Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jeff Bezos picks Grapevine woman, an aerospace pioneer, to rocket into space with him

Blue Origin announced Wally Funk, from Grapevine, Texas, will soar atop Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, inside a capsule, as an “honored guest.”

In this 2019 photo made available by NASA, Mercury 13 astronaut trainee Wally Funk visits the Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (NASA via AP)

Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos has chosen an early female aerospace pioneer — an 82-year-old pilot denied astronaut wings decades ago because of her gender — to rocket into space with him in just three weeks.

The company announced Thursday that Wally Funk will be aboard the July 20 launch from West Texas, flying in the capsule for the 10-minute hop as an “honored guest.” She’ll join Bezos, his brother and the winner of a charity auction, as the first people to ride a New Shepard rocket, named for Mercury 7 astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space.

Funk is among the so-called Mercury 13 women who went through astronaut training in the 1960s, but never made it to space — or even NASA’s astronaut corps — because they were female. Back then, all of the NASA astronauts were military test pilots and male.

In an Instagram video posted by Bezos, Funk said she feels “fabulous” about being asked to launch.

“Nothing has ever gotten in my way,” she noted. “They said, ‘Well, you’re a girl, you can’t do that.’ I said, ’Guess what, doesn’t matter what you are. You can still do it if you want to do it and I like to do things that nobody has ever done.”

Read more from WFAA…

Editor’s Corner: I got yelled at by a turkey and loved it!

I decided to visit one of my favorite venues in Grapevine, Nash Farm, on Saturday 4/3. I had driven by and seen a trailer of kids being pulled around by a tractor for a good old-fashioned hayride and wondered what was going on.

Apparently, it was a preview for their big post-winter event, called, “Spring into Nash,” which is celebrating its 20th year on April 17.

I got there a little late to get photos of all of the activities, but a few stragglers remained. Kids were throwing boiled eggs at one another and their parents, and all of them were running around, enjoying the beautiful day.

I took my time and spoke to some of the parents and staff. I wandered around the farm to see the new lambs that were there with their mamas and to visit my favorite, the turkeys. There were even a few babies in the turkey pen, while mama took a (probably well-deserved) nap and daddy turkey gobbled at me and spread his beautiful plumage.

The staff let the sheep out after most of the visitors had left, and I enjoyed watching the parade of ewes going by, some with their lambs in tow.

It’s always fun at Nash because it is a working farm! The crops are grown and sold locally. When one crop is done for the season, the staff prepares the soil for the next one. They grow all kinds of things, such as corn, wheat and other produce.

They also have their staff dress in clothing from the 1800’s and the actual farmhouse contains only items from that time period, as the original land was bought by Thomas Jefferson Nash in 1859.

Visiting the farm always rejuvenates me when I’m feeling worn down. With COVID, two funerals and a general spell of not-so-great things happening in my life these past few weeks, I definitely needed that roll down the grassy hill, being told off by papa turkey and seeing the cute little lambs. All of it reminded me that time goes on, and we will all be okay in our own way.

Bird Missing for 170 Years Reappeared in Indonesian Forest

By Rachel Nuwer

What might be Asia’s longest-missing bird just came out of hiding. For the first time in 170 years, researchers reported last week that a black-browed babbler has been found in Indonesia. The discovery of the muted black, gray and chestnut-brown bird solves what an authoritative birding guide describes as “one of the great enigmas of Indonesian ornithology.”

“When we actually got confirmation of the identification, I did a little prayer and bowed down to celebrate,” said Panji Gusti Akbar, an ornithologist and lead author of the paper describing the new species. “I felt excitement, disbelief and a lot of happiness.”

Read more from The New York Times…

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.


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, 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, or contact 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

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 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 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!

Covid-19 vaccine: First person receives it in UK

Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said it was the, “best early birthday present.”

She was given the injection at 06:31 GMT (12:31 am CST) – the first of 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that will be dispensed in the coming weeks.

Up to four million more are expected by the end of the month.

Hubs in the UK will vaccinate over-80s and some health and care staff – the program aims to protect the most vulnerable and return life to normal.

“I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19,” Ms Keenan, who is originally from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, said.

“It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the new year after being on my own for most of the year.

“My advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it. If I can have it at 90, then you can have it too,” she added.

Read more at BBC…

What about the U.S.?

Once COVID-19 vaccine candidates receive emergency-use authorization from the FDA, rollout is expected to begin as soon as 24 hours later. The first vaccine candidate through that gate will likely be the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which the FDA will make a decision about on December 10, followed by the Moderna vaccine, which the FDA will make a decision about on December 17.

The U.S. has worked to rush coronavirus-vaccine availability through a multibillion-dollar federal program called Operation Warp Speed, which is aimed at fast-tracking the development, testing, regulatory approval, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The U.S. has already pre-purchased hundreds of millions of doses of various vaccine candidates sight unseen, and the Trump administration has vowed that at least the initial round of vaccinations will be available to all Americans free of charge.

Read more at The Intelligencer…