Category Archives: Irving

Irving invites you to National Night Out on Oct. 5

For more information, see the flyer below:

For more information, click HERE.

Irving-LC Changemakers Present ‘COVID-19: Lessons Learned One Year Later

To register, or for more information, click HERE.

Irving Officer Rescues Kittens Trapped Under Hood of Car

Four kittens are alive and well, thanks to the actions of Nimitz High‘s School Resource Officer (SRO), Brent Conder of the Irving Police Department.

The cats were trapped under the hood of a student’s car. The student approached Officer Conder after hearing the kittens crying from inside the engine compartment, but he was unable to reach the animals from the hood area.

He crawled under the vehicle, removed the plastic cover on the bottom of the engine area, and was then able to reach the kittens, which are all now safe and back with Mama Kitty.

The student, who is part of Nimitz’s Cheer Team, gave Officer Conder a shoutout on the organization’s Instagram page for his efforts.

Local Women’s Shelter seeking community assistance

Brighter Tomorrows, which is located at 928 Bluebird Dr., operates women’s shelters in Irving and Grand Prairie. They had several pipes burst on Feb. 17, which made them evacuate the Irving location and find temporary shelter for the residents until repairs can be made.

“We haven’t even begun to assess the damage yet,” said CEO Colleen Jamieson. “We had to concentrate on the rapid rehousing of our clients. Some were moved in apartments before we had really expected to move them. We provide transitional housing, so we had to use those resources as well. Thank God no one was hurt.”

Jamieson said that a staff member made it to the shelter on Wednesday and discovered the disaster that was caused by the broken pipes. Some parts of the ceiling had caved in as well from the pressure of snow and ice turning into water.

“Thank God we have two shelters,” said Jamieson. “We moved as many clients as we could to the Grand Prairie shelter and basically put them wherever we could find a spot. We repurposed computer labs and other rooms to make sure clients had a place to stay. We had arranged for some clients to go to a nearby hotel that we work with, but then they called us back and said they couldn’t accommodate us because their pipes burst, too.”

Brighter Tomorrows also operates a food pantry and a store called “Brighter Mart” that provides toiletries, diapers and other personal needs.

“We ended up having three inches of water in the food pantry and Brighter Mart, which is in the administration building,” Jamieson said. “Most everything in there is lost.”

Brighter Tomorrows’ main mission is to provide a safe place for women who have survived domestic violence and/or sexual assault and rape to begin the journey to healing physically, mentally and spiritually. They offer services such as counseling, helping to find childcare, legal services, job assistance and transitional housing.

Jamieson said that they are desperate for donations, whether they be monetary, volunteers or physical items. They are in need of just about everything: blankets, towels, diapers, baby formula, toiletries and much more. They are a 501 (c)(3) organization, so donations are tax deductible.

Updates and lists of what is needed may be found on Brighter Tomorrows’ Facebook Page at Facebook.com/BrighterTomorrowsTX. Monetary donations may be made online at BrighterTomorrows.net/Copy-of-Donate or call 972-254-4003. The staff speaks both English and Spanish.

Intoxication Assault Against Irving Firefighter: UPDATE

Donohue

UPDATE: December 7, 2020 – The Irving Firefighter injured on December 6, is Aaron Donohue. Aaron’s medical condition remains serious and he is still in the hospital. He is progressing slowly but steadily. His injuries are not considered life-threatening at this time. Please continue to keep Aaron, his family and the Irving Fire Department in your prayers. 

 Irving, Texas – December 6, 2020 – The Irving Police Department was working a major accident at approximately 3:45 a.m. today involving five vehicles WB 3100 block W. S.H. 183. The freeway had been shut down due to this accident. A 2016 Dodge Challenger was traveling the wrong way, EB in the WB lanes of SH 183, drove into the accident scene striking an Irving Firefighter. The Irving Firefighter, 30-years of age, was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital and is currently undergoing treatment for severe injuries, his name is not being released at this time but he has been with the fire department for 4.5 years. The driver of the vehicle, Yajaira Estrada Calderon, is a 23-year old female out of Arlington and has been arrested for Intoxication Assault. 

Calderon

The Irving Police Department is asking everyone to keep the Irving Firefighter and Irving Fire Department in your prayers during this time. If anyone has information on this case contact the Irving Police Department at (972) 273-1010 or 911 (24 hours). 

DART brings GoLink on-demand service to Irving and Garland starting Oct. 19

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) brings GoLink, the personalized, curb-to-curb service that serves riders on demand in zones across North Texas, beginning Mon., Oct. 19, to Southeast Garland and South Irving.

The on-demand service is already available in Farmers Branch, Far North Plano, Glenn Heights, Inland Port, Kleberg and Rylie, Lake Highlands, Lakewood, Legacy West, North Central Plano/Chase Oaks, North Dallas, Park Cities, Rowlett and Western Carrollton.

In the South Irving zone, the service operates out of Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station so that GoLink riders can connect to other DART services. Meanwhile, in the Southeast Garland zone, the service operates out of Lake Ray Hubbard Transit Center. GoLink service will be offered Monday through Friday, except on Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

All GoLink trips require a booking. No walk-ons are allowed. Riders can book and pay for trips either with the GoPassÒ app or by calling 214-515-7272. The free app is available from the App Store and Google Play.

Phone reservations must be made in advance, but only same-day trips are accepted. Phone reservations can be made Monday-Friday, starting at 4:30 a.m.

Riders should purchase their fare using a contactless payment method –credit, debit or GoPassÒ Tap card – either in the GoPass app or over the phone. Cash fares, paper passes and vouchers are not accepted.

To learn more about GoLink, visit DART.org/GoLink or call 214-515-7272.

Financially challenged Irving residents face homelessness as assistance becomes hard to find, benefits running out

By Stacey Doud

Jones

Anthony Craig Jones

Anthony Craig Jones was known around the Irving area for almost four decades as a local homeless person that residents often saw as they drove or walked through town. He was most likely mentally ill but was a peaceful person.

His body was discovered in July in a building on a property across from an elementary school. The medical examiner estimated that he had been dead for about six months. He was identified using his dental records.

No one knows exactly what happened, but Jones was found under a blanket in a sleeping position. His death is not currently considered a homicide, and there is no information about any involvement with drugs and/or alcohol. He was estimated to be in his late 50’s at the time of discovery.

Shack copyA Memorial was held for Jones on August 8, organized and officiated by Pastor Dennis Webb of Bear Creek Community Church. Those who knew Jones said that he was a good guy with a lot of problems and no real resources.

Irving, like most cities and towns, has a percentage of the population that has no address except for a sidewalk or a park bench. There are some resources for food and clothing, including some churches that open up as emergency shelters, and there’s even very limited housing for homeless teens, but there is no shelter or “one-stop shop” for those in dire straits to visit. As it is difficult for the homeless to move around from place-to-place, even these resources can be out of reach.

However, these days, even residents who have homes or apartments are struggling with rent and mortgages, and some have even joined the homeless population, whether it be for a short or an extended time.

Right now, this is not a situation that is unique to Irving. It is a state and nationwide issue. From real estate fraud to scams that take advantage of the collective fear of COVID-19, folks are seeking help from landlords and banks, only to be told, “No,” or to have a fraudulent plan suggested to them to, “keep a roof over your family’s head.”

There have been people in drastic situations that have taken their financial needs to the Internet. Sites like GoFundMe.com are experiencing a significant uptake in the number of fundraisers posted.

RiveraRosa Rivera, a local resident, started a GoFundMe account after her apartment management gave her a 30-day eviction notice. She is unemployed because of the pandemic and her husband has been in and out of the hospital, finally losing a foot to complications of diabetes. He was the sole provider for the family at that time.

The description in her fundraising account lays out not only her need, but her embarrassment for having to ask for help as well, which is very common.

“I’m reaching out to all my family and friends for help. I currently find myself in an embarrassing and humiliating situation that I never thought I would be in,” said Rivera. “As a strong woman, we will try every last avenue to solve an issue until you have to humble yourself and realize that you have to ask for help because it’s what’s best for your kids.

“My apartment complex of more than 10 years provided me with a 30-day notice to vacate my apartment. The property manager will not renew my lease because of me consistently being late on my rent. I have tried to make arrangements with both the leasing office and the Corporate office with no results,” she posted.Fortunately, Rivera was able to contact an effective lawyer at Legal Aid and get her eviction deadline pushed back from 8/20 to 8/31. She updated her fundraising site to update those that had been helping. She used a portion of the $3,000 raised on GoFundMe to negotiate this change.

“My attorney in Legal Aid finally made contact with the property manager, allowing me more time. Instead of vacating on 8/20, I now have till 8/31. Of course, I had to pay the rest of the rent [which was] $461, which is where some of your blessings were applied to. I’m still looking for a place to accept me with my situation,” she posted.

Rivera is far from being alone. Many families are wondering where they will go, as many landlords and banks/mortgage companies are not working with customers in an effort to reach a compromise, or an agreement, that will benefit both parties.

For more information about coronavirus scams, click HERE.

To read some tips for personal financial recovery under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act (CARES), click HERE. The CARES Act deals primarily with businesses right now, but there are some helpful links to sites that may assist homeowners or renters find aid or recover their finances.

And, of course, there is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which helps place families in need of housing. Unfortunately, their waiting list is fairly long because of COVID. To learn more, click HERE.

To learn more about legal aid services in Irving, click HERE.

While this housing climate is not unique to Irving, it is up to the City’s “Powers that Be” to craft a plan for aid, resources, and perhaps even shelters, as November is quickly approaching.

Learn About Home Energy Alternatives, Ways to Save Money on Aug. 25-27 at the Irving Energy Fair

DocumentJoin the City of Irving for its second annual Home Energy Fair! This digital three-day series will feature one-hour panels from subject matter experts who will discuss how to beat the heat, make your home more energy efficient and renewable energy opportunities.

The Home Energy Fair starts 11 a.m. daily, Aug. 25-27. Register for each day’s program:

Tuesday, Aug. 25 | Transitioning to Renewable Energy
11 a.m. to noon
Curious about renewable energy? Tune in on this one-hour session covering the basics of installing solar at your home.

Wednesday, Aug. 26 | Make Your Home Energy Efficient
11 a.m. to noon
Energy efficiency means energy savings. Join the Think Green team for a one-hour panel discussion about how to save energy in your home. 

Thursday, Aug. 27 | Tips and Tricks for Energy Savings
11 a.m. to noon
Reducing your energy usage is good for the environment and your wallet. This one-hour panel session will discuss different ways you can reduce energy usage in your home.

Recordings of each panel session will be available at a later date.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED, BUT IT IS FREE

Learn more HERE

Memorial service held for “forgotten” homeless man

JonesAnthony Craig Jones was known around the Irving area for almost four decades as a local homeless person that residents often saw as they drove or walked through town. He was most likely mentally ill, but was a peaceful person.

His body was discovered last month in a building on a property across from an elementary school. The medical examiner estimated that he had been dead for about six months. He was identified using his dental records.

No one knows exactly what happened, but Jones was found under a blanket in a sleeping position. His death is not currently considered a homicide, and there is no information about any involvement with drugs and/or alcohol. He was estimated to be in his late 50’s at the time of discovery.

Shack

The building where Jones’s body was discovered

Those who knew him have said that he was a good guy with a lot of problems and no real resources.

“Anthony was a special spirit and it saddens me to hear of the manner in which he was discovered deceased in the old African American Community of Bear Creek recently,” said Anthony Bond, who is a leading Irving civil rights activist and founder of the Irving Chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “Most of the black residents in Bear Creek, both on the Irving and Grand Prairie side, were familiar with, or knew Anthony. Jesus loves the homeless like Anthony just as much as He loves all of His children.

“I pray that Anthony’s passing will awaken the desire in us here in the City of Irving to do more for our growing homeless neighbors. Irving needs some transitional housing [or something similar] for the homeless,” Bond said.

A Memorial was held for Jones on Saturday, August 8, arranged by Irving City Councilman Dennis Webb, who is also the pastor of Bear Creek Community Church. Webb also officiated. Many citizens came out to remember and pay their respects for Anthony’s life.

Former Irving City Councilwoman Sharon Barbosa-Crain said, “No one should die all alone like Anthony did, and that we here in the City of Irving can and must do better in looking out for our homeless neighbors.”

Pastor Webb has created a GoFundMe account to raise money for services for the homeless in Irving in hopes to avoid another situation like Anthony Jones.

**Slideshow of pictures from the Memorial provided by Anthony Bond**

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Local eatery gives food away…all the time

InFrettaStorefront-editItalian restaurant InFretta in Irving held their first drive-thru food giveaway at that location on April 18 in their parking lot. The original location in Plano, which has been open for a year-and-a-half, has been doing the food giveaway every week for weeks.

InFretta partnered with Mama Pita Mediterranean Grill in Plano, Big Guy’s Chicken and Rice in Dallas, and Chameli in Richardson, each sending volunteers to set up, tear down and hand out food to the folks who drove through.

1 Solar Solution also partnered with InFretta, contributing funds for the food. Founder and CEO, Ali Samana, was at the event, handing food to people.

“1 Solar Solution is committed to supporting the local communities that we live and work in. We believe in sponsoring as many events and programs that we can, including local events like this one,” said Samana.

CopMayor

Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer (R) chats with an Irving Police Officer

Even Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer came by to chat with everyone and there was an Irving police presence to make sure everything and everyone was safe.

The food giveaway included all kinds of fried rice and pasta, with dessert being ice cream that was donated by Ked’s Artesian Ice Cream and Treats out of Plano.

InFretta owner Ram Mehta said he was continuing the work of his mother, who passed away a few years ago. He grew up in India, and his mother believed heavily in charity and generosity. Following in his mom’s footsteps, InFretta regularly donates pizzas to Children’s Hospital.

There has been a sign on the front door since the business opened that says anyone who is homeless or hungry and cannot afford food can come in and get a free meal.

InFrettaFreeFoodSign“We’ve been giving food to the people who need it since the day we opened this location about seven months ago. The Plano location has been open a year and a half, and we do the same there. It’s just that people are not aware of it,” Mehta said. “Those customers will be treated just like any paying customer. It’s also all over our social media: Free pizza or pasta. If you can’t afford it, no questions asked and no judgement.”

The event provided 4,000 meals to give away.

“We already have 1,800 meals spoken for. Some of our volunteers are delivering them to churches and others that requested food. If the number of meals goes over 4,000, nobody’s going to go hungry. We’ll make more. No problem,” said Mehta.

Several businesses partnered up with Mehta, donating money, food and volunteers.

“I partnered up with Ram and his team because he was doing something to give back to the community, and we thought we’d support him and try to stand with him and see how we can make him stronger, as well as take care of the people in the community,” said Zaid Beyan, Co-Owner of Sara’s Market and Bakery in Richardson.

Delivery1

InFretta Owner Ram Mehta delivers food to a customer

“There are a lot of people out here that are hurting and are looking for a meal. Nobody here should be looking for a meal. We are all in this together, and there are a lot of people out there looking for food, and the least we can do is give back. Even if it’s something small, it goes a long way,” Beyan said.

Representative of the Dallas Halal Buzz and the Dallas Buzz Facebook pages, Ali Siraj, said, “We promote mostly the Indian and Pakistani restaurants that open up in the area because they usually don’t get that much exposure. We are here volunteering for him, as we always do. We create and promote all the events with him and are pleased to be out here volunteering today.”

IceCream

Ice cream was a favorite!

One customer, who preferred to remain anonymous, drove up with her three children to get meals. “This is helping us very much,” she said. “I have been laid off from work and we have been eating the same things every day. It will be nice to have a change, especially with good food like this.”

InFretta plans to have another event like this very soon. For more information, call the Plano store at (214) 618-5431 or visit https://www.in-fretta.com/index.html.