Affordable Listings Still Cause Feeding Frenzy

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Sellers can capitalize on market trend

Sellers still had the upper hand in the single-family housing market during the first quarter of the year, and that trend might not change anytime soon.

Available inventory is down and prices are higher in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow, especially among luxury properties, according to statistics from the North Texas Real Estate Information System.

“Inventory is still really low, and that’s driving a lot of prices,” said Blair Hudson, an agent with Allie Beth Allman and Associates. “There’s just nothing to buy. That’s why you can hold out for your price. This is still very much a sellers’ market.”


Feds Indict Toussaint on 17 Fraud Counts

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Dr. Richard Toussaint

Dr. Richard Toussaint

Our colleague Matt Goodman has a detailed report over at D Healthcare Daily about Dr. Richard Toussaint, the Highland Park doctor who is a founding physician at Forest Park Medical Center.

Toussaint, an anesthesiologist, has been indicted on 17 counts of healthcare fraud related to incidents stemming from an 18-month period in 2009 and 2010, when he’s accused of claiming benefits for procedures that he didn’t perform.

Apparently Toussaint intends to plead not guilty to the charges, which were handed down by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. If he’s convicted, each count carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


HPISD Votes to Purchase Land From Church

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rsz_hpisd_elem_siteHighland Park ISD trustees voted last night to purchase 4.6 acres of land from Northway Christian Church to build a fifth elementary school. This will be the first new elementary school in the district since 1949. Of course, the $20 million purchase is contingent on a successful bond package.

The area covers roughly one-third of the church’s property on the eastern side. Right now, there’s a baseball field and other recreational spaces on the site.

“This is the culmination of the extraordinary vision and dedication of our community to collaborate and partner with our school district,” HPISD facilities chair Jim Hitzelberger said.

Chris Nabors, a Northway member, coordinated the sale to the district.

“The timing is right, and the land sale will allow us to better fulfill our objectives,” he said.


HPISD Board Votes on New Officers

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HPISD’s board of trustees elected new officers after the official board turnover last night, when former president Leslie Melson concluded her term and members Jim Hitzelberger and Lee Michaels were sworn in for a new and first terms, respectively.

Here are your new officers: Joe Taylor, president; Cynthia Beecherl, vice president; Paul Rowsey, secretary; Kelly Walker, finance officer. Former vice president Hitzelberger was elected to the facilities chair position.


Scots Show Progress at Spring Scrimmage

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Check out the blue pants on Jack Kozmetsky and the other Scots. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

Check out the blue pants on Jack Kozmetsky and the other Scots. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

The annual Blue-Gold football scrimmage on Tuesday at Highlander Stadium featured some big plays on both offense and defense. In other words, that’s just the way Highland Park head coach Randy Allen liked it.

“You always want the spring game to be competitive and get out of there with no injuries, and we did that,” Allen said. “We made a lot of improvement from the beginning to the end of spring, so I’m really happy.”

The hourlong controlled scrimmage concluded three weeks of spring drills for the Scots, and marked the last time they will be on the field together before starting practice again on Aug. 10.


Via Dolorosa Open at Museum of Biblical Art

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"Crucifixion." (Courtesy photo)

“Crucifixion.” (Courtesy photo)

Last July, we brought you a story about the Museum of Biblical Art’s new installment, Via Dolorosa — an 18-station series of sculptures intended to depict the stations of the cross on Christ’s day of crucifixion.

The installment was opened with a ribbon cutting on May 15 and a formal dedication and interfaith blessing on May 16.


Hyer Kids Show Postseason Mavs Spirit

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Mavs Man visited with Hyer students on Tuesday morning.

Mavs Man visited with Hyer students on Tuesday morning.

The Mavericks might be eliminated from the NBA playoffs, but students and teachers at Hyer Elementary School showed their team spirit on Tuesday morning when Mavs Man and Champ visited.

The mascots showed off their dribbling and dunking skills, demonstrated some dance moves, and promoted good decision-making skills to the enthusiastic kids. The event was part of a breakfast event involving Hyer dads.


Tiny Bee Creates Buzz With Book-Giving

Amy Bean stores her book copies away in a store room and packages them up. (Chris McGathey) 0
Amy Bean stores her book copies away in a store room and packages them up. (Chris McGathey)

Amy Bean knows that her kids are growing up in a privileged world. As Park Cities residents, she sees her children and their friends receive countless gifts for birthdays and other holidays. She also knows there’s something she can do to help share that wealth.

“I was just surprised at the amount of stuff that kids accumulate,” she said. “For a lot of kids, they don’t really need all that extra stuff. I kept thinking, ‘well, surely there’s a better way to do this, or a different way to celebrate kids.’”

That’s why she started Tiny Bee Gift Company, an online bookshop that donates a book to a school library for every book purchased.


Luxury Garage Sale Comes to Snider Plaza

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Luxury Garage Sale will open shop in Snider Plaza late this summer. The boutique will feature designer merchandise, new and “gently used” clothing, and accessories. You can also drop-off merchandise to consign.

“We cannot imagine a better place to open our second boutique, and we look forward to bringing our fantastic, high-end offerings and unique approach to luxury consignment to Snider Plaza,” co-owner Lindsay Segal said.

The first shop is located in Chicago.


Library, DPS Host Summer Reading Club

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The HP Library and DPS will kick off the 2015 “Every Hero Has a Story” Summer Reading Club. The first event will take place at 10 a.m. in Prather Park on June 5 .

You can register your child for the club the day of the event or at the HP Library from June 5 through July 31. Registration is free.

Kids can interact with police officers, firefighters, paramedics, dispatchers and detectives and get an up-close look at a fire engine. There will also be crafts designed by HP Library staff to complement the theme.

For more information about the club, click here or call the library.


Police Report: May 4 to May 10

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Skulduggery of the week: Into The Woods

At 10:19 p.m., a thief stole a silver Lexus SUV while its owner was unloading groceries in the 3400 block of Gillon Avenue. The boyfriend of the vehicle’s owner began searching for it, eventually tracking it to where Gillon dead-ends at the Katy Trail, where the larcenist fled on foot into the woods. Another officer detained someone matching the suspect description near the intersection of Knox and Travis streets, but the Lexus owner couldn’t identify him. Nothing was stolen from inside the vehicle.

HIGHLAND PARK

4 MONDAY
At 10:47 a.m., Todd K. Schmigel, 45, of Duncanville was arrested in the 4400 block of Beverly Drive on a charge of possession of marijuana.

5 TUESDAY
At 11:45 p.m., Edward Lee Wilson, 36, of The Colony was arrested in the 3400 block of Drexel Drive on a public intoxication charge.

6 WEDNESDAY
At 4:30 p.m., an officer was transporting a stray bulldog captured in the 3900 block of Potomac Avenue to a Dallas animal clinic for confinement in a white 2013 Dodge pickup when the dog bit several chunks out of the fiberglass camper top, as well as destroyed the wiring that powered the emergency lights.