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Fried Foods Rule At Big Tex Choice Awards August 28

Big Tex Choice Awards

Big Tex Choice Awards Heat Up The Taste Buds

Just follow your nose to the Tower Building at Fair Park Sunday, August 28 at 2 p.m. That delicious aroma of frying foods will be impossible to ignore. It’s the Big Tex Choice Awards, where a select group of State Fair Super Fans can be the first to try the yummy fried foods. The eight finalists in the annual competition will be chosen from these 34 semi-finalists:

Bacon Wrapped Churros Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket (with mac ‘n cheese dip)                
Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly on a Stick Fried Cookies & Cream Sundae
Barn Yard Burger Fried Jell-O
Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers Fried Prime Rib Quesadill”O”
Caribbean Pineapple Korn-a-Copia Funnel Cake Sundae
Crunchy Fried Oinkers Holy Guacamole Balls
Dallas’ Fried Bacontilla Injectable Great Balls of BBQ
Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Sliders on a Stick Loaded Bacon Mashed Potato Egg Roll
Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Tater’ Dog Lollipop Fried Bacon Wrapped Quail Breast on a Stick
Deep Fried Cannoli Bites Pina-A lot-Ta
Deep Fried Cheeseburger Stuffed Onion Rings Seductive Fried Sea Salt Caramel Wrap
Deep Fried Chicken Basket Shrimp Fritters
Deep Fried Hawaiian Hoops Southern Fried Chicken & Dumplin’s
Deep Fried Nachos State Fair Cookie Fries
Deep Fried Pulled Pork “Funyun” Dings State Fair Edible Colas
Deep Fried Smoked Salmon & Bacon Croquettes Texas Fried Buffalo Quail
Dorito Bacon Fried Cheese Stick Texas Fried Pinatacolupa

A panel of judges choose the eight semi-finalists ranked on uniqueness, presentation, creativity and taste. The judges will have to defend their rankings against the simple yet crucial question – how likely is a fairgoer to actually buy the item? Two winners will rise from the frying pan into State Fair history; one for Best Taste and one for Most Creative.

Tickets to the Big Tex Choice Awards aren’t cheap, at $100 each. But proceeds go to a good cause, the fair’s Youth Scholarship Program. For 24 years, the Youth Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to more than 1,800 students for a total of more than $8.7 million. Eligible recipients include graduating high school seniors from around the state of Texas who have competed in State Fair youth livestock events, as well as graduating seniors from five Fair Park area schools – Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, James Madison, Lincoln, North Dallas and Woodrow Wilson High Schools. Due to the event’s charitable cause, a portion of each ticket is tax-deductible.

Tickets to the 2016 State Fair of Texas are also available. With a regular price of $18, general admission tickets are discounted to $16 online. BigTex.com offers $12 admission for children under 48 inches in height and seniors age 60+, with tickets regularly priced at $14. The Fair offers free admission for children age two and under. For those of you wanting to get ahead of the game and order your food and ride coupons in advance, coupons are also available for purchase online.

Your ticket to the Fair is your ticket to Texas-sized fun, with hundreds of daily shows, concerts, activities and exhibits all included in the price of admission. Purchase your tickets and coupons online today at BigTex.com/Tickets.

Celebrating 130 years this fall, the State Fair of Texas brings visitors from near and far to celebrate all things Texan. In continuing this tradition, the Fair aims to provide a wide variety of quality entertainment and give each fairgoer the true Texas experience, whether you’re a native or a visitor of the Lone Star State. At 24 days, the State Fair of Texas is the longest-running fair in the nation. With hundreds of shows, games, rides, exhibits and concerts, there are endless ways to spend your time at the Fair. The 2016 fair opens Friday, September 30 and runs through Sunday, October 23 in historic Fair Park.

Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park and underwrite museum, community and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers. Visit BigTex.com for more information.




Lancaster Cinemark Theater Robbed

Lancaster Cinemark Theater Robbed
Cinemark Lancaster-Desoto 14

Lancaster Cinemark Theater Robbed-Gunmen Still Loose

LANCASTER—Just hours after Lancaster residents and police celebrated a renewed sense of community spirit, the unthinkable happened. The Lancaster Cinemark Theater was robbed by three men, all dressed in black.

Around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, at the theater on the corner of Interstate 35 and Pleasant Run Road, the manage was robbed at gunpoint. According to reports, the men all dressed in black, forced the manager on duty into the office. He was violently assaulted, and the suspects absconded with an undisclosed amount of cash.

By the time SWAT officers arrived on scene, the suspects had already escaped. Police are now looking into surveillance video for possible leads.

The first suspect is described as a black male, between 6’ and 6’2” tall wearing all black clothing, a mask, and armed with a handgun. The other two suspects are described as black males between 5’5” and 5’7”, all wearing masks and all black clothing.

Could Robbery Be An Inside Job?

Police are wondering whether this robbery may have been an inside job. The three men were somehow able to get through the doors, even though they are locked at 11:00 p.m. when ticket sales end. Then, once inside the building, they immediately sprayed the surveillance camera with something. Due to the sabotaged camera and the armed robbers wearing masks, authorities don’t have good descriptions of the suspects.

In recent movie theater robberies this month in Albany, Ga. and Palo Alto, Ca., robbers either took money from the register behind ticket/concession counters or robbed patrons outright. The fact that this robbery was primarily in the office where a safe might be, indicates someone familiar with the interworking of the theater might be involved.

With assistance from Dallas County Sheriff Deputies theater patrons were evacuated. No one was hurt, other than the manager, who suffered facial and head injuries.

The three suspects are still on the loose. Police have called them armed and dangerous. Meanwhile, the movie theater has been operating as normal.

Police urge residents if they have any information that may assist in this investigation to contact Lancaster Crime Stoppers at 877-373-8477. Callers can remain anonymous, and are eligible to receive a cash reward if the information given leads to an arrest or grand jury indictment of a felony offender.

Cedar Hill Reduces Highway 67 Speed Limit

Highway 67 Speed Limit

Highway 67 Speed Limit Reduced

CEDAR HILL—During last week’s Cedar Hill City Council meeting, members voted to reduce the speed limit in the city on the northbound 67 frontage road.The area affected is between Belt Line Road and Wintergreen Road.

The speed limit will be reduced from 50 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour, “for safety reasons”, according to Cedar Hill Public Information Officer Corky Brown.

“The southbound access road speed limit is already 45 miles per hour,” Brown said. “The recommendation was made by the Safety Committee after studying traffic patterns in the area.”

South of Parkerville Road and northbound Highway 67, the frontage road speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

Speed limits on frontage roads generally range from 50-60 mph in rural areas to 40-50 mph in urban areas. In urban areas, access roads are typically one-way in the same direction as the adjacent freeway lanes. In rural areas, frontage roads are generally two-way.

The Safety Committee included representatives from departments of the Police, Fire, and Public Works [Engineering and Operations], as well as Administration, Public Relations, Tourism, Code Enforcement, Signs & Signals and the Cedar Hill ISD.

“The reduced speed limit on the access road was recommended due to increasing development along the frontage road,” Brown explained by e-mail. “Traffic patterns have changed especially due to business driveways.”

Citizens also requested the city look into a speed limit change along the frontage road.

“We requested TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) to perform a speed study, and based on the results it was determined that the speed limit should be reduced,” Brown said.

The item was placed on the city council agenda last week, because TxDOT had requested an ordinance be approved prior to the installation of a new speed limit sign. The new highway 67 speed limit will take effect immediately.

Who Wants To Join The Circus? The Role Of A Lifetime!

join the circus

Do YOU have what it takes to lead The Greatest Show On Earth?

DALLAS—Did you ever want to join the circus? Well…Feld Entertainment Inc., the largest producer of live, family entertainment, is launching a nationwide search for the next Ringmaster of the current production of The Greatest Show On Earth.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® is seeking a dynamic male or female performer, 18 years of age or older.

The ideal candidate must be a strong singer with wonderful diction and strong projection. Candidates must have stature and authority and also be fun, charismatic and energetic. A commanding personality to interact with and lead the audience and oversee the proceedings with extraordinary confidence is a must. Multilingual skills are a plus.

Those who hope to follow in the footsteps of big-top legends such as former Boys Choir of Harlem standout Johnathan Lee Iverson and Broadway actors Michael McGowan, Chuck Wagner and Eric Michael Gillett will have the opportunity to throw their hat into the ring by pre-registering for an in person audition or auditioning on line.

The role of a lifetime

Join The Circus & See The World

The selected candidate will embark on an 18-month tour with Circus XTREME.

Starring alongside artists who redefine the word “extreme” in everything they do by combining never-before-seen spectacles with original, fast-paced performances, the newly-crowned ringmaster will take the helm as the voice of an American icon and the face of The Greatest Show On Earth. Throw your hat into the ring!

The next stop for auditions is in Dallas on Friday, August 12, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201.

SWDCD Awards Inaugural Hubener Memorial Scholarship

SWDCD Awards Hubener Memorial Scholarship
Brandon Kimball

DUNCANVILLE—The Anne Hubener Community Champion Scholarship first recipient is Brandon Kimball from Duncanville High School, class of 2016.

The Hubener Memorial Scholarship was open to any graduating senior with a 2.5 grade average and not already receiving more than $2,500 in scholarship funds. His transcript and essay were submitted along with the application. The scholarship was awarded by the Southwest Dallas County Democrats in honor of Anne Hubener, a lifelong Democrat whose activism in her community and surrounding area was legendary.

Brandon Kimball will be attending Texas A&M University this fall. While in high school, he earned dual credit through Duncanville High School and Mountain View Community College. He begins his freshman semester with earned credits towards his Mechanical Engineering degree.

“I was always good in math, and while talking with my father, became aware that engineering might be one of the careers that required that talent,” stated Brandon Kimball at the award event held in the community room of the Southwest Center Mall.

The Hubener Memorial Scholarship was named in honor of former business owner and Dallas County School Board member Anne Hubener. In 2015, Hubener lost her battle with cancer at the age of 65.

As an unabashed Democrat, she worked tirelessly to elect those whom she felt best served the community, state and country. Ann held a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Arlington. She continuously worked to improve herself, holding many certifications in her chosen profession of real estate.

She served on many boards and organizations including MetroTex Board of Realtors and the Best Southwest Chamber of Commerce.

The Southwest Dallas County Democrats is an organization open to all Democrats in the Best Southwest area of Dallas County and is active in electing citizens to office, getting informed on current issues, and meets every 3rd Saturday at the Southwest Center Mall Community Room.

Texas Sales Tax Holiday Weekend

Texas Sales Tax Holiday Weekend

Texas Sales Tax Holiday Weekend August 5-7

This weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 5-7, is the Texas Sales Tax holiday weekend. Three days for shoppers to get a break on sales tax for back to school supplies.

The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced for less than $100 from sales tax. On average shoppers save about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend. This holiday has been enjoyed every fall since it was implemented, back when Ann Richards was governor of Texas.

Lists of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller’s website TexasTaxHoliday.org.

Can’t afford it this weekend? The Layaway Rules:
A sale of a qualifying item under a layaway plan qualifies for exemption if the customer places the qualifying merchandise on layaway during the holiday or makes the final payment during the holiday.

Your retailer runs out of stock? Rainchecks may be issued!
Eligible items that customers purchase during the holiday with use of a rain check qualify for the exemption regardless of when the rain check was issued. However, issuance of a rain check by a seller during the holiday period will not qualify an eligible item for the exemption if the item is actually purchased after the holiday is over even if the rain check is presented at the time of purchase

This year, shoppers will save an estimated $92 million in state and local sales taxes during the sales tax holiday, which has been an annual event since 1999.

Hillside Village Offers Back To School Sales

Southern Dallas County and Ellis County shoppers can stretch their dollars even further, as stores throughout the entire local shopping center at Hillside Village in Cedar Hill are offering back to school sales. Plus, the shopping center is offering a $15 gift card to everyone who spends $150 or more at any retailer or restaurant within the center.

Shoppers must bring their receipts to the Guest Services Kiosk on the Village Green within the Center to receive their gift card. There will be a limit of one gift card per customer per day and shoppers must be 16 years of age or older to participate. Even better, the gift cards are available every Saturday in August as long as gift cards last.

Back to School shoppers on August 6 and 7 will have chances to win a $100 gift card every hour. No purchase is necessary. Hours to enter are from 12-8 on Saturday, August 6 and from 12-5 pm on Sunday, August 7.

Detectives Investigate Sunday Morning Glenn Heights Suicide

Detectives investigate Sunday morning suicide
The Glenn Heights Public Safety Building houses the Fire Department, City Council Chambers and Municipal Management offices.

Glenn Heights Man Shoots Himself Outside City Hall

GLENN HEIGHTS—Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding a ghastly discovery Sunday morning right outside City Hall. According to a statement from Police Chief Phillip Prasifka, members of the Glenn Heights Fire Department discovered the remains of a 64-year-old man outside the Public Safety Building Sunday morning around 8:30 a.m.

Dallas County Health officials have identified the victim as Stephen White, a Glenn Heights resident; but no other personal information was available at press time.

According to Prasifka, members of the Glenn Heights Fire Department heard a loud noise near their living quarters. Members of the Fire Department went to investigate the cause of the noise. Firefighters located a male on the ground in front of the main City Hall building. After an initial examination, the male was determined to be deceased.

Glenn Heights Suicide Under Investigation

The Glenn Heights Police Department Criminal Investigations Division were called to the location. In addition, the Dallas County Medical Examiners were contacted and came to the scene. Mr. White was taken to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas, awaiting an autopsy. The initial investigation into the death, indicates the 64-year-old male died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The case remains under investigation, pending autopsy results.

Monday morning after the incident, the atmosphere at the municipal offices were a mixture of shock and grief.

Detectives investigate Sunday morning Glenn Heights suicide
Glenn Heights Police Chief Phillip Prasifka

” I’ve been here just over 17 years now and we’ve never had anything like this before,” said Prasifka. “Obviously it’s not an everyday occurrence. It’s difficult to deal with and our thoughts and condolences are with the family.”

The Public Safety Building located at 1938 South Hampton Road houses the Glenn Heights Fire Department, City Council Chambers as well as City Management offices. On Sunday morning city offices were closed and no visitors were on the premises at the time.

Currently Glenn Heights Fire Department has 12 full-time and 12 part-time fire fighters, six full-time paramedics and three EMT’s. This discovery comes just days after Glenn Heights officials announced an initiative to increase public safety citywide.

“Public safety and security are among the council’s and staff’s top priorities,” said Mayor Leon Tate. “Our budgeted and paid public safety investments are a new emergency management staff position, new ambulance, police vehicles, fire command vehicle and a new $386,000 E-911 system.”

As it relates to improved safety measures Tate said, “Replacing our antiqued 9-1-1 system gives First Responders the ability to respond and locate emergency callers when placed with a cellular device. Future major public safety purchases will include a new fire engine and the construction of a new Public Safety Building.”

While the factors surrounding the apparent suicide remain unknown; over the last decade suicides among elderly citizens have continued to grow at a disproportionate rate.

A report from the AARP says that elderly adults comprise about 13% of the U.S. population, but they account for over 18% of all suicides. The most common cause for elderly suicide, as for all suicides, is untreated depression.

Fire Destroys Cycle Town South Lancaster Bike Shop

Two-Alarm Fire Destroys Cycle Town South Lancaster Bike Shop

Two Alarm Fire Destroys Cycle Town South

LANCASTER—The owners of Cycle Town South are still reeling from a two-alarm fire that erupted around 12 a.m. on Friday, July 29, 2016. The blaze, which took Lancaster firefighters more than four hours to fight, has been called a total loss. They called in help from multiple entities including Dallas County, the city of Dallas, Cedar Hill, Ovilla, Glenn Heights and DeSoto.

The family owned and operated dealership has sold motorcycles and all terrain vehicles for over 28 years in the Lancaster area.

A specific cause has not yet been determined but, it appears to have started in the rear of the motorcycle shop located at 1620 South Interstate 35 East. And with all the combustible materials inside the fire spread quickly. Firefighters had to deal with explosions from oil and fuel stored in the building.

2-Alarm fire destroys Lancaster bike shop Cycle Town South

No one was inside the building at the time.

One firefighter had to be treated for heat exhaustion and has since recovered.

For now the store is closed, and owner Curtis White took to social to make contact with past and future patrons.

” We ask that our customers be patient. We will be contacting people as soon as possible. We’re thankful that up to this point no one has injured and ask for prayers for the fireman who are fighting this fire,” said White.

The public outcry of support has been mammoth.

“So glad no one was hurt, but I hate this for y’all. I’ll come down with Tony and help whenever I can if there’s cleanup work to do,” said Melanie McCabe via Facebook.

Neighbor Gideon Shelton was among the first to contact first responders when the fire broke out.

” I was out in the barn when the alarm went off. I looked an saw smoke and called. Drove around to check but was nothing could do. I sure hate to see things like this happen to good people. There’s always a bigger plan though,” said Shelton.

There were even other all terrain vehicle dealerships from far away as Lake Whitney, Texas who offered a helping hand.

Profile: Ruby Young Elementary Principal Kelvin Oliver

 Ruby Young Elementary Principal Kelvin Oliver
Principal Kelvin Oliver

Meet Ruby Young Elementary Principal Kelvin Oliver

Where did you grow up/where are you from originally?
I grew up in south Mississippi in a small town near the MS/LA border called Waveland.

What do you currently do with the DeSoto ISD?
I am the new principal at Ruby Young Environmental Science and Medical Magnet Academy.

What were you doing prior to working for DeSoto ISD?
For the past three years, I worked in Richardson ISD as a curriculum specialist and assistant principal. Prior to Richardson ISD, I was a math specialist and teacher in Crowley ISD. I started my educational career as a special education teacher in Del Valle ISD.

Did you always know you wanted to be part of education?
It took me some time. My mother was an educator for over 30 years and encouraged me to take a similar path. So I naturally did the opposite until I finally listened to her and gave teaching a chance. Nine years later, I am still here and honestly cannot think of anything else I would rather be doing. I truly love this profession.

What does the Ruby Young Elementary Principal do?
I am charged with ensuring that the academic programming, school operations, and overall culture and climate of the school are aligned with the vision of the school and the district.

What do you like most about this job?
The opportunity to positively impact the lives of some many children as well as the communities they come from.

What do you think are some of your biggest challenges in this job?
One of the biggest challenges facing all educators is identifying and meeting the needs of 21st Century learners. My biggest challenge is ensuring that our school is providing our students with the knowledge and foundational skills to be successful in a world that is continuously evolving.

What are some of the things you have accomplished with the ISD and what are your goals moving into the new school year ?
I am extremely excited about the opportunity to develop and grow the medical magnet program at Ruby Young. If you look around the country, there are not many programs like this at the elementary level. I believe we have the opportunity to create something special, not just for DeSoto ISD but the entire Metroplex.

What is your favorite DeSoto ISD event?
While I have not had the opportunity to experience a DeSoto ISD event as of yet, I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to do so. The one thing that is very evident in DeSoto ISD is the family atmosphere. In such a short amount time, I feel that I have already been embraced as a member of DeSoto ISD family.

What do you do in your down time?
I was a communications major in school so I still have a passion for media and new technology. I enjoy working on video and website projects in my spare time. I cherish spending time with friends and family because I truly believe wealth is in relationships. I am also part of a bocce league that provides me with a weekly outlet and a great opportunity to connect with professionals outside of education.

What is your favorite DeSoto memory?
So far, I would say it was my first board meeting. It was a great showcase of the excellence and passion in this district. What I observed that evening, confirmed that DeSoto ISD is where I want to be.

BSW Legislative Breakfast Series Begins Aug. 5

BSW Legislative Breakfast Series Begins Aug. 5
State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) discusses the Texas Legislature's upcoming session with Lancaster Mayor Marcus Knight. (2014 File Photo)

BEST SOUTHWEST—This August the Best Southwest Partnership (BSW) is continuing their annual weekly legislative breakfast series. With a total of 469 seats in Congress up for election in November, being an informed part of the legislative process is more important than ever.

Each Friday morning Methodist Charlton Medical Center President Fran Laukaitis will play host to the BSW legislative breakfast series. It begins at 7:15 a.m. in the Outpatient Building, 1st Floor Auditorium.

Here’s a snapshot of this year’s BSW Legislative Breakfast Series topics and special guests:

BSW Legislative Liaison Mayor Marcus Knight is chairing the first session August 5, 2016. The program will primarily focus on Transportation. Beginning at 7:40 a.m. Knight has invited Texas Transportation Commissioner Victor Vandergriff to give an overview on area transportation opportunities.

Hon. Cliff Boyd, BSW Chairman is coordinating the August 12th Education program which will have a panel consisting of President Bob Mong, UNT Dallas, Dr. Robert Garza, president of Mountain View College, Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, president of Cedar Valley College, and Dean Royal Furgeson, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Dr. Cynthia Mickens-Ross is chairing the August 19th HealthCare program, and has invited the Director of Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

On August 26th Laura Terhune, DeSoto Chamber, and Patty Bushart, Cedar Hill Tourism, are coordinating a look at “Tourism-Our Cleanest Industry”, with Janie Havel of Texas Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism. What opportunities are available in the BSW?

2016 TGIF Series Sponsors are: City of Cedar Hill, Access Self Storage and Jim McDonald’s State Farm Insurance. Daily Sponsors include Hillside Village, PlainsCapital Bank, Cedar Valley College, Bank of DeSoto, UNT Dallas and Town Square Realty.


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