Author Archives: StaceyD

Dog reunited with owner in Grand Prairie after being stolen along with the car he was in

Courtesy of Grand Prairie Police Department

Mackenzie Koch was in the parking lot of her apartment complex in Grand Prairie on Tuesday evening when she got out of her Chevy Tahoe to make sure that her apartment door was locked. She left the car running with her Golden Retriever, Riggins, inside since her apartment was only steps from her car. In that short amount of time, a man jumped into her car and took off with it, and unknowingly, with Riggins in the back seat.

“I turned around and this random man is getting in my car. I just started screaming and got behind my car,” said Koch. It became clear that the man was not going to stop, but with Koch in the way, he drove through bushes and over sidewalks to escape.

“I chased him on foot but that didn’t last very long,” Koch said. “You’re looking at your dog in the back of the car while this random man drives it away.”

She got in touch with TCU police, and they were able to identify her car on campus surveillance footage with the thief behind the wheel.

“I didn’t care about the car. I just cared about the dog,” Koch said. “Honestly, nobody in my life has slept since that dog was taken.”

Grand Prairie Police Officers R. Gray and A. Monroe found her Tahoe running, with the air conditioner on and Riggins inside, parked at a Grand Prairie gas station the next day.

“I don’t know, maybe he had a bonding moment with my dog,” Koch said of the thief. “My parents actually pulled up to [Riggins]. He was sitting shotgun in the cop’s car. He was smiling, like, ‘Where have you guys been?’”

Riggins enjoys a ride in a GP Tahoe/Photo: M. Koch

Koch’s experience serves as a good reminder to never leave your vehicle running and unlocked, even for a few seconds. Make sure you always lock the doors. Otherwise, you’re just inviting thieves to come take your vehicle!

Grapevine Police Media Manager Earns International Award

Grapevine Police Media Manager Amanda McNew is the 2021 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Leadership in Public Information Management Award Winner. The announcement was made during the General Assembly of the IACP Annual Conference on Monday, September 13, 2021.

The IACP Leadership in Public Information Management Award recognizes the accomplishments of an individual public information officer and his or her ability to effectively disseminate information to the public. It is the highest international honor awarded to a public information officer in the field of law enforcement. 

Upon hiring by the Grapevine Police Department, Amanda McNew quickly identified areas of improvement, including changes to social media posts, a new delivery style for news releases, the development of crisis communications plans, and the creation of a network of neighboring PIOs to aid in the case of a critical incident.

McNew’s accomplishments as a public information officer include messaging with local and national media during critical incidents, community response to civil unrest, various social media campaigns and public safety announcements, a drive-through event for National Night Out, and her continued work helping educate other public information officers in north Texas, where she serves as Vice Chair of the North Texas PIO Group.

“I could not be more proud of the recognition and award Amanda received this year from the IACP.  She does an amazing job, every day, for us and has elevated our ability to communicate and serve our community members.  I’m very thankful she is on our team, as she continues to make a significant impact in our daily operations and the communications we provide,” said Chief Mike Hamlin.

The Grapevine Police Department congratulates Media Manager Amanda McNew on earning this prestigious honor, and thanks the International Association of Chiefs of Police for honoring this emerging issue in public safety.

35th Annual Grapefest® – A Texas Wine Experience Offers Free Admission for Opening Day Only on Thursday, Sept. 16

Raise a glass and celebrate wine at Grapevine’s 35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience , presented by Bank of the West, September 16, 17, 18 and 19. This year’s theme, Texas Wine: Come and Taste It! invites you to sip your way through delicious wines from Texas and from guest wineries from South Australia’s Barossa Valley and California’s Napa Valley. For up-to-the-minute schedule and event information, visit GrapeFest.com.

Today (Thursday) ONLY: FREE ADMISSION! 11am – 9pm

Special Event:

Thursday, September 16:

Sister Cities Friendship Hall dedication takes place at 11:30 a.m. at the Settlement to City Museums, located at 206 W. Hudgins St. This new community and event venue features artifacts and photographs of Grapevine’s Sister Cities: Parras de la Fuente, Mexico; Krems, Austria; and West Lothian, Scotland.

FESTIVAL EVENTS

People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation, features more than 30 Texas wines and is located at the Cotton Belt Railroad District (705 S. Main St.).

  • Thursday, September 16: VIP Session at 5 p.m.; Session 2 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, September 17: 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 18: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 19: 1 p.m., 3 p.m.  Awards Presentation at 5 p.m.

Liberty Park Plaza Wine Experience sponsored by Gaylord Texan Resort features wines from South Australia’s Barossa Valley and California’s Napa Valley, located in Liberty Park (215 S. Main St.).

  • Thursday, September 16: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday, September 17: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 18: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 19: Noon to 6 p.m.

Champagne Terrace, sponsored by DFW Hilton Lakes features champagne and sparking wine under the shade of the oak trees and is the ideal setting to enjoy a glass of premium bubbly. Champagne Terrace is located in Weem’s Alley (between Palace Arts Center and City Hall).

  • Thursday, September 16: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday, September 17: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 18: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 19: Noon to 6 p.m.

GrapeStomp invites teams of two tow stomp 18 pounds of grapes for two minutes to see how much grape juice they can produce. Winners earn  the highly- coveted Purple Foot Award. GrapeStomp located at Main Street and Wall Street.

  • Thursday, September 16: every half hour 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., daily Stomp-Off at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, September 17: every half hour 2 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., daily Stomp-Off at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 18:  every half hour 2 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., daily Stomp-Off at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 19:  every half hour 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., daily Stomp-Off 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 19: Grand Champion Stomp-Off at 4 p.m.
  • Mayoral GrapeStomp occurs on Sunday, September 19 at 11 a.m. and will feature teams from across North Texas.

Champagne Cork Shoot-Off, sponsored by Texas Gun Experience, invites participants to test their accuracy shooting a cork from a champagne bottle.

  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 11 – 11:30 a.m.; Noon – 12:30 p.m.; 2:30- 3 p.m.; 5-5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 19: 11:30 a.m. – Noon; 2 -2:30 p.m.; 4:30- 5 p.m.;
  • Champagne Cork Shoot-Off Championship: Sunday, September 19 5 -5:30 p.m.  

LIVE MUSIC

Live Music will play non-stop on four stages during the festival.

For Thursday, September 16:

  • Grapevine Mills Stage: MurLoh 1 – 6 p.m.; Journey Tribute Band Escape – 7:30 p.m.
  • Liberty Park Plaza Stage: K Ellingson Group – 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Town Square Gazebo Stage: Josh Christopher Davis Band – 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m.  and Chaz Marie Band 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station: Rob Holbert Group starting at 6 p.m.

Remembering Our Fallen Photographic Memorial by Patriotic Productionsis in Grapevine to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 will be located at Main Street and College Street.   

GALLERIES

Tower Gallery at 636 S. Main Street features the “Festival of Grapes” art show.

Faust Event Center hosts the Grapevine Art Project’s “Artists Uncorked.”

THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVAL

The 35th Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience opens on Thursday, September 16 at 11 a.m. Admission for everyone is free all day on Thursday.  Festival hours are Thursday, September 16 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, September 17 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, September 18 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday September 19 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and children (6-12). Admission is free for children 5 and under. Credit cards and cash will be accepted at booths and various locations throughout the festival. Paper coupons will be used throughout the festival for various purchases and activities. For more information, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 817-410-3185 or visit GrapeFest.com.

Going to the State Fair of Texas: DART is Still the Best Way to Get There

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) makes getting to the 2021 State Fair of Texas quick and easy. Enjoy your light-rail ride in air-conditioned comfort September 24 through October 17 without having to find parking or battling traffic and get dropped off at one of two gates.

Green Line service

Fair Park Station, located on Parry Avenue at the entrance to the fairgrounds, and MLK, Jr. Station, located south of R.B. Cullum Boulevard and convenient to the Gate 6 entrance and the Cotton Bowl stadium, are your choices on DART’s Green Line. Green Line trains will be available approximately every 10 minutes between downtown Dallas and the Fair Park stations.

Service changes

Fair days are always busy days on DART Rail and buses. DART will make the following changes beginning Monday, Sept. 20:

  • Extra Green Line trains will run on a loop between downtown Dallas and Fair Park approximately every 10 minutes, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
  • Orange Line service will be extended to Parker Road Station on all trips, weekdays and weekends (except for Saturday, October 9)
  • Trinity Railway Express (TRE) will operate on all four Sundays during the fair
  • Visit DART.org/StateFair to view these special DART Rail schedules.

Making the connection

DART Rail and Trinity Railway Express (TRE) passengers can transfer easily to the Green Line. Just look for trains saying, “Fair Park,” “Buckner” or “Lawnview.”

To get to the Green Line:

  • Southbound Red, Blue and Orange Line passengers – transfer to the Green Line at Pearl/Arts District Station.
  • Northbound Red and Blue Line passengers – transfer to the Green Line at Akard Station.
  • Eastbound Orange Line passengers – transfer to the Green Line at Bachman Station. For all days of the State Fair of Texas, except Saturday, October 9, all Orange Line trains will be extended to Parker Road Station. On October 9, Orange Line trains will only operate between DFW Airport and Bachman stations from approximately three hours before the game until three hours after the game.
  • TRE passengers can transfer to the Green Line at Victory Station. Details are at TrinityRailwayExpress.org/StateFair
  • Customers using the Denton County Transportation Authority should check DCTA.net for departure and arrival times to connect at Trinity Mills Station to DART’s Green Line.

Smoothing out your ride with contactless payments

DART offers four great contactless options that make buying your pass fast, safe, and convenient:

  1. Credit or debit card: Now you can buy your DART pass with a contactless credit or debit card. Just tap your contactless card to a reader on a DART Rail platform or bus prior to boarding — and you’re on your way to all the fun of the fair.
  2. Mobile device: Using Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, tap your payment-enabled mobile device to a reader on a DART Rail platform or bus to buy your pass and start your fair adventure.
  3. GoPass® app: Download the latest version of the app for free from the App Store or Google Play. Just be sure to activate your DART pass before you board.
  4. GoPass® Tap card: Available at 7-Eleven and hundreds of participating retailers, GoPass Tap is the reloadable transit card that automatically gives you the best fare every time you ride. Simply tap your card to a reader on a DART Rail platform or bus prior to boarding, and your fare is deducted automatically. (Note: GoPass Tap cards are valid for local fares only. GoPass Tap cards are not valid for travel on TEXRail, DCTA or Trinity Metro.)

Purchase a Local Day Pass for $6, good for DART Rail, local buses and riding the TRE from CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. Tarrant and Denton County customers need a Regional Day Pass for $12.

Details are available at DART.org/StateFair or by calling DART Customer Information at 214-979-1111.

DART Alerts

DART makes it easier to keep up with transit information with My DART Updates. Register to receive important updates that make for a better riding experience. Subscribe at DART.org/rideralerts.

Two football games

Ride DART to the State Fair Classic between the Grambling State Tigers and Prairie View A&M Panthers on September 25. The AT&T Red River Showdown game between the University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners is on October 9.

TX Governor to Honor Grapevine Officer with Medal

Hudson at Bike Rodeo Practice Course

Grapevine Police Officer RJ Hudson will receive the Star of Texas Award, presented by Governor Greg Abbott, on Friday, September 10, 2021, in Austin. The award honors first responders killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.

On October 19, 2017, Officer Hudson was traveling south on SH-121 near Hall-Johnson Road when an SUV swerved into his lane and hit his police motorcycle. Officer Hudson suffered dozens of broken bones, lacerations and internal injuries. He was hospitalized for over a month before being released on Thanksgiving. His rigorous recovery routine earned him back to full duty on November 4, 2019.

Hudson’s strength, perseverance and unwavering spirit carried him through nearly two years of surgeries and intense physical therapies in order to return to full duty. The Grapevine Police Department is proud of Officer Hudson’s hard work and dedication, and is in full appreciation of Governor Greg Abbott’s recognition of his service.

Hudson’s ceremony can be watched live at 10:30am through the Governor’s website https://gov.texas.gov/organization/cjd/star-of-texas.

Since returning to the Traffic Division as a motorcycle officer, Officer Hudson has spoken to various officers and police recruits about both the dangers of law enforcement and traffic accidents, and the importance of a positive mind to overcome challenges.

You can also see Officer Hudson, along with several other agencies’ motorcycle units this week at the Back the Blue Motorcycle Rodeo benefitting Spokes 4 Hope. It will be held in the parking lot of Grapevine Mills (Lot 1B) Friday and Saturday. The public is invited to watch the competition and practice rides.

Grapevine’s Rock Art Trail Achieves Guinness World Records® Title

The City of Grapevine Parks and Recreation department and pioneers behind the Grapevine Rock Art Trail have officially broken the Guinness World Records® title for the Largest Display of Painted Pebbles with a total of 24,459 rocks.

The Rock Art Trail first began in March 2020, as a way to inspire and uplift the community during the harsh reality of the COVID pandemic. The display is filled with talented and skilled artwork and is sure to inspire all who meander through the trails to explore.

The trail lies between Wall-Farrar Nature Trail and the trail connection from Parr Park along Big Bear Creek. This community-driven project has been led by Ron Olsen and Chris Penny, both Grapevine residents, who joined forces to transform the trail into an artsy attraction for anyone in Grapevine and beyond who wanted to escape the stress of the pandemic.

“The Rock Art Trail is a beautiful symbol of our community’s resilience and resolve in the face of such a devastating and disruptive pandemic,” said Ron, who placed the first cluster of rocks that started the collection. These rocks consisted of a simple happy face, an Oklahoma University logo, blue-bonnets, a mountain and stream scene, a galloping horse to represent the Grapevine Mustangs, and rock zero was the Iceland national flag.

After Chris Penny and his daughters discovered the rock art trail near their home, they painted a few rocks and picked the perfect spot to place them. While most of the world was shut down due to the pandemic, Chris connected with artists around the world who would later donate rocks to the trail.

“What started as a random act of kindness to spread joy and positivity during the pandemic has grown into something extraordinary,” said Chris. “It amazes me that people from all over the world have sent rocks to be placed on a trail that they might not ever visit. These works of art have led to the trail being filled with laughter, new friendships being developed, people spending more time outdoors, couples holding hands, and childhood memories being relived. In essence, the rock trail ended up being exactly what the community needed during these unique times.”

This Grapevine trail filled with thousands of rocks is now “a wonderland of tiny paintings” as described by the Washington Post. Community members along with artists from all over the world are now a part of this meaningful world record due to coming together during trying times.

“Grapevine is a community of togetherness,” said Kevin Mitchell, Grapevine Parks and Recreation Director. “It is amazing what has been accomplished on the Rock Art Trail and the positive impact it has had on so many.”

The trail can be accessed by parking in the Church at the Cross’ southwest corner parking lot, located at 3000 William D. Tate Ave., Grapevine, Texas. To learn more about the story behind the Rock Art Trail, visit GoGrapevine.com/Blog.

Annual GPPD Car Show on Sunday, September 19th

Mark your calendars for the annual GPPD Car Show on Sunday, September 19th! This will be a family-friendly event that is open to the public. If you have a classic car, truck or motorcycle, you can enter the competition for $25.00. All proceeds will be donated to Children First Counseling Center – a local non-profit organization dedicated to counseling families who have been victimized by crime.

WHEN: Sunday, September 19th from Noon-5:00 P.M.
WHERE: Epic Waters – Parking Lot, 2970 Epic Place, Grand Prairie

Irving invites you to National Night Out on Oct. 5

For more information, see the flyer below:

For more information, click HERE.

Experience “Texas Wine: Come and Taste It!” at People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic During Grapevine’s 35th Annual Grapefest®

Celebrate Texas wine and participate in the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic at the 35th Annual GrapeFest, presented by Bank of the West on September 16 – 19. This year’s theme, Texas Wine: Come and Taste It! invites you to sip your way through delicious wines from Texas.

One of the signature and most popular GrapeFest events, The People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, is the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the United States and features more than 30 Texas wineries pouring more than 130 wines. The competition offers eleven 90-minute sessions throughout the weekend, with wines being judged in 10 categories. Winners are announced and awards are presented on Sunday, September 19 at 5 p.m. in the People’s Choice Pavilion at its new location in the Cotton Belt Railroad District (705 S. Main St.). Cheese offered at this event is donated by Southwest Dairy Farmers. This is a separate ticketed event. Tickets are $23 in advance. Starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 16 tickets will be $25. Guests must be 21+ to enter.

New this year is a VIP two-hour tasting on Thursday, September 16 at 5 p.m. for $45 per ticket. This event includes light hors d’oeuvres and a souvenir wine glass.

As the fifth-largest wine producing state in the United States, the Lone Star State’s sunny, dry climate has is ideal for wine production. The first vineyard established in North America began deep in the heart of Texas. In 1662 Franciscan priests planted the first vines, followed by European settlers who planted grapevine cuttings and further developed the Texas wine industry through the 1800s. Today Texas is home to more than 4,000 acres of producing vineyard farmland across diverse wine-growing regions.

The state boasts eight American Viticultural Areas (AVA): Texas High Plains, Escondido Valley, Texas Hill Country, Bell Mountain, Fredericksburg, Mesilla Valley, Texas Davis Mountains and Texoma. Harvest time in Texas is normally around the end of July, two months earlier than in California and three months earlier than most of the wine regions in France.

Texas has 310 wineries that range from small producers who concentrate on tourism for the majority of their sales to large wineries who have developed state, national and international markets. The Texas wine industry contributes more than $1.83 billion in economic impact.

Texas wineries participating in GrapeFest include: Descarado Winery, Landon Winery, Valle della Pace Vineyards & Winery, Llano Estacado Winery, Rancho Loma Vineyards, Tara Vineyard & Winery, LLC, Red Road Vineyard Winery, 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery, Silver Dollar Winery, Bingham Family Vineyards, Messina Hof Winery, Checkered Past Winery, O’Farrell Country Vineyards, Firelight Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery, Lucky Vines Vineyard & Winery, Bluff Dale Vineyards, Deschain Cellars, Blue OStrich Winery & Vineyard, Haak Vineyards and Winery, Watson Vineyard, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, White Fox Vineyards, Four I’s Winery, Bull Lion Ranch & Vineyard and Domaine des Hospitalieres LLC/ H-Wines.


ADMISSION

The 35th Annual GrapeFest opens on Thursday, September 16 at 11 a.m. Admission for everyone is free all day on Thursday. Festival hours are Thursday, September 16 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, September 17 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, September 18 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday September 19 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and children (6-12). Admission is free for children 5 and under. Credit cards and cash will be accepted at booths and various locations throughout the festival. Paper coupons will be used throughout the festival for various purchases and activities. For more information, call the Grapevine Convention & Visitors
Bureau at 817-410-3185 or visit GrapeFest.com.

Grapevine Police are investigating a vehicle crash that killed a 24-year-old Fort Worth man

At approximately 10:15 pm on Thursday, September 2, Grapevine Police responded to 9-1-1 calls about a car that had rear-ended a semi-trailer on Westbound I-635 at N SH-121 Southbound.

When officers arrived on scene, they found a 4-door sedan partially under the rear of the trailer.  Firefighters arrived on scene and determined the driver was deceased.

The roadway was closed and traffic was diverted Northbound on SH-121 for approximately three hours while a crash team investigated the accident.  There were no other passengers in the car, and the driver of the semi-trailer was not injured.

The exact cause of the accident remains under investigation.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the driver’s name pending contact with next of kin.