Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
Irving Cares, a nonprofit agency, will ramp up security at the facility temporarily after a fatal stabbing occurred on the property in December.
The Irving City Council unanimously voted on Feb. 7 to reprogram about $5,600 in Community Development Block Grants for increased security at Irving Cares, 440 South Nursery Rd.
With the money, Irving Cares will contract with off-duty police officers to provide 154 hours of additional security at the food bank. The off-duty rate to hire the officers is about $35 an hour.
The temporary program is an eligible use of the funds, according to City staff documentation.
Irving Cares provides financial assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, or prescriptions; an employment services program and transportation to medical appointments, but the bulk of its work is the food pantry.
In December, just three days after Christmas, an Irving man fatally stabbed his wife at the food bank.
Roy Lee Gooden, 47, and his wife, Sharon, came together to the facility where Gooden became angry and started stabbing Sharon. A security guard detained Gooden, and he was booked into the Irving city jail on a murder charge.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:17
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Phil Cerroni
On its way back from a pleasant trip to Cancun that sailed from Galveston, TX on Feb. 7, Carnival cruise liner Triumph found itself dead in the water after an onboard fire knocked out the ship’s power on Feb. 10, stranding all aboard. The Carnival cruise liner, which was scheduled to return to Galveston around 8 a.m. on Feb. 11, finished its voyage being towed to a port in Mobile, AL where it docked late Valentine’s Day.
Three Irving couples were aboard the ship: Danny and Stacie Smith, Sheila and Jerry Cox and Jerry and Marsha Newman. Despite dying cell phone batteries, they contacted their families informing them that, although shipboard conditions were harsh, the passengers were physically unharmed. Stacey Smith told her daughter during one of these phone conversations that at least some of the passengers were forced to sleep on the ship’s deck where a dwindling supply of food and almost unbearable sanitary conditions turned a winter vacation into a hellish ordeal.
As the ship prepared to make port, Carnival bought 1,500 hotel rooms for the over 3,000 returning passengers and chartered planes and buses to take them back to their homes around the country. Our local families will be taken by bus from Mobile to New Orleans and will spend Valentine’s night in a Hilton before being flown back to Texas on Feb. 15.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:16
Written by Phil Cerroni
by Alice Canham
In February of 1973, Ron Zimmerman of Irving had a decision to make.
“I’d been in retail since high school,” said the longtime manager of Al’s Rent to Own, 115 S. Main Street.
“I was declared ineligible for the draft – of course, this was during the Vietnam War. And I was in California, but I’d always stayed the summers with my Dad in Irving.”
His father was Al Zimmerman, who opened his first store in Irving at Grauwyler and Britain in 1967 (Al’s Sewing Center). The former Sears & Roebuck salesman later added stereos to the mix, and at one time had seven different retail outlets. Al hoped that each of his four children would take over a store.
“He had a unique situation here: he went into business and evolved it into the stores,” said the younger Zimmerman. “He worked by himself. He would buy one item, sell that one and replace it with two items.
“He was a good teacher and a great salesman.”
The original Al of Al’s Rent to Own passed away 26 years ago – but by then the decision was already made. He left his son in charge of the business in Irving. Ron Zimmerman will be celebrating his 40th anniversary at the store on February 23, 2013.
“I didn’t perceive that I was coming into this as a son; I was coming in as an employee,” said Zimmerman. “God gave me an opportunity. I had a father who was willing to participate in his children’s future.”
Zimmerman studied retail management but admits he also gained a lot of experience in the school of hard knocks. He’s rolled with the punches through the years, moving from electronics to the rental purchase business when the big box stores made it hard to compete. His floor-room is now filled with furniture for the living room, bedroom; any room – all of it available for rent while a customer purchases it over time.
Zimmerman has also invested in his relationships with customers over time. One customer is so at-home with the staff that she makes daily visits, even adopting a post at one of the sales desks.
“This is my home away from home,” Mary Capps explained.
“When I first started out, his father was running this place. I actually bought a sewing machine here for my daughter-in-law.
“But the first thing I bought for myself was a Curtis-Mathes entertainment center. I still have it, and it still works. The music part, the TV – it all still works.
“My whole family – children and grandchildren, too – we all do business here. I have never done business with anybody nicer than this man, Ron Zimmerman.”
“My priority has always been here, at my store,” said Zimmerman. “After forty years, I have seen a lot of changes to this street and to the people here.
“This building began as a five-and-ten variety store back in the 1940s. But business is about change. If you change with it, you’ll have an edge on the others. I’m always looking for ways to improve and to provide services for my customers that they might not get otherwise.
“And of course I’ve worked with the Preservation and Redevelopment Board and with the Downtown Merchants’ Association. I’m proud of participating in the community effort for the Downtown Beautification Day in 1995.
“The redevelopment of the Heritage District has brought the city and the community closer to being on the same page. There’ve been a lot of studies over the years – a lot of meetings, but not much action so far. Finally, though, I think we’re going to see some building, and I’m looking forward to it.
”This is where Irving began in 1902. We should seek to preserve it for the betterment of the community and the education of the children who will be raised here.”
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:15
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
The 101 year old Heritage House was the scene of the annual Valentine Tea hosted by the Irving Heritage Society on Feb. 10.
Co-chairs Marsha Dickens and Carol Susat had the tea table elegantly decorated with rose petals and polished silver. As guests viewed the treasures throughout the house, a tasty selection of tea sandwiches and sweets from menus of yesteryear were available.
“This is the 99th anniversary of the Valentine Tea, which is a wonderful event,” said Dickens. “You get to experience this gorgeous old house.
“The tea has special meaning to me, because it is where my husband and I met three years ago today. I tell people to come here to meet their sweethearts.
“This event has been a blessing to me. My father passed away on Valentine’s Day five years ago. So that changed the meaning of Valentine’s Day for me.”
Long time Irving Heritage Society member and tea volunteer, Mary Higbie, shared some of her memories of past teas.
“One of my fondest memories is coming to a tea when Catherine Shultz was standing at the door greeting the guests,” Higbie said. “That memory warms my heart. Catherine was a beautiful, gracious lady.
“The tea is a nostalgic time. It is a recreation of the housewarming tea in 1914. Many of the recipes and decorations are of that period. I always love to see how beautifully everything has been prepared.”
Following the singing of “Bless This House” by Woody Schober, the guests were invited to join in serenading the Heritage Society 2013 Sweethearts, Janice Carroll and Patty Landers Caperton, with their version of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”
Heritage Society President Chris Wallace provided a recap of the many ways that Janice Carroll and Patty Landers Caperton have volunteered extensively within the organization. Currently Janice serves as President-Elect and Patty is Second Vice President in charge of programs. Both have provided leadership on several major projects including the purchase of new rugs for the Heritage House, determining the nonprofit’s by-laws, Heritage House 100th Anniversary, the annual Treasures and Oddities Sale, and the rebuilding of Mary’s Playhouse.
Contains information provided by Irving Heritage Society.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:11
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
Since 1963, the Las Colinas Country Club has grown and changed as the surrounding community has come into its own. For the past 50 years, members have enjoyed drinks on the terrace, broken in their clubs on the golf course and hung out with the kids around the pool. Deals have been made, anniversaries celebrated and families nurtured within its walls.
On Feb. 8, the club’s membership was invited to raise a glass to toast the club’s illustrious past while anticipating its promising future.
“This club has been a gem in the community and an integral part of the development of Las Colinas and Irving,” said Ron Woolard, the club’s General Manager. “We probably have 200 people here tonight. Once we are done with the toast, we will go out in the restaurant and on the patio to have dinner, music and a celebration all night.
“I’ve been here three years, and I took over a club that had a tremendous amount of history and pride, yet was struggling a little bit. It was struggling because of the economy and because it needed some money and energy put back into it.
“I’ve been able to hire a great staff and collaborate with the members and owners to reinvent the club. We are the same club with pride, but we are a different club with energy, programming and passion for the future.
“When I arrived, about 25 percent of the membership was age 70 plus. They were very proud members. They had been here for a while, and they loved this club. But a club needs to have a balance between the ages. Last year, 40 percent of the memberships we sold were to people under the age of 40. Now, 25 percent of my membership base was not here a year ago. So we are back, and this is all about what the members want. This year we will continue to reinvent and create programming that matches up with what people want. These clubs are places where people can raise their families and be around their friends.”
Among those toasting the club, was Marilyn Noble, who happened to be celebrating a personal anniversary as well.
“My husband Ed Noble joined in 1967,” Marilyn said. “I met him in 1970, and we had our wedding reception here on Feb. 8, 1975, so tonight is our 38th wedding anniversary.
“Tonight, I am really overjoyed,” continued Noble. “I have seen so much positive growth at this club. The direction of the club has been amazing. The LPGA is coming to join us in April.
“The best part of being a member of the club is the people. The people are amazing. Everybody who enters these doors is here to have a good time and enjoy camaraderie. The kitchen is good, the staff is excellent, and the service is over the top.
“I am on the social committee, and we try to offer something to each segment of age groups. We have a lot of young families becoming more involved, and we have a place for their children to have activities. This club is a wonderful place to be, and if there is anyone out there who really wants to be embraced, please join us.”
Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 09:46
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