Sunday Funday starts June 30 at Panther Island Pavilion

Come chill at Panther Island Pavilion and get the most out of your weekend with tubing, music, food and fun-in-the-sun activities including kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boarding.

The series starts June 30 and runs through Sept. 1. Gates open at noon and the fun rolls on until 6 p.m.

Sunday Funday is a day of relaxation and fun in the sun at Panther Island Pavilion. The series takes place every Sunday in the summer and is laid-back and family-friendly. Tubes and pedal boats will be available for rent along with kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and canoes. Cold drinks and loaner ice chests are also available.

Panther Island Pavilion is at 395 Purcey St. Parking is available near the large pavilion.

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TEXRail honored with development award

TEXRail was honored with a Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence Award from the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

The CLIDE Awards, which began in 2003, recognize innovative development programs that plan for the region’s future growth and seek to support a sustainable North Texas. This year’s competition featured 41 nominees, which yielded 17 winners in the categories of New Development, Redevelopment, Special Development, Public Planning and Policy, and Raising Public Awareness.

TEXRail was recognized in the category of Special Development, which honors projects that exemplify outstanding promotion of specific elements of the Principles of Development Excellence. The judging committee included some of the nation’s top urban planning experts.

Trinity Metro President & CEO Bob Baulsir accepted the award. “Receiving a CLIDE Award for TEXRail is a tremendous honor for us,” he said. “We are grateful for the recognition and appreciate everyone’s efforts in bringing our commuter rail project to fruition.”

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Sales tax collections up 8.6% in April

Fort Worth’s net sales tax collections in April totaled $13,330,827, up from April 2018 by $1,061,262, or 8.6%.

Year to date, sales tax collections are up 6.7%.

The city anticipates collecting $163,151,802 by fiscal year end, which matches original estimates in the FY2019 adopted budget.

Sales tax revenue represents 22.3 percent of the city’s General Fund budget. This is the second largest revenue source, with property taxes being the largest.

For the Crime Control and Prevention District, sales tax revenue represents the largest revenue source.

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Do you know the difference between a watch and a warning?

When severe weather is forecast, the National Weather Service may issue a severe thunderstorm watch or warning to alert residents of potential dangers. Fort Worth residents may also hear television or radio meteorologists mention a severe thunderstorm weather watch or a weather warning. But do you know the difference between a watch and a warning?

  • A severe thunderstorm watch is usually issued several hours before a storm is forecast to arrive in our area and can cover large land areas. The term means that elements to create a dangerous storm will be present and residents should be aware that there is the potential for severe weather.
  • A severe thunderstorm warning means that severe weather is occurring right now over a specific area. Residents should take shelter immediately in a sturdy structure, keep away from windows and seek additional information.
  • The same process is used with tornados, flash and river floods, extreme heat, red flag fire conditions, and winter weather.

The quickest way to learn about a weather watch or warning is to purchase a NOAA All-Hazards Weather radio. The weather radio receives transmission directly from the National Weather Service.

Another good way comes automatically through your cell phone. The wireless emergency alert feature will sound for dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations. It’s important not to turn off the emergency app since it provides lifesaving alerts.

The outdoor warning sirens are designed to be heard by people who are outside. They are not designed to be heard inside buildings. The sirens will be activated for:

  • Tornado warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
  • A funnel or tornado reported by a trained observer.
  • Winds of 70 mph or higher.
  • Hail of 1.5 inch in diameter or larger.
  • A man-made disaster such as a chemical leak.
  • A state or federal disaster declared by the governor or president.
  • At the discretion of the Office of Emergency Management when large events are taking place.

The key is for residents is to have multiple ways to receive warning. Additional warning tools include:

  • Nixle emergency text alerts directly from the Office of Emergency Management and National Weather Service. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings are automatically sent out by the National Weather Service.
  • Download weather, warning or local media partner apps that also push warning notifications.
  • Follow the Office of Emergency Management on Twitter and Instagram.
  • If you have a functional need of are deaf, hard of hearing or blind, register for Accessible Hazard Alerts.

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Martinez earns statewide honor for public works officials

Richard Martinez, assistant director in the Transportation & Public Works Department, was named Top Public Works Leaders of the Year during the recent convention of the American Public Works Association-Texas Chapter.

The Top Public Works Leaders of the Year program seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials, from both the public and private sectors. The primary focus of the award is on career service to the public works profession rather than on any one single event or project.

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Give input on new Trinity Trails from River Trails Park to River Legacy Park Trail

Fort Worth residents are getting new trails along the eastern portion of the Trinity River. Give input at the upcoming project meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 2 at First Baptist Hurst, Fort Worth Campus, located at 9208 Trammel Davis Road.

Plans include design and construction for the expansion of the Trinity Trails system including, but not limited to, connecting from River Trails Park to River Legacy Park at the boundary with the City of Arlington to create expanded recreational and accessible trail opportunities.

This project is being funded from the 2014 bond program, $325,000, and $4 million from the 2018 bond program.

Make plans to attend the meeting and let your voice be heard.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Clarence Bryant at 817-392-7372.

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SNAP database provides critical health information to emergency personnel

Fort Worth’s free Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to provide important medical information to responding emergency personnel about a resident’s access or functional needs.

Although the program has the same name as the federal food stamps program, this SNAP program is a Texas regional database hosted by the Fort Worth Fire Department Office of Emergency Management.

Fort Worth residents with an access or functional need that would have difficulty leaving their residence before, during or after an emergency situation may register in this free program. The definition of an access or functional need is very broad and covers medical, age-related, behavioral and intellectual conditions.

Here’s how the program works. Individuals, family members, friends or neighbors of a person with an access or functional need can register an individual in SNAP online. Registration is free and good for one year, but must be updated annually. If an email address is included in the registration, the registering party will receive a reminder a couple of weeks before the account is to expire.

The registration process will ask for:

  • Registered party’s name.
  • Address.
  • Sex.
  • Age.
  • Weight.
  • Contact information such as phone number and email.
  • Primary language.
  • Emergency contact.
  • What is the access or functional need?

No confidential or financial information, such as Social Security number, banking or driver’s license data, is gathered. Once the registration is complete, it is considered confidential and protected as allowed by law, to be used only by emergency responders and authorized public safety personnel, including emergency management personnel during disaster situations.

If an emergency 911 call is received from the registrant’s address, fire and police dispatchers relay the information about the caller’s access or functional needs to the first responders while they are en route. This advance information will help responders provide the best care possible.

Sign up for the Special Needs Assistance Program.

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Drive Clean Texas campaign urges drivers to help reduce air pollution

As summer kicks off, Texans love to roll the windows down and hit the road for a breath of fresh air. The Texas Department of Transportation’s Drive Clean Texas campaign asks drivers to do their part to make sure every breath is clean and healthy all summer long.

Emissions from cars and trucks can make up close to half of the air pollution in some parts of the state. There are three areas — Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston/Galveston and El Paso — that do not meet federal clean air standards as established by the Clean Air Act. Additionally, Austin, San Antonio, Victoria, Tyler/Longview, Beaumont/Port Arthur and Corpus Christi are close to exceeding healthy levels of air pollutants.

That’s why TxDOT developed the Drive Clean Texas campaign, designed to demonstrate how simple changes in driving behaviors can have a big impact on vehicle emissions and air quality.

TxDOT will take the hands-on, educational Drive Clean Texas Road Trip Challenge Game to cities around the state where air quality is an issue. The game is a fun, interactive way to learn about reducing harmful vehicle emissions by taking a Drive Clean digital road trip on a large smartphone. Each time a wrong answer is selected, a puff of harmless “smoke” — representing vehicle emissions — is released into a giant, clear bubble encasing an actual sports car. Participants get hands-on training in basic tips in vehicle maintenance for optimal clean driving.

Drive Clean Texas suggests the following simple steps to help protect the state’s air quality:

  • Keep vehicles well-maintained and inflate tires to recommended air pressure levels.
  • Properly fuel vehicles by tightly sealing the gas cap.
  • Stop at the click when fueling your vehicle. Overfilling releases harmful fumes.
  • Drive smart by obeying speed limits.
  • Avoid idling the vehicle for extended periods.
  • Avoid aggressive driving with rapid starts and stops.

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Burghdoff, Gunn named interim assistant city managers

City Manager David Cooke appointed two seasoned veterans of municipal government as interim assistant city managers, replacing longtime city employee Susan Alanis, who will become chief operating officer at Tarrant County College District in July.

Dana Burghdoff, a 20-year employee, will oversee the Planning & Development, Water, and Transportation & Public Works departments, as well as the city’s relationship with the Fort Worth Zoo, upcoming changes at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, and mass transit initiatives.

Burghdoff has previously worked as deputy director of the Planning & Development Department.

Kevin Gunn, who has worked for the city since December 2014, will oversee the Information Technology Services, Finance and Property Management departments. Gunn previously had been director of ITS and was serving on an interim basis as director of the Financial Management Services Department.

Burghdoff and Gunn join assistant city managers Jay Chapa, Fernando Costa and Valerie Washington.

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Never leave a child or a pet in a hot car

Every summer, first responders are called to treat a child who has been left in a hot car. Too often, these calls end in tragedy.

In 2018, 52 children nationwide died in hot cars. It was the deadliest year on record in the past 20 years. Since 1998, almost 800 children have died from vehicular heatstroke; 24 percent occurred in employer parking lots while the parent or caregiver was at work.

MedStar offered these tips as temperatures are expected to rise in the coming days:

  • Never leave children or pets unattended in cars.
  • Be sure vehicles are secured to prevent a curious child from becoming trapped in the car on a hot day.
  • If you find a child or pet unattended in a hot car, alert authorities immediately and, if necessary, be prepared to take action based on instructions from the 911 call taker.

The National Safety Council offers a free online course about the danger of vehicular heatstroke in children, the three primary circumstances that have led to children dying and what we all can do to prevent these deaths.

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