Facebook’s Fort Worth data center awards inaugural grants

Two city-affiliated programs were among 16 recipients of the inaugural Facebook Fort Worth Community Action Grants program. Grants totaled $202,870.

“In the last few years, Fort Worth has welcomed Facebook with open arms, and today we are happy to give back to our community with the announcement of our first-ever Fort Worth Community Action Grants,” said Ed Ames, Facebook site manager. “There are many innovative nonprofit organizations doing amazing work in our community, investing in STEM education, connecting people online and off, and putting the power of technology in people’s hands. We’re excited to be able to assist some of them with our grant program.”

More than 50 organizations applied for grants. Among the winners:

Fort Worth Public Library Foundation ($5,500). The goal of the grant is to expand the library’s STEM programming with the popular Panther Lab Mobile Cat Makerspace to four additional library locations. Each Mobile Cat will house a 3D printer and use state-of-the-art software to produce high-quality 3D objects.

Read Fort Worth ($33,000). This citywide initiative promotes early literacy with the goal of attaining 100 percent literacy for all third-graders. The grant will be used to purchase books for one low performing school in the Fort Worth Independent School District. The FWISD developed a list of high-interest and culturally-relevant classroom books sorted by grade and reading level for the project. Read Fort Worth is also developing a metrics dashboard to gauge progress on the initiative.

Facebook broke ground on the data center project on State Highway 170 in Fort Worth’s AllianceTexas development in 2015. The social media giant is currently building a $267 million addition to the more than 100-acre data center project.

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Saturday closures set for I-35W in north Fort Worth

All southbound lanes of I-35W will be closed just south of North I-820 from 4 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb 3. Traffic will be redirected to the frontage road.

In addition, all lanes of eastbound and westbound Meacham Boulevard at I-35 will be closed. Eastbound traffic will be redirected to Northeast 28th Street and westbound traffic will be redirected to Western Center Boulevard.

Drivers should seek alternate routes and expect delays in the area. Visit the North Tarrant Express website for current and upcoming lane closures on I-35W.

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Party in Fort Worth supports activities that enhance our city

“Taking Stock” is the theme for this year’s Party in Fort Worth, planned for March 3 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The 25th annual event is hosted by the Beck Group and benefits the Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund.

This year’s party is an opportunity to celebrate past, present and future development of Fort Worth. It will be a night to connect and celebrate; a night to be grateful and generous; a night to relax and kick up your heels.

The Party in Fort Worth is an annual event benefiting the Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund. The fund, which is governed by a 13-member board, invests funds to promote Fort Worth before regional, national and international cultural, business, sports and governmental organizations. The Promotion Fund also provides resources for the development of local events, attractions and exhibits that enhance Fort Worth’s ability to recruit business and leisure visitors.

To learn more about the party, contact Joanna Crain at 202-494-5604.

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FWPD completes training that emphasizes de-escalation tactics

Every officer in the Fort Worth Police Department has completed training that encourages them to use a new way of thinking when it comes to crisis intervention, communication and tactics.

The training is called PERF ICAT— Police Executive Research Forum Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics De-escalation Training. The nationally-recognized training educates officers on the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to manage non-firearm threats, influence behavioral changes and gain voluntary compliance whenever possible. The training is a key to the department’s mission to safeguard the lives of residents and enhance public safety through building trust with the community.

The PD has recently made changes to how officers approach use-of-force situations and amended policies to incorporate de-escalation tactics. Biannual in-service training and training for new recruits have been modified to provide more tools to resolve police encounters that emphasize the safety of residents and officers.

The PD has invited city officials and members of the Chief’s Advisory Board, Policy Advisory Committee, and the Race and Culture Task Force to an ICAT training session so they can realize what is expected of officers and have a better understanding of the situations officers face each day.

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Sales tax collections up in November

Fort Worth’s net sales tax collections in November totaled $12,328,008, up from November 2016 by $860,898, or 7.5 percent.

So far this fiscal year, sales tax collections are up 5 percent.

The city anticipates collecting $154,573,000 by fiscal year end.

Sales tax revenue represents about 22 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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Pick up a free shower timer, post your photo and you might win a showerhead

Resolve to save water in 2018, and let the Fort Worth Water Department help you.

Free shower timers are being given away at select community centers and at City Hall. Take a photo with your shower timer to win an EPA Watersense low-flow showerhead. Use the hashtag #FWWaterNewYear and post your photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Shower timers are available while supplies last at these locations:

  • Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St.
  • Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb St.
  • Highland Hills Community Center, 1600 Glasgow Road.
  • Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.
  • Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.
  • MLK Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.
  • Riverside Community Center, 3700 E Belknap St.
  • Northside Community Center, 1100 N.W. 18th St.
  • Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 N.E. 36th St.
  • Fort Worth City Hall, Water Department, second floor, 200 Texas St.

Shower timers are limited to one per family.

Replacing one showerhead with a Watersense head can save up to 2,900 gallons of water and up to $70 in electricity and water costs annually.

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Participate in the Mayor’s Week of Compassionate Service

To guide Fort Worth toward becoming an even greater and more compassionate city, Mayor Betsy Price is encouraging individuals, civic groups, faith-based groups and others to get involved in the Mayor’s Week of Compassionate Service, Jan. 27-Feb 4.

Residents can volunteer to give a day, or even an hour, to demonstrate tangible acts of compassion. Learn how the program works and register your volunteer opportunity.

“I am calling on families, business leaders, faith institutions, nonprofits, neighborhoods, schools and individuals from across Tarrant County to create, organize and initiate volunteer projects of your choice throughout that week,” Price said. “Everyone can do something!

“Let’s come together this month to serve and volunteer, helping those among us, inspiring others to action and serving as an example of compassion to other cities across our nation,” Price said.

During last year’s event, individuals and groups organized 105 activities to show compassion across the city. This year, the goal is at least 200 compassion activities.

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Tell us what you need to see in a new fire chief

Fort Worth’s city manager is working with a consulting firm to recruit a new fire chief. He wants to know what you expect from a fire chief of the 16th largest city in the nation.

Because the Fort Worth Fire Department is such an integral part of the community, tell us what characteristics and job skills you would like to see in a new chief:

  • What are the traits and job skills you think are important for a new fire chief?
  • What are the key issues facing our firefighters in the coming years?
  • What are the priorities for this new fire chief when he or she takes over the leadership of our firefighters?

Let us know what you think by taking a quick survey.

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can mail your input to:

Michelle Gutt
Communications & Public Engagement Director
City of Fort Worth
200 Texas St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

You can also email your comments.

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Review proposed animal ordinances at public meeting

Fort Worth Animal Care & Control is hosting a public meeting to discuss animal ordinance revisions. The meeting will be 6-7 p.m. Jan. 31 at Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave.

The purpose of the meeting is to review final animal ordinance proposals after a yearlong process with multiple public meetings to incorporate resident and stakeholder input.

To learn more, contact Tony Hiller at 817-392-6981.

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Will Rogers Memorial Center named facility of the year

Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center (WRMC) has been named the League of Agricultural and Equine Centers’ 2018 Facility of the Year.

The award recognizes a league member facility that has demonstrated excellence in the management and operation of an equestrian or agricultural center. Facilities that host equine, agricultural and multi-use events are eligible.

The league takes pride in its member facilities that excel in providing their communities with a safe and enjoyable space for all types of events and educational opportunities. Applicants must demonstrate how their facility excels in four criteria: operational excellence, team building/professional development, safety and security, and service to the equestrian/agricultural community and the community at large.

The League of Agricultural and Equine Centers is a professional organization that supports and promotes management personnel and maintenance procedures at agricultural and equine facilities.

WRMC has been a member of the league since 2012.

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