Written by Amanda Casanova
The Irving Independent School Board of Trustees may change its direction after the May 11 election selected new faces to the board.
In district 7, an at-large position, Randy Randle earned 66 percent of 4,268 votes in the election. His opponent Mike Gregory took 34 percent of the votes.
In district 5, Lee A. Mosty beat out incumbent Gwen Craig with 57 percent of 1,275 votes. Craig earned 33 percent, and contender Manuel A. Benavidez won 10 percent.
Norma C. Gonzales won the district 6 seat by default with no competitors. Gonzales is a member of the PTA, the district improvement committee, the parent advisory committee and a Head Start of Greater Dallas Policy Council member.
Randle has lived in Irving for more than 50 years. He is a graduate of Nimitz High School and his two sons attended Irving schools. He has served as PTA fundraising chairman, Band Booster president and on campus and district improvement committees. He was also a City Council member.
“I was overwhelmed with the support and the volunteers I had working on my behalf,” Randle said. “I ran my campaign on a message of positive change for our schools and I am looking forward to pointing our focus back to student achievement.”
Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 15:12
Written by Contributor
The Irving Police Department recently participated in the state-wide Impaired Driving Mobilization grant over the Spring Break holiday.
Irving officers made 26 DWI arrests during the no-refusal operation. Seven DPS troopers also participated in the operation and made 21 arrests for DWI. The Grand Prairie Police Department also utilized the operation, bringing six DWI arrests to Irving for blood draws.
Throughout the holiday, the Irving Police Department partnered with law enforcement agencies in the area, as well as TXDOT, in order to provide additional manpower with the primary focus of locating and arresting impaired drivers. Two no-refusal operations were conducted in conjunction with the grant. During the no-refusal operations, those arrested for DWI were only offered a blood test. If the arrested person refused to provide a sample, a judge was present in order to authorize a warrant for a blood draw.
The Irving Police Department will continue to participate in the state-wide grant, which has shown continued success in Irving and across the state. Over the no-refusal weekend there were no alcohol related crashes in Irving.
Source: City of Irving
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 09:24
Written by Phil Cerroni
Spring – March 1 through May 31 – marks the most dangerous season on Texas roadways for alcohol-related traffic crashes. That’s why the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to line up a P.A.S.S. – a Person Appointed to Stay Sober – because even “buzzed” driving is drunk driving.
State law makes it illegal for someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher to drive a vehicle. However, drivers can be arrested with a BAC below .08 when a law enforcement officer has probable cause, based on the driver’s behavior.
“People often don’t recognize the impact that one or two drinks can have on their ability to operate a vehicle,” said John Barton, TxDOT’s deputy executive director. “Alcohol slows your reaction time, reduces your ability to properly gauge speed or distance from other objects and makes it difficult for you to focus on the road. It takes less alcohol than you think so don’t take a chance. Always plan ahead for a sober ride home.”
Source: Texas Department of Transportation
Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 10:28
Conquering Bullying: speaker says courage key to change threats to young targets, demise of American culture
Written by Phil Cerroni
Courage is like a muscle; we only grow courageous by doing courageous things. – Aristotle
By Sissy Courtney
Coppell Independent School District brought bullying out of the shadows by inviting nationally-recognized speaker and author Paul Coughlin to town Feb. 11 to talk with teachers, administrators, business people, fathers and sons about how to stand up to bullies and dissipate a cloud of fear and suffering that has become a part of American culture.
“We’ve done mother/daughter things with Finding Kind, and Paul is the first person I’ve heard who would be able to talk to fathers and sons on the same topic,” said Michelle King, Coppell ISD Director of Professional Learning. “The main purpose of having him here was to bring more awareness to the topic of bullying and the importance of that whole theater of bullying and to address specific things that individuals and groups can do in those areas.
“The district policy on bullying is already in place and going strong,” King said. “It meets the new legislative guidelines. We always want to be sure that if there is something we can be doing systemically, that is something we would consider doing.”
Coughlin asked his audience how can they could take a cowardly lion and turn it into something courageous.
“We must teach it to smile and take a deep breath,” he said. “It will give him courage.”
He said some students and athletes have trouble getting over their fear of failure.
“You don’t develop courage by watching…it’s done in the doing,” Coughlin said. “But you are swimming upstream,” he said speaking of TV shows like Jersey Shore and Housewives of (various cities) that students and parents watch. “You are being asked to educate and change this character development in a culture that is growing increasingly uncivil and crass, and people are making millions acting like children. I actually had kids boo me when I started saying things about Jersey Shore. I think it’s time for a national dialogue.
Coughlin emphasized the effect of bystanders, who he said have the most potential to diminish bullying. He said over-parenting is sometimes part of the problem.
“(Parents are) using words reserved for the birth of Christ for their kids,” he said. “Heaven forbid if you don’t buy Mom’s definition. Psychologically, it makes (the children) fragile, timid, and non-assertive when we over-parent our kids. It makes them ideal targets for bullies. It is the number one form of violence now that a kid will experience in their lifetime. It’s abuse.”
According to a Harris Interactive Pool (Sep. 2011) bullying is the number one concern among students and parents, more than drugs, sex and gang activity and decreasing test scores, especially among minorities.
“Bullycide, committing suicide because of bullying, is increasing,” Coughlin said. “The bully may not be the reason, but it is a contributing reason. It is increasing probably due to cyber-bullying.”
Over 160,000 kids a day stayed home from school, according to a mid-1990’s poll before taken before cyber-bullying began.
“Certainly that number is higher today,” Coughlin said. “Cyber-bullying is a bully’s dream. We need to set up digital boundaries on the Internet highway…digital citizenship. We would consider having students sign a digital citizenry pledge, and if they default on that pledge, they give up their right to be on certain websites. The right to privacy does not apply to youths; that’s for adults.
“(Authorities) have the right to take rights away (from students) if it benefits the whole school,” Coughlin said. “(Approximately) 85 percent of school shootings have bullying as their motive, according to the Secret Service. They interviewed 37 school shooters and asked them why they did it, and almost every one of them said they did it for revenge for being bullied. The number one target is principals.
“Most serial bullies receive pleasure from dominating, harming and humiliating others. It gives them a rush of pleasure, glee, excitement and superiority. It’s deliberate abuse.
“They plan the demise of other people; they enjoy it. Anyone will do awful things under certain circumstances. We learned at Abu Grey (Prison).
“Some solutions include cultivating protectors,” Coughlin said. “We need heroes, we need protectors, we need people to jump in – those who can resist the power of a situation and act out of noble motives or do not behave in ways that demean others. They have an inner-Popeye.
“We must exult them; we must encourage them; we must make courage cool. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your peers and do the right thing.
“The protectors Program in Chattanooga, TN, is a group of people handpicked by the school to talk about what they are doing (to stand up to bullying) and how they are doing it. The more courageous we become, the stronger we become. Strength and courage go hand in hand.”
Anonymous reporting has proven to help in controlling bullying.
“We need to associate bullying with anti-social behavior because it is,” Coughlin said. “Studies show that bullies are more likely to commit felonies later in life. Bullying is abuse not conflict. Serial bullies don’t listen to peace, love and understanding; they listen to power and what’s in it for me.”
In middle school, a UCLA study from 2013 shows most popular are kids are also identified by the same students as bullies.
“The average bully believes they are superior to other people,” Coughlin said. “If you think you are more important and more valuable than other people, all things become possible. Excessive self-esteem is a very dangerous thing.”
He said those being bullied are going to have to fake it until they can conquer the bully.
“(Victims of bullies) are going to have to pretend (they) are more assertive than (they) really are,” Coughlin said.
His program focuses on the strength, heroic desire, and rescuing capacity bystanders have to transform the “Theater of Bullying” into one of character, freedom and justice.
For more details on The Protectors organization, go to http://theprotectors.org/about/.
Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 09:45
Written by Phil Cerroni
The Irving Police Department is currently investigating a multi-vehicle fatality accident that occurred Feb. 18 at about 8:48 p.m.
Anthony Almanza, 39, of Grand Prairie, was driving his 2004 Dodge pickup truck southbound in the 1300 block of S. Belt Line Rd. approaching Trinity. The traffic light at the intersection was red for the direction he was driving and there were multiple vehicles stopped at the light in front of him. Almanza failed to stop for the red light and rear-ended a 2001 Nissan that was stopped for the red light. The impact pushed the Nissan into the back of the 2000 Kia that was stopped in front of it.
The driver of the Nissan, 39-year-old Luis Andrade of Grand Prairie, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The passenger in his car, 23-year-old Imelda Corea, was also transported to a hospital and was listed in serious condition. The driver of the Kia was not injured.
Almanza was injured during the crash and also transported to the hospital.
Officers at the scene believed alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash; therefore, a DWI investigation was initiated. Once Almanza was released from the hospital, he was arrested and booked into the Irving jail. Almanza remains in-custody on one count of Intoxication Manslaughter and one count of Intoxication Assault. Due to the severity of the incident, a mandatory blood draw was required. The blood draw was taken from Almanza at the hospital and submitted to the lab.
Source: Irving Police Department
Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 09:38