Written by Phil Cerroni
Coppell ISD’s student enrollment officially exceeded 11,000 for the first time in the district’s history. As of Jan. 15, according to Sid Grant, Assistant Superintendent for Business & Support Services, CISD’s enrollment was officially reported as 11,044. That number reflects 418 more students than were enrolled on the last day of the 2011-12 school year and a net of 77 additional students since the end of September 2012.
According to Grant, the district’s enrollment growth during the past few years has been steady. Four factors identified as contributors to the student increases in CISD include 1) a downturn in the economy resulting in combined households, 2) the decreased job market, 3) a “land-grab” in Coppell for the development of small residential communities, and 4) continued development and growth in the southern sector of the district (where available land exists).
The CISD Board of Trustees will continue to hold Special Meetings as they study the committee’s recommendations. On Feb. 25, the Board will consider calling a May 11 Bond election during their Regular Monthly Meeting.
Source: Coppell ISD
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 February 2013 21:46
Written by Phil Cerroni
Baylor Medical Center at Irving recently announced that The Joint Commission, in conjunction with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, has awarded the hospital with Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. Baylor Irving’s Primary Stroke Center Certification demonstrates that its program meets critical elements of performance to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.
"In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, Baylor Medical Center at Irving has demonstrated its commitment to quality care for its stroke patients,” said Jean Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q. executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “Certification is a voluntary process and The Joint Commission commends Baylor Irving for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate the quality of care it provides and instill confidence in the community it serves.”
Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke ever 45 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.
"This designation has given us the opportunity to highlight the quality stroke care we provide for our patients." said Cindy Schamp, president. "In collaboration with the emergency department physicians on our medical staff and our staff, we remain poised and ready to serve the residents who present in our hospital with signs and symptoms of stroke."
Stroke is a medical emergency. If you notice one or more of the warning signs, call 9-1-1 and get help immediately. Recognize stroke symptoms FAST:
Face: uneven smile, facial droop/numbness, vision disturbances
Arm & leg: weakness, numbness, difficulty walking
Speech: slurred, inappropriate words, mute
Time: time is critical, call 9-1-1
The Joint Commission's Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association's statements/guidelines for stroke care.
Source: Baylor Medical Center at Irving
Last Updated on Sunday, 10 February 2013 21:45
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Alice Canham
One guest called it “quite a display of school spirit” when several hundred Irving citizens and employees celebrated the State of the City address Jan. 29 at the Irving Convention Center.
“There’s been a lot of talk in our Rotary meetings about how proud we are,” said Doug Fox, who serves as president of the Noontime Rotary Club in addition to his leadership role with the Irving YMCA. “That we can claim the distinction of having earned Baldrige recognition… it means we have a really good thing going here. We have a great City staff, and a great city administrator in Tommy Gonzalez. We’re doing everything we can to take care of taxpayer dollars.”
Indeed, all of the speakers at the 32nd annual event focused on the City’s latest award. Organizations compete to earn the national merit based on business efficiencies leading to measurable results. Irving is only the second municipality to be selected for the honor in the 25-year history of the Baldrige, and it is the only entity to be honored this year with the Baldrige Presidential Award.
Keynote speaker Harry Hertz, Director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program/National Institute of Standards and Technology, told the assembly there were some particular victories for Irving to celebrate.
“You have maintained a AAA bond rating through one of the toughest economic times in our country’s history,” Hertz said to applause from the crowd.
“You have exceeded nine comparable cities in demonstrating financial transparencies. Citizens have rated their overall satisfaction with the delivery of services at 74 percent, compared to Texas overall at 46 percent and the U.S. government at 38 percent. The I-WIN wellness program for employees has been recognized by the American Heart Association for successfully addressing rising healthcare costs and reducing healthcare risks. And finally, the City has adopted Lean Six Sigma, using it to save $44 million in efficiencies since 2008.”
Hertz emphasized that the entire city was part of the team that earned the Baldrige, not just the employees.
“You did this together,” he said, adding that Baldrige recognition is just the beginning of a journey of education and improvement, one that has led six past double-winners to an average 93 percent growth in revenues.
There were other metrics to applaud, as Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne took the stage.
“Our results speak for themselves,” she said. “For the eighth year in a row, Irving experienced an overall reduction in our crime rate… down more than 40 percent over that period of time.
“The City opened the first leg of the DART Orange Line.
“4,382 new jobs were created, through 16 corporate expansions or relocations, including the opening of the Christus Health headquarters last week, United Healthcare’s call center, TK System Global Services and Michael’s Crafts, just to name a few.
“We oversaw 19 capital improvement projects that saw $22 million reinvested in fundamental services for our citizens. And two new areas opened as part of Campion Trails, a great secret treasure for our city.”
Van Duyne also praised improvements to the city’s library system, the Lake Carolyn promenade system, and developments in the sports community that saw the return of the North Texas LPGA tournament and recruitment of a professional tennis team.
Dismissing the controversy surrounding the City’s decision to end funding to the Entertainment Center project (“the albatross”, as she termed it), Van Duyne told citizens that “…we are no longer paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per month for a project that’s not progressing, nor looking at the prospect of hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.” She expressed optimism that soon the City would settle a related lawsuit she called “frivolous,” so the City could actively engage in pursuing other prospective developers.
Telling the audience that “…we now have the meat and the potatoes – it’s time for some spice”, Van Duyne summarized changes that she felt would bring new life to the city. Introducing a liberalized food/liquor ratios in restaurants; concentrating on development of more single-family homes and maintaining what she called “a balance of disparate voices” would allow Irving residents to have it all, she said – a place they could enjoy living, working and playing.
Finally, she pointed to the successes of the venue where the event was being held.
“Two years ago we opened this convention center,” she reminded guests. “Since then, we’ve welcomed 485 events and almost 450,000 people.” She hinted that the coming weeks would bring an announcement of the long-awaited companion hotel project.
Iin closing, Van Duyne encouraged citizens to keep sharing their concerns.
”We respect and appreciate your active and dynamic interest,” she said. “We need to keep hearing from all of you. So don’t let up.”
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 February 2013 16:11
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
Some like it spicy, some like it hot and some like it atomic melt-down. Regardless of their degree of heat tolerance, spice lovers of every description were welcomed to ZestFest hosted in the Irving Convention Center Jan. 25-27.
As Jason Byoreck described his love of all things edible and spicy, his red-faced friend did a sort of one-man jig nearby with beer in hand.
“I just like spicy food and hot peppers,” Byoreck said. “My favorite thing was the Carolina Reaper puree at PuckerButt. It was very spicy and delicious.
“I love seeing the faces of all those people eating hot peppers. Watching my friend in the Atomic Wing Challenge was pretty fun, even though he didn’t win. We have definitely had a good time out here.”
New to ZestFest, Ragan Briter tagged along with friends, but she is now looking forward to coming back to the event next year.
“My good friend, Lisa, really likes hot and spicy food, so we came to check it out,” Ragan said. “ZestFest is awesome. I saw a guy cry when he tasted the sauce over here at this booth. He was literally crying.
“My favorite thing was the boudin sausage: it had just the right amount of spice for me. The food has to taste good. It can’t be so hot that it loses its flavor for me to enjoy it.”
Once a simple farmer, Gale Carr’s interest in chilies has taken him around the world.
“We grew chilies, and we decided to move up the chain a little bit and put in our own processing plant,” said Carr, the owner of Chipotle Texas. “Once we started processing, we learned more and more about chilies. Now we sell about 42 different kinds of chili peppers. I go all over the world buying and selling chilies. Part of it we grow and part of it we source out of places like Mexico, Columbia, Arizona and South Carolina.
“I enjoy the spice business, because I enjoy food. I love to eat.
“ZestFest allows us a chance to get out and see people and see their reaction to some of our products. Typically, we sell a lot of industrial ingredients (franchises/restaurants). This event lets us sell directly to the consumer and see how they like it and hear what they think about it. That interaction gives us ideas about what to do in the future with some of our new blends.
“We always see lots of rubs and hot sauces. But I’ve noticed that there are a lot more spicy jellies. That seems to be the hot item this year.”
Taking the road less traveled, Dan Waters, owner of The Caramel Candy Company, only offered sweets, not spicy items at ZestFest.
“This is candy to put out the fire,” Waters said. “Everyone is on fire, and they come by here to cool off. We seem to be one of the most popular booths here. We are one of the few candy booths. All of the other candies seem to have some sort of a hot sauce or hot pepper in it. Ours is just home-made caramel.
“I think ZestFest is great. It’s our first time here, and we’ll definitely be back.”
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 February 2013 16:10
Written by Phil Cerroni
The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) recognized the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB) with three additional Gold Adrian Awards for compelling advertising, public relations and marketing campaigns in the 56th annual Adrian Awards Competition, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competition globally.
The ICVB was recognized for its work on attendance-building initiatives for consumer events held at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, key public relations placements on behalf of the destination, and a direct mail campaign targeting group meetings and events.
These three awards bring the total number of Adrian Awards received by the ICVB to 14, since 2011. HSMAI presented the awards to the ICVB on Jan. 29, during the annual HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis, attended by more than 750 hospitality, travel and tourism
"The fact that these awards recognize the comprehensive expertise of our staff, as well as the actual results derived from creative efforts, is important,” said Maura Allen Gast, executive director of the ICVB. "The Adrian Awards stage represents the pinnacle of a very large and competitive industry. These awards are validation that what we do, we do well, and it delivers results."
This year's contest attracted more than 1,100 entries from around the world – the winners displayed premium industry knowledge and delivered excellent consumer engagement results. More than 200 subject-matter experts in advertising, digital marketing, media and public relations disciplines, along with prominent members of the travel industry, were selected for the panel that decided on the awards given.
Source: Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 February 2013 16:07
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