Let’s Take a Hike!

The weather outside is beautiful this time of year, aside from the occasional 100-degree day. The evenings and mornings are cool and crisp. What better way to enjoy the outdoors with a hike around your neighborhood or community! 

Southlake is home to over 180 miles of sidewalks and trails, for a variety of exercise or leisure options. The best news is there’s more to come! 

The City of Southlake’s interactive sidewalks map shows hikers existing sidewalks and trails, as well as those planned for the future.  

The perfect sidewalk or trail is just a few steps away, so grab your water bottle and sneakers, and head outside for hike. 

To keep up with all things mobility in Southlake, visit ConnectSouthlake.com, the Southlake Mobility Facebook page or sign up for the mobility e-newsletter. 

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Southlake Water Utilities Announces Utility Rate Changes to Take Effect October 2020

Sewer, garbage and recycling rate changes will go into effect on October 1, 2020, for all Southlake Water Utilities customers. Residents will notice the increase on November billing statements.

Sewer Rate Change

This year, the Trinity River Authority (TRA) Board of Directors voted to approve rate increases for sewer treatment at both Denton Creek and Central Regional wastewater plants. As a result, Southlake Water Utilities will be passing the 2% increase on to Southlake customers. The Trinity River Authority supplies sewer treatment to 98% of Tarrant County, including, Southlake.

The maximum residential sewer charge Southlake customers will see is $74.78 per month. This will take effect on October 1, 2020, and the increase will be reflected on the November billing statements.

Refuse Rate Change

The new refuse rates—reflected on Southlake Water Utility bills for residential customers, will increase by 2.6%. This increase is lower than the annual increase Republic Services may request under the contract agreement the City has with Republic Services.

Residential collections will increase by $0.42 on October 1, 2020. Commercial collections and roll-off rates will increase by three percent on October 1 in accordance with the contract.

Reminder, the effective date of increase for Southlake customers will begin October 1, 2020. Customers will see the changes reflected on their November bill.

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Take a Virtual Tour of the Bob & Almeady Chisum Jones Exhibit

You know Bob Jones as the name on a Southlake park, road, and the nature center. But who was he?

Bob Jones (1850-1936) and his wife, Almeady Chisum Jones (1857-1949), were born into slavery. They overcame the challenges of inequality to build a prosperous farm and ranch along the Denton-Tarrant county line. They made sure their ten children received an education and took pride in who they were. Their story is drawn from census and other records and the remembrances of generations of family and friends.

Take a moment and watch this virtual tour of the Southlake Historical Society’s exhibit: Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones, A True Story of Resilience Courage and Success.

To see the exhibit in person, you can visit Southlake Town Hall and the Southlake Library , now through September 4. To learn more about the Jones family and to read the exhibit panels in their entirety, visit www.SouthlakeHistory.org.

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If cloth face coverings cannot be used, take other measures to reduce COVID-19 spread

Cloth face coverings are a proven way to decrease the spread of COVID-19, but wearing a cloth face coverings may not be possible in every situation or for some people. In some situations, wearing a cloth face covering may worsen a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency or introduce significant safety concerns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a cloth face covering or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread if it is not possible to wear one.

For example:

  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing — or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired — may be unable to wear cloth face coverings if they rely on lip reading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear face covering.
  • Some people, such as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions or other sensory sensitivities, may have challenges wearing a cloth face covering. They should consult with their health care provider for advice about wearing cloth face coverings.
  • Younger children (preschool or early elementary-aged) may be unable to wear a cloth face covering properly, particularly for an extended period of time. Wearing a cloth face covering may be prioritized at times when it is difficult to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others (for example, during carpool drop off or pickup, or when standing in line at school). Ensuring proper cloth face covering size and fit and providing children with frequent reminders and education on the importance and proper wear of cloth face coverings may help address these issues.
  • People should not wear cloth face coverings while engaged in activities that may cause the cloth face covering to become wet, like when swimming. A wet cloth face covering may make it difficult to breathe. For activities like swimming, it is particularly important to maintain physical distance from others when in the water.
  • People who are engaged in high-intensity activities, like running, may not be able to wear a cloth face covering if it causes difficulty breathing. If unable to wear a cloth face covering, consider conducting the activity in a location with greater ventilation and air exchange (for instance, outdoors versus indoors) and where it is possible to maintain physical distance from others.
  • People who work in a setting where cloth face coverings may increase the risk of heat-related illness or cause safety concerns due to introduction of a hazard (for instance, straps getting caught in machinery) may consult with an occupational safety and health professional to determine the appropriate face covering for their setting. Outdoor workers may prioritize use of cloth face coverings when in close contact with other people, like during group travel or shift meetings, and remove face coverings when social distancing is possible.

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West Nile cases on the rise; Tarrant County residents urged to take precautions

West Nile virus has re-emerged as a current health threat in North Texas.

Tarrant County Public Health is advising residents to take extra care as West Nile virus cases increase across the county. Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said precautions against West Nile virus are particularly important during the current pandemic.

“It’s prudent to stay focused on protecting against COVID-19, and although mosquitos do not carry the COVID-19 virus, we don’t want to minimize the dangers of West Nile right now,” Taneja said.

The symptoms are similar and since it can be hard to tell the difference, he encouraged residents to see a doctor if they experience fever, cough or sore throat.

“We want to remind everyone to protect themselves against mosquitos by wearing long sleeves and pants and using repellents when outside,” he said.

Tarrant County Vector Control Supervisor Nina Dacko said most of the positive mosquito results have been in northeast Tarrant County.

“In 2018 and 2019, the number of positive mosquito pool samples were very low, which is cause for concern this summer,” Dacko said. “Environmental factors are ripe for the virus to make a big comeback, and recent rains also allow more mosquitos to thrive in hot weather like Texas is experiencing right now.”

View a list of mosquito repellents endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

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Peaceful Protest to Take Place Saturday In Town Square

The City of Southlake and the Southlake Police Department are aware of and are in regular contact with the organizers of a student-led protest scheduled to take place in Town Square this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in response to the death of George Floyd.

The students have coordinated with the Police Department personnel so they understand what they can expect and, they have also been assigned a Southlake Police Officer Liaison for any questions they might have.

“The right to gather and peacefully protest is a right we support and ensure day-in and day-out,” said Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Casey. “In each case, our goal is to maintain a peaceful environment while supporting freedom of speech and expression. In this instance, there are extra safety concerns since there are supposed to be young students involved.”

The Police Department has a strong operational plan and a commitment to maintaining order. “Southlake is considered a safe place, and we don’t want our well-meaning students negatively affected by unlawful activity,” Chief Casey added.

Community Conversations

“We have heard from many people with differing opinions about the protest,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton.  “First amendment rights are paramount, but safety is also a big concern, and we are doing what we can to let people know about what to expect on that day so they can make an informed decision.”

Conversations about the protest have also taken place between the City and the management of Town Square and other surrounding commercial properties.

Streets Closed

Certain streets surrounding Family Park in the front of the square will be closed to traffic to help support a safe demonstration. Town Hall will also be closed to the public for the weekend.

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Students Take Part in COVID-19 Ask the Mayor Video Conference

Last week, a group of Carroll ISD students got the opportunity to ask Southlake Mayor Laura Hill questions about the city’s response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Questions ranged from how to support local businesses to what is the first thing you want to do when this ends.

Over the thirty-minute conversation, Mayor Hill listened and specifically answered each of the student’s questions. Johnson Elementary student, Millie Black asked the mayor what is her biggest challenge in keeping the citizens of Southlake safe during this virus?

“When I ran for mayor, I never envisioned that I would be sitting here talking to our citizens, young and old about a pandemic,” Mayor Hill answered. “I know students are having to learn to study different right now, I am having to learn how to mayor differently.”

Mayor Hill went on to talk about the importance of listening to the worries and needs of Southlake residents, how we can support the restaurant and small businesses in the city.

“It is time to shop Southlake for everything. Shop Southlake!”

Walnut Grove student, Finnegan McDevitt asked what will Mayor Hill do first as soon as the social distancing guidelines and public gathering guidelines are lifted.

“I am going to hug the first person I see and go to a restaurant and order a big pizza and enjoy time with my friends”

Below you can view the entire conversation

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Take a look back on 2019 at Panther Island Pavilion

It was a year for the record books at Panther Island Pavilion. In 2019, the venue hosted 47 events that attracted more than 228,000 people. Some fun highlights from the past year:

  • Raising funds and awareness for worthy causes were the shining stars of 2019. Panther Island Pavilion served as host venue for 12 walks, runs and rides. Nearly $2 million were raised and more than 200 miles of the Trinity Trails were used for fundraising events.
  • Disco Donnie’s inaugural festival, Ubbi Dubbi, was a new addition at Panther Island Pavilion in April. The sold-out event hosted 45,000 attendees over two days.
  • Another new event that made its debut at Panther Island Pavilion was the nationwide Water Lantern Festival. Visitors were able to create their own personalized rice lanterns. Once released, the lanterns gathered and floated down the Trinity River in harmony.
  • The Cody Johnson Throwdown returned to Panther Island Pavilion for its fourth year, and it was a sellout.
  • A signature Panther Island Pavilion event, Fort Worth’s Fourth, returned for its 12th year. The night ended with the largest fireworks show in North Texas on July Fourth.
  • Summer brought more music, tubing and sunshine. Rockin’ the River, the all-day Saturday event, brought in about 14,000 people over six weeks. The summer tubing and music series showcased 30 Texas country, rock and blues bands and firework shows to end each night.
  • The 2019 Oktoberfest Fort Worth was full of authentic German food, bier, entertainment and vendors. It was the biggest yet, recording a record attendance of 18,000.
  • Recreation on the river was bigger than ever thanks to Backwoods Paddlesports. The retailer operated March through November and rented more than 5,600 kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboards on the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion.
  • Fort Worth residents and visitors were able to experience a part of the Trinity River most have never seen. Panther Island Boat Tours opened at Panther Island Pavilion in July. Spectators chose from several types of tours that included the rich history of the river and how it shaped Fort Worth. They served 2,100 sailors.
  • Bike-sharing on Panther Island Pavilion has made it easier than ever to hop on and off at the venue and enjoy the Trinity Trails for an outdoor, emission-free adventure. Averaging more than 7.46 trips per day, more than 2,350 bikes were checked out at the Taylor Circle station, ranking it as the seventh best-performing location out of 46 stations.

Panther Island Pavilion is at 395 Purcey St.

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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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Dragons Take Down Midland Lee; Advance to Regional Final

One of the Dragon football goals each year is to hold practice on Thanksgiving, and they accomplished that goal this season.

After defeating Desoto, the Dragons were slated to take on Midland Lee two days after the holiday practice in Abilene. Dragon faithful made the trip to Abilene to tailgate and cheer on their favorite football team. The Dragons would take care of business early and earn their spot in the regional final on December 7 by a final score of 48-27.

Thanks to another hot start from the Dragon offense, the tone of this game was set early. On the opening driving, the Dragons marched down the field and scored on a Quinn Ewers 14 yard rushing touchdown. Ewers would go on to throw three touchdown passes to senior Blake Smith and one to senior Brady Boyd. Ewers ended the game with 4 touchdown passes and 361 yards through the air.

The play of the game, which ended up at number three on the ESPN top ten plays of the day, was an amazing one-handed snag by Boyd late in the first quarter. The video from this catch caught fire on social media and ended up being shown nationally on ESPN.

This win sets up the rematch of last year’s regional final as 13-0 Carroll will face Duncanville, also 13-0 and ranked #1 in the state according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. The game is set for 2:30 pm on Saturday, December 7 at McKinney ISD Stadium. Ticket information can be found here.

(Photo courtesy of Matt’s Photography)

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