Healthy food pantry opens at Daggett Middle School

Daggett Middle School is breaking new ground in the effort to offer more healthy food options to Fort Worth ISD students and families.

With the help of Blue Zones Project, Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) and Fidelity Investments, Daggett is now offering a healthy food pantry on campus, a first-of-its kind effort for the school district.

The pantry officially opened Nov. 19, with parents, teachers and school officials joining Superintendent Kent Scribner and Bo Soderbergh, executive director of Tarrant Area Food Bank, to celebrate.

The food bank will supply fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy options, and eventually lead nutrition lessons for parents at the school.

“This healthy school pantry serves as a bold new step in combating hunger,” Soderbergh said. “Giving families access to nutritious foods is part of our mission, and we look forward to serving more healthy school pantries in the future.”

Research shows that children do better in school when they are well nourished, Scribner said. “Our goal is to prepare every student for success in college, career and community leadership. We’re excited that the community has come together to give our students and their families healthier choices when it comes to food,” he said.

Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being improvement initiative, partnered with Fidelity Investments and TAFB to bring the dream of a healthy food pantry to life. Blue Zones Project supports community efforts to address the unique needs of areas in Fort Worth that experience food insecurity and issues of affordability—where people often turn to inexpensive sources of calories, like fast food, because they can’t easily or affordably buy fruits and vegetables.

Daggett principal Monica Garrett said the school has undertaken a major well-being transformation in the past year. With support from Blue Zones Project and Fidelity Investments, the campus has launched a number of efforts to support healthy choices and is now infused with messages that encourage student well-being.

“Making well-being improvement takes a continual effort, and this food pantry is just another element to improve the lives of our students, physically, emotionally and academically,” Garrett said.

“We know that good nutrition and health are associated with academic success, and we want to do everything we can to help to support the whole child,” said Matt Dufrene, vice president of North Texas Healthy Communities Blue Zones Project. “Working within a school like this allows us to reach out and bring healthy options to families that do not have easy access.”

Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth is led by Texas Health Resources and teams with schools, businesses, community leaders and residents to support longer, better lives. More than 90,000 people and 340-plus groups and organizations have worked together to improve well-being.

Fort Worth is the nation’s largest certified Blue Zones Community.

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Take care of outstanding warrants at Dec. 12 event

The Fort Worth Municipal Court will conduct a Safe Harbor initiative, meaning residents may visit without fear of arrest for outstanding warrants issued by the court.

Court in the Community will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 12 at Eugene McCray Community Center, 4932 Wilbarger St.

Residents who plan to request alternatives to payment should bring all supporting documents for their request, including time payment plan; time served (bring booked-in and booked-out paperwork), community service/indigence (bring paperwork that shows you do not have the financial means to pay a fine); and two forms of identification.

To learn more, call 817-392-6700.

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Trinity Metro board names chairs, adds two new members

The Trinity Metro Board of Directors named Jeff Davis as the new chairman. Tito Rodriguez was elected vice chair and Ray Taylor was elected secretary for the 2020 fiscal year.

Davis, who serves as chairman of the Fort Worth Division of Republic Title, joined the Trinity Metro Board in 2013. Davis fills the role vacated by Scott Mahaffey, who served as board chair from 2013-2019.

Rodriguez was appointed to the Trinity Metro Board in 2015 by Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes. Rodriguez also serves on North Richland Hills City Council, where he was mayor pro tem 2013-2014.

Taylor was appointed to the Trinity Metro Board in 2017.

Two new members joined the board.

Sylvia Alcala, who replaces Mahaffey, is president and founder of J Anthony Group, a consulting and professional services firm specializing in government subcontracting and supply chain operations in the Aerospace and Defense industry.

Stephen Baldwin, who replaces Jeff King, retired from Oncor Electric after 43 years of service. He volunteers in the community and has operated a small food truck and catering business since 2005.

The Trinity Metro Board has 11 members, with eight appointed by the Fort Worth City Council and three appointed by the Tarrant County Commissioners Court.

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Fort Worth notifying some water customers of data security incident

Approximately 3,000 Fort Worth water customers are being notified that their credit card information may have been compromised when they made a recent online water bill payment.

The incident involves payments entered between Aug. 27, 2019, and Oct., 23, 2019. The data that may be affected includes cardholder’s name, credit card billing address, credit card number, card type, credit card security code (CVV) and card expiration date.

Impacted credit cardholders are being offered one-year of free credit monitoring by CentralSquare, Fort Worth’s vendor for the Click2Gov software that powers the H2Online payment system.

Customers set up for recurring payments by credit card are not impacted, unless they logged in and entered a different credit card number between those dates. Customers set up for recurring payments by credit card or bank draft, or who paid by phone or in person are not impacted.

CentralSquare determined that an unauthorized party inserted code into the software to capture personal payment card information from customers who logged into the system and made a credit card payment.

Fort Worth immediately worked with Central Square to have the malicious code removed and initiated an expanded security review. Subsequently, the city replaced the server supporting the Click2Gov system and is monitoring the software for any code changes.

Additionally, the water utility is working to complete the previously planned migration of the online-payment system from Click2Gov to Paymentus. Paymentus has a standalone system which does not require the city’s server to act as a host, and it incorporates enhanced security features. The anticipated date for switching to the new payment platform is March 1, 2020.

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Stock Show Rodeo tickets now on sale

Fans can walk up and buy rodeo tickets for the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, scheduled for Jan. 17-Feb. 8. Phone orders will also be accepted.

There are two convenient locations:

  • Will Rogers Memorial Center ticket office, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave.
  • Dickies Arena box office, 1911 Montgomery Ave.

Now that Dickies Arena has opened with a string of successful concerts, intense interest in witnessing the first year of Stock Show rodeo in Fort Worth’s new iconic arena has made pre-order ticket purchases a priority for many. While 10 of the Stock Show’s 25 rodeo performances are sold out, adequate seat inventory exists for the 15 remaining rodeos. The public is encouraged to purchase tickets soon to ensure they secure seats for rodeo at the 2020 Stock Show.

Tickets remain to these popular rodeo performances:

  • Cowboys of Color Rodeo (Jan. 20).
  • Rodeo X Extreme Team Competition (Jan. 23).
  • FWSSR ProRodeo Tournament, a new, fan-friendly format rodeo, (Jan. 24- Feb. 8).

The rodeo ticket offices will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday in December (with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Beginning Jan. 2, both offices will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the Stock Show, ticket offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The Dickies Arena box office gives the public a second convenient location to purchase tickets. Located at the southwest corner of Dickies Arena, the box office can be accessed at 1911 Montgomery St. Guests may park in the Montgomery lot at no cost, for a limited time, when visiting the box office.

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Volunteer to help prepare tax returns for Tarrant County families

The VITA tax assistance program is looking for volunteers.

VITA is an IRS-supported, free income tax preparation program for qualifying families in Tarrant County. In 2020, the goal is to prepare 5,000 returns, helping families receive more than $8 million in earned income tax credit.

Volunteers are needed to greet clients, serve as interpreters, intake specialists and tax preparers. No prior experience is required, and free IRS tax preparation training will be provided. Volunteers may sign up online.

VITA is a partnership between the United Way of Tarrant County and the City of Fort Worth.

To learn more, contact VITA at 817-392-5698.

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New water mains construction scheduled for Southgate Marketplace

Come hear about plans for new water mains that pave the way for development of Southgate Marketplace. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 16, at Texas Health Huguley Fitness Center, 11801 South Freeway.

New water mains are being installed along:

  • FM 1187 from west of the I-35W service road to Hemphill Street.
  • McAlister Road from west of the I-35W service road to the McAlister Road and Archbury Road intersection.
  • Open land near Spinks Airport and I-35W from Alsbury Boulevard to East Rendon Crowley Road.
  • East Rendon Crowley Road from west of Fort Worth Fire Station #42 (450 E. Rendon Crowley Road) to Old FM 1187.

The City of Fort Worth is partnering with the developer via a Community Facility Agreement for construction of the project.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Vishal Sood at 817-392-8055.

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Celebrate the holidays Log Cabin Village style

See how frontier cabins were decorated, string some popcorn, make your own ornament and reflect on storied traditions at Holidays at the Hearth, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 7 at Log Cabin Village, 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane.

Have your digital photo taken with an historic Saint Nick for a $5 fee.

Cost is $6.50 for 18 and above, $6 for ages 4-17, $5.50 for groups of 10 or more, free for children 3 and under.

To learn more, call 817-392-5881.

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Seasonal trout stocking begins in December

The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife to release trout on several dates, giving anglers an opportunity to test their fishing skills.

The first trout stocking will be Dec. 12 with a release of 2,500 fish at Trinity Park, 2401 University Drive, and River Park, 3100 Bryant Irvin Road. TRWD invites residents to fish all weekend as the fish acclimate to their new waters.

Future stocking dates:

  • Jan. 7, 2020 (Trinity Park), 1,850 trout.
  • Jan. 22, 2020 (River Park), 1,850 trout.
  • Feb. 5, 2020 (Trinity Park and River Park), 1,850 trout.
  • March 14, 2020, at TRWD Flyfest at River Park.

The events are free to the public. Participants need a valid Texas fishing license from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Learn more about fishing the Trinity.

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City installing low-pressure sewer lines along Watercress Drive

Make plans to attend the upcoming project meeting to learn about installation of low-pressure sewer lines along Watercress Drive and nine other street segments.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Fort Worth Police Mounted Patrol Facility, 1901 N. Las Vegas Trail.

After the sewer lines are in, grinder pumps will be installed as soon as the properties are ready.

Affected streets include:

  • Watercress Drive from Wildwood Park area to Surfside Drive.
  • Peninsula Club from Watercress Drive to Watercress Drive.
  • Sunrise Point Court from the dead end to Peninsula Club.
  • Sunset Point Circle from Peninsula Club Circle to Peninsula Club Circle.
  • North Lake Drive from Watercress Drive to Watercress Drive.
  • Island View Drive from Watercress Drive to Watercress Drive.
  • Lupine Circle East from Ella Young to the dead end.
  • Lupine Circle South from Midland Drive to the dead end.
  • Lupine Circle West from Lupine Circle South to the dead end.
  • Surfside Drive from Watercress Drive to 7575 Surfside Drive.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Walter Norwood at 817-392-5026.

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