South/WestBURLESONDisabled residents can sign up for help in emergenciesBurleson is working with Fort Worth to make sure that disabled residents get help during emergencies. People can register for the Special Needs Assistance Program by going to www.fortworthtexas.gov/applications/snap.The service is available to disabled residents living in the Tarrant County and Johnson County portions of Burleson.SNAP provides information to first responders that can be used during a disaster or other emergency. The information is confidential. — Elizabeth CampbellCLEBURNEResidents could see 6-cent property tax rate increaseCleburne is proposing a 6-cent property tax rate hike to 80.40 cents per $100 of assessed value. City Manager Rick Holden said the increase from the current rate of 74.0743 cents is necessary to provide the same level of services and to continue paying debts.Holden said a combination of declining property values, sales tax revenue and gas drilling royalties and an increase in property owners filing exemptions forced the City Council to look at a tax rate increase.He added that the council could approve a tax rate as high as 85.6200 cents, which is also the rollback rate.The council will hold two public hearings, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and noon Aug. 30 at City Hall, 10 N. Robinson St.Mayor Scott Cain said that several years ago, the council voted to cut taxes and put gas drilling revenue in the general fund. Since then, drilling in the Barnett Shale has declined.“It’s a painful thing to do,” Cain said of the proposed increase. — Elizabeth CampbellFORT WORTHCharter school picked to receive expert assistanceCharter school Uplift Mighty Preparatory of Fort Worth is one of the middle schools nationwide that will receive on-site support from leading educators, the George W. Bush Institute announced this week.The three middle schools — the others are from Lindale and Erie, Pa. — were among eight schools that participated in the Bush Institute’s “Middle School Matters” event this summer in Austin.“Uplift Mighty is extremely excited to be selected for Tier III,” said Priscilla Collins-Parhms, managing director. “The work we do with moving students academically is extremely rewarding and comes with many challenges.” The middle schools were selected from a pool of 44 nationwide to participate in the program, according to a news release. The education reform initiative is a partnership with the University of Texas at Austin’s Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk.“When it comes to ensuring that students finish high school ready to pursue new educational and career opportunities, the middle grades are critical,” said Kerri Briggs, the Bush Institute’s education reform director . — Lee WilliamsTarrant Area Food Bank will mark Hunger Action MonthSeptember is Hunger Action Month at Tarrant Area Food Bank, and activities as well as ways to help are scheduled on the organization’s busy calendar.Sundance Square buildings at Main and Third streets will be lighted with orange lights on Sept. 4 and 5, the color of the nationwide “Go Orange” campaign to raise hunger awareness.Public tours of the food bank’s warehouse, community outreach events, and activities for children and adults will be held throughout the month. Check out other activities at www.tafb.org. — Shirley JinkinsVeterans can get free legal advice Sept. 20 at VA clinicThe Tarrant County Chapter of Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans hosts free legal clinics for military service veterans and spouses of deceased vets on the third Friday of every month except March and December.The next clinic is set for Sept. 20 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Fort Worth VA outpatient clinic, 2201 SW Loop 820.Attorneys will consult with veterans on issues including family and consumer law, traffic issues, probate, wills and estates, bankruptcy, contracts, landlord-tenant disputes, guardianships and general civil matters.Call 817-546-4460 to arrange an appointment. — Shirley JinkinsCasa Mañana is seeking volunteers for new seasonCasa Mañana Theater is seeking volunteers for the upcoming theater season.“Casateers” should have a passion for the performing arts, strong customer service skills and a positive attitude.Positions include ushers, ticket-takers, potluck coordinators, greeters, house staff and administrative officers. Volunteers will occasionally be asked to assist with Broadway and children’s theater productions as well as the annual gala and other special events. Volunteers can see Casa Mañana productions for free on the nights they work.Casateers must be at least 16 and be available to attend volunteer meetings throughout the season.Those interested should email their name, address, phone number and position preference to Bree Larson at email@example.com. — Shirley JinkinsChildren’s theater group celebrates its 25th yearFort Worth-based Kids Who Care will mark its 25th year by doing what it enjoys most: touring children’s and family classics and offering drama and dance classes.The Kids Who Care company tours year-round throughout Fort Worth and Dallas and will go to Italy next summer. Its 2013-14 production is Deep in the Heart. Musical theater classes begin the week of Sept. 4 at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St.Classes for children from age 4 through high school cover creative dramatics, several levels of musical theater production and musical theater dance. Cost runs from $75 to $110 per month.An audition workshop will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 to help students hone their tryout skills. The beginner/intermediate workshop costs $15, while the advanced workshop runs $25.Call 817-737-5437 to pre-register for classes. — Shirley JinkinsVolunteers sought for new literacy programA new weekly literacy program for mothers of preschoolers is being launched Sept. 15 by the Northside Inter-Community Agency, and volunteers are needed.The program, called Family First, is funded by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Volunteers are needed to help with adult and children’s learning activities. Small morning and afternoon groups of 10 mothers and their children will meet separately and together.Contact Rob Ludlow, outreach and programs coordinator of NICA, at 817-626-1102, ext. 225. — Shirley JinkinsNeighborhood group helps install public artThanks to the efforts of the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association, public art has been installed on the tower at the Fort Worth Police Crime Lab at 3616 E. Lancaster Ave. The neighborhood group was awarded a Fort Worth public art project by the Community ID: Public Arts in Neighborhoods initiative.The art installation, Regrowth, consists of three 18-foot-tall water-cut stainless steel panels by artist Tommy Fitzpatrick. The panels depict trout lilies found at Tandy Hills Nature Center and tracks of the interurban rail line that once played an important role in the area’s growth. — Shirley JinkinsSAGINAWCity schedules public hearings on tax rateSaginaw will hold two public hearings on a proposal to increase tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 7.98 percent. Property owners’ taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of the property and the tax rate that is adopted.The hearings will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 3 and 10 at Saginaw Senior Citizens Center, 405 S. Belmont St.Information: www.ci.saginaw.tx.us/DocumentCenter/View/2810.Library will observe Banned Books WeekSaginaw library patrons may join other readers nationwide Sept. 22-28 in celebrating the American Library Association’s Banned Book Week.Among the classics that have been banned or challenged over the years are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Lord of the Flies and even books in the Harry Potter series.Patrons who read a banned or challenged book will receive a free book and be included in gift card drawings.Community members can watch library screenings of movies inspired by banned books at 11 a.m. Sept. 24 (bring a lunch), 4 p.m. Sept. 25, 5 p.m. Sept. 26, 4 p.m. Sept. 27 and 1 p.m. Sept. 28.The John Ed Keeter Public Library is at 355 W. McLeroy Blvd. — Shirley JinkinsRegionTarrant County College trustees OK budgetTarrant County College trustees approved a $361.8 million budget for the next fiscal year that includes a 3.5 percent salary-and-benefits increase for all employees.“We are pleased that, without increasing taxes or tuition, we are able to better compensate all faculty and staff and to provide improved programs and facilities promoting student success,” said TCC board President Louise Appleman.The budget takes effect Sept. 1. There were no increases to tuition or the total tax rate, Appleman said.The budget includes a $1.50-per-hour pay increase for adjunct credit faculty members and full-time instructors who are teaching extra classes. — Diane SmithRural advocacy group earns distinction againThe Cleburne-based Bluebonnet Resource Conservation and Development Council has had its membership in a select group renewed by the national association.As a standing member of the national RC&D Circle of Diamonds, the Bluebonnet council “continually demonstrates its positive impact on the quality of life within its local area and its accountability to the community it serves through its organizational structure, the processes it uses, and the outcomes it attains,” the national association said in a news release.Resource conservation and development councils are nonprofit organizations that work to protect natural resources and develop rural economies. They are grassroots organizations made up of community and local government representatives.They deliver community development assistance throughout rural America, including soil and water quality projects, job creation programs and renewable-energy assistance.Bluebonnet serves Hill, Johnson, Parker, Navarro, Ellis, Rockwall, Hunt, Dallas, Kaufman, and Tarrant counties.
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