Author Archives: StaceyD

Neighborhood Medical Center to offer free drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Frisco

A new option for free drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available over the next few Sundays in Frisco.

Neighborhood Medical Center is offering free testing for those with or without insurance. The insured will be required to present an insurance card. Those without insurance will need to provide a state identification to allow Neighborhood Medical Center to submit for federal reimbursement for the test.

Both rapid antigen testing and polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 at M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi, School of Islamic Sufism, 8455 Stonebrook Parkway, Frisco.

Read more from Community Impact…

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

“Data from the state’s 22 hospital regions will dictate the rate at which Texas reopens its retail stores, restaurants, office buildings and gyms, among other businesses,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a Sept. 17 press conference.

“[COVID-19] hasn’t suddenly disappeared in Texas,” Abbott said during the press conference, “but we are now armed with the personal safety standard and some medical advancements that can ensure we can continue to tame [COVID-19] until more treatments and vaccines become available.”

“Relying most heavily on hospitalization data will help distinguish the severity of the coronavirus pandemic between regions of Texas, since not all parts of the state are being impacted the same way by COVID-19,” Abbott said Sept. 17.

Read more from Community Impact…

Heart screenings for young people offered in Grand Prairie

The Grand Prairie YMCA hosted a heart screening event for Living For Zachary, which is a charity dedicated to screening young people ages 12-22 for heart abnormalities that could lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). All COVID precautions were in effect, as staff, volunteers, kids and parent had to keep masks on and follow the six-foot rule.

This special screening method was developed by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital in Plano and the event is generally held in Plano and Denton. This year, they branched out to Grand Prairie to reach more kids. The YMCA offered a room with volunteers to watch younger children while participants were being screened and their parents were with them.

Living for Zachary is named for Zachary (Zac) Troy Schrah, who tragically collapsed and died at the age of 16 from SCA on April 2, 2009 while at football practice at Plano East High School.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest typically strikes suddenly, with no warning or physical symptoms. Zac’s family learned later that he had an undiagnosed condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a congenital heart disease. HCM is a common cause of SCA in young people, especially athletes.

HCM is an ailment where the heart muscle thickens, and as a result, blood has trouble making it out of the heart, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood. HCM also makes it tougher for the heart muscle to relax, which would allow it to be filled with blood.

Living for Zachary is part of Zac’s legacy. His career goal had been to become a doctor, and while that didn’t happen, many lives will be saved though the organization’s screening efforts.

One of Living for Zachary’s goals came from a quote taken from an essay that Zac wrote: “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”

The screening that was offered was not a typical heart screening. Baylor Scott & White expanded the traditional screening to include: A blood pressure screening, an electrocardiogram, an SCA risk health questionnaire (AHA recommended) and offered limited 2-D echocardiograms. The results of these tests will be looked at and interpreted by a board-certified cardiologist.

The screening process is described by a young man whose life was saved by Living for Zachary. To view it, visit https://youtu.be/rTDk9Sm7aGE.

This was a preliminary screening, as anyone that was determined to be “at-risk” for SCA were referred for further testing and examinations with one of the Baylor Scott & White’s cardiologists. They made sure that participants were aware of the fact that the screening was not to take the place of a doctor’s exam.

The Living for Zachary program also offers CPR training, education about SCA and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) placement. Many businesses have AEDs in their lobby or hallways, so it is important to understand how they work. AEDs function as a defibrillator and will send electric shocks to help a hindered heart.

While SCA sometimes offers no warnings, here are some things to look for. If you or your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, get them to a doctor or cardiologist immediately:

  • Fainting or seizure during or after physical activity
  • Fainting or seizure resulting from excitement, distress or being startled
  • Chest pain or discomfort or a racing heartbeat
  • Unexplained fainting or seizures
  • Unusual shortness of breath
  • Unusual fatigue/tiredness
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness during or after physical activity

Stay safe and healthy! If you’d like to learn more about any of the Living for Zachary services, visit their website at LivingForZachary.org.

Tropical Storm Beta slowly moving towards Texas coast; new low pressure system off east Central Florida coast

The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor several storms across the Atlantic basin Sunday, including Hurricane Teddy, and Tropical Storms Beta and Wilfred.

Tropical Storm Beta, named using the Greek alphabet, has hardly moved along the northwestern Gulf Coast, its slow motion expected to “produce a long duration rainfall event from the middle Texas coast to southern Louisiana,” according to the NHC’s latest report.

A warning in NHC forecasters’ key messages on the storm: “Flash, urban, and river flooding is likely.”

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, TS Beta was located about 200 miles southeast Galveston, Texas, and about 290 miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas, with sustained winds of 60 mph. It’s moving west-northwest at at 3 mph.

The NHC issued numerous Storm Surge Warnings in effect for coastal parts of Texas such as Port Aransas to High Island, Texas—including Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, Matagorda Bay, and Galveston Bay.

Read more from the Orlando Sentinel…

Grand Prairie ISD Wins 2020 TAEA District of Distinction Award

Only the top 4 percent of districts in the state earned the honor this year.

The Grand Prairie Independent School District has been awarded a 2020 District of Distinction Award by the Texas Art Education Association. TAEA announced the 42 winners of this year’s award for providing a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum to inspire creativity and reach all different learners.

TAEA is the leading advocate for the visual arts in the state. The organization has previously honored outstanding TAEA members for work in their classrooms and districts. This is the second year that TAEA is honoring districts that meet rigorous criteria as evidenced from data.

For the 2020 award, more than 1,000 districts were eligible to apply. Each district submitted documentation they met from the 12-point rubric over the 2019-2020 school year. Only 42 districts met the high standard and will receive the outstanding honor indicating they are in the top 4 percent of districts in the state.

“Grand Prairie ISD has set a high standard for visual arts advocacy, integrated visual arts curriculum, encouraged creativity and community participation,” said Stacia Gower, Chair of the Administration and Supervision Division of TAEA. “With the challenges educators faced this past school year it is a true testament to their skill, dedication, and flexibility that the quality of their programs continued strong and comprehensive.”

“We are extremely proud of our Fine Arts program in GPISD,” said Superintendent of Schools Linda Ellis. “Grand Prairie ISD has a long history of excellence in the fine arts and this award speaks to the dedication, passion, and creativity of our students and staff.”

Forty-two districts, including GPISD will be honored at the TAEA Administration & Supervision Division meeting as part of the TAEA Conference on November 21, 2020. The event will be held virtually this year.

About TAEA District of Distinction Award: District of Distinction is a fairly new award created by the Texas Art Education Association in 2019. The award honors school districts that are leading the way in the visual arts. The TAEA Administration and Supervision Division recognizes districts with outstanding leadership in promoting the arts in their district and community. The organization also looks at field experiences, community service, and community exhibitions to name a few as part of the rigorous rubric for the award.

About TAEA: TAEA is the largest state professional organization for art educators in the United States. It is the mission of TAEA to promote quality visual arts education through leadership, advocacy, service, and professional development.

Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Group Takes National Honor

The Foundation for Music Excellence has notified the Grand Prairie ISD that the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy Singers, under the direction of Joel Duarte and Candace Maughan, has been selected as a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence/National Choral Honors Project.

The Mark of Excellence is a competition, entered by recordings, and the top quarter are selected as National Winners. This year, 145 ensembles from across the nation, entered the competition. To date, the project has received entries from 38 states.

“This year’s entries were amazing, with stunning performances,” said Managing Director Rick Yancey. “These young students perform incredibly well, and that is a testament to their talent, training, and wonderful teachers.”

For more information, please contact Sam Buchmeyer, Public Information Officer, at sam.buchmeyer@gpisd.org or by phone at (972) 237-5380.

Q&A: St. Luke’s physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

Community Impact Newspaper spoke with Dr. Sam Rolon, a physician at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands, about this year’s upcoming flu season, who should receive influenza vaccinations and how to address possible flu cases amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What is typically defined as flu season? We actually see flu all year long nowadays. We used to not really see it for whatever reason, but nowadays, we see the peak from October through March. But still, last year, I saw it all the way through May [and] June. So, it still lingers a little bit with people traveling and just getting exposed to a minor pocket somewhere.

When would you advise people to get their flu shots this year? For the general population, get it between mid- to late September through late October. … Anytime that you can get it, the sooner, the better, just to make sure you’re vaccinated. … Prevention is key this year for the same reason [as] when COVID[-19] started: … ‘[getting] the surge down’ so that we don’t overburden the hospitals. … We need to have hospital beds available, and we’re just trying to manage public health and make sure that we keep as many people healthy as possible so that we don’t have bad outcomes—so we don’t lose unnecessary, preventable lives from flu, from COVID[-19], from pneumonia, from whatever.

Read more from Community Impact…

Wooden box sat at airport for a week, inside was something wicked

An unmarked wooden box with several crude holes arrived at an airport without proper labeling. The airport employees put the box aside and went about their business. Because it didn’t have proper tags, it would sit among other items with the same issue. The box was approximately 16 inches high and it only had a note that it was to be shipped to Syria.

With its improper labeling, the box sat in a holding room for an entire week. Finally, the airport employees received legal confirmation that they could open the box and inspect the contents. What they found nearly knocked them off their feet!

Inside the box were three Siberian tiger kittens. No one was sure how they were still alive. But all three clung onto life despite having no food or water for a week! “Nothing indicated that the box contained tigers or even live animals, and there were no details of a shipper or receiver,” the animal rights group Animals Lebanon wrote on Facebook.

The three male kittens had been on a flight from the Ukraine and were supposed to be sold to a zoo in Syria. Animals Lebanon insisted that the tigers be transferred to them. A judge agreed. “Their paw pads were raw and red from being covered in urine, and were their back legs and thighs,” Animals Lebanon added on Facebook.

The Siberian tigers were in horrible shape. The endangered species are highly sought after in the black market. People wanting to make money off their illegal sales may not take the animals’ well-being into account.

“They are improving – but they are still at risk! Big cats can be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. The owner is fighting to get them back, and we are fighting for the tigers and rule of law,” Animals Lebanon explained on Facebook.

The zoo fought the rescue group for the tigers’ return. Thankfully a judge again ruled in the favor of the rescue group and all three tigers will remain with them. “Thank you for all the help to make this possible. So many people did more than enough to do the right thing and to prevent the tigers from ending up on the black market!” Animals Lebanon writes on Facebook.

The tigers are thriving in their new habitat. We are so grateful they were found in the nick of time! To see their rescue, click HERE.

Wings Over Houston 2020 “Drive-In” Airshow and ticket launch details

2020 “Drive-in” Airshow tickets will go on sale to our Insiders only (signing up to be an Insider is free!) on Thursday, September 24th, at 12:00 PM (Noon) CT. On Thursday the 24th at noon, you will receive your Insider ONLY discounted ticket link via email on Thursday the 24th at Noon.

All 2020 tickets will be available for purchase ONLINE ONLY. To ensure everyone’s safety, there are no drive-up (at the gate) ticket sales. That said, you can buy from any mobile device on your way in IF tickets remain. Because of the minimal number of tickets available, we are expecting a sell-out.

Here are the initial 2020 “Drive-In” Airshow basics (plenty more details to follow, before tickets go on sale):

  • This year’s show will be three days, Friday, October 9th, Saturday, October 10th, and Sunday, October 11th. It will be the same performer line-up every day (weather permitting). That gives you an extra show day option to buy tickets.
  • On a somber note, due to May’s accident the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will not attend this year’s airshow. “We love you, Jenn!” The United States Air Force is stepping up in a BIG way to help our show.
  • Drive-in attendees will NOT have to remain in your vehicle to watch the show. Everyone that purchases a drive-in ticket will have an allotted area near their vehicle to sit outside and enjoy the airshow. Attendees may remove their masks once they arrive at their assigned drive-in spot. If you leave your assigned drive-in spot, you will need to wear a mask, please.
  • There will be no food or drink vendors at the show. Because of this, we encourage you to bring your own coolers and fill them with your own food and drinks. All we ask is no glass and no BBQ’s or grills of any sort.
  • Porta-Potties will be provided and sanitized all throughout the day. Disabled accessible restrooms will be on-site as well.
  • Please bring chairs with you. No beach umbrellas or tents of any kind will be allowed. Regular umbrellas are acceptable. In short, anything that is going to block the view of fellow air show fans is prohibited.
  • There will be two types of tickets – VIP and General Admission. The VIP tickets this year are closer to the crowd line and aircraft taxiway. General Admission fills in the rest of the tarmac.
  • All tickets to the show are INSIDE the gates at Ellington Airport on the concrete. No tickets in the grass parking lots will be sold, and no people will be allowed to loiter in those fields.
  • Tickets will be purchased by the carload and will allow up to 6 people (including children) per vehicle, so long as everyone in your vehicle has a legal seat belt.
  • Everyone that is in your vehicle and coming to Ellington Airport will have their temperatures checked and asked a series of health questions. Health checks will be done inside your vehicle and hands-free (via a high speed, touch-less thermometer). Masks will be required while the temperature check and health screening is happening. They will also be required any time you are not inside your allotted parking area.

Given the circumstances, please afford us a bit of understanding and flexibility. We understand that some of the restrictions above will not work for all our fans.

As always, our number one priority is the safety of everyone at the airshow and our fantastic community.

Here’s a hint about one of the performers that will fly in to substitute for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds:

Please note:
This schedule is subject to change without notice. If anything changes, we will do our best to let you know. Thank you!

Your Privacy & Personal Information:

The security of your personal online information is paramount to us! We attempt to go above and beyond to protect your online identity when using this web site or purchasing tickets to the Airshow. Any user information collected will be used for the purposes of giving you airshow updates, marketing the airshow, and selling tickets to the CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow. Your information will NEVER be sold or rented to any third parties. For additional privacy information details, please review our privacy policy.

Gun recovered after nearly 30 years reconnects family of slain Dallas police officer

The family of a slain Dallas police officer received an unexpected reminder this month of his service and sacrifice nearly 27 years after his death. 

At a time when policing is under a national microscope, the family hopes it can remind people of the dedicated officers who give their lives in the line of duty.

Badge number 3066 is among the dozens cut into the steel roof of the Dallas Police Memorial next to Dallas City Hall. Streaming sunlight casts the badge numbers onto the pavement below, onto the streets the officers once protected. Badge 3066 was worn by Sr. Cpl. Richard Lawrence. He was 46 years old when he interrupted two car thieves outside an apartment complex and was shot and killed on Nov. 9th, 1993.

Read more from WFAA…