Celebrate Smart Irrigation Month during July with a free rain gauge

The Water Department is giving away free rain gauges at participating libraries in July to celebrate Smart Irrigation Month.

Smart Irrigation Month is hosted by the Irrigation Association and encourages water conservation in the landscape. Practice these easy steps to avoid water waste:

  • Get in the zone. Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure and soil in that section. Different zones will almost always need different watering schedules.
  • Consider soil type. Type of soil determines how quickly water can be absorbed without runoff. Watering more than the soil can absorb causes runoff and waste.
  • Don’t send water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.
  • Water only when needed. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus.
  • Water at the best time. Watering during the heat of the day may cause losses of up to 30 percent due to evaporation. Prevent water loss by watering when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool — typically between the evening and early morning.
  • Water more often for shorter periods. For example, setting your system to run for three five-minute intervals lets soil absorb more water than watering for 15 minutes at one time.
  • Adapt watering to the season. Familiarize yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller and adjust the watering schedule regularly based on seasonal weather conditions. Or invest in a smart controller so your system can make these changes automatically.

Rain gauges are available during July at these locations:

  • BOLD (Butler Outreach Library Division), 1801 South Freeway.
  • COOL (Cavile Outreach Opportunity Library), 5060 Ave. G.
  • Central, 500 W. Third St.
  • Diamond Hill Jarvis, 1300 N.E. 35th St.
  • East Berry, 4300 E. Berry St.
  • East Regional, 6301 Bridge St.
  • Ella Mae Shamblee, 1062 Evans Ave.
  • Northside, 601 Park St.
  • Northwest, 6228 Crystal Lake Drive.
  • Ridglea, 3628 Bernie Anderson.
  • Riverside, 2913 Yucca Ave.
  • Seminary South, 501 E. Bolt St.
  • Southwest Regional, 4001 Library Lane.
  • Summerglen, 205 Basswood Blvd.
  • Wedgewood, 3816 Kimberly Lane.
  • eSkills Library & Job Center, 2800 Stark St.

Learn more online.

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Fort Worth makes an impression during diplomatic mission to Russia

Fourteen delegates just returned from a 12-day diplomatic mission to Russia where they met with officials and local citizens to promote Fort Worth.

The delegation consisted of representatives from business, education and financial sectors, as well as representatives from the national Sister Cities International office in Washington, D.C. The delegation visited Moscow, Kolomna, St. Petersburg, Pushkin and Maryino.

Meetings were held with U.S. Embassy representatives in Moscow, Russian media experts and local entrepreneurs and students. The highlight of the trip was a meeting with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev where delegates discussed the need for U.S. and Russian citizens to connect on a personal level.

The meeting with Gorbachev came on the 30th anniversary of the symbolic end to the Cold War when President Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev walked across Red Square and shook hands.

“President Gorbachev stated that the voice of the civil society must be heard in order to bring about understanding between our two countries,” said Mae Ferguson, president and CEO of Fort Worth Sister Cities.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to Hungary and to the Czech Republic. To learn more, contact Danielle McCown at 817-632-7100.

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Three great companions to have during storm season

North Central Texas thunderstorms can be intimidating, no matter how long you’ve lived here. The storms can strike with lightning, heavy rainfall, strong winds, hail and tornados, all of which can cause injury and large amounts of personal property damage.

Stay a step ahead of the storms by receiving advance alerts that provide time to find shelter and prepare. The Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management recommends all residents have access to these three emergency alert systems:

NOAA logo

NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio

This AM/FM radio receives broadcasts directly from the National Weather Service. It should be your first warning of severe weather conditions, including tornado and flash flood watches and warnings. NOAA radios can be found online and at local retailers. Fort Worth residents who want to receive only warnings for their specific county should purchase a radio with S.A.M.E. technology and use these codes to program it:

  • Tarrant County 048439
  • Denton County 048121
  • Wise County 048497
  • Parker County 048367
  • Johnson County 048251

Nixle logo

Nixle Emergency Text Alerts

Alerts sent directly from the Office of Emergency Management advise residents to seek shelter and information about current severe weather events or a manmade hazard. Alerts are received via text on your cell phone or via email. Residents can register their cell phone by texting their selected ZIP code to 888777. Residents wishing to register multiple ZIP codes, such as work, home and school, or to receive email alerts, should register online.

Casa logo

CASA Weather Radar

This short-range weather radar system is in multiple locations around the DFW Metroplex. Residents receive alerts and monitor the storm’s radar images by downloading the free CASA Alert app from the Apple App Store.

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City Recognizes Employees During Annual Awards Ceremony

It’s that time of year again to give a big shout out to all City of Southlake employees and employees who stood out in 2017.

The City of Southlake is hosting its annual employee appreciation celebration the week of February 12 -16 to show gratitude for the hard work that employees do each day. True to the Southlake Way motto, “We are world class professionals serving a world-class community,” the City is excited to host this annual event to recognize employee performance.

A dozen or so employees are being recognized for outstanding performance including; departmental Director’s Awards, the Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award and Value Superhero Awards.

All employees will be treated to special events and each department will host their own fun, spirit day to celebrate their employees. The City also presents each employee with a small City of Southlake logo gift as a token of their appreciation.

The leadership team would like to thank Southlake employees for their commitment to excellence and also give enthusiastic congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. Take a look at the stories of this year’s award winners. They are stories of dedication, and service to the City of Southlake residents.

Director’s Award recipients include:

Ashley Newhart for the Community Services Department, who is being recognized for her flexibility and dependability.  She is described as a go-to team member who always accepts a challenge, most recently as a key team member preparing for the opening of Champions Club at The Marq Southlake, and as a key leader for the LiveFit program. Known for being detail-oriented and someone who is always looking for ways to improve programs and services, Ashley’s Department Director Chris Tribble says simply, “I can always count on her.”

Chris Brown for the Fire Department, chosen for substantially impacting the efficiency and safety of the organization.  Chris is known for his strong work ethic and positive attitude, and above average work quality. Responsible for the department’s firefighting protective gear, and meeting regulatory requirements, he manages this important project in addition to his regular duties. “I appreciate his hard work and dedication,” said Fire Chief Michael Starr.  “The safety of our personnel is largely dependent on his work, and he quietly manages it extremely well.”

Preston Logan for the Police Department, whose knowledge of Police Department operations, passion for the job, great interpersonal skills, and sincere care for those he serves make him a stand out. He has a positive attitude and an infinite desire to learn, as well as a keen understanding of the complexity of his role as a law enforcement officer.  “Corporal Logan is an outstanding police officer who will tackle tough assignments, but he is also a caring person.  His compassionate service to the community makes him a stand out in our department,” said Police Chief James Brandon.

Misty Knaust for the Finance Department, an energetic and positive force who creatively and proactively implements processes and projects to better serve utility customers.  CFO Sharen Jackson considers Misty an invaluable member of the team and has noted that “Misty truly cares about her work, and it shows.  She routinely finds new and better ways of doing things and works cooperatively with her coworkers to make important improvements.  She is a hard worker, and a positive leader, someone who will make real and lasting impacts on the way we do business.”

Susie Hernandez for Planning & Development Services, an employee who performs her assigned duties very well because she possesses considerable knowledge of building codes and the department software used for this operation.  “She is a great resource for our department, and other city colleagues, a data guru who helps prepare reports and successfully implements projects,” said Ken Baker, senior director of planning & development services. “The list of accomplishments attributable to her is long and meaningful. She is a true professional and key component to the department’s success.”

Tarl Plank for the Public Works Department, considered by his peers and department leaders to be a man of “unwavering integrity.”  Tarl is a safety champion who takes care of important projects – such as installing valley gutters, placing asphalt, and modifying handicap ramps – with an eye for meeting customer expectations, managing his team with skill, and works with positivity. “I appreciate Tarl so much,” Public Works Director Rob Cohen said. “He has a strong moral compass and works hard. He’s an outstanding employee.”

Jintana Jones for the Administration Department, recognized as a strong performer with an even temperament, who gets the job done all the while smiling and encouraging her co-workers. Overseeing the front office of the City Manager’s Office, including the switchboard operations, requires skills and patience, which Jintana has in abundance.  And she recently took on additional responsibilities supporting economic development efforts. “Jintana is, in a word, wonderful,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski.  “She works incredibly well with the public because she is a good listener, and so intelligent. Her willingness to work on anything that needs to be done makes her a real asset to us, and to the community.”

Recipients of The Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award Include:

Internal:  Jacob Goodsell from the Public Works Department (Facilities Management), who cheerfully goes about his day doing anything that is needed to keep Town Hall looking good and functioning well.  “If you need help with anything at all, Jacob is there with a smile and helpful hands,” said Stacey Black, human resources director. “He graciously serves the employees who work in Town Hall, as well as visitors. It’s not uncommon to see him holding doors open, giving directions, or laughing with someone. We really value him.”

External:  Seantay Carpenter from Planning & Development Services (Code Enforcement) whose ready smile and even-temperament make him ideal for the job responsibilities he handles.  “There aren’t enough good words to describe Seantay’s attitude,” said Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher.  “He has a tough job, but you’d never know it.  He handles his duties with class and grace and supports his co-workers unconditionally. We’re proud of him, and appreciate his strong customer service.”

Superhero Value Awards recipients include:

Integrity:  Jason Arrellano from the Public Works Department, who regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty to make needed sewer system repairs and maintain the system.  He does whatever it takes to get the job done, whenever needed. He is known for “doing the right thing.”

Innovation: Stacy Wells from the Library who energetically brings new ideas to serve the youth department and Southlake’s young children.  With strong demand for these services, more than 65% of the Library’s overall demand is attributable to youth services, Stacy is going constantly.  But she creatively implements new programs and services to keep things fresh and new, regularly thinking outside the box.

Accountability: Daniel Ford from the IT Department is widely recognized as a go-to guy, bringing his know-how, strong work ethic, and kindness to each and every project or problem.  He is widely respected for his ability to get the job done with professionalism and competence, as well as for his sincere care and concern for those he serves. Daniel is known for taking ownership of his assignments, relentlessly pursuing solutions.

Commitment to Excellence: Andy Alvarado from the Community Services Department, is an employee known for working hard and making City parks beautiful and ensuring they are clean. Citizen survey data regularly shows an appreciation for the appearance of parks and open spaces.  Andy and his crew anticipate the needs of park patrons and go above and beyond to ensure that expectations are exceeded.

Teamwork: Thomas Roberson from the Police Department, a detective who has a strong desire to assist others.  He has patience and investigative thoroughness, a good fit for working crimes against persons cases.  He will do whatever is needed to help his co-workers but is also known for working closely with neighboring police departments to develop leads and coordinate investigative efforts. He recognizes the importance of working together to successfully prosecute cases

Be sure to take a moment to congratulate the award winners when you see them and again congratulations to everyone for their hard work this past year.


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Eugene McCray, Handley Meadowbrook community centers close during expansion projects

Eugene McCray Community Center and Handley Meadowbrook Community Center will both be closed through Oct. 31, 2018, as part of scheduled renovation projects for both centers.

Programs and activities for both centers have been relocated to nearby Sycamore and MLK Jr. community centers, as have center staff who have been affected by the renovations.

Both centers are the recipients of 2014 bond funds, which were dedicated to expanding the facilities.

Eugene McCray construction and programming

Eugene McCray Community Center expansion will include the design and construction of additional space to the existing facility, as well as additional parking spaces.

Eugene McCray’s After School Program, boxing class, volleyball class, and Little Chefs class have all been relocated to Sycamore Community Center, 2525 E. Rosedale St., during construction.

The center’s senior programs, arts and crafts class, book study, and computer class have all been relocated to MLK Jr. Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.

Visit the Eugene McCray Capital Improvement page to keep up with the project status and other news.

Handley Meadowbrook construction and programming

As part of this project, Handley Meadowbrook Community Center will be expanded and rehabilitation work will be completed on the park roadway and parking lot.

Handley Meadowbrook’s senior walking club, senior exercise/Tai Chi class, Zumba class and karate class will be relocated to MLK Jr. Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive, during construction.

Their After-School Program will go on as scheduled, with staff picking up participants and transporting them to MLK Jr. Community Center.

Visit the Handley Meadowbrook Capital Improvement page to keep up with the project status and other news.

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Carroll ISD Celebrates Board of Trustees During the Month of January

January is School Board Recognition Month, and Carroll ISD is using this month to celebrate the school board and focus on the crucial role an elected board of trustees plays in the school district. Carroll ISD is joining districts across the state to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of these outstanding community volunteers who commit their time to serve the district. The Carroll School Board of Trustees will be honored with a special presentation at the board meeting on Monday, January 22, as students and staff show their appreciation for the board’s hard work on behalf of Carroll ISD.

The men and women of the Carroll School Board certainly have a vested interest in seeing that the district’s tradition of excellence continues. Trustees are elected to individual terms and serve in at-large positions that are staggered by annual elections. Trustees meet twice monthly to discuss and act on school business, but are often seen daily in schools attending performances, sports competitions, awards ceremonies, art shows, parent meetings, staff receptions and special events.

Board officers for Carroll ISD include President Sheri Mills, Vice President Michelle Moore and Secretary Danny Gilpin. Trustees include Read Ballew, Todd Carlton, Bradley Taylor and Dave Almand. In addition to their servant leadership in CISD, the Trustees support their community through involvement in the Carroll Education Foundation, Kiwanis, Grace, Southlake Chamber of Commerce, and more. In addition, each Trustee participates on at least one Board advisory committee.

Each of these Trustees brings a unique and crucial perspective to the Board, working together to support the students and staff of Carroll Independent School District.

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Show your love to homeless pets during the holidays

Everybody needs a warm, comfortable place to call home during the holidays. Even the dogs and cats who are temporarily housed at the Fort Worth animal shelter.

Through Jan. 2, 2018, adoption fees for all dogs are reduced to just $10. Fees include an initial medical examination, rabies vaccination, city license, micro-chip and spay/neuter services.

Check out all three adoption locations:

  • Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, 4900 Martin St..
  • PetSmart Adoption Center Hulen, 4800 S.W. Loop 820 (I-20 at Hulen).
  • PetSmart Adoption Center Alliance, 2901 Texas Sage Trail (I-35W at Heritage Trace).

View available pets.

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Southlake Officers and Firefighters Sworn In and Promoted During DPS Promotional Ceremony

New Southlake Police Officers and Firefighters were sworn in Thursday night at the annual Promotional Ceremony at the DPS North Training facility.

After the swearing in of new officers and firefighters, others were recognized for recent promotions and several were honored with the Meritorious Conduct and Lifesaving Awards for their heroic efforts. Southlake Police Chief James Brandon and Fire Chief Mike Starr spoke at the event along with Mayor Laura Hill.  “I’m so honored to be a part of this celebration of commitment, hard work, and dedication. It makes me so proud to be your mayor,” said Mayor Hill.

“Becoming a police officer is a calling,” said Chief Brandon. Like all Southlake first responders, these men and women never shy away from danger. They instinctively run towards it and that’s why their work has life-changing effects that ripple throughout the community. “It is a desire to protect the innocent and serve the community,” added Brandon.

Each officer and firefighter chose a loved one to pin their new badge on them; either their spouse, one of their children or a parent to do the honors. It’s always a very special and emotional ceremony. “We recognize that it’s not just the officer or firefighter who makes a sacrifice. It’s also the employees’ spouse and family who make great sacrifices simply by having a loved one that is a dedicated first responder,” said Chief Starr.

The Meritorious Conduct Award went to Officer Brad Uptmore. On January 22, 2017, Officer Uptmore Officer Uptmore selflessly worked to remove the driver from a burning vehicle by trying to pry the driver’s door free. Realizing that the door was wedged shut due to the damage from the collision, Officer Uptmore then made an attempt to cut the seatbelt in order to free the driver. With the fire encroaching into the interior of the vehicle and beginning to burn the driver, Officer Uptmore used a jacket in an attempt to keep the flames away from the trapped driver.  He continued working until Southlake Fire Department personnel arrived on scene and extinguished the fire.  Officer Uptmore was subsequently treated for injuries he received in his attempt to save the driver’s life.

Fire personnel Cody Brazelton, Chase Sanderson, J. Moloney, and Jason Wise received the Lifesaving Award. On April 8, 2016, these first responders responded to a motor vehicle collision on State Highway 114 service road near the intersection of Dove and White Chapel. Personnel arrived at the scene quickly and found several vehicles involved, some with major exterior and interior damage. Crews rapidly assessed numerous patients and found one to be in dire need of immediate care. The patient was a 1 month old female found unresponsive and not breathing, still secured inside her car safety seat. Fire personnel performed a swift but focused medical and trauma assessment then promptly transported the child to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. The expeditious and advanced emergency care provided by fire personnel helped stabilize the patient which ultimately led to a positive outcome for the patient and her family.

These first responders exemplify the dedication and professionalism of being a Southlake Police Officer and Firefighter.

Congratulations to all of our new staff promoted staff and recipients of the Meritorious Conduct and Lifesaving awards.


New Police Officers           Promoted Officers                                         

Brad Uptmore                               Lt. Jose Luna

Jamie Hannah                              Sgt. Jason Henniger

Kyle Meeks                                   Sgt. Jonathan Macheca

Ricky Holder                                 Cpl. Preston Logan

Raymon Cannon                          Cpl. Chris Milton

Tony Pate                                     Cpl. Robert Briggs

Bobby Cure

Diedre Spears

Stephanie Warren


New Firefighters                  Promoted Firefighters                 


Chris Horne                                   Jimmy Elliott, Engineer

Nicolas Miles                                 Wes Adams, Engineer

Daniel Miller                                  Ricky Davis, Lieutenant

Cody Pierson

Joshua Borsky

Alfredo Del Valle

Kaleb Gilliam

Lester Gomez

Jared Higgins

David Hill

Kurt Hill, Deputy Chief


Lifesaving Award            

Joshua Brady

Cody Brazelton

Chase Sanderson

J. Moloney

Jason Wise


Meritorious Conduct Award

Officer Brad Uptmore



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Houston SPCA coordinating animal rescue efforts during hurricane aftermath

The City of Fort Worth Animal Care & Control is supporting the efforts of the City of Houston SPCA, the lead agency for animal-related disaster rescue, relief and resources in the Houston region.

All animal rescue organizations and volunteers that want to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts should call the Houston SPCA disaster hotline at 713-861-3010 to find out how they can best help.

People can help by donating to the Houston SPCA and then, in the coming weeks, by donating time and money to local organizations that help find homes for those pets that do not get reunited with their owners.

Fort Worth is one of a few locations where owners and their pets can co-locate at an emergency shelter. Pets will be kept just outside the building entrance in air conditioned tents where they will receive free care, food and veterinary services.

Visit the Houston SPCA website for more information on their efforts.

For more information on Fort Worth and Tarrant County’s work to assist with Hurricane Harvey, please visit FWHelpForHarvey.com for the latest.

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