Written by Phil Cerroni
U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 rankings of the nation’s best colleges are out and the University of Dallas has moved up two spots from last year to number 12 among 129 institutions categorized as “regional universities” in the West region. This year’s ranking places the university second among Texas’s 31 other regional universities and sixth among all Catholic institutions in the West region. The region consists of 15 western states, including California, Colorado and Texas.
In addition to naming the University of Dallas one of America’s Best Colleges, U.S. News & World Report recognized the university as one of 15 “Best Value Schools” in the West region and as an “A+ School for B Students.” To make the latter list, colleges and universities had to “admit a meaningful proportion of applicants whose test scores and class standing put them in non-‘A’ territory.”
“We are pleased and honored to once again be identified as one of the country’s top universities. Rankings like these are the direct result of a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from our students, faculty and staff, and our unrelenting commitment to providing the very best academic experience,” said University of Dallas President Thomas W. Keefe. “Our U.S News ranking, combined with similar recent recognition from The Princeton Review, Forbes and the Fiske Guide, confirms the strength and excellence of our academic programs.”
Since July, the University of Dallas has received multiple prestigious distinctions, including being named one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review, one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes and a “Best Buy” by the Fiske Guide to Colleges.
Source: University of Dallas
Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2012 13:56
Written by Phil Cerroni
Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Dallas recently welcomed two-time National Hot Rod Association full throttle drag racing series funny car champion Cruz Pedregon to its campus. Cruz celebrated his birthday with students and staff by signing autographs, sharing highlights of his racing career and giving students a chance to look under the hood of his race car.
“We were thrilled to have a visit to our campus from a high-profile driver,” said Jesus Miranda, Director of Education at UTI. “It is great for our students to meet someone who has achieved great success in his chosen career and learn more about the technology of race cars.”
Cruz started his NHRA career in 1987 and after racing for years became a color analyst for ESPN’s drag racing coverage in 2001. In 2002, after taking a year off from racing, he assembled a team that qualified for 18 national events. He has since earned his second career NHRA Full Throttle Series world championship title and raced to a win last year in Dallas where he achieved his career best for time and speed.
Source: Universal Technical Institute Dallas
Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2012 14:23
Written by Phil Cerroni
In 2000, a Dallas County jury convicted Robert Wayne Harris of capital murder for killing Agustin Villasenor and Rhoda Wheeler at the Mi-T-Fine Car Wash in Irving. Pursuant to a court order by the 282nd District Court in Dallas County, Harris was executed on Sep. 20.
On March 15, 2000, Harris engaged in sexual misconduct at the car wash in front of a female customer. The customer reported the incident to a manager, and a cashier called the police. Harris was arrested and fired. He had been an employee at Mi-T-Fine Car Wash for ten months.
On March 20, Harris returned to the car wash in a borrowed car at 7:15 a.m., before it opened for business. He forced the manager, Dennis Lee, assistant manager, Agustin Villaseñor, and cashier, Rhoda Wheeler, into the office. He instructed Wheeler to open the safe, which contained the cash receipts from the weekend. Wheeler complied and gave him the cash. Harris then forced all three victims to the floor and shot each of them in the back of the head at close range. He also slit Lee's throat.
Three other employees arrived for work unaware of the danger. Harris forced them to kneel on the floor of the lobby area and shot each of them in the back of the head from close range. One of the victims survived with permanent disabilities.
Shortly thereafter, another employee, Jason Shields, arrived. Shields had a brief exchange with Harris in which Harris claimed to have discovered the crime scene. Shields hurried to a nearby doughnut shop to call authorities. [Harris] followed Shields to the doughnut shop, also spoke to the 911 operator, then fled the scene.
Harris used the stolen money to purchase new clothing, checked into a motel, and sent a friend to purchase a gold cross necklace for him.
Testimony also showed that Harris had planned to drive to Florida on Tuesday and kill an old girlfriend.
After his arrest, Harris confessed to the abduction-slaying of an Irving woman four months before the car wash killings, and led police to the remains.
On September 29, 2000, a Dallas County jury found Harris guilty of murdering Agustin Villasenor and Rhoda Wheeler. After the jury recommended capital punishment, the court sentenced Harris to death by lethal injection.
Years before the slayings, Harris had been convicted of three burglaries and evading arrest. He spent eight years in prison mostly in administrative segregation due to several violations and aggressive behavior. Fifteen prison personnel testified regarding Harris's behavioral problems during his incarceration, which included setting fire to his cell, threatening to kill prison personnel, assaulting prison personnel and other inmates, dealing drugs, refusing to follow orders, and engaging in sexual misconduct.
Source: Texas Attorney General
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 20:12
Written by Phil Cerroni
On Sep.18 at approximately 1:30 a.m., officers responded to the 4100 block of W. S.H. 183 in reference to a stabbing. When officers arrived, they located a 61 year-old female suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Based on the initial investigation, it appears as if the victim was working at the location when her husband, 54 year-old Thomas Parker of Irving, walked into the location and started speaking with her. Without warning, Parker pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim an unknown number of times. As the suspect was leaving, he was contacted by responding officers and taken into custody without incident.
The victim and suspect are married, but the current status of their relationship is not clear. The investigation is ongoing; therefore, a motive is unknown. The victim was transported to the hospital with serious injuries but was listed in stable condition.
Parker was booked into the Irving Jail on one count of Aggravated Assault with Serious Bodily Injury.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 20:14
Written by Phil Cerroni
While the Texas Department of Transportation continues to connect Texas communities through the development and expansion of critical roadways, the agency also is helping provide some much-needed improvements in cities across the Lone Star State.
TxDOT is now accepting applications for the federally-funded Transportation Enhancement Program to aid communities across the state. Up to $70 million is available to fund the improvement of areas in communities that are associated with transportation. Such projects include pedestrian and bicycle trails, the rehabilitation of historic railroad facilities, landscaping near roadways and even preventative care to protect water resources from highway runoff.
Eligible projects must demonstrate a relationship to the surface transportation system. Projects must incorporate one of the following 12 categories:
Pedestrians and bicycles facilities
Safety and education activities for pedestrians and bicyclists
Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic and historic properties
Scenic or historic highway programs (including providing tourist and welcome center facilities)
Landscaping and other scenic beautification
Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities (including historic railroad facilities and canals)
Preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including conversion and use for pedestrian and bicycle facilities)
Control and removal of outdoor advertising
Archaeological planning and research
Environmental mitigation to address water pollution due to highway runoff or reduce vehicle caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity
Establishment of transportation museums.
Selected projects are eligible for reimbursement of up to 80 percent of allowable costs. The entity nominating a project is responsible for the remaining cost share, including cost overruns. Submissions will be accepted until 5 PM CST on Nov. 16. Applications should be submitted to local TxDOT district offices.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 19:48
- Coppell ISD named to 20 district consortium
- Cowboys’ rookies encourage kids to make healthy choices
- Coppell ISD celebrates opening of Victory Place @ Coppell
- Lectures and demonstrations featured at Gallery of Artists
- The Last Battle
- Luncheon honors fallen heroes and looks forward to improving America