City by City: Fort Worth area

01/17/2014 3:25 PM

01/17/2014 3:27 PM


Movie production wraps

up filming in Aledo today

It took a while, but Aledo now has its first close-up for the big silver screen — with Kevin Sorbo, which can’t hurt.

A namesake enterprise called Aledo Film Group is shooting the final scenes for the independent film Gallows Road today in historic downtown Aledo, capping a summer of under-the-radar filming at locations in Aledo, Weatherford and Fort Worth.

“This is the first time a movie has been filmed here,” said Lori Wedgeworth, Aledo’s community events planner. The company didn’t want publicity until the last day of filming on Friday, she said, and “finally they came in and said, ‘Blast it out.’ ”

The movie stars noted actor Ernie Hudson ( Ghostbusters, Congo) along with Sorbo ( Hercules). Gallows Road is the story of a man who takes refuge in isolation after his wife and children are killed but eventually must make a choice between seeking revenge or learning to forgive.

Aledo Film Group produces inspirational and faith-based motion pictures for theatrical, home video, television and Internet release.

Bill McAdams Jr. is co-founder and CEO of Aledo Film Group. Mary Jean “MJ” Bentley is founder and CEO of Little Faith Pictures, a family-film production company.

McAdams is writer and director of Gallows Road, and Bentley, his sister, is its producer.

It was Bentley, a Fort Worth resident, who suggested Aledo for the setting.

“Aledo has everything from quaint shops, beautiful countryside, railroad tracks and small town feel we need to make this film and bring the Gallows Road story to life,” said Bentley in emailed remarks.

McAdams flew in from Los Angeles to scout locations when the film was in pre-production and fell in love with Texas in general and Aledo in particular. He named his film group after Aledo.

“I have been so impressed with the talent in Texas from local actors to crew, vendors and production facilities that I want to bring films to Texas,” said McAdams, a Virginia native.

McAdams’ 22 years of experience in the film industry includes work with Matt Damon. McAdams wrote the screenplay for Gallows Road in 1997 while on the set of Damon’s Academy Award-winning film Good Will Hunting.

Bentley has two decades of experience in the entertainment industry as an actress, songwriter, singer and producer, appearing in the movies We Were Soldiers, Sweet Home Alabama, Noah’s Ark and more. She lives with her husband and two children in Fort Worth.

— Shirley Jinkins


Police seeking candidates

to become officers

The Benbrook Police Department is looking for applicants interested in joining the force.

Civil-service testing takes place on Feb. 22. Interested candidates should submit test application material by Feb. 10 .

The Police Department is a recognized agency by the Texas Police Chiefs Association Law Enforcement Recognition Program. Benbrook was the 36th law enforcement agency in Texas and the first in Tarrant County to earn this award.

A signing bonus of $5,000 is available to certified police officers.

For complete information on testing, qualifications, job description, benefits and hiring process, go to


Entries due for Celebrate Kindness campaign

The deadline is Tuesday for students’ entries in the Celebrate Kindness campaign, sponsored by the Mayor’s Youth Council and Burleson Municipal Court.

The contest, which accepts posters, drawings, paintings and video, is open to all youths who live in Johnson County and all Burleson youths who live in Tarrant County.

Kindergarteners through second-graders and third- through fifth-grade students can submit a drawing that illustrates the contest theme. They can be dropped off at City Hall or the Ron Harmon Subcourthouse.

Students in sixth through eighth grades and high school freshmen through seniors can draw, paint or create a video for their entries. The videos should be no longer than two minutes. All footage, music and materials must be original.

Videos for the public service announcement can be submitted to the Burleson MYC Page on Facebook or put on a flash drive or disc and turned in at City Hall.

Entries in all categories will be judged on creativity, neatness and originality. Prizes for first, second and third places will be awarded in each category.

For more information contact Elisabeth White, management intern for the city, at 817-426-9687 or; or Constance White, director of court services, at 817-426-9223 or

City Hall is at 141 Renfro St. Municipal court is located inside the subcourthouse at 247 Elk Drive across from Burleson High School.

— Shirley Jinkins


Fort Worth, Iowa city spar for wellness title

Fort Worth is competing with Des Moines, Iowa, to be recognized as a “Wellness Capital.”

A 10-week wellness challenge officially kicked off Thursday at Burnett Park with a Fit15 15-minute walk with Mayor Betsy Price. She was joined by Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware.

To help the city win the challenge, residents are encouraged to practice healthy habits and track physical activity at from Jan. 27 until April 4, according to a city news release.

For $20, residents can upgrade their free membership to include a yearlong lifestyle magazine subscription, a FitWorth training shirt and more.

The city's Fit15 program, part of FitWorth Healthy City Initiative, encourages employers to offer 15-minute activity breaks for employees.

— Caty Hirst

Jaycees near meeting rules for reinstatement

The Fort Worth Jaycees Past Presidents and Fellow’s Club is close to having the Fort Worth Jaycees reinstated and will host their final membership drive next week.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sammie’s BBQ, 3801 Belknap St. It is open to women and men ages 21 to 40. Initial dues are $60.

Logan Swords, president of the group, said the organization needs 20 new members to be reactivated, a Texas and U.S. Jaycees requirement.

“We are confident that we will exceed the minimum number of 20 new members and once again be seen in 2014,” Swords said.

The Fort Worth Jaycees began in 1932 but disbanded in 2010. Throughout the years, the club sponsored many community projects such as the city Christmas tree downtown, the Miss Fort Worth Pageant, and the Outstanding Young Leader and Outstanding Young Educator of Fort Worth programs.

— Sandra Baker


Barrel racers invited

to three-day event

The Jurassic Classic Barrel Race will take place at the Somervell County Expo Center from Thursday through Jan. 26. Admission is free.

For more information, contact the center at 254-897-4509.

— Bill Hanna


Tarrant property taxes are due on Jan. 31

The last day to pay 2013 property taxes to avoid penalty and interest is Jan. 31.

Tarrant County Tax Office’s eight locations are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist taxpayers, but paying online saves time, officials say.

Property taxes can be paid online at with Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards. Credit/debit card payments are subject to convenience fees.

In addition, online eCheck payments can be made for no additional convenience fees. Pay-by-phone is available 24/7 at 817-884-1110. All tax offices take over-the-counter credit/debit card payments, subject to convenience fees. If payment is being made by mail on Jan. 31, taxpayers should request a postmark validation from the Post office.

The office’s Customer Service Center, at 817-884-1100, is available to assist residents with property tax and motor vehicle registration questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents who cannot afford to pay in full may make partial payments. Only the remaining balance will be subject to penalties rather than the full original amount due.

Visit for tax office locations or more information.

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