Category Archives: Uncategorized

DART Names Elizabeth Reich as New Chief Financial Officer

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Reich has joined the agency as the new chief financial officer (CFO). A proven and distinguished finance leader, Reich will assume her new role and responsibilities on July 18.

A key member of the executive team, reporting to DART president & chief executive officer Nadine Lee, Reich will lead the agency’s accounting, financial reporting, budget, treasury, fare collections, and fare payment systems, debt management, investment management, and risk management functions.

“We are thrilled to welcome Elizabeth to our leadership team at DART,” said Nadine S. Lee, DART president & CEO. “She brings a diverse skill set to the agency, including deep financial experience, strong analytics, and a track record of achievement. She is the right leader to helm our talented finance organization and deliver a comprehensive strategic financial plan that will help drive our rider-focused vision for the future.”

Reich comes to DART with more than 20 years of financial leadership experience. She joins the agency from the City of Dallas, where she served as the chief financial officer. This included leadership of Budget and Management Services, Procurement Services, Information & Technology Services, the City Controller’s Office, and the Office of Data Analytics & Business Intelligence. The Bond Buyer honored Elizabeth as a Trailblazing Woman in Public Finance in December 2021.

“These are exciting times for the North Texas region, and DART has developed an unparalleled vision and mission that I feel will make a real difference in the lives of our residents,” said Reich. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to leverage all of my years of finance and business experience to play a role in helping deliver on this vision. I’m excited to work with the team to further strengthen the agency’s financial growth to ensure that we can expand and develop greater mobility opportunities for our riders.”

Prior to joining the City of Dallas, Reich spent 16 years with the Social Security Administration, taking on greater challenges and responsibilities including serving as the deputy regional commissioner of the Dallas Region and also serving as its chief financial officer.

Reich received her Master of Public Administration degree from The American University in Washington, D.C. in 2000. She is also a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber Executive Women’s Roundtable, Women in Public Finance, and serves on the board of Broadway Dallas, previously Dallas Summer Musicals.

Ukraine Relief Charity Welcomes Support at Grapevine Main Street Festival

Palm of Hope is a small group of volunteers united by one original goal – supporting kids with life-threatening or incurable diseases in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. They raise funds to assist children with essential nutrition supplies and critical medical equipment. They are joined by the Ukrainian Cultural Club of Dallas (UCCD) and several churches in this time of extra need.

In this time of incredible hardship, the families they support need more help than ever before. Due to constantly changing circumstances because of the Russia/Ukraine War, they have had to re-focus on how they provide aid. Families are fleeing their homes, which means they need portable equipment. They need to buy power generators, as power outages are becoming increasingly common. In the past, local hospitals and organizations were able to partially cover the families’ needs. Now, their support is uncertain.

Palm of Hope, UCCD, and other volunteers are working around the clock to help their families, but they need some extra help to keep as many families as possible safe.

The 38th Annual Main Street Festival in Grapevine is a popular event featuring entertainment,
craft brew and wine, merchandise, and tennis and pickleball tournaments. This year, the Festival is being held from May 20 to May 22.

Palm of Hope is happy to join with representatives from the Ukrainian Cultural Club of Dallas
and other organizations participating in the Festival, with the mission of gathering monetary
donations (tax receipts available), as well as material donations such as medical equipment
(oxygen systems, bandages, Neosporin, antibiotics, and basically any equipment that a hospital
or clinic can spare), diapers, Pull-Ups, toiletry items for parents, non-perishable food items, and more.

If you have a heart for Ukraine, please stop by their booth with anything you can spare. Palm of
Hope is basically run by 3-4 women across the nation who take packages either directly to
Ukraine themselves or use trusted sources to do so. 100% of anything donated will go to
Ukraine relief.

For more information, visit or

(L-R): Liliana Nedzelska (Art Teacher/Artist), Tanya Czyz, Iryna Shevchuk (UCCD), Elena Mackoway (Palm of Hope)

Woman found buried under Texas home sent text message for help; police believe more women were victimized


FORT WORTH, Texas — We are learning new details about the Arlington woman who was found buried under a Fort Worth home. For the first time, WFAA is hearing from a family friend who gave us insight into what happened days before her murder.

At 26 years old, Marissa Grimes did everything to be that perfect mother to her two children.


[Editors’ Note: Our hearts and prayers go out to the Grimes family and their friends.]

DART: 2021 Year in Review

January: DART Asks North Texas Young Artists to Share Their Heroes

The annual DART Student Art Contest started the year by asking all North Texas students to share their heroes through art. The theme of this year’s contest was “Everyday Heroes Ride DART.” Heroes come in many forms and this year’s art contest gave 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.

February: DART Silver Line Construction Continues with Josey Lane Bridge in Carrollton

Work continued on the DART Silver Line Regional Rail project with the start of construction on the Josey Lane bridge in Carrollton.

The Silver Line Regional Rail Project’s primary purpose is to provide passenger rail connections and service that will improve mobility, accessibility, and system linkages to major employment, population and activity centers in the northern part of the DART Service Area.

March: DART Applauds Jonathan’s Place for Service During National Safe Place Week

The Safe Place program, operated locally by Jonathan’s Place, partners with businesses and community organizations to provide immediate safety and support for local youth. DART began the collaboration with Safe Place in 2015 as part of its ongoing effort to address human trafficking. Local Safe Place locations include all DART trains and buses and Dallas County QuikTrips. As youth enter a designated Safe Place and ask for help, trained staff members connect them to the appropriate youth shelter for assistance.

The national Safe Place program consists of a network of more than 22,000 partnering businesses and community locations, such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses, and libraries, which display the Safe Place sign in their windows.

April: DART Celebrates Opening of Hidden Ridge Station in Irving

On April 9, DART celebrated the opening of the Hidden Ridge Station at Carpenter Ranch in Irving, the 65th station in the DART network. Developed in partnership with the City of Irving and Verizon Communications, the new station is located on the Orange Line between North Lake College and Irving Convention Center stations.

May: The DART Student Art Contest Celebrated Local North Texas Artists

DART celebrated the accomplishments of local young artists at the DART Student Art Contest Awards Ceremony. Collin Chon, a 5th-grade student at Greenhill School in Addison, was this year’s Best of Show winner. Collin’s artwork, based on this year’s theme “Everyday Heroes Ride DART,” was selected from 688 entries from students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

June: DART Celebrated 25 Years of Rail Service in North Texas

On June 14, DART celebrated 25 years of providing light rail service to the residents of North Texas.

The DART light rail system debuted on June 14, 1996. The original starter system was 11.2 miles long, with Blue Line service between Illinois Station and Pearl/Arts District Station, and Red Line service between Westmoreland Station and Pearl/Arts District Station.

Over the last 25 years, the DART light rail system has grown into a 93-mile, 65 station network – the longest light rail system in the country – improving the quality of life for all North Texas residents, and providing access to greater mobility options to jobs, health care, and even educational opportunities.

July: DART Honors Police Officers at 5th Anniversary Memorial Service

On July 7, the DART Police department held a memorial service honoring the sacrifice of the police officers from both the Dallas and DART police departments following a protest march in Dallas on July 7, 2016.

Dallas Police Sergeant Michael Smith, Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Krol, Officer Patricio Zamarripa, and DART Police Officer Brent Thompson sacrificed their lives to protect the lives of others.

DART Police Officer Thompson, 43, became the first DART police officer killed in the line of duty when he gave his life, saving the lives of countless civilians and fellow officers.

August: The DART Discount GoPass Tap Card Supports Riders in Need

DART launched the Discount GoPass® Tap Card pilot to ensure riders who qualify have access to jobs, health care, and educational opportunities, reducing social and economic inequalities by making mobility financially feasible to more people. The program provides riders using any one of nine support assistance programs with a 50% discount on the regular price of a DART pass.

September: DART Board of Directors Unanimously Approves Bus Network Redesign Plan

The DART Board of Directors unanimously approved the DARTzoom Bus Network Redesign Plan. With the goal of providing greater frequency, longer service hours, and improved access to destinations, the redesigned network goes into effect on January 24, 2022.

As the North Texas region continues to experience unparalleled growth, becoming a national and international destination for both residents and corporations, DART has undertaken a complete blank-slate redesign of the existing bus system. Working with all 13 Service Area cities, employers, community leaders, and transit riders, DART has developed a new bus system that is designed to ensure passengers have safe and easy access to employment, education, and entertainment areas across the DART service area.

October: DART Named a Best-in-State Employer by Forbes

For the second year in a row, DART was been recognized as a Best-in-State Employer by Forbes. The Best-in-State Employer award winners, given out by Forbes and Statista Inc., were chosen from a sample of 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees across the U.S.

“We are honored to once again be named as a Best-in-State Employer by Forbes,” said Nadine Lee, President & Chief Executive Officer. “DART is an incredible place to work and develop your career because of the fantastic people who have chosen to be part of the DART family. Our employees’ dedication to DART’s mission and values and determination to put our customers at the heart of everything we do, is the key to our success.”

November: DART Launches Three-Year On-Demand Service for Joppa Community Residents

DART launched the Joppa Rides program, an on-demand transportation service for the neighborhood of Joppa for the next three years. Funded by the City of Dallas to mitigate the impact of closing the current Linfield Road at-grade crossing, the program will serve residents of the Joppa neighborhood, located six miles southeast of Downtown Dallas.

December: DART Honors Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks

To honor the life and legacy of the late Rosa Parks, whose efforts sparked a national civil rights movement for racial equality, DART reserved a seat at the front of every DART bus this week to commemorate her historic and unwavering efforts in support of equality for all.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama when she refused to give up her bus seat to make room for a white passenger. Her act of defiance in the face of an unjust law led to the Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted several months and led to both the desegregation of public transportation in our country and the beginning of the modern civil rights movement.

Rosa Parks’ lifelong dedication to civil rights played a pivotal role in raising both national and international awareness of the unjust plight of African Americans and the civil rights struggle.

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.