Author Archives: StaceyG

Grapevine Police Take 4 into Custody at Grapevine High

PRESS RELEASE

GRAPEVINE, Texas  –  Grapevine Police are investigating students accused of having a gun on campus at Grapevine High School.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Friday, December 13, 2019, a student notified officials about a photo on Snapchat depicting another student posing with the gun in his waistband while on campus.  The school immediately put the campus on lockdown and alerted police.

Officers quickly arrived on scene and began a coordinated search through the campus, while also confirming all students and staff were safe.  Within half an hour of the original call, Grapevine Police were able to identify and locate the students in question and the gun.  

During the investigation, officers discovered the loaded pistol in another student’s backpack.  In total, four people were taken into custody: two 17-year-old males, one juvenile male, and one juvenile female.  Charges include Terroristic Threat, Criminal Trespass, Possession of a Firearm in School Zone, and Possession of Marijuana.

We want to thank our partners at GCISD, Colleyville Police, and Grapevine Fire Department for their assistance and swift response to this situation.  We also credit the student who came forward and reported the danger so that both we and the school could continue to keep everyone safe.

Suspect Arrested in Mustang Drive Sexual Assault Investigation

PRESS RELEASE – DECEMBER 3, 2019

GRAPEVINE, Texas    Grapevine Police arrested a 17-year-old man for assaulting a woman outside her apartment on Mustang Drive.

Gonzalez-Acosta, Antony

Gonzalez-Acosta (Photo: Grapevine PD)

17-year-old Antony Gonzalez-Acosta is charged with one count of Sexual Assault. On Sunday, December 1, 2019, at approximately 11:50 p.m., the victim was walking back to her apartment in the 3000 block of Mustang Drive, when a man in a gray hoodie sweatshirt ran up behind her and grabbed her genital area. The victim was able to get away and call 911.  

Police reviewed surveillance video from the parking lot of the complex and spotted the suspect running after the victim. After speaking with neighbors, they were able to identify the man in the video as Gonzalez-Acosta. Officers pulled him over Monday (12/2/19) for a traffic violation, and observed clothing worn during the attack inside his vehicle. Gonzalez-Acosta was taken into custody that evening. He agreed to speak with detectives and confessed to the sexual assault. 

Since the assaults on Mustang began, officers have worked diligently to identify the attacker, while increasing patrols in the area, alerting residents, keeping apartment managers informed and hosting a number of free self-defense classes for women. The Grapevine Police Force appreciates all of the victims who came forward, and would like to thank everyone who called in tips about the attacks. They would also like to thank the Department of Public Safety for creating a suspect sketch and local news media for helping to warn the public. 

Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation holding fundraisers to ease holiday worries for injured officers

POAF-LogoThe Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation (POAF) is holding fundraisers on December 6 and 7 to raise money for injured Peace Officers and their families who are located primarily in the North Texas area; however, the Foundation covers all 254 Texas counties.

“We are looking to help 20 – 25 injured Peace Officers and their families this year,” said POAF founder Maria Barreda-Alvarado. “In the past, we’ve had officers or members of their families tell us that what we were able to provide was the only ‘Christmas’ they had. Whether they use funds for their kids’ gifts, Christmas dinner, or to pay a bit on their medical bills, no donation is too small to make a big difference.”

Monetary donations and gift cards (Wal-Mart is a popular choice, as these stores are even generally located close to remote towns, where some Officers live) will be collected at the locations below. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Friday, December 6, 2019:

  • Gilligan’s Bar and Grill, 400 E. Abram, Arlington, 76010 (11am-2pm and 3pm-9pm)
  • Clay Cooley Mitsubishi, 1500 W. Interstate 20, Arlington, 76017 (8am-5pm)
  • Arlington Alliance for Children, 1320 W. Abram, Arlington 76013 (8am-5pm)
  • El Primo’s Mexican Grill & Cantina, 2300 Matlock Rd, Mansfield, 76063 (All Day)

POAFXmas

Saturday, December 7, 2019:

  • Grand Prairie Police Dept, 1525 Arkansas Lane, Grand Prairie, 75052 (8am-5pm)

GPAngels

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Please be aware that toys or other items cannot be accepted. Only monetary donations via cash, checks, credit cards and gift cards will be collected.

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Donations are also accepted via regular mail any time at: P.O. Box 121961, Arlington, TX 76012. To donate with a credit card, please visit POAF.org.

XmasAngels

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THANK YOU in advance for your kindness and generosity. Peace Officers protect their communities. Let’s help them out!

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About POAF:

CorporalRickBarredaSticker-295x300POAF was founded by Maria Barreda-Alvarado, who lost her son, Cpl. Rick Barreda, on February 14, 1997 when a vehicle struck his motorcycle as he sat on the side of the road gauging speeds for the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport Police Department. Rick also served on the DFW SWAT team and, for a short time, for the DFW Fire Department.

POAF’s mission is, “To provide emotional support and short-term financial assistance to any Texas Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) following a serious or life changing line-of-duty injury. POAF’s success relies on strong community partnerships standing behind our peace officers and their families.”

“It is vitally important to keep that communication going with our injured officers so that they know that they are not forgotten. We want our injured officers to have that emotional support when they most need it,” said Barreda-Alvarado.

POAF provides services such as:

  • Spousal Support Groups for our LEO’s and their families
  • Peer Support Groups that will allow previous injured officers to come together to share their struggles, celebrate their successes and offer each other encouragement along their difficult journey towards healing and rehabilitation.
  • Assistance Program to help out with financial hardships
  • Public Awareness for the safety of our law enforcement

To learn more, visit POAF.org

Santa makes special trips to The REC

Santa is taking some time to come visit Grapevine before he starts his Christmas Eve trip around the world! Come out to The REC and see him!

SantaREC2019

For more information, visit GoGrapevine.com

A guide to ‘The Christmas Capital of Texas’

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Celebrate the magic of Christmas in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas! Grapevine is the perfect place to create wonderful Christmas memories with your family and friends. You’ll be amazed at the 1,400 Christmas events in 40 days, as you see Grapevine sparkle with millions of lights, enormous decorations, animated characters and much more! 

New This Year: Explore Grapevine’s enchanting past and join an elf for a cheerful adventure with the Grapevine Christmas Passport – Elf Adventure. Experience 175 years of Christmas spirit by visiting Historic Grapevine and participate in unique hands-on activities. Capture the magic of Christmas and take home your very own hand made projects. Christmas Activity Tickets are also available for only $3 each.

For more information, visit https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/christmas-capital-of-texas/

VetsWhatsNext Provides for Life. After. Military.

PRESS RELEASE

IRVING, TX – VetsWhatsNext is excited to announce the launch of our new website!

VWNThe site provides help to Veterans, their Families, as well as Civilians. It is THE HUB to services, resources, benefits, information and so much more for Soldiers transitioning out of the Military; Veterans who have served in our Military and need direction; and our Family Members who too have paid a sacrifice supporting our men and women in uniform.

VetsWhatsNext has taken a stance to say NO MORE! Our Veterans have served our country proudly, but yet, so many go without benefits, services and resources.

VetsWhatsNext wants to help them solve that problem.

VetsWhatsNext.org provides information for Veterans and their Families who are finding it difficult to transition back into Civilian life.

This new website provides access to:

  • Organizations that build mortgage-free homes for Disabled Veterans
  • Benefits
  • Discounts
  • Memorial benefit services
  • Military legal matters and services
  • Military pay services
  • Tri-Care Services
  • Education and employment services
  • Records and forms services
  • Survivor benefit services
  • eBenefits enrollment
  • Marry into the Military services
  • Military Life for Spouses Services
  • Suicide prevention and PTSD Services
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!

About VetsWhatsNext.org:

VetsWhatsNext is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Major (Retired) Eric K. King, U.S Army. This organization is about empowering and helping Disabled Veterans, Homeless Veterans, Service Members and their families by providing consolidated services and resources that will allow them to reclaim their lives and their economic stability.

Contact: Major (Retired) Eric K. King at EricK@VetsWhatsNext.org

Republican Greg Hill Officially Files for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District

SPONSORED POST

PRESS RELEASE – NOVEMBER 14, 2019

Hill_Greg_HeadshotPEARLAND, TX – Republican Greg Hill today officially filed for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District.

Hill will now appear on the Republican Primary ballot in March of 2020.

“By filing today, we are taking the first step toward getting our country back on track and protecting our mainstream conservative values in Congress,” said Hill. “I am ready to take my experience as a U.S. Border patrol Agent, Judge, and City Councilman to Washington to secure our borders, defend ourConstitution, and uphold the rule of law.”

A lifelong Republican and district resident, Greg served as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent before returning home and serving three terms on the Pearland City Council. In 2018, Hill ran for Brazoria County Court-at-Law Judge and was one of the top voter getters, receiving more votes than any of the Republican statewide candidates.

Hill’s message and experience have clearly resonated with the community as Greg has raised more money from individual contributors than any candidate in the race for Congress.

“Now more than ever, Congress needs a new generation of leaders who reflect mainstream suburban values and can restore common sense to Washington. I’m running for Congress to defeat the radical socialist agenda of the Democratic Party, protect our pocketbooks and our families, and preserve our quality of life. The socialists are out of their minds, but they control Capitol Hill. Together we can send one of our own to Capitol Hill and take it back.”

Greg is married to his lovely wife, Amy Hill, and has two beautiful children, Isabella and Ford. They are active in their local church, and Greg serves on numerous boards and commissions in the community.

Cleburne Woman Celebrates 95th Birthday in 1937 Dodge Police Car

PRESS RELEASE

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Judy Riddle gets in touch with her “inner gangster” (Photo courtesy of Richard Borisenko)

Cleburne resident Judy Riddle got a big surprise on November 17, when she went outside and saw a 1937 Dodge D7 police car waiting to pick her up.

Her daughter, Sandra Gallagher, wanted to fulfill her mother’s birthday wish to take a ride in an antique car, but had trouble finding one for hire.

“I contacted several people who owned classic vehicles, but no one could help. I understood that,” Gallagher said. “A friend of mine is the mother of retired Cleburne police officer Gary Fulenwilder, and he pointed me to [car owner] Richard Borisenko. He was happy to help.”

Riddle’s 95th birthday was the next day. “I was worried we wouldn’t be able to find anything,” Gallagher explained. “It was so last minute! But Rich went above and beyond, driving myself, my sister Peggy Wilson, and mom around for an hour and a half. I had expected something like a 30-minute ride.”

Borisenko’s regular passengers, “Bonnie and Clyde” had to stay home so that Gallagher and Wilson could ride in the back seat, while her mom rode in the place of honor in the front. “Rich and mom had a great time talking and laughing. He drove us around town and then around the lake [Lake Pat Cleburne],” Gallagher said.

RichardInCarBorisenko said he was glad to help. “This is the first request I have gotten for a birthday ride,” he said. “But it was a lot of fun Judy, Sandra and Peggy were real nice people and I think Judy had a good time.”

“He [Richard] was the best and really blessed my mom,” Gallagher said.

Riddle even took advantage of some of the props that Borisenko always carries, including a “Tommy Gun,” which is made of wood.

Borisenko has won numerous car show awards and the car always turns heads. “I may need to get extra insurance, just in case anyone gets whiplash,” he joked. “I get waves from people and even salutes from law enforcement, though this car really salutes them.”

For more information about Richard or the ’37 Dodge, visit 37Dodge.com on the web or check out Borisenko’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/37Dodge/.

Proud son shares father’s story of his tour in the Korean War

I recently sat down with John A. Michel of Southlake to talk about his dad, 87-year-old US Army Sergeant (Retired) Andrew J. Michel, and his experiences during the Korean War.

I met John when I visited VFW Post 10454, stopping in to thank the veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

John is very proud of his dad, and it seemed fitting that this interview happened so close to Veterans Day. We were even able to get Sgt. Michel on the phone (“Dad never talks on the phone,” John said), so I felt very honored to speak with the Sgt. in person.

Sgt. Michel was born in Poland in 1932 and survived quite a bit of the ugliness that WWII brought, though his family was not Jewish. He and his family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, where Sgt. Michel attended high school and graduated in 1951.

Michel joined the US Army in 1952, just in time to go to Korea.

“I was a young man with no parental supervision [in the Army]. I remember buying kimonos for my parents, though those weren’t ‘true’ kimonos. They were basically pretty robes that were sold to tourists and the military,” Michel said.

MichelAndBrother

Sgt. Michel (R) and a platoon brother (Photo courtesy of John Michel)

“One night, we decided to ‘go into town,’ where all of the entertainment was. That was during a blizzard, and snowplows were clearing the road. I had ice on my eyebrows! We got a few drinks in us and felt warmer. My brothers and I debated on whether to stay the night in town, and a few of us decided to head back. We went to pick everybody up the next day, and I left the brake on in the Jeep. That was a big ‘oops,’ but we got those guys back to camp!” Michel laughed. “One of the most important things in life is to laugh,” he added.

Michel was honorably discharged as a Sergeant on March 27, 1955. He attended the University of Akron (Ohio), but graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The University of Arkansas.

He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 1959 until the mid-1960’s. After that, he moved to Pine Bluff, AR, working for Central Maloney, where, in 1968, met his (now) wife of 51-years, Shirley. 

The couple and their family moved to Southlake in June of 1977, but left again in 1980, when Sgt. Michel was transferred to the FAA HQ in Washington, DC. He retired in 2003, and the family moved back to Southlake, where they have lived ever since.

Thanks, John, for sharing your dad’s story with me. We are only free because of men and women like him, who sacrificed and fought (and sometimes paid the ultimate price).


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Sgt. Michel and John are both members of the “Airport Cities” VFW 10454 Post in Grapevine. Once a month, on a Friday, the Post hosts a steak dinner, which includes salad, mashed potatoes and dessert, for $15. The next steak dinner is Friday, November 15 at 6:30 pm. The Post is located at 221 North Main Street.

“Come eat and drink for the vets!” John said enthusiastically.

For more information, call 817-481-6768 or visit http://vfw10454.net or check out their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/vfw10454/.

Michel

Sgt. Michel, along with wife Shirley and son John (Photo courtesy of John Michel)

 

Army veteran pays it forward, appreciates mortgage-free home in Irving

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Major Eric King (Ret), US Army

I was honored to interview Major Eric King (Retired), US Army, for a recent story about Unite for Troops and the City of Irving’s Veterans Day ceremonies. 

As usual, I did some background research, and found out that Major King was the recipient of a mortgage-free home, with land donated by the City of Irving, along with Winston Custom Homes, the Dallas Builders Association and NEC Corporation of America. [Read the Article from Dallas Builders Here]

 

Video Courtesy of Dallas Builders Association

According to his biography:

Major King, a native of Marianna Arkansas, joined the Arkansas Army National Guard in June 2000 and enlisted as a Combat Engineer. He then enrolled into the Golden Lion Battalion Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff.  After receiving his Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in May 2003, Major King was commissioned Active Duty as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in the Quartermaster Corps and branch detailed into the Infantry Corps as a Second Lieutenant.

Major King’s outstanding and stellar military career begins with his service as an Infantry Officer from October 2003 through November 2008. Throughout Major King’s service his responsibilities continued to increase. Major King served as a Rifle Platoon leader, Company Commander (CO) Supply and Services Officer, Battalion S4, Battalion Executive Officer (XO), Instructor, Writer, and a Brigade Operations Officer. These positions reinforced Major King’s strong leadership abilities and his uncanny willingness to learn new skills and abilities. Major King’s oversight of Soldiers ranged from a platoon of 75 to an entire brigade of 3,500 men and women. During Major King’s military career, he was deployed on four overseas missions in service to our country. Major King’s first combat deployment was in 2004 through 2005 to Iraq. Major King entered this mission as an Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader overseeing 75 Infantrymen. 

His platoon received multiple Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks, ambushes and gun battles. This deployment was followed by his second combat deployment in 2007 through 2008 to Iraq as a Company Commander. His responsibility as the CO was to oversee 5 platoons of over 250 Soldiers and their direct health, welfare and their operational responsibilities. During these two deployments, Major King witnessed and experienced heavy fighting causing casualties to his troops, himself and coalition forces. These losses have weighed heavily on Major King and he has never taken his responsibilities as a Soldier, Leader, Commander, and Field Grade Officer lightly. 

In 2013 through 2014 Major King was deployed to Afghanistan as the Brigade Operations Officer, BDE S3 OIC. During this deployment, Major King exhibited his leadership skills yet again by overseeing brigade operations for the entire Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan (CJOA-A). During this combat tour, Major King was responsible for overseeing and leading every aspect of his brigade’s tactical operations across the CJOA-A of 3,500 Soldiers and civilians.

Major King’s final overseas deployment was to Liberia West Africa in 2014 through 2015 in support of the fight against Ebola as he deployed his battalion as the acting battalion commander. During this humanitarian mission, Major King and his battalion provided aid and assistance to the African nation during a health crisis in which Ebola was ravaging the region. 

Major King’s leadership and organizational skills were essential during this global crisis.

After 16 years of service and sustaining multiple injuries and a distinguished career, Major King was honorably and medically retired on 28 June 2016. However, prior to his retirement, Major King amassed the following awards and decorations and he is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Prude University:

Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral two, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge and Parachute Rigger Badge. 

Major King is a great American who has sacrificed greatly for this nation. He is a man of tremendous faith who has a powerful voice for those who are suffering and in need. Major King is passionate about military Veterans who like him might be suffering from PTSD and other health issues resulting from combat. 

Major King recently spoke on the Glenn Beck Radio Show and revealed his desire to speak to others about adversity, leadership, conflict and hope. Major King very much looks forward to spreading his message of encouragement for many years to come.

There are so many Veterans in the world with a story just like Major King’s. His only goal and vision now is to restore, replenish, and revive his fellow brothers and sisters so they can enjoy the present, let go of the past, and prepare for a better future by helping them to reclaim their lives which is why he founded his nonprofit corporation, VetsWhatsNext.

vetswhatsnext-logoofficialTo learn more about VetsWhatsNext, please visit their website – and stay tuned for the imminent launch of the VetsWhatsNext mobile app! King said that its purpose is, “To empower all veterans, with emphasis on Millennials and Generation X Vets. They have the most trouble figuring out where to get help.”

I think we all share some level of appreciation for our active troops and veterans, but it’s not often that some of that appreciation comes “home” to them. Congratulations, Major King, and thank you for your service!