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January Community Spotlight

Jan 14, 2014 09:53AM ● Published by Anonymous

ATV brothers race into the spotlight

Football and cross-country have stolen the show as of late here in Southlake — and rightfully so — but two local brothers are now shedding light on an exciting sport that doesn’t usually get much attention. Cody and Bryce Ford, students at Carroll Middle and Durham Intermediate, respectively, are quad-racing superstars, having participated in numerous regional and national ATV racing competitions for seven years, beginning when Cody was 6 and Bryce was 4. In 2013, they earned nine championship titles between them.

“We traveled all the way to New York and back for racing, logging over 22,000 miles on our RV and trailer,” says Robin Ford, the boys’ mother. Whether competing throughout Texas or in countless states across the country, number 52 and number 44 love fulfilling their need for speed. To learn more about the boys and their stellar credentials, visit their websites, Cody52.com and Bryce44.com. 

High school students determined to make a difference

With an overriding passion for philanthropy, three students recently joined forces to create NotLess, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to heal a hurting world by providing care packages to the DFW-area homeless. Abby Detrich, a junior at Southlake Carroll, Eric Hasset, a senior at Southlake Carroll, and Zach Saxion, a senior at Keller, sell T-shirts designed by Abby at $20 each to pay for basic necessities like blankets, clothing and hygienic products they distribute at the Fort Worth Resource Center.

“We all aim to better ourselves through the humbling process that is inherently a part of charity,” Abby says. One T-shirt is equivalent to one care package. To purchase a T-shirt — or to simply make a donation — visit NotLess.org. 

Lady Dragons fall in state semifinal

The Lady Dragons made their first run at the District 4-5A title this season, which ended one victory short of the state championship game. Sophomore Abby Buckingham was the game leader, posting 31 kills, while Amy Nettle assisted with eight kills. However, San Antonio knocked off the Dragons’ path to state 25-19, 25-20, 15-25, 25-22. It was a retaliating victory for Churchill, which lost to Carroll earlier in the season. The Lady Dragons posted a season record of 48-2.

GCISD plans to reorganize athletic department

Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District is in the process of reorganizing its athletic department at the district level. The restructuring of the department will include the addition of an executive director for athletics as well as new executive roles to strengthen the program for students. The department reorganization will provide additional ways for students to learn teamwork, sportsmanship and other characteristic traits. Moving forward, current athletic director Tim Ford will continue to play an integral role in the department. 

McCoy joins Under Armour All-America team

Carroll Lady Dragon volleyball senior Cat McCoy was chosen to play on the Under Armour First-Team All-America. McCoy played in a nationally televised match and skills competition during the NCAA Final Four in Seattle. The Lady Dragon superstar is one of four Texans on the 24-player First-Team All-America list. McCoy signed with the University of Texas, where she will continue to showcase her efforts. The match was played Dec. 21 at Key Arena. McCoy was a prominent leader in assisting the Lady Dragons this season to a Class 5A state semifinalist finish.

Dragon athletes sign scholarships

An impressive 18 Dragon students signed scholarships during an athletic event at Carroll Senior High School. The seniors crossed their t’s and dotted their i’s after accepting scholarships from various colleges and universities. Family, friends and the community attended the event in a packed Student Activity Center. The Lady Dragons volleyball team led the way with the most signees, featuring five seniors. Additionally, athletes from the tennis, lacrosse, diving, softball, baseball and basketball team also signed scholarships.

Seniors achieve perfect ACT scores

Two Carroll Independent School District seniors earned top scores on the ACT. Drew Anderson and Reid Long each earned a top composite score of 36. Both are Class of 2014 students at Carroll Senior High School. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn the top score. To put it into perspective, only 1,162 of more than 1.8 million students earned a composite score of 36 from the high school graduating class of 2013.

Mark Guilbert becomes president of Southlake Chamber of Commerce

After former Chamber President Dana Davis left his post in March, Mark Guilbert ran the day-to-day operations at the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. Consequently, Guilbert assumed the permanent role as president in August. Guilbert is no stranger to the city and community members, having served on the Southlake Chamber of Commerce board of directors for more than six years. During the past few months, Guilbert prepared a new budget and welcomed new board members. Going forward, Guilbert plans to improve Southlake’s economic development initiatives and redesign the website.

Grapevine baseball coach announces retirement

Grapevine High School head baseball coach and teacher Tim McCune announced his retirement after roughly 25 years. McCune’s retirement takes place at the end of the semester. During his time as head coach, Mustang varsity baseball was a strong competitor. Under McCune’s guidance, the varsity program won more than 430 games, roughly a dozen district and area titles and were regional finalists. Additionally, more than a dozen of his players have gone on to play in minor leagues under top major league systems, including the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins. 

Developers break ground on Southlake retail center

Woodmont Co. broke ground on a new shopping center in Southlake. The developers are building the 190,000-square-foot Park Village shopping center on 22 acres at the southwest corner of Southlake Blvd. and Carroll Ave. Herschman Architects designed the project. Tenants living in the center will be able to experience a specialty gourmet grocer and goods retailer REI. The retail center is more than 50 percent leased and is slated to open in late 2014.

 Colleyville secures safest city spot in Texas

Colleyville was named the safest city in Texas, according to SafeWise, a home security company. The city ranks at the top of the list based on its location near Fort Worth. Colleyville also enjoys a well-earned reputation as laidback and friendly. According to the most recent FBI Crime Report, there were no crimes such as arson and murders reported to law enforcement. Colleyville’s low crime coupled with its convenient location to Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport is mainly why it’s ranked as a superb city to settle down in. The city features 11 award-winning parks and greenbelts, providing residents opportunities to enjoy recreational activities.

Southlake variety show holds 30th annual auditions 

Auditions for the 30th Annual Variety Show are underway and open to the Southlake community. To register for auditions, patrons must visit the Dragon choir website and submit an online registration form. Registration ends Jan. 17 with $5 fees for individuals and $10 for groups. Acts will have a four-minute maximum time limit, and all pre-recorded music must be submitted as part of the online registration form. Auditions will take place Jan. 28-29 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the choir room at Carroll Senior High School, 1501 W. Southlake Blvd. Final audition selections will be posted by Feb. 7 on the Dragon choir website.

SASO launches affiliated organization

The Southlake-based mom and son philanthropic organization, SASO, recently launched an affiliated group with a singular vision: providing philanthropic opportunities to moms and daughters of the community. SASO Girls will be a nonprofit dedicated to providing service and personal growth opportunities for young women in high school. The organization will be guided by its board of directors and advised by local businesswoman, philanthropist and cofounder, Laura Hill.

Carroll theater students take center stage

Several Carroll theater department seniors attended the North Texas Drama Auditions in Plano, receiving callbacks from top colleges across the country. Eight students now have multiple options to consider for their theater careers, including Cody Shuck, Joey Donoian, Kristine Lahde, Colette Culbertson, Sarah Carron, Mark Elliott, Steven Riedel and Heather Wang. These Dragon thespians are on their way to collegiate success in the realm of acting and music theater.

Southlake plans to reduce aircraft noise

Southlake set aside money in its 2014 budget to join the National Organization to Insure a Sound Controlled Environment (NOISE) to deal with noise issues from planes taking off at DFW International Airport. The decision comes after weather patterns and airport construction sent more flights over the city this fall. In 2012, complaints over the aircraft noise surfaced, and then again in October of this year, as more traffic was sent onto the west diagonal runway. To better combat the noisy challenges, Southlake council members joined NOISE to provide a solution to the heightened issue.

 Del Frisco’s plots secondary public stock offering

Southlake’s very own Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group announced its plans for a proposed secondary public offering of 5.4 million shares of its common stock. Del Frisco’s is the operator of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Sullivan’s Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille concepts. The company opened its newest location at the end of 2013 in Southlake. Del Frisco’s executives said underwriters have a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 808,000 shares. Its largest shareholder, an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, will offer all shares, and the company will not receive any proceeds from the sale. 

Dragon wrestlers set pace for season

Dragon wrestlers kicked off the season by pinning down its strategy: winning. Carroll took on its first district opponent, Timber Creek, posting a victory in front of a packed house at Carroll High School. The first match was the 152-pound division, a hard-fought victory for sophomore Jack Duval. The pace was set for the rest of the match as seniors Cameron Gonzales, Michael Basler and Connor Price placed the Dragons at the top of the line. Overall, the Dragons sealed a 57-21 victory — giving their team a 1-0 start to district competition. The winner of the district regular season will represent District 4 in the 2014 THSCA State Dual Championships at Allen High School on Jan. 11. 

Southlake tops state youth flag football championships

More than 2,000 participants and spectators from across Texas traveled to Southlake for the 2013 Texas Amateur Federation State Youth Flag Football Championships. A total of 30 teams — five of which were from Southlake — played 55 games during the two-day span of the tournament. Consequently, four of the Southlake teams finished in third place or higher. In the 12-and-under division, an all-Southlake championship battle brewed with the Southlake Cobras edging out the Southlake Cougars. Many visitors had the opportunity to sample the fine dining choices of Southlake as companies such as Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and Feedstore Barbeque offered various concessions.

Rees-Jones Foundation creates Southlake Foster Care Center

The Children’s Medical Center received $18.9 million from the Rees-Jones Foundation to create centers for the complex needs of children in foster care. During the next year, the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s plans to open three clinics, including one in Southlake, which will tailor treatment for children in foster care. The center will conduct research and offer educational programs to improve the well-being of foster children. Work on the new center started in 2011, with a $1 million Rees-Jones Foundation donation to the hospital to design a more effective healthcare model for children in foster care.

District 10 open seat draws crowd

The race to represent Tarrant County senate district is becoming increasingly competitive as Sen. Wendy Davis, D-TX, seeks to move up to the governor’s chair. Both parties are seeking District 10 as one of their top priorities in the 2014 election year. As the candidate deadline nears, a handful of Republicans declared their candidacy in the March primary. The Democratic primary has thus far drawn in two candidates — businessman Mike Martinez and neighborhood activist Libby Willis. Still, other candidates may widen the Democratic and Republican fields before the filing deadline. 

Travelocity cuts 15 jobs in January

Southlake-based Travelocity will shrink its business by 15 workers in January. The employees’ last day will be Jan. 24, and they will be eligible for severance and can also apply for other open internal positions at the company. Travelocity executives explained that the change is in line with the company’s move to become a marketing-led travel company. In September, Travelocity announced 14 job cuts. The layoffs are partially due to a deal in which many job functions will be taken over by former rival Expedia. In September, both companies began working together to provide similar experiences to customers. However, both companies will still operate separately. 

Nearly 70 new businesses open in Keller

Since the beginning of 2013, 68 new business openings have occurred in Keller. The city has received 11 new eateries, 29 new retail businesses, 28 new offices and three business expansions. Keller has multiple shopping districts within its city limits, ranging from specialty shops to Old Town Keller to boutiques in Town Center. The city also received 82 total certificates of occupancy permits from businesses such as Baylor Emergency Media Center at Keller and Boca Sana Dental. Additionally, 229 total permits were issued in Keller from January to October, resulting in $260,477. Keller also issued 45 total building permits, including six finish-out permits, 10 addition permits, 11 remodel permits and 18 new construction permits. 

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