Customers with young children can now borrow a book at the entrance of some area Tom Thumb grocery stores for children to enjoy while they shop.
But the books aren’t just to entertain children. The books were intentionally selected to engage and educate children about the many things they might see while in a grocery store – particularly healthy fruits and vegetables, where food comes from, and the importance of those who provide our food.
Some books also cover mindfulness, another topic that is important to well-being, especially in children. The books are available for a variety of age levels — even picture books for the youngest shoppers.
Stephanie Jackson, director of strategic partnerships for Blue Zones Project Fort Worth, said providing books and supporting literacy is key to creating a community that embraces and supports children and their families.
“This initiative supports the whole child,” Jackson said. “Promoting physical, emotional and nutritional well-being ultimately supports positive learning outcomes.”
Books are currently available at the Hulen and Camp Bowie Tom Thumb locations and will soon expand to additional Tom Thumb and Albertsons Fort Worth stores. They will also soon be added at Central Market’s Fort Worth store.
Jackson said store managers were enthusiastic to collaborate with Blue Zones Project to support the pilot program and increase reading in the community.
“Albertsons Tom Thumb was aware of Fort Worth’s reading initiative and thought it would be a great way to support families, especially at the early stages of development during their shopping experience,” she said.
This isn’t the first Blue Zones Project program that has involved literacy as a component of well-being. Blue Zones Project is active with the city’s Read Fort Worth initiative and often provides books to area schools that support their Blue Zones actions. But it’s the first collaboration involving area grocery stores.
“Having our Blue Zones Project Approved grocers partner with us is another way we can support our community and make those small changes that ensure our community is a healthier and happier place to live,” said Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project Fort Worth.
The Fort Worth Police Department announced several promotions and reassignments recently:
Robert Alldredge was promoted to assistant chief and assigned to the Patrol Bureau.
Joseph Sparrow was promoted to deputy chief and is assigned to North Command (North/Northwest/West and Traffic Divisions). Deputy Chief Neil Noakes will move to South Command (South/East and Central Divisions). Deputy Chief Michael Shedd will move to Operational Command (Communications/Training/Professional Standards).
Capt. Chad Mahaffey was promoted to commander and is assigned to Central Division.
Cpl./Detective Ebony Bryan was promoted to sergeant.
Sgt. Luis Medrano was promoted to lieutenant.
Lt. Cedric Gutter was promoted to captain.
Officer Corey Swanson was promoted to corporal.
Kuzenka won the accolade for his homeless services work.
Kuzenka has been with the FWPD for 18 years. He has taken on several positions with the department as a patrol officer, Special Response Team member, neighborhood police officer, and now his current position as the homelessness and community relations liaison officer. In this role, Kuzenka is involved with the homeless and senior communities and underprivileged youth.
He takes the time not only to serve on many committees that impact homeless services but also to be present in the community through building relationships and tearing down barriers that help so many.
A new rate structure for metered on-street parking in the popular West 7th district goes into effect Dec. 13.
The new rate structure allows two hours of free parking before 5 p.m. to retail customers visiting the area. The change is intended to address concerns expressed by business owners who contend that on-street metered parking has contributed to a decline in business. Other stakeholders were concerned with the lack of available on-street parking due to long-term parking and a lack of turnover parking in the district. This change will also discourage the misuse of on-street parking by employees.
The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the change, which will allow two hours of free parking daily, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., within a three-hour tiered rate structure. A $3 rate will be charged for the third hour if a patron stays beyond the allotted two hours of free parking during the day. A rate of $3 per hour will be charged between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., with no free parking.
Michael E. Crum has been named director of the city’s Public Events Department.
As vice president for business development and chief financial officer for the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), Crum has been responsible for developing collaborative efforts between the CRVA and its community partners, as well as overseeing the agency’s accounting budget, audit, information technology, strategic planning, research, business analysis, application delivery, security and risk management functions.
“Mike Crum brings an impressive résumé in facility management to Fort Worth,” Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa said. “As Fort Worth looks toward expanding and renovating its downtown convention center, we will rely on Crum’s experience in developing convention business and bringing new and exciting venues online.”
Crum went to Charlotte in 1989 as director of finance for the Auditorium-Coliseum-Convention Center Authority, and in 1997 was named the Authority’s managing director. In this capacity, he was at the center of Charlotte’s efforts to retain the NBA Hornets and in 2002, helped negotiate the agreement that led to the development of Spectrum Center and the return of an NBA franchise to the market.
In 2004, Crum oversaw the merger of the Authority with Visit Charlotte, Charlotte’s convention and visitors’ bureau, to create the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA). He subsequently served as the CRVA’s chief operating officer until the reorganization of the CRVA’s management structure in 2012.
Prior to coming to Charlotte, Crum worked in the Facility Management Division of the Pacer Basketball Corp. in Indianapolis from 1987-1989.
During his tenure in Charlotte, Crum was involved with national events like the 1994 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the 1996 Women’s Final Four, the 1991 and 2019 NBA All-Star Games, the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and the future 2020 Republican National Convention. He also participated in the development of the Charlotte Convention Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and renovations of Bojangles’ Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium.
Crum holds a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served on the boards of directors for the Charlotte Regional Partnership, Charlotte Sports Foundation and Champions for Education, the organization that oversees the operation of the Wells Fargo Championship. He is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers and Charlotte Rotary.
The City of Fort Worth’s Public Events Department oversees the operations of downtown’s Fort Worth Convention Center and the Cultural District’s Will Rogers Memorial Center.
Crum and his wife Kelly have three sons. He will begin work in Fort Worth in early February.
Fans can walk up and buy rodeo tickets for the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, scheduled for Jan. 17-Feb. 8. Phone orders will also be accepted.
There are two convenient locations:
Will Rogers Memorial Center ticket office, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave.
Dickies Arena box office, 1911 Montgomery Ave.
Now that Dickies Arena has opened with a string of successful concerts, intense interest in witnessing the first year of Stock Show rodeo in Fort Worth’s new iconic arena has made pre-order ticket purchases a priority for many. While 10 of the Stock Show’s 25 rodeo performances are sold out, adequate seat inventory exists for the 15 remaining rodeos. The public is encouraged to purchase tickets soon to ensure they secure seats for rodeo at the 2020 Stock Show.
Tickets remain to these popular rodeo performances:
Cowboys of Color Rodeo (Jan. 20).
Rodeo X Extreme Team Competition (Jan. 23).
FWSSR ProRodeo Tournament, a new, fan-friendly format rodeo, (Jan. 24- Feb. 8).
The rodeo ticket offices will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday in December (with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Beginning Jan. 2, both offices will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the Stock Show, ticket offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
The Dickies Arena box office gives the public a second convenient location to purchase tickets. Located at the southwest corner of Dickies Arena, the box office can be accessed at 1911 Montgomery St. Guests may park in the Montgomery lot at no cost, for a limited time, when visiting the box office.
Ed Kraus, a 27-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department, has agreed to remain as police chief, City Manager David Cooke announced. Kraus, has been serving as chief since May.
“Chief Kraus brings more than a quarter-century of broad-based law enforcement experience to the chief’s office, and even more important, he has the support and respect of his fellow officers and stakeholders in the Fort Worth community,” Cooke said. “Chief Kraus’ vast experience, combined with strong leadership skills and a broad knowledge of Fort Worth, make him the ideal choice to lead our police department.”
Kraus began his law enforcement career in 1992. He has served as an officer, detective and sergeant in several units in the Patrol Bureau. His command experience includes assignments as a neighborhood policing district lieutenant, a Patrol Division captain and commander of the Training Division.
He has served in executive roles as deputy chief over the Investigative and Support Command, assistant chief over the Support Bureau and executive assistant chief over the Patrol Bureau.
Kraus earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Tarleton State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the FBI National Executive Institute and the Caruth Police Institute’s Leadership Course.
“In every position he has served, Chief Kraus has focused on promoting community problem-solving, reducing crime and enhancing justice for all of our residents,” Cooke said.
The Trinity Metro Board of Directors named Jeff Davis as the new chairman. Tito Rodriguez was elected vice chair and Ray Taylor was elected secretary for the 2020 fiscal year.
Davis, who serves as chairman of the Fort Worth Division of Republic Title, joined the Trinity Metro Board in 2013. Davis fills the role vacated by Scott Mahaffey, who served as board chair from 2013-2019.
Rodriguez was appointed to the Trinity Metro Board in 2015 by Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes. Rodriguez also serves on North Richland Hills City Council, where he was mayor pro tem 2013-2014.
Taylor was appointed to the Trinity Metro Board in 2017.
Two new members joined the board.
Sylvia Alcala, who replaces Mahaffey, is president and founder of J Anthony Group, a consulting and professional services firm specializing in government subcontracting and supply chain operations in the Aerospace and Defense industry.
Stephen Baldwin, who replaces Jeff King, retired from Oncor Electric after 43 years of service. He volunteers in the community and has operated a small food truck and catering business since 2005.
The Trinity Metro Board has 11 members, with eight appointed by the Fort Worth City Council and three appointed by the Tarrant County Commissioners Court.
Working with stakeholders in the West 7th Urban Village, the city’s parking management team could implement a new rate structure for metered on-street parking.
The new rate structure will allow two hours of free parking before 5 p.m. to retail customers visiting the area. This amendment is intended to address concerns expressed by business owners who contend that on-street metered parking has contributed to a decline in business. Other stakeholders were concerned with the lack of available on-street parking due to long-term parking and a lack of turnover parking in the district. This change will also discourage the misuse of on-street parking by employees.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the new rates at 7 p.m. Dec. 10. If approved, the new rate structure will become effective Dec. 13 and will allow two hours of free parking daily, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., within a three-hour tiered rate structure. A $3 rate would be charged for the third hour if a patron stays beyond the allotted two hours of free parking during the day. A rate of $3 per hour would be charged between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., with no free parking.
Christina Brooks has been named director of the new Diversity and Inclusion Department at the City of Fort Worth.
“We look forward to welcoming Christina Brooks to Fort Worth,” City Manager David Cooke said. “She is a results-driven diversity and inclusion professional with 20 years of experience working with underrepresented populations in public, private, local, national and international settings. Her years of experience in organizational inclusion policy and process change will prove to be extremely valuable as we move forward with our enhanced diversity and inclusion efforts.”
As the first diversity and inclusion officer and LGBTQ liaison for the City of South Bend, Ind., Brooks is responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of an inclusive workforce, talent, community and diversity purchasing and contracting policy development and programs. She also oversees the Human Rights Commission with jurisdiction over St. Joseph County.
“I want to thank the South Bend community for the opportunity to serve as the city’s first Diversity and Inclusion Officer,” Brooks said. “Now, I’m excited to return to my home state of Texas and join the City of Fort Worth administration at a pivotal and important time. I have a sober-eyed view of the intense and necessary work that has yet to be done, but I’m reassured that both Fort Worth’s community and administration are well positioned to work together to advance healing and change where it’s needed.”
Before joining the mayor’s office in South Bend, she held positions at the University of Notre Dame in the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Undergraduate Admissions, TRIO Programs and Human Resources as Notre Dame’s first program manager for staff diversity recruiting. Before that, she was co-founder and executive director of Brooks Running Start Foundation in Washington, D.C., which focused on inner-city youth development. She also held leadership positions for the A. Phillip Randolph Institute’s Tulsa, Okla., Chapter, and School Redesign Task Force with Tulsa Public Schools. Other leadership positions include the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Black Catholic Advisory Board-Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, Community for Peace and Nonviolence, and Black Faculty and Staff Association at the University of Notre Dame.
Brooks holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University at South Bend with concentrations in political science and history and a master’s in nonprofit administration from Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame. She also holds a Master Contract Compliance certification through the American Contract Compliance Association from Morgan State University.
She is married to Reggie Brooks and they have five children.
This new position resulted from the work of the city’s Race and Culture Task Force, which looked at equity in several aspects of the city. The director will manage the newly-created Diversity and Inclusion Department, formerly known as the Human Relations Unit of the City Manager’s Office. This department is responsible for coordinating implementation of the task force’s recommendations and promoting equity in the provision of all municipal services. The department also enforces various civil rights laws, promotes cultural awareness and provides staff support for the Human Relations Commission.
Brooks is expected to begin work in Fort Worth on Dec. 9.
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