Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
City leaders are hoping the sale of about 20 acres of residential land in the Heritage Crossing will spur development in the downtown district and give life to a long dormant plan to revitalize the area.
The City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to begin taking bids on the sale of 20 acres of land.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” Council member Rose Cannaday said. “This is really exciting that we are taking a step forward.”
The Council’s vote also puts up a commercial building at 222 E. Irving Blvd. for sale, which will be offered on the market separately from the residential property. The residential property will be sold in “packages,” and not as a whole to a single developer, said Doug Janeway, chief development officer for the City’s real estate and development department.
The City Council would still have to approve the sales at later Council meetings.
The intention is for developers to snap up the property and build new townhomes and single family houses - something citizens have long asked for.
“This has opened up the lines of communication,” Council member Michael Gallaway said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things the Heritage Crossing has suffered from. I want to thank the neighborhood association for hanging in there with us.
“We’re down that road and hopefully we’re going to see something very productive in the downtown area,” he said.
The Council’s action is the latest in an effort to redevelop and transform the Heritage Crossing district, but it isn’t the first time a project has promised change. In 2008, developer Delbert McDougal released plans to gut Heritage Crossing and revamp it with new offices, parking garages and apartments.
But the plan never gained traction or support from the public, and last year, the City stopped work with the developer.
In November, the Council hired consulting firm Gateway Planning to come up with a new redevelopment plan. Its first public meeting drew about 100 people where Gateway executives spent more than two hours discussing possible improvements to the area.
Gateway Planning will present its recommendations to the City Council on Feb. 28.
“This is to get some of the development underway that the Council and community have been asking for,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said. “Obviously the community and this Council are very ready for some development.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 10:33
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
The Texas Half Marathon moved to Irving this year after outgrowing its location at White Rock Lake in Dallas. The Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, welcomed the event to the city on Feb. 3, drawing more than 1,000 runners in both the 5K and half marathon races.
“The Texas Half got too big for White Rock Lake,” said Mallory Jones-Fiske, race director and operations manager. “We were hearing complaints from the local businesses and the homeowners. “The trail around the lake is also open to the public, so we had no way of controlling the cyclists and other runners that might be along the same paths as our event.”
The White Rock race usually draws about 1,200 runners. In 2012, the race paired with a challenge program and brought in 1,600 people, Jones-Fiske said. At the White Rock Lake location, racers sometimes had to avoid cyclists and walkers in the public park.
For the 11th edition of the event, the Irving race featured a flat, fast course and the half marathon only boasted 12 turns throughout the 13.1 mile course.
“Irving is very helpful and has beautiful roads, neighborhoods and trails,” Jones-Fiske said. “It makes it very easy to create a winning event in town.”
“I had an amazing experience,” said Carla Leyva, who ran the 5K race. “The location was perfect. It was clean and big enough to host all runners without feeling too crowded. It also helped that the waiting area was indoors, because it was pretty chilly outside. Two thumbs up for garage parking, because it was easy to find and near the main event.
“It was also very well organized,” she added. “The organizers, volunteers and police officers were on point and nice throughout the race. I did not run the half-marathon but after that day, I'm considering doing the half next year.”
For Marsha Escobar, the half marathon course was one of her favorites she’s competed in.
“I really enjoyed the new course and is probably one of the most enjoyable halves I've participated in,” Marsha Escobar said. “The course was scenic, beautiful and clean. Great turn out. My friends and I were saying that this was probably the most enjoyable courses we've run.
“I'll probably do The Texas Half every year if they keep the course beautiful, flat and clean.”
Escobar finished the 13.1 mile race in 1 hour and 52 minutes.
In the Half Marathon event, Kevin Lyons, a 27-year-old finished first overall with a time of 1 hour and 13 minutes. Annette Fuhr, a 52-year-old, was the first female to cross the finish line with a time of 1 hour and 29 minutes.
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 February 2013 22:03
Written by Phil Cerroni
The Irving Police Department is currently investigating what appears to be a murder/suicide that occurred Feb 3. At approximately 12:49 p.m., the Irving Police Department responded to the 1800 block of Jordan Court for a report of a suspicious circumstance.
A resident reported that a neighbor had asked him to watch his five-year-old child, left the child with him and then walked back home. The resident became concerned and called police. Officers attempted to contact the neighbor but there was no answer at the front door. Officers went to the back of the house and were able to look through a window and saw a male lying on the floor suffering from an injury.
Officers made entry into the house in order to assist the male who was suffering from an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound. A protective sweep of the house revealed a deceased female with multiple gunshot wounds. The male was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.
Based on the initial investigation, this appears to be a murder/suicide. There is nothing to indicate otherwise at this time. A note was left by the male and family members were aware of ongoing marital problems.
The five-year-old child was released into the custody of CPS. Next of kin has been notified but live out of state. The investigation is in its early stages; therefore, details are limited.
The male has been identified as 44-year-old Luke Sy Dinh of Irving. The female has been identified as 27-year-old Ha Thi Nguyen of Irving. The name of the five-year-old is not being released.
Source: Irving Police Department
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 February 2013 22:02
Written by Phil Cerroni
The Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) announced Jennifer Garcia as its Interim President. The mission of the IHCC is to advocate for education and economic development in the Hispanic market.
Garcia has over 12 years experience in the Chamber sector and brings a wealth of knowledge, including leadership in economic development, operations, public relations, member recruitment/retention, accounting, finance, marketing, and strategy. Garcia is known for her steadfast work ethic, which she attributed to her parents. Garcia’s Mexican-American father and Salvadorian mother, Reynaldo and Ada Luz Martinez, instilled the significance of working for and attaining the American dream while staying authentic to cultural heritage and spiritual guidance.
Garcia has completed Nonprofit Membership Growth and Nonprofit Time Management certifications through the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Chamber Training Institute and University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business collaborative. Additionally, Garcia is pursuing training in Nonprofit Management, Nonprofit Board Governance, Nonprofit Leadership Growth, Personal and Organizational Branding and Nonprofit Lobbying and Advocacy.
Garcia, her husband, and three children are Irving proud. In fact, Garcia has called Irving home since the age of five. Devoted to her love for entrepreneurship and her community, Garcia is honored and humbled to lead the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Source: Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 February 2013 22:00
Written by Phil Cerroni
Daniel Oberlender, 45, a former choir teacher at Cross Timbers Middle School in Grapevine, TX, pleaded guilty in federal court Jan. 24 to a criminal information charging one count of distribution of child pornography. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of not less than five years, or more than 20 years, in federal prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for June 20, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Oberlender has been in federal custody since Dec. 20, 2012, when he was arrested on a federal criminal complaint that was filed after law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence in Grapevine on Dec. 18,. According to documents filed in the case, Oberlender used his Apple Macbook computer to connect to the Internet and use Skype software to share a video file depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Specifically, according to the factual resume filed in the case, on Aug. 5, 2012, Oberlender used Skype to communicate with a person known as “DJH.” During that communication, Oberlender permitted DJH to remotely view the entire contents of his computer screen. Oberlender then began playing a video file, viewable by DJH, that depicted an adult male and a minor male engaged in sexually explicit conduct. DJH, who was located in Dallas, used Evaer software to capture and record the contents of Oberlender’s computer screen, to include the transmission of the video.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “Resources.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 February 2013 21:59
- Irving Cares receives “critical needs” grant
- Irving Cares rated in top one percent
- Carrollton man sentenced for selling counterfeit cell phone accessories
- Free emergency training course offered to residents, commuters
- Public invited to comment on Dallas County preliminary flood maps
- Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas awarded Leed® Silver green building certification