July 28, 2014

  • Looney Strikes With More Postseason Awards

    Layne Looney was dominant this season. Everyone seems to agree. (Photo: Kate Simone)

    Layne Looney was dominant this season. Everyone seems to agree. (Photo: Kate Simone)

    The accolades continue to accumulate following the outstanding season for Highland Park pitcher Layne Looney, wh0 has been named as a first-team all-state selection by the Texas Sports Writers Association.

    He also received first-team honors earlier this summer from the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, and was named to the MaxPreps Underclass All-America team. Looney was named the MVP of District 10-4A for leading HP to a runner-up finish in the league.

    During his junior season, Looney posted a 12-0 record with a 0.53 earned-run average and 119 strikeouts. He also led the Scots with a .370 batting average.

    By Todd Jorgenson Jul. 28, 2014 | 5:38 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • HPISD Educators Honored With Scholarships

    From left,

    From left, Elyse Griffin, Wanda Spoonmore, and Leesa Cole at the recent DKG luncheon in Dallas

    The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International recently awarded scholarships to Highland Park ISD educators Leesa Cole and Elyse Griffin. The society aims to promote the personal and professional growth of its members, who are all female educators.

    Cole is the library media specialist at McCulloch Intermediate School and a 24-year DKG member. She has received $1,000 scholarships from the DKG Dallas County Coordinating Council in each of the past two years.

    Griffin previously taught third grade at Armstrong Elementary School, and this fall will teach fifth-grade math at McCulloch Intermediate School. She is a four-year DKG member and has received $9,000 worth of scholarships since 2013.

    Both are members of the Delta Omicron chapter of DKG, for which retired HPISD teacher Wanda Spoonmore is president. Spoonmore taught eighth-grade algebra in HPISD for 36 years and has been a DKG member for 50 years.

    By Todd Jorgenson Jul. 28, 2014 | 4:52 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • 4200 Block of Mockingbird Closed Tomorrow

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    Tomorrow, the 4200 block of Mockingbird Lane will be closed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for repairs. Detour signs will let you know where to go, as the repair area is bounded by Preston Road and Douglas Avenue. Drivers are encouraged to take Douglas Avenue to Beverly Drive, Beverly Drive to Preston road, and Preston Road to Mockingbird Lane to avoid the area. This is only for eastbound drivers — westbound will not be affected.

    By Sarah Bennett Jul. 28, 2014 | 11:13 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • July 27, 2014

  • Thwaites to Melt Teen Hearts at NorthPark

    the-giver-posterOK, teenage girls, get your best screams ready. Australian actor Brenton Thwaites, the young star of the upcoming movie The Giver, will make a public appearance at NorthPark Center on Monday.

    Thwaites will appear at something called the “Color Party,” which will include a scavenger hunt, a question-and-answer session, and a VIP autograph signing. The whole thing runs from 4-6 p.m. on the first floor of the mall, between Nordstrom and Macy’s.

    The Giver, which is based on the popular young-adult novel of the same name, also stars Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges. It will be in theaters on Aug. 15.

    By Todd Jorgenson Jul. 27, 2014 | 3:25 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • July 26, 2014

  • Wine Getaway Makes Great Weekend

    A couple relaxes at Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas. (Photo: Elizabeth Ygartua)

    A couple relaxes at Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas. (Photo: Elizabeth Ygartua)

    As soon as the thermometer in my car started reading 90 degrees, I was ready to flee Dallas — and quickly. After a 4.5-hour drive, and a friend and I were cooling off with local wine in Fredericksburg, where boutiques have been transformed into wine stores and restaurants feature local vintages.

    In the past 20 years, the area has become home to a flourishing wine community, particularly along U.S. Highway 290. Check wineroad290.com to see if your visit corresponds with monthly restaurant-winery pair-up events hosted by a collective of 13 of the wineries along the road. Read More…

    By Elizabeth Ygartua Jul. 26, 2014 | 10:00 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • July 25, 2014

  • Youngsters Take Love of Gaming to Next Level

    Eli Hoff, 9, right, and Dasch Gorcyca, 6, use their imagination to create video games during a summer class at Armstrong Elementary School. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    Eli Hoff, 9, right, and Dasch Gorcyca, 6, use their imagination to create video games during a summer class at Armstrong Elementary School. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    The final day of the Highland Park ISD summer game-design class gives precocious young video-game designers a chance to showcase their creation to their classmates.

    Then comes the best part for just about any kid under age 13. They get to play.

    That combination makes the class one of the most popular in the summer catalog for the HPISD Academy of Lifelong Learning. After all, what video-game aficionado wouldn’t want to combine their favorite classic gaming elements with their own imagination? Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Jul. 25, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Park Cities to Get Jiggy With GigaPower

    The name might be a little dorky, but GigaPower is coming to the Park Cities.

    Highland Park and University Park are among the first locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area scheduled to get the latest high-speed Internet innovation from Dallas-based AT&T later this summer. There are no specifics on costs or restrictions yet, of course.

    The connection is part of the company’s fiber-optic U-Verse network, and is supposed to increase Internet speeds to 1 gigabyte per second, which means you can access parkcitiespeople.com that much faster. At least that’s what we assume you’ll be doing.

    The service already has launched in Austin and is slated for more municipalities through the rest of this year, as this map shows. Along with Dallas-Fort Worth, it looks like Raleigh and Winston-Salem, N.C., are up next.

    By Todd Jorgenson Jul. 25, 2014 | 9:22 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Former HP Golfer Leads Web.com Tour Event

    Paul Haley

    Paul Haley

    Former Highland Park High School golf standout Paul Haley took the early lead on Thursday after the first round of the Midwest Classic golf tournament in Overland Park, Kan.

    Haley, 26, who played college golf at Georgia Tech, fired a round of 64 (7-under par) to tie his career-best round on the Web.com Tour. It is the first time he has held the lead after the first round of a tour event.

    Looking over the scorecard, Haley hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation and needed just 26 putts during his round. If he can hold off a host of challengers over the next three days, he can clinch his first victory since the 2012 Chile Classic, and his first title on American soil.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Jul. 25, 2014 | 7:56 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • July 24, 2014

  • Churches: North Dallas Shared Ministries Benefits Outweigh Restrictions

    (Source: North Dallas Shared Ministries’ 2013 Annual report)

    (Source: North Dallas Shared Ministries’ 2013 Annual report)

    Since 1983, North Dallas Shared Ministries has helped those in need with food, clothing, medical, and financial assistance. But how those seeking help get approved — or not approved — for services has caused a bit of discussion among the philanthropic crowd.

    By its nature, the center works with clients in specific areas.

    “We do zip-code verification to get financial assistance,” said executive director Judy Rorrie, who has worked with NDSM essentially since its founding. “They have to live in one of the 20 zip codes that we serve.”

    From looking at the organization’s Facebook page, the fruits of their good work is evident: photos from charity events such as food drives with Ursuline Academy and the Episcopal School of Dallas abound.

    But there are also concerns voiced through reviews and posts to the page. One commenter claimed he was turned down due to his “debt-to-income ratio.” But Rorrie says no such “ratio” is used.

    “That’s a bunch of baloney,” Rorrie said. “You’d have better luck if you looked at our website [for eligibility requirements].”

    Though most of the programs offered by NDSM — such as clothing and food assistance — do not require income verification, financial aid does require it.

    “Because we’re an emergency aid center, there needs to be income, which is then verified,” Rorrie said. “If someone comes and asks us to help with July rent but there’s absolutely no way August could be paid, then we’re not really helping the client because they’ll be evicted in August and we haven’t been good stewards of our resources.”

    Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Jul. 24, 2014 | 9:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • July 23, 2014

  • Tool Sheds, Drought Plans, and Budgets, Oh My!

    Here’s what’s up for grabs at the Highland Park public works committee meeting tomorrow morning. Drexel Drive. 8 a.m. You know what to do:

    Public Works Agenda

    By Sarah Bennett Jul. 23, 2014 | 4:37 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS