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.


Police Report: June 16 to June 21

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Skulduggery of the week: Ding-Dong Drunk

Between 12:45 and 1 a.m. on June 18, a vandal broke a window in the door of a house in the 4400 block of University Boulevard, causing $300 in damage. Apparently the man was intoxicated and at the wrong address.

HIGHLAND PARK

16 TUESDAY
Between 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., a thief stole $52,750 worth of jewelry from a closet inside a house in the 4600 block of North Versailles Avenue.

Between 12:30 and 2:11 p.m., a burglar stole $5,450 worth of jewelry, $1,800 worth of Royal Crown China soup bowls, and a $300 Gold Vermeil salad fork from a house in the 5400 block of Fairfield Avenue. The perpetrator jumped a backyard fence and shot a BB gun through a double-paned window to break into the house, then ransacked a bedroom and dining room.

21 SUNDAY
At 3:13 p.m., James Hinman, 75, of Dallas was arrested at Highland Park Village on a public intoxication charge.

At 8:26 p.m., Jeffrey Charles Drapkin, 28, and Katherine Danielle Nuckolis, 28, of Dallas were each arrested in the 3400 block of Armstrong Avenue on a public intoxication charge.


HPMS Twirler Aims For National Crown

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Heather Skidmore received plenty of hardware.

Heather Skidmore received plenty of hardware.

Congratulations to Heather Skidmore, featured twirler at Highland Park Middle School, who brought home plenty of prizes from the recent NBTA Texas State Baton Twirling Championships in Lubbock.

She was honored as 2015 Pre-Teen Miss Majorette of Texas and was the champion in the Solo and Fancy Strut categories in the 10-12 advanced division. In July, she will compete at the NBTA National Championships in South Bend, Ind.

Skidmore has been twirling since age 7.


Get Pop-Cultured at Barnes & Noble

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Three Barnes & Noble locations, including those at Preston and Royal and Lincoln Park, will hold the second annual Get Pop-Cultured events in July, including a Time Travel Weekend and Throwback Thursday events.

Throwback Thursdays will be held every Thursday in July, beginning with a 1950s event on July 2. Festivities include Deals of the Decade, where books of the decade are priced down; a ’50s-themed display; and a hula hoop contest at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Park location.

Time Travel Weekend will be held from July 3-5. Attendees may experience trivia, activities, giveaways, author appearances, and more for “Doctor Who,” “Magic Treehouse: Dinosaurs Before Dark,” and “Outlander.”

The “Doctor Who” event will be held on July 3 at 7 p.m., the “Magic Treehouse” event will be held on July 4 at 10 a.m., and the “Outlander” event will be held on July 5 at 2 p.m.

Those interested may visit the Barnes & Noble event page for more information.


Landry Classic to Honor 2005 Scots

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This guy was there in 2005. Were you?

Matthew Stafford was there in 2005. Were you? (File photo: Chris McGathey)

Were you on Highland Park’s football team in 2005? If so, I’m sure you have a lot of great memories of an undefeated season that culminated with a Class 4A state title.

But seriously, if you were on that team, or knew somebody who was, then the organizers of the annual Tom Landry Classic event want to speak with you. The squad will be inducted into the Tom Landry Classic Hall of Honor at halftime of a game between the Scots and Frisco Centennial on Aug. 29 in Allen.

Those able to attend should contact executive director Kris Cumnock at kris.cumnock@ppi-staubach.com for more information.


Skeeter Spraying Continues This Weekend

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We don't want this guy hanging around.

We don’t want this guy hanging around.

Here’s the good news: All of Highland Park’s mosquito traps have thus far tested negative for West Nile Virus. Yet the total number of mosquitoes in said traps has reached the treatable threshold.

So that means the town will begin its mosquito ground spraying program this weekend as a preventative measure. HP will spray between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. So take the usual precautions.

Over in University Park, fogging will continue this weekend, as well. UP will spray the area from Lovers Lane south of Mockingbird, including the SMU campus. Alleys are slated for Friday night after 11 p.m., with streets on Saturday.


Are Buses Back For Executives?

Park Cities entrepreneur Alex Danza is targeting executives across Texas with his Vonlane luxury coach bus service. (Photo: Don Johnson) 0
Park Cities entrepreneur Alex Danza is targeting executives across Texas with his Vonlane luxury coach bus service. (Photo: Don Johnson)

Bus travel may not be the top form of transportation that comes to mind when local executives shuttle to Austin or Houston.

But one Park Cities resident wants to change that.

Alex Danza, founder of Vonlane luxury coach bus service, started his company after working in high-end ground transport for 10 years.

“Along the way, I came across the motor coach industry and realized that industry didn’t have much exciting going on,” he said. “It was pretty standard, predominately charter operators [such as] Greyhound and Megabus … but nothing at a higher level for more sophisticated travelers.”


Special Olympics Relay Passes Through HP

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Park Cities residents can cheer participants in the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America when it winds through the area on Friday morning.

The relay will enter Highland Park about 7:45 a.m. in the 4400 block of Oak Lawn Avenue, then will pass by HP Town Hall before heading over to Airline Road.

The torch relay eventually will head to Los Angeles for the start of the Special Olympics World Summer Games on July 25. The competition is expected to include 7,000 athletes from around the world.


CASA Parade of Playhouses is Coming

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Dallas CASA’s 20th annual Parade of Playhouses will take place July 10-26 at NorthPark Center. Various builders and architects have made the houses and donated them to CASA to help raise awareness and funding for the organization’s mission of providing assistance to vulnerable children.

Angela and Jim Thompson are this year’s honorary chairs. Jim Lozier and Christie Carter will also chair the campaign itself, while Fran and Mark Berg are event chairs.

Raffle tickets can be purchased online or at the mall at $5 each or five for $20. Winning tickets will be drawn at the closing ceremony on at NorthPark at 4 p.m. on July 26. Proceeds benefit Dallas CASA. Photos of the houses will go up here.

The closing party will take place at Pirch in NorthPark at 6:30 p.m. on July 23. The event is open to the public, but tickets are $50. Find more info here.


HPISD Tackles High Cost of Managing Growth

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Regardless of how public sentiment shakes out on Highland Park ISD’s massive bond proposal, everyone can agree on at least two things — it certainly is ambitious, and $358.3 million is a lot of money.

Although a final price tag hasn’t been determined yet, that’s an estimated cost of the unprecedented package that HPISD trustees hope will win voter approval in November, allowing for a complete overhaul of district facilities.

The primary goals are to relieve overcrowding at each campus — including the accommodation of projected future growth for the next 20 years — and to update aging buildings that in some cases have outlived their usefulness.