September 23, 2014

  • Highlander Band Prepares for Regional Contest

    The band will compete at the regional contest in a few weeks with its show entitled "Stained Glass."

    The band will compete at the regional contest in a few weeks with its show entitled “Stained Glass.”

    The Highlander Band is stepping up its game for this year’s UIL competition show beginning with the regional contest on Oct. 18. With a more theatrical production, the band plans to carryover its success from last year during its first season at the Class 6A level.

    The show is entitled “Stained Glass,” and is comprised of orchestral music from composers like Bach and Schubert. It will feature four soloists ― Iva Sadler on French horn, Mary Stimson on saxophone, Katelin Adams on piccolo, and BethAnne Bradshaw on flute ― as well as 2014 all-state choir performer Kathryn Davidson.

    Visually, the props resemble a pipe organ and stained-glass windows, and the color guard will wave white and blue flags. The band is directed by Reagan Brumley.

    By Allyssa Schoonover Sep. 23, 2014 | 9:30 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Connecting Point Celebrates Opening

    CPPC board members pose for a shot before the event. (Photo: Jan Osborn)

    CPPC board members pose for a shot before the event. (Photo: Courtesy of Jan Osborn)

    Connecting Point of Park Cities celebrated the opening of their brand-new facility in Central Christian Church on Sept. 14. The day-program organizations helps adults with disabilities through educational, social, and recreational services.

    Shown in the photo are: Bob Lancaster, Christina Murzin, Sarah Oliai, Nancy Himes, Janet Salazar, Kelly SchorrHollee Mills, Janie Hamner, JoAnn Ryan, and Jan Osborn.


    By Sarah Bennett Sep. 23, 2014 | 6:00 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Bradfield Students Donate “Socks and Undies”

    Bradfield Kindergartners Madison Ferrell and Liam Thomas delivered the donated goods to the Rainbow Room.

    Bradfield Kindergartners Madison Ferrell and Liam Thomas delivered the donated goods to the Rainbow Room.

    Bradfield Elementary School collected “Socks and Undies,” to be distributed to children through an organization called the Rainbow Room.

    Don’t worry; the items were not previously used. Students purchased packages of new socks and underwear to be donated to the Rainbow Room’s emergency resource center for caseworkers to help families in need.

    As part of the effort, the students also collected $2,500 for the organization.

    By Allyssa Schoonover Sep. 23, 2014 | 1:55 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Man Dies After Scuffle With UP Police

    UPDATE: The man has been identified as Thomas E. Klessig, 23, of Dallas. He was a 2009 graduate of Highland Park High School, where he was a wrestler. See below for the full story.

    A man died early this morning after being pepper-sprayed following a foot chase and scuffle with University Park police officers.

    The incident began at 12:43 a.m. in the 3900 block of Lovers Lane, when an alarm monitoring company asked police to check on a man walking away from a house with a gate. An officer tries to talk to the man, who was uncooperative and pushed the officer down.

    When a second officer arrived, they chased the man to the 4000 block of Amherst Avenue, where three more officers helped to restrain him by using pepper spray after he refused orders to get to the ground.

    The use of pepper spray prompted a call for paramedics. The man became unresponsive and was transported to Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:25 a.m.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Sep. 23, 2014 | 10:53 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • Would You Watch a Reality Show on HP?

    Wait, what? A production company called VPEtalent is looking to cast youngsters — millennials, to be exact — who live in Highland Park for a new reality show.

    “We’re not sure what exactly the show is yet, but we know it’s about a group of millennials. I would rather meet the right people and develop a show around their strengths than try to cast people into a preconceived notion,” casting director Vinnie Potestivo said in a statement.

    This same casting director is apparently behind such hits as Total Request Live (which was in my era of MTV-watching), Laguna Beach (DEFINITELY in my time), and 8th & Ocean (which apparently is when I got old, because I’ve never heard of it).

    Here’s the thing … the call for casting says they’re looking for 18 to 24 year olds. But 18 to 24 year olds don’t live in Highland Park, do they? Pretty sure that age group is in Uptown, and we’ve already had two reality shows on that lovely habitat (spoken as a former Uptown resident). But then again, most of the people on those shows are 30-somethings, so maybe VPEtalent is onto something. Who knows.

    By Sarah Bennett Sep. 23, 2014 | 10:30 am | 2 Comments | Comments RSS
  • September 22, 2014

  • Thief Trades Cars Inside UP Garage

    It sounds like the set-up for a hidden-camera sketch. A homeowner wakes up one Sunday morning to realize that their vehicle was stolen from their detached garage — and another vehicle was left in its place.

    Unfortunately for a resident in the 2600 block of Milton Avenue, there wasn’t any punchline to this scenario on Sept. 15, when a silver 2011 Jeep Wrangler was missing. In its place was a Volvo station wagon that had been stolen earlier from a driveway in the 3900 block of Potomac Avenue in Highland Park.

    Stolen items from inside the Jeep included a $1,600 set of Taylor Made golf clubs, a $400 pair of Maui Jim sunglasses, and a $200 Husky compressor.

    The original crime on Potomac happened overnight, when a thief stole the key to the Volvo along with a case of Winchester shotgun shells from a unlocked black Mercedes SUV parked next to it. The perpetrator also rummaged through an unlocked blue Ford Explorer.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Sep. 22, 2014 | 4:24 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Committees Will Review Suspended Books

    In June, we brought you a story on parents upset about reading selections within HPISD. As fire continued in the debate, many parents and family members of HPISD students turned up to the school board meeting on Sept. 9 to put in their two cents.

    Following that meeting, emails came pouring in to HPISD school board trustees, district superintendent Dawson Orr, and HPHS principal Walter Kelly requesting the removal of specific titles. As a result, seven books have been temporarily suspended from the classrooms as of last week, pending further review by committees made up of parents, teachers, and students. The books are:

    1. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
    2. The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler
    3. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
    4. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    5. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
    6. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
    7. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

    All reading selections are reviewed by a committee during the vetting process. However, when titles are challenged, they must go through a more formal “reconsideration committee” review.

    Specifically, three titles were scheduled for use during this school year: The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Glass Castle, and The Working Poor. A separate committee will be formed to review each of those titles.

    Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Sep. 22, 2014 | 11:01 am | 10 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Did You See Reveille Dodge a Football Saturday?

    I was not at the SMU home opener on Saturday due to a wedding — which is unusual for me, a dedicated fan and alum — but ESPN captured this Aggie corps member defending one of his own from a rogue play. Though I am a Mustang, I’m also the daughter of an Aggie, and therefore respect “the spirit of Aggieland.” Better believe I’d stand in front of Peruna if anything got in our mascot’s way.

    By Sarah Bennett Sep. 22, 2014 | 9:21 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • More Proof That Will Miller is a Good Shooter

    Highland Park High School graduate Will Miller, a sophomore forward at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmittsburg, Md., is pretty good at shooting a basketball.

    He proved that during his senior year at HPHS two years ago, and during his freshman season at MSM, when he averaged 5.6 points and was a three-point specialist for a Mountaineers team that reached the NCAA tournament.

    In this video, he makes 100 3-pointers in five minutes in the practice gym. That’s 20 per minute, or one every three seconds. You hoopers out there know how difficult that is. Anyway, just watch, and take special notice of the awesome janitor cameo.

    By Todd Jorgenson Sep. 22, 2014 | 9:04 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Hyer Students Will “Stay Cool” At The Bike Rodeo

    Jenna Bowen wears the T-shirt bearing her design next to her new bike.

    Jenna Bowen wears the T-shirt bearing her design next to her new bike.

    Hyer Elementary School students will look cool in their new T-shirts designed by student Jenna Bowen. A school-wide drawing competition determined the shirt design for the annual Bike Rodeo held at Hyer.

    This year’s theme was “stay cool,” and Bowen’s winning design won her a new bike donated by Bicycles Plus. Her artwork became the official T-shirt that will be worn by the entire student body at the Bike Rodeo.

    By Allyssa Schoonover Sep. 22, 2014 | 8:09 am | No Comments | Comments RSS