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Garry Weber Foundation Gives $50 Million To SMU For End Zone Complex

SMU end zone rendering
End Zone rendering

Funds Will Be Spent On A Three-Tiered End Zone Complex

DALLAS (SMU) – Underscoring SMU’s commitment to the highest levels of athletic excellence, the Garry Weber Foundation, established by former student-athlete and longtime University supporter Garry Weber ’58, is committing $50 million toward the construction of a three-tiered end zone complex at Gerald J. Ford Stadium to increase the functionality, efficiency and overall experience of Mustang Football.

Largest gift in SMU Athletics history launches $100 million facility drive to power Mustang Football, increase support for all student-athletes

The foundation’s gift is the largest in Athletics Department history and launches an overall $100 million drive to fund the project. Part of the University’s recently announced $1.5 billion campaign for impact, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, the gift from Weber’s foundation helps continue SMU’s momentum, pushing the total invested in SMU athletics facilities to a quarter of a billion dollars since 2013. The Garry Weber End Zone Complex, along with the new Indoor Performance Center/Armstrong Fieldhouse, represents over $125 million in football construction projects in the last three years, alone.


“Garry Weber has been an integral part of SMU’s growth and success for many years,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “From remarkable student-athlete to distinguished alumnus and donor, his dedication to SMU cannot be overstated. We are incredibly honored by the Garry Weber Foundation’s gift and excited about the impact this gift will have on all of SMU Athletics. From its founding, SMU has always been focused on excellence in everything we do. Having great athletics increases the visibility of the University.”

exterior SMU end zone rendering
Exterior end zone rendering

The new 192,500-square-foot Garry Weber End Zone Complex will anchor Ford Stadium’s south bowl, connecting its existing east and west gate entries. Team-focused spaces will include new locker rooms, a weight room, position-specific meeting rooms, a full-team auditorium, and a full kitchen and training table to support all of SMU’s 484 student-athletes. The new facility will also house football coaches, support staff and video and recruiting services.

More Premium Experiences For Fans

The newly constructed concourse will offer more premium experiences for fans, expand guest facilities, improve pedestrian accessibility and add a breezeway that joins the stadium’s entryways to the internal field.


“The Garry Weber Foundation’s gift exemplifies the kind of spirit that we hope to instill in our student-athletes,” said Rick Hart, SMU director of Athletics. “As a former Mustang football player and a community leader, it is fitting that his name will adorn the new End Zone Complex. This gift will continue our momentum toward a bright future that would not be possible without Garry’s generosity. His belief in the SMU student-athlete experience – in shaping champions – will serve as an inspiration to the entire SMU community.”

Paying It Forward to the Next Generation

“Both SMU and Dallas have played a substantial role in my life, and I feel honored to pay it forward to the next generation of Mustang student-athletes and fans,” Weber said. “Being a member of a team means striving for success for yourself and those around you, and I’m proud to continue to be a part of Mustang football and its future success and growth. I hope that this gift will inspire SMU’s student-athletes and Mustang fans to dream bigger than they thought possible and to strive for a new level of excellence.”

Ford Stadium celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020. Its construction was made possible through the support of Mustang alumni, donors and community members and was named for lead donor and SMU Trustee Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69.

Garry Weber ’58 is a graduate of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at SMU. A former member of the Mustang football team, Weber served on the SMU Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1996 and has been a member of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business Executive Board for over 30 years. In 1998, Weber received the University’s highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2016, he was honored with the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award, the most prestigious award granted by the SMU Lettermen’s Association. An active presence at SMU and throughout Dallas, Weber has contributed generously to SMU and various educational and philanthropic causes including Scottish Rite for Children, UT Southwestern, United Way and the Boy Scouts of America, among others.


Having served Dallas as both a Dallas County judge and City Council member, Weber is the founder of Weber Financial Inc., as well as an active individual investor in venture capital and late-stage hedge funds.

Bessie Coleman’s Saniyah McGrew Wins Cedar Hill ISD Spelling Bee

Photo courtesy Cedar Hill ISD

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) She had never heard the word before, during hours of studying for the Cedar Hill ISD Spelling Bee.

“I was nervous, but I was so glad I got it right,” said Bessie Coleman Middle School Seventh Grader Saniyah McGrew, who won the 2022 CHISD Spelling Bee on Thursday night at the JoLynn Maddox Teaching & Learning Center.

The winning word was ‘primordial’, which means “in the earliest stages of development.” McGrew won in the fourth round, after becoming the only competitor in that round to spell their word correctly.

McGrew, the eldest of four siblings, ensured that a Bessie Coleman scholar would win the district spelling bee for the second consecutive year. Last year, then-BCMS Sixth Grader Amelia Oum won it.

Advancing To Dallas County Spelling Bee

McGrew said she hopes to defend the district spelling bee in 2023, but first, she will advance to the Dallas County Spelling Bee next month.

In 2020, she qualified for the district Spelling Bee as a Bray Elementary Fifth Grader. In 2016, she won the Bray First Grade Spelling Bee, but the district’s Bee doesn’t start until the fourth grade.

Collegiate Academy Middle School scholars Kasyn Hamid (seventh grade) and Wesley Williams (sixth grade) finished second and third, respectively, in what was the district Spelling Bee debut for both of them.

The 13 competitors and their families adhered to strict social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, and the microphone was sanitized between each word.

Demond Fernandez of WFAA-TV congratulated McGrew, Hamid and Williams after the Spelling Bee.

Maddox herself gave the welcoming remarks at the beginning of the event.

DeSoto Public Safety Town Hall Updates Community On Crime Rates

DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa

Everyone Needs To Get Involved

DESOTO – DeSoto Police Department Chaplain and Community Church Pastor Oscar Epps from Community Church opened Thursday’s DeSoto Public Safety Town Hall and reiterated “We have a great city, and we can continue to have a great city.”

Epps said it involves the unification of the community and everyone getting involved.

“Take our blinders off and partner with our Police Department,” Epps said with DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa adding the theme for the Town Hall meeting was “An Honest Conversation with the Citizens of DeSoto” and how you can help.

Rachel L Proctor headshot
Rachel Proctor Photo:Kauwuane Burton Studios

DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor said “Public Safety is the most focal point in a community. We have to be able to come together.”

Proctor also told the audience that in the future, there would be an increase in the frequency of Public Safety Town Hall meetings so residents would continue to feel more comfortable working together.

As well, DeSoto City Manager Brandon Wright reminded everyone that “The community needs the Police Department and the Police Department needs the community,” also giving accolades to Chief Costa “he is the picture of what a good police chief does.”

DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa. Photo by RITA COOK.

Homicides in DeSoto Are Up, Violent Crimes Are Down

Chief Costa opened the meeting with statistics and said that while homicides are up in the City of DeSoto by 100%, violent crimes are down. He also noted in Cedar Hill it is the opposite; Cedar Hill has had an increase in violent crimes and a decrease in homicide.

In Group A crimes it was up 5.7% in 2021, with the highest being in 2017 at 2427 and, while not that high last year at 1,725, the year prior was 1,627.

Regarding family violence that crime is one percent down from 2020.

Burglary of habitation has gone down in DeSoto quite a bit with 2016 being at 402 and in 2021 it was at 116.

The response time for the DeSoto Police Department is 5.9 minutes to get to a call, but Costa said with a high priority call the response time is “under two minutes and that is huge.”

Overall, in 2021 there were 75,584 calls for service including 911 and non-emergency – that was up from 2020 at 65,365 calls.


DeSoto Police Department Goals

DeSoto Police Department goals, according to Costa, include virtual reality training. “The program puts them in a reality situation, and they have to make decisions – I took it, and it was really good.”

Other goals include the reduction of overall crime by 10%, reduction of property crime by 20% and reduction of domestic violence by 10%.

There was also a grant awarded several days ago to the DeSoto PD for a new K9. The city does not currently have a K9, and Costa said next steps are picking an officer and outfitting a vehicle. “That is coming this year,” Costa said.

Costa also mentioned the gun buyback program and its success. He said two historical guns were donated to a police museum in Waco “the program was a success,” he said.

There will also be the addition of a ballistic software program. The program is used to detect if guns being used in crimes in DeSoto are a match to other known crimes around the area.

The expansion of the city’s Regional CARE team for mental health calls was also discussed. Costa spoke about the importance of its ongoing success.


Additional Police Department statistics

The Tri-City jail in Desoto processed 4,051 arrestees last year compared to 3,139 in 2020. The jail is also used by the cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Lancaster, and Glenn Heights.

Costa said the goal is to get the suspect out as soon as possible. Fortunately, the Police Department has their own transport team to make that happen.

The DeSoto PD also played a large part in the success of the Ellis Davis Testing/Vaccine Site. The site launched in March 2020 and was not closed until several months ago in November 2021. The center gave out 80,000 vaccines and 130,000 tests during that time. The DeSoto Police Department managed both traffic and security for the facility.


Homicides in DeSoto

There were six homicides in 2021 in DeSoto and each were solved within days of the occurrence. Four had firearms used, one crime was with a knife and another a vehicle.

“Best thing is each one was solved in few days of occurrence, less than a week,” Costa said. “Two of the offenses were out of state; one in Arizona and one in Utah and I think that is huge and we have a 44% clearance rate.”

Costa added too. “We work together as a team with CID and Patrol officers – they are good investigators, and we bring these cases to closure quickly.”

Costa also mentioned the April 8, 2021, shooting in Zeiger Park. There were adults gathered at the park in the evening, when one subject drew a handgun and opened fire on an individual in the park. The subject fled in a dark SUV. Then, another subject in the park opened fire at the SUV as it was leaving the park. There were no injuries. However, even with around 40 people watching, no person came forward about the crime.

“We need everyone to work with us, we need to work together,” Costa reminded.


Guest speaker Randolph Shaheed

His message “Save your community.”

Shaheed spoke last before the questions and answers. He spoke about the importance of looking at the leadership in the city. Talking about how the men in the community coming forward to take on that leadership role. Shaheed, once a gang member and having been incarcerated, knows the streets. He made a passionate plea to those in DeSoto to take the role of saving the lives of their children.

“If you want to save your community, when are you going to show the power that God has and not the mouth that you have got – and you are not even using your mouth properly,” Shaheed said.

“It takes everyone” both Costa and Shaheed stressed with an emphasis on the importance of everyone taking responsibility together.


Tarrant County Homicide Suspect Nathan Spivey In Custody

Tarrant County Sheriffs badge

January 20, 2022

Reference: Homicide Suspect – IN CUSTODY

Since this homicide occurred on Tuesday, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and other area law enforcement have been vigilantly searching for Spivey on foot, by air with the assistance for Fort Worth PD Air 1, and by following up on leads from the community. On

Thursday, January 20, 2022, at 4:15am Tarrant County Sheriff’s Deputies located Nathan Spivey and took him in custody.

While patrolling a wooded stretch of the 12500 block of Oak Grove Rd. South in unincorporated Tarrant County, deputies observed Spivey crawling through a ditch. He was quickly arrested and taken to a local hospital for evaluation. He was later cleared by medical staff and transported to Tarrant County Jail.

The search for this individual began on Tuesday, January 18th, after Tarrant County Deputies were dispatched to a fight in progress between two males in the 12800 block of Oak Grove Rd. South. Upon arrival, one male was laying on the ground in front of the residence who had been stabbed multiple times. The victim was pronounced deceased upon arrival to the hospital. The 22-year-old white male suspect, Nathan Wayne Spivey, fled the scene on foot.

This homicide investigation is ongoing, and no additional details are immediately available.

Call TCSO Detective Michael Kline at 817-884-3352 if you have any information on this case.

The Ritz-Carlton Dallas Debuts Multimillion Dollar Spa Renovation

spa entrance at Ritz-Carlton Dallas

The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas Is Open & Accepting Reservations

DALLAS – Jan. 20, 2022 –Has there ever been a better time to treat yourself to a spa day? Escape the day to day stress of life and recharge with a relaxing environment while being pampered at the recently renovated The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, Texas’ first and Dallas’ only five-star hotel, proudly announces the multimillion dollar renovation completion of the 12,000 square foot luxury spa. Dallas-based design firm ForrestPerkins thoughtfully transformed The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas into a tranquil and enchanted garden oasis, boasting delicate and timeless design work throughout. This reimagination breathes fresh air and modern luxury into The Spa, adding another five-star amenity to match the property’s five-star service.


“Our vision was to transform The Spa, choreographing an exquisite guest experience with a sense of place and individuality through attention to design, detail and service,” said Scott Studstill, The Spa Director of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. “The Spa redesign does exactly that, offering a daily dose of nature in a luxurious and soothing setting, and we look forward to welcoming spa-goers to experience our elegant new look along with brand-new treatment options for a fresh, luxury spa experience.”


The intricate new design pulls inspiration from the rich and lushly manicured urban parks and gardens woven throughout the heart of Dallas. Just beyond The Spa doors – which feature weathered bronze handles resembling natural tree branches – spa-goers are greeted by one of the most notable design elements, a stunning and full-scale, hand-forged metal trellis, sculpted by local artist, Larry Whiteley, known for his artistic pieces inspired by nature. As guests pass underneath the sculpture upon entering The Spa, they can take in the intricate, yet delicate detailing, including the meticulously formed vines, leaves, flowers and blooms.


Tranquility flows through each room as the overall color palate is made up of crisp whites and bronze metals with lilac, lavender, and blue accents, paying homage to the elegant orchid blooms nearby. Soaring ceilings create a domed lighting effect, and elegant light fixtures comprised of branches and crystals adorn each corridor. Watery abstract pieces of art thoughtfully hang in each room to offer an everyday dose of nature.


To compliment The Spa’s luxurious new aesthetic, a fresh treatment menu was carefully curated, and features two news treatments. Inspired by the natural ambiance of The Spa’s interior, these treatments utilize the natural healing properties of diamonds and CBD to rejuvenate and refresh tired muscles and skin. The soothing “Diamond Facial” is designed to improve elasticity and luminosity of the skin, as diamonds reinforce the skin’s natural defense system. For a complete mind and body treatment experience, the “Calm, Balance, and Delight” treatment utilizes a hemp derived edible and soothing Craniosacral techniques to boost overall health and immunity, directly followed by a luxurious full-body massage and CBD foot treatment.


The Spa renovation included reimagining the entrance, reception and retail areas, sleek upgrades to the nail spa and hair salon, elevating the Men’s and Women’s relaxation lounges, a brand-new spa dining lounge and reconfiguration of existing treatment rooms with the addition of two new rooms.


The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is now open and accepting reservations online as well as by phone at 214.922.4820. Spa services start at $180, and hours of operation are Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Buyouts are available but subject to availability.


For more information on The Spa, please visit https://spa.ritzcarlton.com/, and for more information on The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, please visit ritzcarlton.com/dallas or call 214.922.0200.


Name of Grand Prairie Pedestrian Killed in Hit and Run Still Not Released

Grand Prairie police department
Photo Source: Grand Prairie Police Facebook Page

Police Continue Investigation of Hit & Run

GRAND PRAIRIE – The City of Grand Prairie Police Department is still not releasing the name of the female victim who was killed Friday by a motorist. The driver did not stop after the incident in the 2300 block of West Main Street.

Police said the vehicle failed to stop for a red light and struck the pedestrian.

Mark Beseda, Public Information Office for the City of Grand Prairie Police Department  the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office will release the victim’s identity once next of kin has been notified.

“There are no new updates and no video,” Beseda responded by email. “Just a black car is our only lead.”

No Details on Victim

What Grand Prairie Police do know is the female victim, age not revealed, was in a crosswalk and began crossing the street. As she began crossing a black vehicle traveling west on Main Street did not stop for the red light and struck the woman. The vehicle left the scene and Grand Prairie Police believe the black vehicle was likely a passenger car. They said the vehicle probably sustained damage to the front driver’s side of the car.

The Grand Prairie Police Department are continuing to investigate the fatal traffic collision.

The incident happened this past Friday at around 11 p.m.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and was not taken to the hospital for injuries.

Grand Prairie Crime Stoppers who on an average reportedly receive about 250 tips a year are offering a cash reward of up to $2,500.00 for any information leading to the arrest of the driver in the incident from Friday night’s hit and run. Last statistics from Grand Prairie Crime Stoppers from December 2019 revealed the non-profit organization had helped with 291 arrests and had approved $185,177 worth of rewards thanks to tips from anonymous callers.

At the Grand Prairie Crime Stoppers website you can also review Grand Prairie’s 10 most wanted as well as Texas’ 10 most wanted.

Tipsters calling about this past Friday’s incident or other incidents can remain anonymous by calling 972-988-TIPS (8477) or online at www.GPCrimeStoppers.org.

Glenn Heights’ mayor pro tem to speak about Make-A-Wish All-Abilities Park

Kelsie winter gala flyer

The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit that serves families with special needs

DALLAS – Sonja A. Brown, mayor pro tem of Glenn Heights, Texas, will speak about the new Make-A-Wish All-Abilities park project at the KDD Foundation’s gala this Saturday in Arlington. The event will take place at the Plaza on the Hill beginning at 7 p.m. and include dinner, dancing, live entertainment, a silent auction and guest speakers.

The KDD Foundation is a 501c3 with a mission to serve as a resource to children with special needs and their families who live in the southern parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties. The organization was founded by Desmond Davis in honor of his daughter Kelcie Davis. Kelcie’s Winter Gala will raise funds to help provide more resources to families and children with special needs.

Families who are familiar with the KDD Foundation are excited about the new Make-A-Wish All-Abilities Park, which is anticipated to open in Glenn Heights this summer. The park will include a variety of inclusive playground equipment, shaded areas for rest and play, a music station and more. It is being planned in partnership with Wish to Play, a company that designs playgrounds, treehouses and playsets in the DFW metroplex.

“Kelcie and I were so excited to learn about the new all-inclusive park coming to Glenn Heights,” said Desmond Davis, founder of The KDD Foundation. “We have been to a few all-abilities parks, but nothing in our own backyard, and that’s what makes this different. It’s important for special needs families to have access to resources that are near areas where they work, live, and play.”

Glenn Heights park map

The park is being developed on the campus of the new Glenn Heights City Center Project, which combines all existing administrative city facilities and public safety operations into one central location where city services are easily accessible to the public. During the gala, Mayor Pro Tem Sonja A. Brown will provide an overview and update on the all-abilities park and how it can be utilized as a resource by families with special needs who live in the region.

Tickets to the gala can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kelcies-winter-gala-tickets-209714049367. More information about the all-abilities park can be found at https://glennheightstx.gov/425/Make-A-Wish-Park.

AAA Provides Expert Driving Advice as Winter Weather System Set to Impact Parts of State

Photo courtesy AAA

Winter weather is predicted to impact many areas of the Lone Star State in the coming days. AAA Texas reminds drivers that traveling in winter conditions such as ice or snow can be challenging. During winter weather, drivers are encouraged to stay tuned to weather forecasts prior to a long-distance road trip and before driving in rural areas. Drivers should delay trips when especially bad weather is expected.

Before departing, people should let others know their intended route, destination and estimated time of arrival.

Preparing your vehicle for driving in bad weather

  • To optimize visual clarity, clean the outside and inside of your windshield at least once a week.
  • Keep your car’s windshield and rear-window defrosters in good working condition.
  • Keep your windshield wiper blades fresh. Many drivers change them every six months, especially before driving in bad weather.
  • Clear all snow and ice from the vehicle’s windows, roof, hood, trunk lid and any other covered areas. This will reduce risk, because it increases your visibility. Additionally, drivers around you won’t be blinded by snow blowing off your vehicle.
  • Use an ice scraper to remove snow and ice from your windshield and all windows, including side and rear windows. This will improve your ability to see other roadway users that may move into your path of travel.

AAA Texas and Discount Tire have teamed up to remind drivers about the importance of well-maintained tires, which are critical to maintain traction on wet roads:

  • Inflate Tires to the Correct Pressure. Check your tires’ air pressure when the tires are cool, because heat (from driving or the ambient temperature) can increase tire pressure readings by several pounds per square inch (psi). Check the Tire Pressure Often. Tires lose pressure naturally—typically 1–3 psi per month—because a tire’s sidewall is permeable. Low tire pressure results in poor handling and braking, reduced gas mileage, and excessive wear. So be sure to check your car’s tire pressure at least once a month—especially before a long trip.
  • Check the Tread Depth. A tire’s ability to stop within a safe distance becomes compromised when its tread depth reaches 4/32 inch. An easy way to determine if a tire is worn out is to place an upside-down quarter (not a penny) in a tire tread. If you can see the top of George’s head, it’s time to replace the tire.
  • Rotate Your Tires Regularly. Ideally, rotate your tires every 5,000 miles—which, coincidentally, is a required service interval for many cars today.
  • Check the Tread Pattern. If you’ve kept your car’s wheels balanced and aligned and its tires rotated and properly inflated, the tread should wear evenly across the width of the tire. Check your tires periodically for uneven wear patterns and replace tires if necessary.
  • Know the Tire’s Age. As a tire ages, its rubber becomes hard and brittle, losing elasticity and strength. Therefore, the older a tire, the higher the risk for failure. We recommend replacing any tire that’s six years old or older.
  • Check Your Trunk. An increasing number of new vehicles today come with tire-inflation kits instead of spare tires; some vehicles are equipped with run-flat tires and no spare tire. Check to see which option your vehicle has. If it does have a spare tire, make sure to keep it properly inflated. Small temporary spare tires—a.k.a. donuts—typically have the correct pressure stamped on the side of the tire.
  • Don’t Overload Your Vehicle. The combination of underinflated tires and an overloaded a vehicle is one of the most dangerous conditions, because the tires can overheat and possibly fail. Check your car’s owner’s manual for your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating, which is its maximum operating weight, including the weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo (but excluding a trailer).

On the road

  • Make sure your headlights are on. In fact, it is a good idea to turn on your headlights any time you drive, because you will increase your visibility in any condition.
  • Reduce your speed and leave plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding.
  • Do not use cruise control on any wet, snow-covered or icy roads.
  • Be aware of possible icy roads. Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, which freeze sooner than roads. And even at temperatures above freezing, if conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Be careful on infrequently traveled roads, which may not be cleared as often as other roads.

Leaving the roadway

  • If you must pull off the road, wait for a safe opportunity and pull off the road as far as you can.
  •  It is best to pull into a rest area or parking lot, rather than on the road’s shoulder.

Know When to Brake and When to Steer

  • Some driving situations require abrupt action to avoid a crash or collision and in winter conditions the decision to steer or brake can have very different outcomes. When traveling more than 25 mph, AAA Texas recommends steering over braking to avoid a collision in winter-like conditions, as less distance is required to steer around an object than to brake to a stop. In slick conditions, sudden braking can lead to loss of vehicle control.
  • However, sometimes steering is not an option. Braking on slippery surfaces requires you to look further ahead and increase following and stopping distances. Plan stopping distances as early as possible and always look 20-30 seconds ahead of your vehicle to ensure you have time and space to stop safely.

Stay in Control Through a Skid

  • Even careful and experienced drivers can skid on slippery surfaces. When a vehicle begins to skid, it’s important not to panic and follow these basic steps:
  • Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

Additional Winter Driving Safety Tips from AAA Texas:

  • Use your seatbelt every time you get in the vehicle.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage. In fact, modern vehicles do not require idle time prior to driving.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • Additional information on driving in winter conditions can be found at How to Go on Ice and Snow.


Abbott Activates State Operations Center Ahead Of Winter Weather In Texas

Governor Greg Abbott
Photo office of Governor

State Readies For Winter Weather

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today ordered the Texas Division of Emergency Management to increase the readiness of the State Operations Center (SOC). Abbott is staying ahead of winter weather that is expected to impact large portions of Texas beginning Thursday morning and into the weekend. Representatives from state agencies that are members of the Emergency Management Council will report to the SOC beginning Thursday, January 20 at 8:00 AM CT to assist in the state’s winter weather response.

Light snow is expected in the Panhandle and portions of West Texas tonight into Thursday morning. Wintry mix is anticipated in portions of Central and South Texas beginning Thursday into Friday. In addition, parts of Southeast Texas could see light wintry mix with minor travel impacts. Extremely cold wind chill temperatures will be experienced nearly state wide on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings. Caution is urged on roads that may become difficult to drive. Texans are urged to visit www.drivetexas.org throughout the weekend to be aware of the latest road conditions across the state.

“The State of Texas is prepared to address severe winter weather in the coming days and will provide all necessary resources needed to respond,” said Governor Abbott. “As we continue to monitor weather conditions, Texans are encouraged to heed the guidance of local officials and stay mindful of changing weather conditions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

The following agencies will report to the SOC:

Public Utility Commission of Texas

Electric Reliability Council of Texas

Railroad Commission of Texas

Department of Public Safety

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Department of Transportation

Texas Military Department

Texas A&M Forest Service

Department of State Health Services

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Health and Human Services Commission

On Wednesday morning, agency representatives participated in a situational awareness weather briefing led by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). Those in attendance discussed preparation measures already underway.

ERCOT Says They Are Prepared

With winter weather comes the bitter cold memories of last year’s historic winter storm that left Texans without power for days and weeks.

Yesterday, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) filed its final winter weatherization readiness report of the season with the Public Utility Commission of Texas. According to the report, 321 out of 324 electric generation units and transmission facilities fully passed inspection for new winterization regulations from the Commission.

“The Texas electric grid is more prepared for winter operations than ever before,” said Interim ERCOT CEO Brad Jones.

ERCOT conducted onsite inspections at 302 electric generation units during December, representing 85 percent of the megawatt hours lost during Winter Storm Uri due to outages and 22 transmission station facilities. Three resources have been identified for further review but remain operational. They represent approximately 0.4 percent of the total ERCOT generation fleet.

“We are confident these 321 inspected facilities either meet or go beyond the new requirements from the Commission and we will continue to work with the other 3 facilities to ensure they correct remaining deficiencies,” said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT Vice President of System Planning and Weatherization. “Our teams spent thousands of hours preparing for and conducting these 324 on-site inspections to ensure the electric grid is prepared for winter.”

ROISD Citizen’s Facility Planning Committee to Present Recommendation For a Bond

Red Oak ISD logo

Special Called Red Oak ISD Board Meeting Tomorrow Night To Review Bond Recommendation

Since fall 2021, a Citizen’s Facility Planning Committee (CFPC) of just under 50 diverse members has been meeting to develop a plan for the future facility development of the district. They have sat through hours of presentations on growth and demographics, facility assessments, financial situations, and implications of various scenarios for building construction, improvements, and renovations.

The CFPC then worked through committee decision processes and consensus building to determine which potential projects are needed for the future of the district and should be recommended to the Board for a bond to be sent to the voters.

“We had over a dozen projects to consider, and everyone agrees the academic facilities are vital to the future for our children. We also know the other facilities are not up to standards and our children deserve better,” stated CFPC Co-Chair Tally Ward. “We also agree as a committee that all community members deserve the right to decide. With the ability to place projects on different propositions, we can allow the community the final decision.”

The CFPC Co-Chairs will present the Committee recommendation to the Board during a Special Called Board Meeting on Thursday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Red Oak High School Performing Arts Center (PAC). This will allow for more individuals to attend in person, but the event will also be streamed live at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFv4vF1DsoA

Individuals wishing to speak after the Citizen’s Facility Planning Committee Presentation will need to complete a speaker card in the foyer before the 6:30 p.m. start date.

There will not be any action taken at the Special Called Board Meeting. The Board, if they choose to, will place the action item to call for a bond on the next Regular Board Meeting currently scheduled for January 24 at 7 p.m. at the ROHS PAC.

“The Committee is excited to bring this recommendation to the Board,” said CFPC Co-Chair Bryan Bell. “We know that since the previous bond failed we have ground to make up, but our students deserve it. This Committee agrees that the propositions will allow the community to decide.”

“We know that the community supports our public schools, but seeing the need first hand and considering the projected growth has been eye-opening,” CFPC Co-Chair Gabe Garcia added. “We know this bond is built on making the district a better place for our students.”


• Thursday, January 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Red Oak HS PAC
Special Called Board Meeting – Citizen’s Facility Planning Committee Presentation

• Monday, January 24, 7 p.m. at the Red Oak HS PAC
Board Meeting – Bond Recommendation

• If a bond is called and Board approved, the election date would be Saturday, May 7, 2022


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