ever," said Pamela Stephens, CEO of Security One Federal Credit Union. "In order to remain competitive and continue to deliver low rates for our members, we determined the best solution for our members was to merge with another credit union."

Stephens added, "We specifically chose Texas Trust Credit Union because of the benefits it brings to our members, our common culture, shared philosophy of members first, and our similar field of membership."

The 25 employees of Security One will join the Texas Trust Credit Union team. Stephens will become part of the executive management team, playing a key role in the merger and future success of the combined credit union.

"Merging with Security One will give Texas Trust's members additional branches in the Arlington community, which is a strategic area of growth for us," said Jim Minge, CEO of Texas Trust Credit Union. "The combined synergies of Security One and Texas Trust will benefit the credit union movement as a whole, enabling us to expand our market share in north Texas."

Security One members will vote on the merger during a special member meeting following approval by the regulatory agencies. The regulatory review process is expected to take 30 to 60 days.

Source: Texas Trust Credit Union

Texas Family Musicals to Honor the Legendary Roy Orbison

Texas Family Musicals will honor native Texan and music legend Roy Orbison with its production of The Roy Orbison Experience, set to begin at the Uptown Theater, 120 E. Main Street, on July 25.

Chris Trimboli will play the role of the iconic singer and songwriter. Trimboli along with a large cast of singers and dancers, present Orbison's music in a new and unique fashion while maintaining his original style. This tribute captures everything from Orbison's early days to his final years.

Show dates and time:

Friday, July 26 - 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 27 - 2:30 and 7:30 pm
Sunday, July 28 - 2:30 pm
Tickets are $28, $30 and $33 and can be purchased at www.uptowntheatergp.com or call 972-237-8786. For 2013 Texas Family Musicals summer season tickets, call 972-905-4555.

Texas Family Musicals (TFM), a non-profit organization with the mission of producing quality family-friendly Broadway-style musicals while helping launch careers of young professionals in musical theater. Everyone involved with TFM is actively pursuing a career in theater. More information about TFM can be found at www.texasfamilymusicals.com.

July 08, 2013

Man Dies of Injuries from June 29 Motorcycle Crash

Roland Hector Jimenez, 59, of Grand Prairie died July 7 of injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident on June 29 at Corn Valley Road and Warrior Trail.

Jimenez struck the median while turning onto Corn Valley from Warrior Trail.

This is the fourteenth traffic fatality in Grand Prairie this year.

July 06, 2013

Seven Year-Old Boy Drowns at Joe Pool Lake

A seven year-old Mesquite boy drowned Saturday evening around 5:20 pm while swimming with his mother at the swim beach at Cedar Hill State Park.

Police spokesman Detective Lyle Gensler said Ivan Salinas, 7, was seen going under the water by his mother.

Salinas, who was not wearing a life jacket, was under water for approximately five minutes until a bystander pulled him to shore. He was transported to Charlton Methodist Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

This is the second drowning at Joe Pool Lake this year.

Woman Found Dead in Apartment

At about 9:35 am Saturday morning, the Grand Prairie Police were called to the Williamsburg Apartments, 2421 South Carrier Parkway, to check on a 3 year-old female child found unattended, walking around the complex.

While canvassing the complex for a parent of the child, officers found the front door to a nearby apartment open. Inside the apartment officers found a female in her 20s deceased.

Detective Lyle Gensler said investigators found no obvious evidence of foul play.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and identity of the victim.

"It is still early in the investigation and detectives are going through all of the evidence at the scene and developing a timeline of what the victim did in the hours and moments leading up to her death," Detective Gensler said.

Friday Night Shooting Leaves One Man Injured

Police investigate Friday night's shooting at the parking lot of the El Rio Grande, 215 S. Center. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Grand Prairie police were called to the parking lot of the El Rio Grande Supermercado, 215 South Center, around 10:30 pm Friday night on a report of a shooting with one person shot in the leg.

When police arrived they could not find a victim nor a suspect in the parking lot. Officers did find numerous shell casing on the ground.

The victim was later located at a convenience store at SW 2nd and Jefferson.

Sergeant Ken Zacharias said the victim, who was transported to a Dallas hospital in undetermined condition, was shot by an unknown suspects.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Police did not release the identity of the victim.

July 05, 2013

Texas Trust Youth Advisory Council Accepting Applicants for Fall 2013 Term

The Texas Trust Youth Advisory Council is accepting nominations for high school students to serve during the Fall 2013 term. Applications will be accepted through July 21.

High school students interested in financial education and leadership development are invited to apply. The Youth Advisory Council is open to all Texas Trust members in high school, along with students attending high schools in Grand Prairie, DeSoto, Mansfield, Cedar Hill, Arlington, and Kennedale. Private, charter and home school students living within these school districts are also eligible to join the Council.

Up to 20 students will be selected to serve on the Council. The Fall 2013 Youth Advisory Council will serve from August through December 2013. Council meetings will be held in Mansfield at the Texas Trust branch on County Club Dr.

The Youth Advisory Council teaches high school students basic financial skills, as well as provides leadership development training. The Council meets bi-monthly and learns about financial education, service leadership, marketing, and career opportunities in the financial field.

The Council also participates in a service project and volunteers at community events sponsored by Texas Trust. The Spring 2013 Council participated in Texas Trust's Together We Feed More Campaign, which helped generate nearly 100,000 meals for the North Texas Food Bank.

High school students interested in joining the Council should apply by July 21. Membership is limited to 20 students. Council members receive a stipend for their service upon completing all of the monthly requirements.

Eligibility requirements and an online application are available at the Texas Trust Credit Union website. Questions about the Council can be directed to Naomi Brand at 972-922-2976.

Red, White and Blue Pet Adoption Special

File photo: Casey, a Prairie Paws adoption - ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2012
Prairie Paws Adoption Center has some patriotic adoption prices this Fourth of July weekend. On Friday, July 5, and Saturday, July 6, all adoption fees will range between $4 and $6. Each of the all-American Prairie Paws animals will be wearing red, white or blue ribbons, the color of the animals ribbon will indicate its adoption fee. Celebrate freedom by freeing your new pet from the animal shelter!

The colors and adoption fees are as follows:

Animals with red ribbons will be $6
Animals with white ribbons will be $5
Animals with blue ribbons will be $4
All animals will be microchipped and will receive 5-in-1 and kennel cough for dogs and the 3-in-1 and kennel cough for cats. Those wishing to adopt must fill out an application for approval before receiving the animal, and must provide certification of rabies and spay and neuter within 30 days of the animal’s adoption. Up to two pets per household may be adopted. The offer is valid only for new adoptions.

The Prairie Paws Animal Shelter is located at 2222 W. Warrior Trail and normal operating hours are:

Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed noon – 1 p.m.)
For more information call 972-237-8675 or visit www.gptx.org/paws.

Source: City of Grand Prairie

July 03, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Smile Magic Dental

Dr. Deanna Mathisen, DMD with Smile Magic dental clinic (center) cuts the ribbon at Wednesday's ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons. ©Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - 2013

Members of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Branding Irons hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at Wednesday's grand opening of Smile Magic Dental & Braces, 511 S. Carrier Parkway.

Debbie Jones, Marketing Manager, said Smile Magic believes that every child deserves to have a magical experience, and we carry that belief in everything we do.

The clinic's unique waiting room with its colorful murals has:

  • Movie theater
  • X-box game center
  • Play gym
Open Tuesday through Saturday, the clinic accepts most PPO insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and offers its own payment plan. Walk-ins are welcome.

Jones said that although the clinic is setup to put children at ease, the clinic treats adults as well as children. Knowing how time is so valuable to families these days, Smile Magic can treat the entire family in one visit.

July 02, 2013

Murder-Suicide Suspected after Man and Woman Found Dead

Grand Prairie police suspect it was a murder-suicide in the deaths of Donna Sanford, 61, and Tommy Esquibel, 62, Monday evening in the 900 block of Alspaugh Lane.

Detective Mark Beseda said police received a 911 hang-up call from the residence at approximately 6:40 pm on Monday. The caller, who was a female, gave the address to the call taker and the line disconnected.

When officers dispatched to the address could not make contact with the female at the front door, they made entry into the home through a partially opened garage.

Once inside, officers discovered the victims dead from gunshot wounds.

Detective Beseda said there was evidence at the scene that suggests some type of disturbance occurred prior to the shooting.

Detectives also learned that Sanford and Esquibel were in a dating relationship.

The investigation is still ongoing, Detective Beseda said, but police are not looking for additional suspects.

AirHogs July 2-5 Series with Wichita to Have Fireworks and Much More

The Grand Prairie AirHogs open a four-game series with the Wichita Wingnuts Tuesday night at QuikTrip Park at 7:05 p.m. as the Hogs come into the series after taking two of three from Newark to improve to 23-18 this season.

Upcoming Series against the Wichita Wingnuts, July 2-5, at QuikTrip Park

Tuesday, July 2 at 7:05 p.m. – It’s Sports Hero to Sports Zero Night. Fans can trade in Josh Hamilton or A-Rod items for a couple of FREE tickets to the game. Fans can trade in baseball cards, t-shirts, caps, bobble head dolls, etc. and get into the AirHogs game that night for FREE. The merchandise fans trade in will be placed in a time capsule and buried at the ballpark. It will only be opened if both players are elected to the Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, July 3 at 7:05 p.m. – AirHogs fans can watch the fireworks show put on by Lone Star Park after the game. It’s Guaranteed WINS-day. If the AirHogs don’t win, fans get a FREE ticket to a future AirHogs game.

Thursday, July 4 at 6:05 p.m. – It’s the Fourth of July at QuikTrip Park as the game begins one hour earlier. Fans can watch the fireworks show put on at Lone Star Park from the field after the game.

Friday, July 5 at 7:05 p.m. – The AirHogs wrap up their series with the Wingnuts. Select AirHogs players will meet and greet fans at the front gate.

AIrHogs News

The AirHogs enter Tuesday night’s game with a two-game winning streak. The Hogs are 23-18. After starting the season 0-6, the AirHogs have gone 23-12. Patrick Mincey recorded his 10th save of the season Sunday night, which is third in the American Association. Mincey has a sparkling 1.17 ERA as the team’s closer. Tuesday’s starting pitcher Josh Strawn enters the game with a 5-1 record and a 2.68 ERA. Brandon Pinckney and Ryan Pineda lead the team in batting average as both players are hitting .296 this season.

Source: Grand Prairie AirHogs

July 01, 2013

Man and Woman Found Fatally Shot on Alspaugh Lane


Video by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter - © 2013

Officers responding to a 911 hang up call, found a man and woman dead in a house in the 900 block of Alspaugh Lane Monday evening. Both victims had gunshot wounds.

Detective Mark Beseda said before the call hung up, call takers could hear some type of disturbance in progress on the 911 call that came in around 6:55 pm.

The victims have not been identified and the investigation is ongoing, Detective Beseda said.

June 30, 2013

Animal Shelter Introduces Waggin' Wagon the Mobile Pet Adoption Center


Photos by Bob Fitch/Grand Prairie Reporter

To make animal adoption more convenient to residents, the Prairie Paws Adoption Center introduced its new mobile adoption center, Waggin' Wagon.

The eighteen foot trailer that is air-conditioned and heated with running water can keep 21 cats and dogs comfortable while bringing adoptable pets to events throughout the city.

The easy to spot trailer features a colorful exterior design with psychedelic colors and photos of actual Grand Prairie shelter animals.

“The Waggin’ Wagon will make it easier for people to see the precious dogs and cats we have available at Prairie Paws,” said Danielle Tate, Prairie Paws Adoption Center Manager. “We hope it will greatly increase the number of animals that are adopted from our shelter.”

All animals on the trailer will cost $70 for adoption. Most animals will be sterilized and have their rabies vaccination. Waggin’ Wagon employees will accept cash, checks and all credit cards except American Express as payment for the adopted pets.

Watch for the Waggin’ Wagon at these locations:

July 6 - Homeownership Fair, Ruthe Jackson Center, 3113 S. Carrier
July 13 - Petco, 5236 S State Highway 360
July 20 - Longhorn Harley Davidson, 2830 W. I-20
July 27 - Petco, 5236 S State Highway 360
August 3 - Farmers Market Petting Zoo, 120 W. Main St.
August 10 - Petco, 5236 S State Highway 360
Aug 17 - PetSmart, 2309 Interstate 20 Frontage Rd
Aug 24 - Hatch Chile Fest at