City by City: Fort Worth area

Posted Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Library book clubs gear up for year of reading in 2014

Now that the holidays are ending, the Benbrook Library’s resident book clubs are ready to start the new year.

The Bent Corners Book Club (adults 18 and up) will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, its regular first-Thursday slot.

The Coffee Break club meets at 11 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Since the library is closed for New Year’s Day, the club’s monthly meeting will occur on Jan. 8. Book of the month for January is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

The Teen Book Club meets twice a month, on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. Their meetings on Jan. 9 and 23 will cover Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Meetings include informal discussion and snacks, and attendance at every meeting is not required. Discussion questions can be found online at

The library’s address is 1065 Mercedes St.

— Shirley Jinkins


Plaza Medical Center debuts new cervical disc

Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth officials say the hospital became the first in the Fort Worth area to use a new Food and Drug Administration-approved cervical disc, during a cervical disc replacement surgery performed by Dr. Paul H. Cho in mid-December.

The Mobi-C, an artificial disc for the neck, is a medical implant used to replace a worn disc.

Mobi-C is designed to be bone sparing and provides an option to traditional disc fusion surgery. The Mobi-C maintains neck mobility where the fusion may limit mobility.


Historical Society to hear Civil War program

Members of the Lake Worth Area Historical Society will gather to hear an update from Ester Sims on the Texas Civil War Museum and what’s new for 2014 in its collection.

The museum is located at 760 N. Jim Wright Freeway, Fort Worth.

The group will meet for the program and a potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Multi-Purpose and Meeting Facility, 7005 Charbonneau Road, Lake Worth.

A number of events are being planned by the society in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of Lake Worth.

Visit for more information.

— Shirley Jinkins


New sheriff’s deputy is on the job to sniff out crime

There’s a new deputy on patrol for the Parker County Sheriff’s Department, but he doesn’t wear a uniform or carry a gun.

Gobi, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, recently joined the office’s drug interdiction unit, according to news release from deputy Danie Huffman, sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Gobi’s handler, deputy Nathan Hagin, is a six-year law enforcement veteran who joined the sheriff’s office nearly a year ago.

Hagin and Gobi recently returned from a three-week training course at the Global Training Academy in Somerset for drug identification and searches, Huffman said.

The team is also training for certifications in human tracking, including searches for missing people, Alzheimer’s patients, abduction victims or people evading arrests.

“I am excited about working with Gobi,” Hagin said in the news release. “During our training, he ran circles around most of the seasoned drug canines.”

Jack Knox, a local rancher and fourth-generation Parker County resident, donated the money to buy Gobi, Huffman said.

Hagin and Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler thanked Knox for his contribution.

“Gobi and Nathan are a favorable team,” Fowler said. “We are pleased for their addition. Both deputies will be instrumental in the drug interdiction division.”

— Bill Miller


New reserve police officer named

Pelican Bay’s Police Department recently added another reserve officer to its staff. Bobby Pender was sworn in on Dec. 10.

The Burleson resident has a 6-year-old daughter, and he graduated from the police academy in 2012.

Former reserve officer Chasstin Terry recently left Pelican Bay’s staff to further his career and accept a full-time position with the Sansom Park Police Department.

— Shirley Jinkins


New therapist program passes accreditation

Weatherford College’s new occupational therapy assistant program has received the stamp of approval from the American Occupational Therapy Association, an organization that reviews and evaluates such programs in higher education.

The association’s standards are very high, and college officials are pleased that one of the newer programs has successfully passed all accreditation criteria.

“Gaining accreditation for a new program is a very long and tedious process, with many land mines at every turn,” said Weatherford College President Kevin Eaton.

On Dec. 14, the Education Center at Mineral Wells, where occupational therapy assistant classes are held, hosted ceremonies honoring the first graduating class in the program. Graduates and their families celebrated completion of two years of studies and clinical experience.

For more information about the program at Weatherford College, contact Mike McGough at 817-598-8801.

— Shirley Jinkins


Financial planning for special-needs families

Helping Restore Ability is hosting a free seminar on Jan. 16 to provide information on how to protect the long-term financial and legal needs of children with special needs. Parents of children of any age with any type of special needs are encouraged to attend.

The seminar is from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 16, at the offices of Helping Restore Ability, 4300 Beltway Place, Suite 130 in Arlington.

Vicki Niedermayer, CEO of Helping Restore Ability, is a board-certified behavior analyst with over 30 years of experience in social services for people with special needs.

She will be sharing information on both public and private programs and support services that are available for children with disabilities, many of which are free of charge and immediately available.

Aaron Shutt is an attorney with the Paup Law Firm in Fort Worth.

He will explain how a special-needs trust can help maintain your child’s eligibility for Social Security, Medicare and other assistance programs as well as protect assets from predators, creditors and judgments.

Shutt will also explain guardianship and the powers of attorney parents may want to have for the care of an adult child with special needs.

Jason Smith is a financial adviser with Edward Jones who has lived with a disability label, having been born without his right hand. He will cover common strategies used to fund a special-needs trust and share some of his personal story of overcoming the challenges of his disability.

Please email to RSVP. Call 817-635-6008 for more information.

— Faye Reeder

Connecting business with UT Arlington

Want to market directly to students at the University of Texas at Arlington? Spring Activities Fair Day is Jan. 22.

The fair is an excellent way to visit with students about services and products your business offers. For fee and registration information, contact Marcy Garcia at or call 817-272-0556.

On Feb. 19, the Career Development Center hosts the Spring Job Fair. The fair offers prospective employers direct access to UT Arlington students, new grads, and alumni who are seeking employment opportunities.

Those interested in participating in the job fair should call 817-272-5201 or email

The annual Celebrating Maverick Spirit Benefits Fair, hosted in March by the Staff Advisory Council, is a way to showcase the products, benefits and services of your business to hundreds of UT Arlington employees.

For more information, email staff_advisory_

— Faye Reeder

Tennis improvement in Hurst, anyone?

Tennis players are tough, but if your game isn’t quite where you want it to be (or nonexistent) Hurst Recreation Center, 700 Mary Drive, has programs to get you there.

For youth, Quickstart Tennis, Junior Beginner Tennis and Intermediate Junior Tennis are four-week, Monday-afternoon programs that start Monday.

Adult Beginner Clinic and Adult Intermediate Clinic also are four-week programs Wednesday evenings beginning Jan. 8.

The Men’s 4.0 & Above Drop-in Drill is 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday beginning Feb. 20.

— Terry Evans

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