Council Member Junior Ezeonu invites residents to attend a District 8, At-Large Town Hall Meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 6-8 p.m. at the Main Library, 901 Conover Dr.
City departments providing an update at the meeting will include Police, Fire, Code Compliance, Parks, Arts & Recreation, and more. For those unable to attend, the meeting will be live-streamed through Zoom. Visit gptx.org for more information.
Epic Waters, North Texas’ largest indoor waterpark, is currently offering a series of programs, shows, and activities under the banner “H20lidays.” Not only do these family-friendly events celebrate the holiday season, but they also mark the Park’s third anniversary. Here is what’s in store for H20lidays:
Breakfast with Santa
Dates: 12/11, 12/12 and 12/18, 12/19
Time: 9am – 11am (Doors open at 8:30am)
Description: Enjoy a festive holiday spread with Santa himself! Santa is making a pitstop at Epic Waters and is bringing Mrs. Claus and even the workshop elves to join in on the party! Guests can expect an immersive meet-and-greet experience with Santa while enjoying some tasty food, activities, and more. All tickets include full-day admission into Epic Waters plus one take-home photo with Santa!
Epic Family New Year
Date: December 31,2021 – January 1, 2022
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Description: North Texas’ largest indoor waterpark is celebrating the holiday spirit to Grand Prairie with a New Year’s Eve Bash that is sure to amaze! Spend your New Year’s Eve on the beach with our Epic Crew as we ring in 2022! Add to your experience with a delicious New Years’ dinner like no other! Guests can enjoy immersive activities, delicious eats, and live entertainment as we keep the party going all night long.
4th Annual Epic Plunge
Date: February 6, 2022
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Description: Guests can kick off the new year and take the Epic Plunge with our Crew into anticipated water temperatures in the 50’s! Afterward, they can thaw off with a cup of hot chocolate while inside the waterpark, which is kept at a pleasant 84 degrees. All participants willing to brave the cold and take the plunge will receive an “I Conquered the Epic Plunge” long-sleeved t-shirt, hot chocolate after they take the plunge, as well as a full-day admission ticket to enjoy everything Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark has to offer.
Earlier today, a group of Grand Prairie ISD staff and students put up pink ribbons at Dubiski Career High School in honor of Madison Dubiski who was killed in the crowd surge at the Travis Scott concert in Houston.
Madison was the granddaughter of John Dubiski, a long-time GPISD educator and namesake of the John A. Dubiski Career High School. Madison’s father, Brian, graduated from Grand Prairie High School in 1987.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dubiski family and their many friends in Grand Prairie ISD.
The City of Grand Prairie received the award for outstanding advertising, as well as the Arlo Ambassador Award. Grand Prairie promoted the Air North Texas campaign throughout the year via the official city social media accounts. Posts were tagged with the #AirNTX hashtag, and the content included tips on clean air, high ozone level alerts, and Clean Air Action Day participation. Additionally, Air North Texas messages and advertisements were featured in several city newsletter editions throughout the year
Grand Prairie also earned the Arlo Ambassador Award for its efforts to advance the Air North Texas message through campaign mascot Arlo the Armadillo. For example, the Environmental Quality staff purchased a 2020 Chevy Bolt to reduce emissions and wrapped it with a “Plugged into the Prairie” graphic design that featured Arlo.
Finally, The City of Dallas received the award for the outstanding initiative. Dallas hosted a virtual Clean Air Action Day celebration, which focused on renewable energy and provided opportunities for communities to participate in and benefit from renewable energy strategies. Dallas also participated in a city-wide event called Branch Out Dallas, which distributed over 2,000 free trees to residents.
Air North Texas is a regional public awareness campaign that includes 38 partnerships pursuing environmental awareness in North Texas. It was formed by the North Central Texas Council of Governments with support of the Air North Texas Coalition. Partners support the campaign by encouraging residents to commit to actions that improve air quality, such as working from home, bicycling, or walking to the store and packing a lunch. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many routines. However, improving air quality remains an important contribution people can make. For more information, visit www.airnorthtexas.org.
Ozone season runs from March through November, but North Texans are encouraged to consider how they can contribute to the effort to improve the air throughout the year. Currently, 10 Dallas-Fort Worth area counties do not meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations for ozone pollution, meaning the region has additional environmental responsibilities. Air North Texas is one of many strategies to improve air quality in the region, calling on entities to enact innovative, individual, collective, and creative changes in North Texas to reduce emissions and create cleaner air.
About Air North Texas:
Grand Prairie is one of several organizations involved with Air North Texas, a regional air quality partnership and general public outreach effort. Air North Texas leverages existing resources and program strengths to offer the public a comprehensive resource for air quality information. Collaborative efforts focus on reducing harmful emissions, protecting public health and welfare, motivating residents to make choices that improve air quality, and preserving the economic vitality of the region. Visit www.airnorthtexas.org to learn more.
Matthew Ramos, a former teacher at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Arnold, was arrested today for a potentially inappropriate relationship. Central administration received information indicating potential impropriety on Friday, October 22, 2021. Law enforcement was notified that same afternoon and opened an investigation, resulting in today’s arrest.
Mr. Ramos, who has not been on campus since October 22, has since resigned from the District and his situation has been reported to the State Board of Educator Certification as required.
“I want parents to know that we do not tolerate any form of inappropriate communication or contact between a teacher and a student,” said Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Linda Ellis. “We will always act swiftly to make sure concerns are properly investigated and action is taken to ensure our students’ safety.”
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?’”
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!
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
Lot Burdick, Welding Instructor at Dubiski Career High School in the Grand Prairie Independent School District, has successfully completed the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy, a national agricultural educator training event hosted at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Mr. Burdick was one of twenty participants from across the United States selected to participate in the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy.
The Academy was an intensive 10-day training that included hands-on learning and train-the-trainer-style lessons in agricultural mechanics focused on small gas engines, residential wiring, and welding. This first-of-the-kind training was held from July 27 through August 5 under the direction of Dr. Ryan Anderson, assistant professor in agricultural education and agricultural mechanics at Texas State University. Dr. Anderson was able to develop and host this training at no cost to the participants through funding by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (AFRI Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Priority Area, award #2020—08590).
“The Agricultural Mechanics Academy provided a tremendous opportunity for teachers across the nation to receive the training and skills necessary to be successful in the agricultural mechanics courses that they teach,” said Dr. Anderson. “Agricultural mechanics is a critical component of many rural communities and a core part of many agricultural education programs. This is an opportunity I wish I had as an early career educator.
Participants of the Academy received numerous classroom items and teaching resources for being selected and participating. Those items included classroom sets of small gas engines, curriculum, and tools from Briggs & Stratton with training provided by Power Distributors; welding gear packs, curriculum, and training from Lincoln Electric; and Agricultural Technical Systems and Mechanics textbooks from American Technical Publishers. Participants in the academy exceeded over 120 Continuing Education Credit hours for participating.
“The training I received from the Agricultural Mechanics Academy is invaluable. This training really helped prepare me for teaching my students for years to come,” said Mr. Burdick. “The classroom materials and supplies that were included with this training will be a tremendous benefit for my students and the Agricultural Mechanics program at Dubiski. I am very grateful to Dr. Anderson, USDA, Briggs & Stratton, Lincoln Electric, and everyone else that helped make this training possible.”
About Dubiski Career High School John A. Dubiski Career High School is a GPISD public high school of choice with a focus is on equipping students with the skills they need for 21st-century professions. Students choose a sequential course of study designed to prepare them for a 2-year, 4-year, or technical college. In addition to their high school diploma, students are also eligible to complete programs that award them with advanced certifications, industry training, and internship and career-field experiences. Dubiski offers HB5 endorsements including STEM, Business & Industry, and Public Service.
In compliance with yesterday’s Texas Supreme Court ruling temporarily blocking the mask mandate in Dallas County, face masks will again be optional for all GPISD students and staff in all District schools and facilities. However, we strongly encourage students and staff alike to wear a mask at school as part of our efforts to keep them safe from COVID-19.