Author Archives: StaceyD

Meza Files Colten’s Law: HB 1287 Requires Blood Alcohol Testing If Motorist Hits A Pedestrian

State Rep. Terry Meza on Friday (1/22)filed legislation which will require motorists to be tested for blood alcohol level if they strike a pedestrian causing serious bodily injury or death.

Meza (D-Irving) said the bill, dubbed “Colten’s Law,” will “empower police officers to detain someone who has hit a pedestrian to test for the presence of drugs or alcohol in their system.”

Meza noted the law is named after Colten Carney, who was struck and killed while walking to work on January 30, 2017. Colten, who suffered from Autism, had experienced a flat tire while on the way to work that morning and, eager to get to his job, decided to walk.

His mother, Michelle Carney, told the Herald-Banner newspaper of Greenville and Rockwall that it did not make sense that her son’s body was tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol, but not the person who struck him.

Under current law, it is up to individual officers whether or not to detain someone to conduct blood alcohol testing if they have hit a pedestrian.

“Anyone who hits a pedestrian in this state causing serious bodily injury or death should not be allowed to leave the scene of that accident without having been tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol in their body,” Meza said during a press conference at the Texas Capitol Friday afternoon.

The legislation, House Bill 1287, is supported by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The MADD National Headquarters is in Meza’s district. A spokesperson for MADD participated in Friday’s press conference. “MADD is proud to support this bill,” said Bill Cardamon of MADD.

About Colten Carney:

Colten was a high functioning autistic young man (intellectually and developmental disabled IDD). He worked very hard at everything he did and absolutely loved people and making them happy. He went to school in Rockwall, where his mom works. He was a student at Rockwall-Heath High school, where he was involved in band and robotics. He graduated from Rockwall-Heath in 2011. He went to Jr College and got a certificate for Level 1 firefighting and a machinist certification as well. He worked at Kroger in Rockwall and had a full-time job at Rockwell American in Royse City.

On his way to work on January 30th, 2017, Colten got a flat tire. He was not far from his work, so he decided to walk the rest of the way, not wanting to be late. He was struck and killed by a vehicle. The man that struck him was not tested for drugs or his phone records checked. There is not a mandatory law to have drug testing or phone records retrieved in a fatality accident. We want to make it a law. We don’t want other families to have to wonder. Colten’s favorite color was red, and he was killed on a Monday, so we have a campaign to wear red on Mondays. We have two Facebook pages #redforColten and the Colten Carney Memorial Fund. We would love for you to like our pages and spread awareness to your friends and family.

(Carney Source: Colten Carney Memorial Fund Website)

Trafficking Doesn’t Always Happen on the Road

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month.

Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings. Traffickers use force, fraud, coercion and other nefarious tools to convince the target person to join them. These ploys can sometimes last for years until the target trusts the trafficker.

A trafficker in the U.S. could spend a good bit of time promising a foreign target “a better life,” with safety, good wages and honest work. Some of these scumbags have asked targets to marry them in order to get the person into their trafficking network.

Then, when the target is under the trafficker’s spell, they get forced to work hard labor jobs for little or no pay or to sell their bodies. If they refuse to do “their jobs,” they get threatened with violence either toward them and/or their families.

There are so many folks in all parts of the world who live in awful conditions already, and so they are already mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically beaten down, which makes them easy targets. Traffickers prey on the poor, the desperate and the young by keeping control over them.

Does this sound familiar? Yes? That’s because human trafficking is SLAVERY.

Some organizations, such as A21, are working hard to end human trafficking. Their website is full of information, videos and downloadable fliers. Their stated purpose is to “Educate and equip everyone to understand, identify and reduce the risk of human trafficking through programs like educational curriculum, prevention programs, and awareness campaigns.”

Please educate yourself about this horrible practice, and if you can, join the fight. It’s a logical piece of the UNITY puzzle – bringing this country together by understanding “the other guy,” deciding to keep an open mind and catching yourself when judgments occur in your mind. We are all human, and we were taught from a young age to look at someone and automatically identify them as black, white, left or right, for example. All we can do is be aware of those thoughts and change them. Pretty soon, it will become a habit.

Have a safe and healthy day and thank you for reading about this important topic!

Grand Prairie Holds Drive-Thru MLK Celebration

MLK Day was celebrated in Grand Prairie,TX with a drive-through event that accepted 50 cars, so folks could stay in them and stay safe.

The event was sponsored by the Grand Prairie NAACP, the City of Grand Prairie Parks and Rec, and the Grand Prairie Police Department.

As cars lined up in a roundabout in front of the Epic Center, Dr. King’s famous speeches greeted them through the sound system.

There were many city leaders in attendance: Mayor Ron Jensen and his wife, RebeccaMaypr Pro-Tem Jorja ClemsonChief of Police Daniel ScesneyGPISD Superintendent Linda EllisLULAC President Ana CocaGP NAACP President Angela LuckeyNAACP Youth Representattives Steven Luckey III (Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy), Kimya Allen Kipp (Destiny Elementary); Trinity Brown (President of the NAACP Youth Council); and Keynote Speaker Kurt Johnson.

Attendees were treated to rousing and uplifting speeches, free hot dogs and t-shirts and a fabulous performance by North Texas Cheer and Dance.

Horns honked throughout the prewsentations, showing the attendees’ appreciation for the speakers.

The main message that was given was that we have a ways to go to achieve what Dr. King envisioned 60 years ago, but with CommUNITY Unity, we can start closing the gap of separation and inequality. We need to come together in love and reject all the hate.

Happy MLK Jr. Day to you and your family.

PEACE.

DART is Asking North Texas Young Artists to Share Their Heroes

The annual Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Student Art Contest has begun accepting individual entries from all North Texas students through Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The theme of this year’s contest is “Everyday Heroes Ride DART.”

Heroes come in many forms and this year’s art contest gives young artists the chance to salute the hometown heroes that have kept our community going during the pandemic – everyday people that have made a positive impact in the lives of others these past few months.

Kindergarten through 12th grade students throughout North Texas will compete for the opportunity to have their artwork featured on DART rail stations, buses and inside trains.

Winner’s artwork will also be displayed at the Dallas Museum of Art, Love Field Airport, and on DART’s website, DART.org. Prizes will be awarded to first place winners and runners-up in different grade-level categories.

The 2021 DART Student Art Contest thanks our community partners the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Contemporary and Half Price Books.

For additional information, as well as complete rules, prize information and additional entry forms, visit DART.org/artcontest, or contact TransitEducation@dart.org or call (214) 749-3494.

Grand Prairie ISD hosts Virtual Experience Live Event

The Grand Prairie ISD Virtual Experience Live Event is tomorrow, Saturday, January 9, from 9 a.m. – noon!

On Monday, January 4, the GPISD Experience web page went live. Families were encouraged to register and explore the site to see the numerous options and opportunities available to students in GPISD. To see the page, go to https://www.gpisd.org/experience

In the first 24 hours that the Experience web page was live, we had over 3,000 hits to the site and over 1,000 families register to get an Apply Early Pass.

Tomorrow, families will be able to live chat with principals from 9 a.m. – noon and use their Apply Early Pass to be among the first to apply for schools and programs of choice in GPISD. The link to each principal’s Zoom can be found on their school’s Experience page. 

Normally, this event – now in its 10th year – is held at one of our campuses with a festival atmosphere and thousands of attendees. This year, because of the pandemic, it was decided we would continue to hold the event – virtually!

Hustle to the Side…With Your Help

Hi Ladies and Gents!

I (Stacey) have a small request to help me and my family through this difficult financial stage in our lives (thanks, COVID). It will cost you nothing but a couple of minutes of your time.

My “side hustle” is a national news blog called News Break. If you could take a few moments to download the app via https://newsbreakapp.onelink.me/2115408369?pid=mp_500018&msource=mp_500018 I will get some referral points, which will break down into money.

The app basically lets you set what cities/counties/states you’re interested in receiving news about, plus you can choose to “follow” anyone whose writing you like. You’ll be taken to a sign in page, where you’ll have to do the dreaded ID and Password. Then you’ll be taken to a news page. Look up at the top right hand cornmer of the page and type in “Grapevine, TX.” That should bring my profile up at the bottom as a “Recommended Publisher.” If that doesn’t work, try clicking on https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2138198395384/tales-from-a-space-nerd which is my latest post. In any case, there will be a FOLLOW button, so please follow me!

If you decide to help, please make sure that you follow “Stacey Doud.” If you hate the app, uninstall it…no hard feelings!

Thanks in advance, and I truly hope that you enjoy the app, no matter if you follow me or not. Happy New Year (a little late) to our readers!

FAA Statement About DFW and COVID

This information is preliminary and subject to change.

A set of unique circumstances, including a positive COVID-19 test and convective weather, combined to create air traffic delays in and around Dallas-Fort Worth late this afternoon. Due to a thorough and expedited cleaning, the FAA quickly resumed operations, with the Fort Worth Air Traffic Control Center in Fort Worth, Texas, back online in less than two hours.

Earlier today, an air traffic control employee at Fort Worth Air Traffic Control Center in Fort Worth, Texas, tested positive for COVID-19. The employee had last been in the facility on Christmas Day. If an affected employee has been in the facility seven days or less before testing positive for COVID-19, FAA protocols will call for a Level 3 cleaning of all areas where the employee may have been. A Level 3 cleaning began at 3:45 p.m. this afternoon.

Because the cleaning required controllers to temporarily leave the control room, the FAA declared a ground stop, which held traffic at departing facilities. Other FAA facilities supported the closure and worked traffic around the effected airspace. Cleaning was completed at 5:05 p.m. local time, which is when controllers reoccupied the control room, began working traffic, and the ground stop was lifted.

It’s important to note that current air traffic movement is also being affected by thunderstorms moving through the area. Thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain can cause delays. You can check the real-time traffic information at www.fly.faa.gov.

The FAA takes the safety of its employees and the flying public very seriously. Please note that throughout this event, pilots were always in touch with air traffic control employees, either at Fort Worth Air Traffic Control Center, or other air traffic control facilities.

Fort Worth Air Traffic Control Center employs approximately 380 air traffic controllers, and handles high-level air traffic in multiple states.

The affected airports included Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field. Those air traffic towers were never closed. You can find out more about the impacts at each airport by contacting the airport authority directly.

For more information about COVID-19 impacts at FAA facilities, visit https://www.faa.gov/coronavirus/map/.

DFW is back online. See the affected areas here:

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2BmDhN_0YAu6m3c00

Fatality Crash in Grapevine

Grapevine Police responded to a major accident on SH-114 at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

The driver of a 2016 Nissan Rogue was traveling westbound on SH-114 near SH-26 when the SUV rear-ended an 18-wheeler pulling a trailer. The SUV became lodged underneath the 18-wheeler, trapping the driver and sole occupant inside. The medical examiner pronounced the SUV driver deceased on scene.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured.

Grapevine Police crash specialists, as well as officers from Bedford PD, Colleyville PD, and Euless PD, responded. Westbound lanes of SH-114 were shut down for approximately six hours during the investigation.

The SUV is registered to a 31-year-old man from Lake Dallas. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office will confirm the driver’s identity and release the name.

Police Report #20-54185

Dallas chooses former California police chief as new top cop

A former California police chief will be the next leader of the Dallas police department and the Texas city’s first Hispanic chief.

Eddie Garcia, who retired as police chief in San Jose this year, will replace outgoing Police Chief U. Renee Hall, Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced Wednesday. Garcia’s first day on the job is set for Feb. 3.

Garcia spent nearly three decades rising through the ranks of the San Jose police department before eventually taking over the top job there. He will succeed Hall, who was the first woman to serve a Dallas chief, after she announced she’d be leaving at the end of the year following criticism from city officials over her leadership amid protests and unrest that swept the country over the summer.

Mayor Eric Johnson welcomed Garcia in a statement and called his hiring a “historic moment for Dallas.” Johnson said he looks forward to seeing the new chief’s strategies to make the city safer.

Garcia beat out several other candidates, including current Dallas commanders, and will take over the department as it struggles with a rise in violent crime and dearth of trust among some Black and Latino residents.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said he looks forward to working with Garcia, although his organization had hoped an internal candidate would be named chief.

Garcia brings decades of experience to Dallas and the Texas city has a population similar to San Jose’s in size and demographics. But Mata said the new chief will also have his work cut out for him in bringing down Dallas’ murder rate and would do well to surround himself with commanders who know the city and its politics.

Great Wolf Lodge guests threatened on Christmas

Shortly after 9:00pm on Friday, December 25, 2020, Grapevine Police were alerted to a report of a man inside Great Wolf Lodge who made threatening comments and claims of a firearm. The man was no longer in sight when officers arrived but a witness provided a description of the man. 

Within minutes of the initial report, several phone calls were made to 9-1-1 about a hotel guest being threatened or in danger. Additional officers were dispatched to the scene, including members of the Northeast Tarrant County SWAT Team, as well as officers from Bedford PD, Euless PD, Hurst PD, Irving PD and Southlake PD. Grapevine Fire medics also staged on the property as a precaution. 

Officers began searching the property and securing areas, while also trying to make contact with the witnesses. The threats were traced to the 8th floor of the hotel, so officers evacuated the floor and conducted a room-by-room search of the guest quarters. Guests from the 8th floor were moved to a secure area inside the resort, while guests on other floors were asked to stay in their rooms. 

Detectives interviewed the occupants of a room where one of the calls originated, and determined they were not in danger. No reports of injury were ever made, and no suspect was located. Officers cleared all areas of concern at approximately 2:00 a.m. Some officers remained on the property as an additional precaution. 

Grapevine Police appreciates all of the employees and guests who reported information, and encourage anyone who sees something suspicious to report it immediately.