NEW Outdoor Warning Siren Increases Warning Coverage Across Southlake

The Southlake Office of Emergency Management recently installed a new Outdoor Warning Siren (OWS) at Southlake DPS North Training Center at 100 East Dove Road to increase emergency warning coverage across Southlake. With a vital location near North Park, one of Southlake’s most frequented community parks, the newly added siren benefits both park visitors and area residents.

As explained in an NBC5 news story, Outdoor Warning Sirens in North Texas alert the public to take shelter indoors and seek additional information about the cause of the warning. In Southlake, sirens are only activated in the following conditions:

  1. A tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service
  2. Tornado or funnel cloud has been reported by trained SKYWARN storm spotters
  3. Sustained winds are in excess of 70 miles per hour
  4. Reports have been given of hail larger than 1.25 inches
  5. Other life-threatening conditions

Outdoor Warning Siren interior photo for MSN

The newly installed Outdoor Warning Siren at DPS North Training Center increases Southlake’s total sirens to six integral locations across the city, including Bob Jones Park, DPS West Facility, Bicentennial Park, DPS Headquarters Facility, and Public Works Facility. The City of Southlake tests all of its Outdoor Warning Sirens on the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. If conditions are favorable for severe weather on a test day, the tests are not conducted.

“Having six sirens for coverage of the Southlake area is important, however, the real key is the educational piece. Residents and visitors need to know what to do if they hear the sirens sounding, and that is to immediately go inside and seek more information from a reputable source,” stated Amanda Meneses, the emergency management specialist at the City of Southlake.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Southlake Office of Emergency Management at or call 817-748-8903.

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Southlake Police Work to Control Feral Hog Population

As Southlake expands and new developments rise on every horizon, the north part of the city retains most of its country feel with sprawling pastures, wooded areas, and nature all around.  Southlake Police are no strangers to assisting with possums in the garage or deer caught in barbed wire, but one animal nuisance has spurned the department to create a program to help citizens.

Feral hogs roam wild and free in the north part of the city and multiply so rapidly that they’ve become a nuisance.  Property owners spend thousands of dollars each year repairing fences and property.  In addition, the hogs carry diseases such as brucellosis and trichinosis that can be transmitted to domestic stock and even humans.  They destroy crops and compete with livestock for food.  They’re an invasive species that’s not native to Texas and can produce two litters a year of up to 12 young each birth.  Those young can then begin giving birth when they turn 6 months old.  Texas has seen a population explosion of feral hogs in the last few years.

Working behind the curtains, the Southlake Police Department has a hog trap established in the city as part of their Hog Abatement Program.   This program seeks to trap the hogs, humanely euthanize them, and then remove them from the city.  The trap is located in the Bob Jones Nature Center area and must be checked twice a day, rain or shine.  The department has also partnered with Texas Wildlife Services, who has a trap in the Burney Lane area.

The officers assigned to the program have placed signage leading up to and around the trap, to make sure citizens stay away.  As we work to reduce the number of feral hogs in the area, please avoid these areas if you see signage so that our program can continue.  Please educate your roaming teenagers on our program so they can avoid these areas as well.

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TD Ameritrade named the 2018 Southlake Corporate Business of the Year

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce named TD Ameritrade as the 2018 Southlake Corporate Business of the Year at their June 21 awards banquet.

Held at The Marq Southlake, the award program recognizes and celebrates the Southlake community. “The Southlake Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of this great city, where volunteerism and corporate citizenship are a way of life,” noted Chamber CEO Mark Guilbert.

TD Ameritrade was recognized for its significant investment in the city and commitment to being an active community partner by supporting numerous events and giving employees eight hours of paid time off each year to volunteer for the organization of their choice.

The Nebraska-based brokerage firm recently opened the 300,000 plus square foot Southlake campus in January 2018 and welcomed almost 2,000 new employees to Southlake.

In a March 2017, My Southlake News article Melissa Matson, a senior specialist for corporate communications at TD Ameritrade, talked about their commitment to the community. “We are committed to growing our footprint in the DFW area and becoming an employer of choice within the community,” she stated.

On April 26, 2018, the company celebrated their grand opening in Southlake. According to TD Ameritrade President and CEO Tim Hockey, who was on-hand for the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, the Southlake facility will help support the continued growth of the company.

“As TD Ameritrade starts its new chapter in Southlake, we are a much larger company that we were 20 years ago. Our new Business Center is intended to support the continued growth of the company, as well as help our associates become more efficient, collaborative and successful in their careers,” Hockey stated.

Mayor Laura Hill officially welcomed TD Ameritrade to the city at their grand opening event and expressed her excitement for having the company in Southlake.

“You are a part of Southlake now and we knew from the beginning this was special for our community. This has truly been a partnership, and I expect great things from both sides as we move forward. Thank you for being here and making Southlake better,” Hill stated.

“This is exactly the type of high-quality development we want along SH114 and we couldn’t be happier to welcome TD Ameritrade to Southlake,” Hill added.

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The Barrows Firm Named as the Small Business of the Year in Southlake

At their recent annual awards banquet, the Southlake Chamber of Commerce named The Barrows Firm as the 2018 Small Business of the Year.

Held on June 21 at The Marq Southlake, the award program recognizes and celebrates the Southlake community. “The Southlake Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of this great city, where volunteerism and corporate citizenship are a way of life,” noted Chamber CEO Mark Guilbert.

In receiving their award, The Barrows Firm was recognized for their service and exemplifying excellence in their commitment to the City of Southlake and their involvement within the Southlake community.

Recently recognized in the Southlake Business Spotlight at the June 19 City Council meeting, Mayor Laura Hill praised the firm and Principal Attorney Leslie Barrows, “Leslie is a perfect example of somebody who not only has embraced the community but someone who the community has embraced. She is giving and also represents herself as a very ethical business in Southlake. Your reputation precedes you. We’re very proud of you and happy to have you in Southlake.”

Opening their doors in Southlake in 2006, the firm has established a  family law practice under the direction of Barrows.

“Living and working in Southlake, in this great community, we have so many great resources,” said Barrows. “I help people go through really challenging times in their lives that are really unexpected. We really focus on our families and making sure the family is represented and they can get through the process in as civil a way possible.”

Barrows currently serves on the Southlake Chamber board of director, is a graduate of the Leadership Southlake Class of 2017-18, member of the Chamber’s Women Empowered committee and has sponsored and volunteered at numerous community events.

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Summer Party Prep Made Easy with Grab-and-Go and Catering Options in Southlake

Summer has officially arrived, along with outdoor parties, backyard barbeques and other festive occasions with friends and family. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen—or over a flaming grill—let one of these culinary destinations in Southlake do the work for you so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy the party.

Offering from-scratch, home-style cooking for families on the go, Scratch Catering & Fine Foods specializes in food-to-go and custom catering. Located at 2125 W. Southlake Boulevard, the gourmet food shop has a menu that changes seasonally. New and delicious dishes are continually popping up, but certain customer favorites are always on the menu—like the oven baked lasagna and bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Catering options are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With several meats and sides sold by the pound, Scratch Kitchen is the perfect option for feeding a hungry crowd.

For health-minded hosts who want delicious options, stop by Protein Fit Kitchen at 1151 E. Southlake Boulevard. The restaurant serves chef-prepared, nutritionally-balanced meals and snacks with convenient carry-out options. Pick up to-go orders (which can be made online) or grab prepared options from the cold cases for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. The restaurant uses whole, quality proteins and responsibly grown, seasonal ingredients to offer healthy, flavorful foods. With dine-in options and meal prep also available, Protein Fit Kitchen caters to all types of healthy appetites.

Nothing welcomes company more than the smell of fresh bread. Great Harvest Bread Company is your neighborhood family bakery, complete with milled-on-site whole grains, baked into from-scratch breads and goodies and served fresh daily. Great Harvest can put together the perfect assortment of baked goods for morning events or a delicious array of equally filling lunch or dinner meals—including box lunches, hand-crafted sandwiches, salads and grain bowls. If you’re invited to a gathering, a Great Harvest gift basket filled with handmade bread and treats is a delicious way to show your appreciation.

Not sure what to serve at your soirée? Before you decide, let your eyes feast upon the many global flavors at Central Market, located at 425 E. Southlake Boulevard. With an expansive cold case filled with a wide variety of fresh salads, vegetable dishes, meats and more—all sold by the pound, Central Market has flavors to suit ever palate. Sample a few specialty cheeses and peruse the extensive wine selections, or even pick up grocery essentials while you’re there. With chef-prepared dishes, custom-made in-store and delivered to your door, Central Market catering makes feeding a crowd even easier with party platters, hors d’oeuvres and appetizers to order.

Located across the street in Southlake Town Square is Trader Joe’s, the California-based specialty market known for its extensive private label products such as wine, frozen appetizers, salsas, candies and other party essentials. The grocer carries an extensive array of domestic and imported foods and beverages, including artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, fresh crop nuts, deli items, in addition to staple ingredients like eggs and milk.

No need to stress about what you’re serving—or taking—to your next summer party. With fresh and flavorful options ready to be picked up or customized catering orders a phone call away, Southlake can satisfy appetite for festive, crowd-pleasing fare.

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Foam Home: Southlake Fire Trains for Hazardous Materials

This past week, the Southlake Fire Department continued their trend of excellence by training in basic Haz-Mat response both in the classroom and in the field.

Firefighters use a program called HazMat IQ that identifies different types of hazardous chemicals and then shows the make up of it and how best to contain it.  “This particular piece of equipment and software allows us to better understand the type of chemical we could be dealing with and its associated hazards,” Chief Ryan Arthur said.

In the field, Tri-Dal LLC (a local Southlake chemical manufacturing company) loaned the department an International 4700-DT466 diesel truck to make the scenario as real as possible.  When the FTO (field training officer) gave the word, firefighters used the foam to form a barrier between a possible fuel spill and the air, preventing the chemical from igniting.  By using the proper movements of the nozzle, the firefighters can push the foam blanket farther and farther away from the danger so that they can eventually get in and safely clear the hazard.

The Southlake Fire Department conducts this quarterly training to make sure firefighters use the correct type of nozzles, appliances, and hoselays, as well as the correct type of concentrate and proper application.  They must spray the foam so that the fuel is not splashed onto people or into exposures.

“I’m proud to represent an organization that maintains focus on providing the highest level of hazard mitigation while ensuring excellent customer service,” Chief Arthur said.

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June Southlake Business Spotlight: The Barrows Firm

The Barrows Firm is the featured business for June’s Southlake Business Spotlight.

The Barrows Firm opened its doors in 2006. Principal Attorney, Leslie Barrows is a top-rated family law attorney whose entire practice focuses on family matters.  Their core values are the glue that holds their team together and allows them to support their clients through their matters with the utmost respect and care. Recently, the firm received the award for the 2018 Southlake Small Business of the Year at the Southlake Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Reception. Read more about The Barrows Firm and watch their presentation from the previous City Council meeting at the Southlake Business Spotlight blog.

Southlake Business Spotlight, formally known as the Local Business Report (LBR), provides local businesses with the opportunity to showcase their business at City Council meetings and talk about what makes their business unique and a great addition to the community. If you are interested in featuring your business, please contact Daniel Cortez in the Office of Economic Development at (817) 748-8039.

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Mayor Laura Hill Wins Southlake Chamber Citizen of the Year Award

The Southlake Chamber of Commerce named Mayor Laura Hill the Chamber Citizen of the Year during the 2018 Chamber Awards Banquet “Bollywood Nights.”

According to the Chamber, the award is given annually to the Southlake citizen whose unparalleled efforts and service make the City of Southlake a better place for everyone.

“When you think about the definition of a Citizen of the Year, our very own Mayor Laura Hill is the perfect example,” said Cheryl Fairbanks, Chairperson of the Southlake Chamber Board of Directors. “Mayor Hill is business friendly and has opened new avenues for the business community.”

The Mayor called the evening “An amazing evening of friendship, celebrating the Southlake business community and its spirit of giving. While last night was an Awards Banquet, it was really more of a recognition of Southlake and the common goals we share. The Southlake business community is constantly called upon to make donations, offer free services and support with cash. Their generosity is vital to a healthy community.”

A Southlake resident since Southlake since 1997, Mayor Hill has a long history of passionately serving her community. Starting in 2004, she has been involved in City leadership and a strong supporter of future leaders. From the creation of SPARK (Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids) and SASO (Scholars and Athletes Serving Others) to the creation of SKIL (Southlake Kids Interested In Leadership), the Mayor’s passion for students serving their community has offered many tremendous the opportunities for hundreds of Southlake children and teens.

The Mayor also hosts the popular “Meet the Mayor” events. The events are designed to introduce residents to different Southlake businesses that are often unique to the community.

Mayor Hill is the co-owner of Downey Publishing and Texas Ice Cream. She is the founder and executor for the Downey Art for Education Trust, Advisory Board & Past Board Chair for the Recovery Resource Council of Tarrant County and an Advisory Board Member, Texas State Dyslexia Licensing Committee.

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Southlake Volunteers Recognized with the Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award

Kiko and Dee Ekstrom were recently recognized by Southlake Sister Cities and the Southlake City Council for their longtime service to the City.

“Kiko and Dee have given thousands of hours to Southlake through their service to Southlake Sister Cities,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “We are so grateful for their commitment and how they have worked to establish such a strong Sister Cities program in Southlake, particularly with the city of Tome, Japan.”

Kiko and Dee with councilKiko and Dee have been involved in Southlake Sister Cities for 26 years and worked tirelessly from the beginning when they helped establish the program in 1991. The Ekstroms have served in a variety of volunteer roles with Kiko serving as the president of the Southlake Sister Cities board.  They have overseen the youth exchange programs which has connected well over 500 students from both countries and have organized numerous adult visits.

Sister Cities’ 1st Vice President Barbara Walker praised the Ekstroms role in fostering friendship and understanding  at the June 19 Council meeting saying, “These relationships are pivotal to fulfilling the goal of Sister Cities which is to create citizen ambassadors.”

The Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals who have completed more than 4,000 hours of volunteer work in their lifetime.  A plaque commemorating Kiko and Dee’s service and lifetime achievement award will be permanently installed in Southlake’s Town Hall in the coming months.

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Southlake Historical Society to Honor Local WWI Heroes with Exhibit and Reception

The Historical Society’s upcoming Town Hall exhibit tells the stories of farmers, cowboys, tradesmen and other small-town Texans who fought in one of the most significant wars in modern history.

During World War I, nearly 200,000 Texans served in the armed forces. “The Yanks Are Coming: How Texans Helped Win the Great War” will take you to the battlefields and into the hearts of the families left behind. The free exhibit can be seen July 7 through August 30 in the Town Hall lobby and the Southlake Library (1400 Main Street). Exhibit hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

The public is invited to join the Southlake Historical Society for a free exhibit reception with music and refreshments on Sunday, July 15, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall lobby.

WWI Texas Soldier

Image courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission

“When the U.S. entered the war in 1917,” said Anita Robeson, historian and archivist of the Southlake Historical Society, “nearly 1 million Texans registered for the draft. More than 5,000 died in battle or of disease. Like all Americans, Texans back home made sacrifices. They bought Liberty Bonds, supported the Red Cross, conserved food and, if a loved one fell, mourned.”

World War I was a windfall for Texas business. The Fort Worth Stockyards became the largest equine market in the world. More than half of the U.S. military’s mobilization and training facilities for the war were in Texas. “Texas became a place on the map,” Robeson said.

Accompanying the exhibit will be authentic WWI items collected by Southlake Carroll grad Paul Porter, who became intrigued with WWI at age 11 after reading a book he found in study hall. On display in the Library will be the uniform and personal belongings of a combat infantryman, gas masks, helmets, hats, assorted medals, a U.S. field radio and “trench art.” Soldiers and prisoners of war frequently recycled shell casings, spent bullets and other refuse to create personal art, jewelry and decorative items such as ornately-carved artillery shells and painted helmets.

“We have partnered with the Southlake Library for several years now during our exhibits,” said Connie Cooley, president of the Southlake Historical Society. “The Library opens their doors to us so we can extend our exhibit area and showcase more memorabilia, books and art.” Visit the Southlake Library’s website to learn more about their programs, events and collaborations.

For more information about the Southlake Historical Society and their upcoming WWI exhibit, visit

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