Scots Have a Ball at West Dallas Camp

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HP players turned into coaches during their time at Hoops for Hope.

HP players turned into coaches during their time at Hoops for Hope.

While they’ve been busy improving on the court, members of the Highland Park boys basketball team also have spent time this summer contributing off the court.

Two dozen players in the HP program volunteered for two weeks at Hoops for Hope, a basketball camp for children at Voice of Hope Ministries, a nonprofit in West Dallas that organizes summer and after-school activities for underprivileged youngsters.

The camp culminated with an informal scrimmage involving the Scots and some boys from the Lakewest Family YMCA.

“I enjoyed teaching and playing the with kids throughout the two weeks at Voice of Hope,” said Ben Reichert, an HP senior and the president of Hoops for Hope. “Just seeing the joy on their faces as we walked in the door was truly its own reward. My teammates and I loved going every day and giving.”


Don’t Forget to Send Coloring Book Entries

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Can a Simple Ping Boost Your Social Life?

Highland Park High School graduate Wes Cole (far left)  is the marketing director for Ping Social, which will launch this fall. 0
Highland Park High School graduate Wes Cole (far left) is the marketing director for Ping Social, which will launch this fall.

For three roommates at the University of Texas, the best parts of college were not always planned events, but more spontaneous ones. To pass these kinds of memories on to other students, they created Ping Social, an app designed to bring friends together in an easier way than Facebook or group messaging.

Co-founders Will Ko and Winston Tri, both seniors with technical backgrounds, are the brains behind the coding for the iOS application, while Highland Park High School graduate Wes Cole serves as Ping’s marketing director.

“Our fondest experiences were the spontaneous road trips or late-night doughnut runs, so those things we wanted to make more accessible to UT students,” Cole said. “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to spend time with the people they care about.”


Parkies Celebrate Fourth of July

Will Ansoing particpates in a watermelon eating contest on Saturday at Goar Park. (Photo: Chris McGathey) 0
Will Ansoing particpates in a watermelon eating contest on Saturday at Goar Park. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

Parkies flocked to watch the annual Park Cities Rotary Club’s Fourth of July Parade, Goar Park festivities, and the University Park Firecracker Fun Run at Curtis Park on Saturday. Click Read More to see more photos.


Not Everyone Celebrates Freedom

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Columnist Len Bourland

Columnist Len Bourland

July is our month dedicated to celebrating freedom; it’s when school kids and teachers are on break, when a significant part of the population chooses to take a vacation, often to one of our national parks to see our landmarks.

It’s the Fourth of July, when President John Adams declared that the commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence should be “solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.”

He forgot the watermelon, barbecue, and beer, but as a renowned quaffer of ale, no doubt he would have approved of our celebrations today. Whatever our faults and differences, and they are hurled at us 24/7 in our age of incessant telecommunications. A whole lot of the planet would still like to pour into our land to experience what we Americans so often take for granted: the freedom to complain, to get furious with our government, to make as much money or seek as much celebrity as we can think up, the freedom to reproduce at will, the freedom to read anything we can lay our hands on, to dress and dance with abandon, and to worship (or not) pretty much as we please. The list goes on and on, despite our increased rules and regulations.


Dalai Lama Visits Bush Center

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Pretty sure they're best friends. (Photo: Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center)

Pretty sure they’re best friends. (Photo: Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center)

Tomorrow is America’s birthday. You know who else has a birthday coming up? The Dalai Lama. So to celebrate, he came to SMU. The George W. Bush Presidential Center hosted “A Conversation with the Dalai Lama” at SMU’s Moody Coliseum on July 1. He spoke on harmony, compassion, and love — just as you would hope the spiritual leader of Tibet and Nobel laureate would.

“We must promote compassion, love and forgiveness,” he said. “Therefore we must extend love to all of creation.”

The event was open to the public but sold out quickly. The World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth and Crow Collection of Asian Art also co-hosted the event.

The Dalai Lama last visited and spoke on SMU’s campus in 2011. His 80th birthday is July 6 (W. also shares this birth date, FYI).

ABC News political correspondent Cokie Roberts moderated the discussion. She also led the audience in singing “Happy Birthday” to His Holiness. We think that sounds like a pretty legit way to celebrate.


Honorees Named For Girl Scout Lunch

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Geraldine "Tincy" Miller

Geraldine “Tincy” Miller

Jan Rees-Jones, Anna Michelle Bobadilla, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, and Reshma Saujani have been named as the honorees for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ 2015 Women of Distinction. The ladies will be honored at a lunch on Oct. 14 at the Hilton Anatole.

Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code, will act as keynote speaker.

“Jan, Michele and Tincy are local women who are model leaders that have made a huge impact on our community through their passion and commitment to making a difference,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.

To learn more about each of the honorees, click here.


Dive Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

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Doesn't this look delish?

Doesn’t this look delish?

Can you believe Dive is five years old already? They are celebrating by throwing a party, of course.

On Saturday, July 18, join them from 7 to 9 p.m. for complimentary hors-d’oeuvres and 10 percent off all menu items.

Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka will serve two specialty cocktails: blueberry bonnet and lemonade fizz. The first 75 guests will receive a signature Deep Eddy glass to take home.


Bush Library Gets a Matching Highway

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George W. Bush

George W. Bush

The stretch of North Central Expressway between downtown Dallas and Walnut Hill Lane is now the George W. Bush Expressway.

Well, presumably U.S. 75 is still North Central Expressway, too, and it’s not President George Bush Expressway. We’ll let Robert Wilonsky explain in The Dallas Morning News, which has more details on the christening of the freeway for the younger Bush, whose library sits along the frontage road at University Boulevard.

After the idea was approved by state lawmakers last year, signs have started appearing to reflect the change in recent days. What do you think? Is it a worthy honor, or just a confusing hassle?

UPDATE: According to the DMN, apparently the massive signs were paid for by Warren Tichenor, a friend of Bush who served as an ambassador during his administration. But the state is responsible for maintenance.


HP Cheerleaders Go, Fight, Win at Camp

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The HPHS cheerleaders won plenty of awards at the prestigious UCA camp.

Four HP cheerleaders were named UCA All-Americans: Annalea Pedigo, Arden Wynn, Nicole Gottlich, and Camille McSherry.

HP cheerleaders are UCA All-Americans: Annalea Pedigo, Arden Wynn, Nicole Gottlich, and Camille McSherry.

The Highland Park High School cheerleading squads proved themselves against some of the best in the country when they brought home several awards from the recent Universal Cheerleaders Association camp in Grapevine.

In addition to classes and pep rallies, the four-day camp included an opportunity to qualify for UCA All-American status in addition to various team honors. HP’s All-American qualifiers included Nicole Gottlich, Camille McSherry, Arden Wynn, and Annalea Pedigo. All four earned an invitation to perform at Thanksgiving Day parades in either Orlando or Philadelphia, and Gottlich was invited to return as a staff member as next year’s camp.


Learning Can Be Fun Afterschool

Bottom left: Dallas Afterschool works with 120 sites throughout Dallas, collectively serving 9,000 students. Activity boxes contain 45-minute activities to help actively engage the students. (Photos Courtesy of Dallas Afterschool) 0
Bottom left: Dallas Afterschool works with 120 sites throughout Dallas, collectively serving 9,000 students. Activity boxes contain 45-minute activities to help actively engage the students. (Photos Courtesy of Dallas Afterschool)

There was a time when afterschool care was just homework help, apple-juice boxes, and peanut butter sandwiches — not the most appealing situation for today’s youth.

Introducing Dallas Afterschool, where there’s more to programming than just snacks. The staff is in the business of improving the quality of afterschool and summer programs. Since 2007, Dallas Afterschool has collaborated with nonprofit afterschool sites in low-income neighborhoods to suit the needs of the youth in that area.

“There’s something to be said for having kids safe between the hours of three and six,” said Christina Hanger, CEO at Dallas Afterschool.

Today, Dallas Afterschool serves 120 nonprofit afterschool sites, including Trinity River Mission and Family Place shelter, serving nearly 9,000 students.


HP Police Arrest Armed Robbery Suspect

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Michael Watts

Michael Watts

Highland Park police have arrested Michael Glenn Watts of Duncanville in conjunction with a harrowing ambush and armed robbery last week, and have also released more details of what sounds like a horrifying experience.

At 1:40 a.m. on June 22, a robber threatened a man at gunpoint as he sat on his backyard patio in the 3200 block of Cornell Avenue. The crook demanded money, which the victim said he didn’t have. So the victim drove the insistent gunman in his Range Rover to an ATM in the 3000 block of Monticello Avenue in Dallas, so he could withdraw the maximum $500.

The two men negotiated in the parking lot before returning to the house, where the victim lunged for the robber’s revolver during another tense confrontation. The homeowner was led upstairs and forced into a closet inside the master bathroom, where he tried to call police as his house was being ransacked.