What’s stopping you? Student travels around the world to pursue her helicopter-flying dreams at TCC

Learning to fly a helicopter isn’t easy—especially in your second language.

That was the scenario faced by Tarrant County College student Yuno Niwano, who emigrated from Japan to pursue her dream of becoming a news helicopter pilot.

“When I researched getting helicopter flight training, I found out that the training cost is more affordable in the States compared to Japan,” said Niwano. “I also figured there are more opportunities as a helicopter pilot in America.”

She looked into a variety of programs. TCC stood out because it would give her the opportunity to earn her

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How to Reduce Grass & Wildfires Around Your Home and Property

It’s no secret that a lack of rain this season has made for extremely dry conditions and elevated fire danger, but there are steps you can take to help reduce the threat of fire around your home or property.

Take a look at these pictures taken on a recent drive through the northern section of the City with Southlake Fire Department’s Battalion Chief Trey Porter. You can see a lot of dry leaves, brush and trees branches that overhang and overlap onto other trees making conditions ripe for a wildfire that could easily spread from tree to tree and into nearby neighborhoods.

The Army Corp of Engineers has several hundred acres of land that back up to Lake Grapevine. The area is thick and overgrown. “Residents who live near these heavily wooded areas should take some proactive measures to help reduce the threat of fire from reaching their home or property. Some simple preparations now can make a big difference in protecting their property,” said Battalion Chief Porter.

Embers and small flames are one of the main ways homes ignite during wildfires because they can become airborne and be carried more than a mile by the wind. Homeowners can help prepare their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize embers or flames from reaching their homes.

Here are some important measures you can take now to help protect your home and property.

  • Keep trees, bushes and brush near your home trimmed and cut back to reduce the overhang of limbs.
  • Clean and clear roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
  • Keep your lawn mowed to a height of four inches.
  • Keep your lawn watered, especially around your home.
  • Remove any dead plants, brush or trees.
  • Keep any combustibles away from the house.
  • Stack firewood 100 feet away from the home.
  • Keep your gas grill at least 15 feet from the house.

“As you can see from these pictures, it wouldn’t take much for a grass or wildfire to start so being proactive is the best defense,” Porter adds. The Southlake Fire Department wants homeowners, especially in high-risk areas, to be prepared to help keep their families and property safe. For more information about the threat of fire danger check out the department’s Fire Danger webpage.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the fire department at (817) 748-8106.

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Getting Around FM 1938 Construction – Alternate Routes to Florence Elementary

(main) Suggested alternate route to Florence Elementary;  (Inset) Zoomed in view of FM 1938/Southlake intersection

(main) Suggested alternate route to Florence Elementary; (Inset) Zoomed in view of FM 1938/Southlake intersection

School is set to start Monday, August 24, 2015, but with construction on northbound FM 1938 and at the intersection of FM 1938 and Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709), getting to one campus – Florence Elementary – may be a little tricky if you’re used to taking Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709) westward to Pearson Lane or FM 1938 north to Johnson Road.

The construction at the intersection of FM 1938 and Southlake Boulevard and the closing of Johnson Road off FM 1938 planned for the week of August 31, 2015 will make accessing the campus difficult if you’re coming from Southlake.  With that in mind, parents are advised to seek alternate routes to the Florence Elementary campus.

The City is suggesting motorists take westbound Florence Road to southbound N. Pearson Lane. From Pearson Lane, access to Florence Elementary can be made in the following ways:

  1. Johnson Road eastbound off Pearson Lane then south on Harell Drive
  2. Gray Lane eastbound off Pearson Lane then north on Harrell Drive
  3. Jordan Drive eastbound off Pearson Lane then north on Harrell Drive

Construction surrounding these locations will continue for at least the next year.

Keller residents may notice increased traffic in the area as these alternate routes are utilized. Please allow for enough time to reach your destination.

For questions about the FM 1938 project, TxDOT has appointed a mobility coordinator named Stephen Ranft. He can be reached at fm1938mobility@gmail.com or 817-462-0520.

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Getting Around and Where to Park for Stars and Stripes

Preparations are underway for the City of Southlake’s annual Stars and Stripes event on Friday, July 3rd starting at 6:00 p.m. in Southlake Town Square. The City wants to help make it a fun-filled time for you and your family by passing along some important traffic information and safety tips.


S.H. 114 Access

If you are planning to  park in Town Square and use east or westbound S.H. 114, you should take the Carroll exit. Westbound drivers will crossover the bridge and continue eastbound on the 114 service road, parking on the north end of Town Square. Eastbound drivers should get off at Carroll Ave and continue on the service road to the Town Square entrances on the north end. Assistant Chief Ashleigh Douglas says, “Following this route will help folks arriving to and leaving from Stars and Stripes, drivers can leave by exiting onto the eastbound service road and accessing S.H. 11 at Kimball.” “Our goal is to help citizens plan ahead to help keep traffic moving smoothly,” Douglas added.

It is also important to note that there will be no southbound traffic allowed from the north parking lots. All traffic will exit to the 114 service road. In addition, no parking will be allowed on the grassy areas next to the service road. “No Parking” signs will be posted and enforced.

Southlake Blvd. & East Garage Access

If you are arriving via Southlake Blvd (FM1709) you may either turn north on Carroll Ave to park on the west side of Town Square or use Central to access the east side of the parking lot by Jared Jewelers. Keep in mind that once the parking lot is full, Central Ave will be closed. Central Ave will be from 4:00 p.m. until the end of the event to allow the shuttle services to begin. Also, please make note that the West Parking Garage will be closed for the event.

At the end of the festivities, all traffic on the west side of Town Square will exit (right-turn only) onto Carroll Ave heading northbound. There will be no southbound traffic out of Town Square allowed onto Carroll Ave. All traffic on the east side of Town Square from Main St will exit northbound on Central Ave. If you park in the east garage, all exits will be directed to Central Ave and from there you will be directed north to the S.H. 114 service road to exit the square. If you exit at the east or northwest ends of the garage you will exit north on Central Ave to the 114 service road. The west side exits in the East Garage will be closed.

Drop-off Area

There will be an in and out drop off area in front of the Department of Public Safety headquarters building along State Street off North Carroll. The far outside, northbound lane will be lined with traffic cones and a sign indicating the drop off area. An exit will be provided onto the eastbound service road of Highway 114. Please have your passengers ready to exit the vehicle when it comes to a stop. This will help alleviate traffic congestion. “Drivers who are planning to use Southlake Blvd need to be aware that they will not be allowed to access Carroll Ave from Southlake Blvd. to head northbound towards S.H. 114 after the event,” said Douglas. “Traffic officers will be in the area to make sure that drivers are following the plan so that everyone gets in and out safely and with as little delay as possible.”

If you follow the guidelines listed above for traffic flow, your visit to Stars and Stripes will be an enjoyable one with minimal frustration and delay. “Our main goal is public safely, as well as ensuring that everyone has a great time,” said Assistant Chief Douglas.

For Visitors who are not Parking in Town Square

Lighted Crosswalks will be available  and manned by Southlake officers and volunteers at the following locations:

  • Southlake Blvd and Central Avenue
  • Southlake Blvd and Carroll Avenue
  • North Carroll and Prospect Street
  • North Carroll and Federal Way

Again, the number one goal for the Southlake Police Department is to help make sure everyone arrives to Stars and Stripes and returns home safely. You can assist in this process by using the designated crosswalks. Crossing Southlake Blvd on foot from the Central Market area is very dangerous and prohibited. There will be a zero tolerance policy in place for pedestrians who cross in any area that is not a designated crosswalk. There will be yellow police tape from Carroll Ave to Central Ave. Volunteers with our Citizens on Patrol (COPs) and Volunteers in Policing (VIPs) programs, along with Bike Officers, will be patrolling the area and will take appropriate enforcement action for your safety.

If you are parking on the side streets of Carroll Ave, please remember these important tips:

  • Park facing the correct way and no more than 18” from the curb
  • Do not block driveways or park in someone’s yard
  • Make sure your vehicle is not in the intersection, it will be towed
  • Be courteous to the neighborhood

Handicapped Parking

In addition to the already established Handicapped Parking in Town Square, Handicapped Parking will also be available on Main St by Starbucks and Mi Cocina.

Barricades in Town Square

Barricades will go up early in the morning on July 3rd. The interior roads of Town Square will not be accessible by vehicle. Please plan accordingly. The parking lots and East Garage will be open until they are full. As the lots and garage become full, they will be closed. All parking lots with the exception of the lots north of the Hilton will close no later that 7:30 p.m.

Shuttle Service

The City is also providing shuttle service to and from the event. Shuttle service will operate from 4:00 p.m. until 12:00 a.m. (midnight).  The off-site pick-up/drop-off  location will be located at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church (185 S White Chapel Blvd). The pick-up/drop-off location at Town Square will be located at the intersection of Central Ave and Main St, in a coned-off area at Main St.

**IMPORTANT Information for Restaurant Reservation Parking

If you have dinner reservations at Del Frisco’s or other restaurants in Town Square they are providing a parking placard. Only those with a special placard will be allowed to park in lots designated for certain restaurants.

If you have any questions, please contact Southlake Community Services at (817) 748-8019. For more event information, please visit www.StarsandStripesSouthlake.com.



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