City by City: Arlington, Mansfield, Northeast Tarrant

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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ARLINGTON

Six Flags Over Texas plans additions to children’s area

It’s still a few months away from summer, but Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has started creating a buzz for its theme park.

Six Flags has announced an expansion of its children’s area with the all-new Bugs Bunny Boomtown, featuring new colors and theming, and ample seating and shaded areas for moms, dads and grandparents.

Bugs Bunny Boomtown is scheduled to open in the spring.

Families are at the core of everything we do,” said Steve Martindale, Six Flags Over Texas president. “We pride ourselves on offering thrills for all ages and we look forward to having these new rides and attractions provide wonderful memories for youngsters and their parents for years and years to come.”

At the heart of Bugs Bunny Boomtown is the Looney Tunes Adventure Camp, an interactive play structure where kids can climb, slide and discover fun surprises, and Taz Tornado, which will have children spinning and twirling above the park in pint-size swings.

Other attractions are the Bugs Bunny Cloud Bouncer, Marvin the Martian Space Rockets and Daffy Duck Bucket Blasters.

— Sandra Baker

BEDFORD

Library email program keeps folks in the know

LACE is a Bedford Library email program that sends subscribers the online newsletter, current library news and reminders of coming programs and events.

Start by emailing the library at lace@lists.bedfordtx.gov with “subscribe” in the subject line. A confirmation email will be sent to you. Reply to this email to join the list.

All emails will be sent blindly in order to prevent other subscribers from seeing your address.

— Yamil Berard

Friends of the libray seek donated items to sell

The Bedford Library Friends are accepting donations of books, VHS tapes, cassette tapes. records, CDs, DVDs, board games, puzzles and magazines. Donated materials are sold at the Friends’ Library Bookstore, and the funds provide money that the library uses to purchase books and equipment and offer community programs.

For more information, contact Roland Rangel at 817-571-1368 or gymtique@aol.com.

— Yamil Berard

COLLEYVILLE

Colleyville’s crime decreases in 2013, police chief says

Police Chief Mike Holder told the City Council that Colleyville’s crime had decreased for another year since 2010.

The chief gave his annual report with stats that show a continued trend of decreasing crime.

“The Colleyville Police Department employed a variety of strategies, technologies and analysis to develop intelligence, identify trends and quickly deploy resources, in a directed fashion, to accomplish this crime reduction,” Holder said.

Holder shared stats including the decrease in major crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson. In 2012, the city saw 185 such crimes, and one more than in 2013.

There was a decrease in reported burglary of vehicles but an increase in other crimes.

Holder said because the department is a “lean” one, using technology to better police the city. He said another key component is proactive work, like educating the community to practice anti-crime techniques.

— Dustin L. Dangli

City starts no-knock list for residents

Residents are able to sign up for a program that prohibits door-to-door solicitations.

City Manager Jennifer Fadden introduced the no-knock list at the State of the City meeting last week.

By ordinance, commercial solicitors must refer to the list of address to avoid.

“In the 2010 citizen survey, a majority of residents listed door-to-door solicitors as the No. 1 safety concern in their neighborhoods,” Fadden said in her speech. “In response, the city enacted a solicitor ordinance that allowed us to closely regulate those solicitors.”

Religious and political solicitors are exempt from the list.

— Dustin L. Dangli

GRAND PRAIRIE

‘Flock to the Library’ for a frivolous contest

The Grand Prairie library wants to help artsy-craftsy types shake off winter doldrums by decorating flamingos. Yes, decorating flamingos.

Starting in February, plastic flamingos will be available from any Grand Prairie library for a $5 donation.

Decorate a flamingo with paint, pens, embellishments, feathers, or whatever you dream up. Then return the unique creation to any library by March 23 to be eligible for judging.

Entries will be numbered and entered into a category such as adults, children and teens, school classes and city departments.

Flamingos will be on display at all branches.

Prizes will be awarded on March 27 at 6 p.m. at the Grand Prairie Main Library. Flamingos can be picked up starting May 1.

— Shirley Jinkins

Free gardening classes during February, March

Serious lawn and garden advice is available for free through classes offered by the Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation Department, presented at the Main Library, 901 Conover Drive.

All classes start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Upcoming classes and dates are landscape maintenance, Feb. 13; vegetable gardening, Feb. 20; perennial color, Feb. 27; organic gardening, March 13; containers, March 20; and going native, March 27.

Call 972-237-5700 for more information or visit www.gptx.org/library.

— Shirley Jinkins

KELLER SCHOOLS

District reorganizes business side

The Keller school district has reorganized its business department after the departure of the assistant superintendent of business operations. The district will not replace the position.

Oversight of facility operations, including custodial, transportation, child nutrition, construction and planning services, will be divided among other business department officials.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Youngs will now oversee facilities, child nutrition and Durham School Transportation Services as well as the finance function.

Former Construction and Planning Director Hudson Huff has been named executive director of facility services. Huff will supervise the departments and department heads of custodial, landscaping and mechanical/plumbing/electrical, planning and facility project management, environmental conditions and services, and the facilities specialist.

“This structure is organized by systems and areas of responsibility,” said Superintendent Randy Reid in a news release. “It is sensible and assures the district’s continued success in our business operations function.”

— Shirley Jinkins

Flu shot clinic draws more than 500 people

More than 530 people received flu shots at a Jan. 21 clinic hosted by the Keller school district at Central High School.

Vaccinations were available for free to participants of certain health plans and cost $15 for those with other insurance plans. Students 18 and under with no health insurance coverage who qualified for Texas Vaccines for Children received vaccines for $10.

— Sandra Engelland

School district set to host Korean teachers

The Keller school district will host 17 Fulbright teachers from Korea on Feb. 3-17.

The visiting educators teach American studies and the English language. The goals of the program sponsored by the Texas International Education Consortium include enhancing knowledge of American English-as-a-second-language teaching, knowledge of culture and society, and developing relationships.

Korean teachers will observe classes at 11 campuses, share Korean culture with students and stay with host families in the Keller area.

— Sandra Engelland

MANSFIELD

Residents can apply

to serve on board

Volunteers who want a stronger voice in the direction of business development in Mansfield have until Friday to apply for a seat on the Mansfield Economic Development Corp. board.

Board President Jerry Heftler announced his resignation in late December, saying his business and personal life were getting too busy to remain on the board.

“It’s a little bit of board burn-out after 8 1/2 years,” he said Friday. “I am recently remarried, and my business — I’ve been blessed. It just got to be a time management issue really.”

Heftler is founder of Integrated Medical Solutions, which contracts with the Justice Department to maintain healthcare networks that provide medical services for federal prisoners. The business started in Arlington in 1999 and three years later moved to Mansfield, where it opened a new headquarters last month at Wisteria Street and Heritage Parkway.

The company has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the top 500 fastest-growing companies in America.

MEDC board member Larry Klos has been named president by the board.

People can apply for the vacant director seat at City Hall, 1200 E. Broad St., by the end of business on Friday, or they can download an application from the city website, www.mansfield-tx.gov, and turn it in to City Hall by the deadline, said City Secretary Vicki Collins.

The City Council appoints MEDC board members.

— Robert Cadwallader

SOUTHLAKE

Specialty tile and stone shop opens

The Tile Shop, a publicly traded specialty retailer of premium manufactured and natural stone tiles, has opened a store in Southlake, its third in Dallas-Fort Worth and fifth store in Texas.

The 18,615-square-foot location is in Gateway Plaza at 2921 E. Texas 114.

The store features fully decorated, room-size displays, complete with appliances as well as lighting and plumbing fixtures, that allow homeowners to see what their Tile Shop tile and stone will look like installed, in their home.

The store also offers a free, how-to-tile workshop every Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Participants are offered a hands-on opportunity to learn how to set ceramic tile, natural stone tile, and mosaic tile.

The Tile Shop operates 90 stores in 28 states.

— Sandra Baker

Bob Jones Nature Center goes to birds

Southlake’s nature center begins a focus on bird-centric activities.

Bob Jones Nature Center will have a pair of birdwatching workshops start in February.

On Feb. 1, the center hosts “The Challenges of Backyard Bird Photography: How to get Better Results for Your Efforts.” On Feb. 8, the center will offer a pair of birdwatching 101 clinics for adults and children.

This is in preparation for the Backyard Bird Count on Feb. 15, where participants will go on a hike with naturalist Ray Chancellor to learn about and how to identify wintering birds.

For more information about the workshops and to register, visit www.bjnc.org.

— Dustin L. Dangli

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