Posts by Todd Jorgenson

  • avatar
    • Todd Jorgenson
    • Senior Editor
    • Todd joined People Newspapers in November 2013 after stints with the Terrell Tribune, the Denton Record-Chronicle, and The Dallas Morning News. He grew up in Minnesota and graduated from TCU.
  • Hyer Students Donate Toys to Less Fortunate

    Now that's a lot of toys!

    Now that’s a lot of toys!

    Some abused and neglected children in Dallas County will have a merrier Christmas thanks to the thoughtful actions of some Hyer Elementary School students.

    The school’s Kindness and Compassion Club recently sponsored a toy drive, aiming to provide hope and cheer to some children that might have never received a gift before.

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 17, 2014 | 11:05 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Scots Serve Up Canned Goods For Charity

    The Highland Park tennis team took a big swing at hunger with its recent food drive.

    The Highland Park High School tennis team took a big swing at hunger with its recent food drive.

    After capping the fall season with a Class 6A team title, the Highland Park tennis team turned to more charitable endeavors prior to the start of the spring campaign.

    As you can see, the Scots hosted a food drive that ended on Dec. 11, when they delivered more than 2,300 canned goods to the North Texas Food Bank.

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 17, 2014 | 4:33 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Joint-Use Natatorium Could Have Some Issues

    Can University Park support a joint-use indoor aquatic center in Curtis Park or elsewhere? The better question might be whether the city chooses to support it.

    The City Council heard the results of a feasibility study on Tuesday from a Colorado firm, which suggested that while the community demographics could support such a facility, there would be plenty of questions about logistics and operating costs.

    The study, of course, stems from a proposal between UP and Highland Park ISD to build a natatorium that would house the swimming teams at Highland Park High School. The district hopes to eliminate its existing natatorium at HPHS in favor of additional classroom space as part of an upcoming bond initiative. The only site mentioned thus far has been Curtis Park, adjacent to the existing Holmes Aquatic Center.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 17, 2014 | 11:27 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Tragedy Shapes Hollywood Dreams

    Dallas Sonnier, left, and Jack Heller of Caliber Media talke with actor James Tolkan, right, on the set of Bone Tomahawk. (Photo: Scott Everett White)

    Dallas Sonnier, left, and Jack Heller of Caliber Media talke with actor James Tolkan, right, on the set of Bone Tomahawk. (Photo: Scott Everett White)

    On movie screens, stories of triumph over adversity are commonplace. But few of the stories that Dallas Sonnier tries to bring to the big screen can match the obstacles in his real-life effort to make it in Hollywood.

    The 1998 Highland Park High School graduate spent several years trying to build enough money and connections to launch his own production studio. Along the way he was forced to deal with the death of both of his parents, who were each murdered in separate incidents two years apart.

    Now his professional outlook is brightening as Sonnier recently wrapped production on his studio’s highest profile film thus far. And with a trial underway for his father’s suspected killer, he’s able to bring some closure to his personal tragedies, as well. Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 16, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Sibling Swimmers Make Waves

    Felix Van Cauweleart, left, is a freshman while his brother, Jasper, is a junior for the Highland Park High School swimming team. (Photo: Don Johnson)

    Felix Van Cauweleart, left, is a freshman while his brother, Jasper, is a junior for the Highland Park High School swimming team. (Photo: Don Johnson)

    Jasper and Felix Van Cauwelaert want their names on the records board inside the natatorium at Highland Park High School. The problem might not be achieving the necessary times, but finding the letters to spell them out.

    The siblings are competing together this season for the first time — with Jasper as a junior and Felix a freshman — and are leading a resurgence in boys swimming on the Blue Wave roster that saw HP win a regional team title last year and could result in several milestones being set in the next few seasons.

    “The two of them are very determined swimmers and want to break those records so bad,” said HP assistant coach Hannah Ferrin. “They definitely push each other.” Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 15, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Christmas Celebration Has a Spanish Flair

    Adam Gordon

    Adam Gordon

    As an addition to the full slate of holiday music offerings, Orchestra of New Spain is holding its annual celebration at Christ the King Catholic Church on Sunday.

    Trumpeter Adam Gordon, a lecturer on baroque trumpet at the University of North Texas, will be the featured soloist during the concert, which will include Spanish cantatas as well as works from Mexico and Spain’s Renaissance Valencia.

    The festivities begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free, although donations will be accepted. For more information, call 214-750-1492.

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 13, 2014 | 10:12 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • HPHS Harriers Join Relay For Dallas Marathon

    Rico Lara and Hope McLaughlin were the top cross country runners at HPHS this season.

    Rico Lara and Hope McLaughlin were the top cross country runners at HPHS this season.

    After competing at the state cross country meet last month, Highland Park High School standouts Rico Lara and Hope McLaughlin will participate in the annual Elite High School Relay Challenge on Sunday as part of the Dallas Marathon.

    Both Lara and McLaughlin will be part of a team of 16 of the top distance runners in the Dallas area, in which the boys will run two-mile segments on the 26.2-mile course while the girls will run one mile each. Lara is slated to run miles 4-6, followed by McLaughlin. That happens to be the section of the course that passes through Highland Park.

    Other runners who will take part in the relay include: J.T. Graass (St. Mark’s), Reese Walters (Shelton), Daniel Cope (St. Mark’s), Avery Culpepper (North Crowley), Trevor Montgomery (Whitney), Connor O’Neill (Jesuit), Mayleen Cantu (Bishop Dunne), Lili Clark (ESD), Fred and Sam Vincent (Ovilla Christian), Emma Pfundheller (Woodrow Wilson), Luca Chatham (Woodrow Wilson), and Alexandria and Matthew Arndorfer (Prince of Peace).

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 13, 2014 | 8:28 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Lady Scots Cruise in District 10-6A Opener

    Highland Park's Julia Jenevein shoots during a 51-34 win over North Mesquite. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    Highland Park’s Julia Jenevein shoots during a win over North Mesquite. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

    MESQUITE — The script couldn’t have been written much better for Highland Park’s debut in Class 6A girls basketball.

    The Lady Scots secured a big early lead and cruised to a 51-34 victory over North Mesquite in the District 10-6A opener on Friday.

    HP showed its progress in the up-tempo system of head coach Nicole Villarreal by controlling the pace and forcing a flurry of first-quarter turnovers. The Lady Scots (7-6, 1-0) opened up a 20-point lead midway through the second quarter and were never threatened.

    “They’ve absorbed it and have really bought in,” Villarreal said about the new style of play. “They’re doing a good job so far.”

    HP controlled the boards while the Lady Stallions (6-6, 0-1) struggled to find the basket before halftime.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 12, 2014 | 9:24 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • UP Wins Appeal in Legacy Hillcrest Zoning Case

    The city of University Park won a legal battle this week when the Texas Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower-court ruling in the case of a 2011 dispute involving attempts by Legacy Hillcrest Investments to build a parking garage just south of Snider Plaza.

    The appeals court ruled that the city’s Board of Adjustment has the power to interpret and apply the city’s zoning ordinance, and therefore had the right to deny the permit to build a garage on four lots in the 3400 block of Haynie Street.

    Legacy Hillcrest has tried multiple times since 2001 to develop that property through rezoning efforts. The developer and the city have argued over building density and economic feasibility for various projects.

    The most recent effort involved a permit to build an above-ground, multi-level parking garage, which the city’s community development staff recommended for approval. However, the BOA denied the application, prompting Legacy to file a lawsuit in state district court. The 191st District Court in Dallas County ruled in favor of Legacy in 2013, which led to the city’s appeal.

    You can see the appeals court ruling in its entirety after the jump.

    Read More…

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 12, 2014 | 2:10 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Highland Belles Add Plenty of New Faces

    The new members of the Highland Belles include, from left, front row:

    The new members of the Highland Belles include, from left, front row: Caitlyn Staunton, Jenni Phillips, Cameron Kenyon, Sahara Yaphet, Katherine Lorio, Anna Cimorelli, Madison Peppard and Lindsay Stewart. Second row: Reagan Mays, Jillian Ellis, Lily Schiff, Claire Lake, Emily Grip, Meghan Welp, and Maddie Fehlman. Third row: Catherine Magee, Hannah McSherry, Sydney Kilpatrick, Olivia Smith, Cecily Work, Margaret Mencke, and Ainsley Holman. Back row: Destiny Duclow, Miriam Kazi, Rachel Weaver, Jenna Peck, Ellie Gribble, Kaki Glieber, and Eleanor Gambrell.

    The Highland Belles drill team added 29 members to their 2015-16 squad during tryouts last weekend, bringing the squad’s total to 64 students.

    The rigorous tryout included a week of training that culminated in a performance led by third-party judges. The new Belles will begin their workouts and off-season training in January alongside the current Belles. Their first performance will be in late spring.

    By Todd Jorgenson Dec. 12, 2014 | 1:57 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
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