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Fort Worth Zoo Named The Top Zoo In The Country

Zoo Takes Top Spot as Best Zoo in North America

Fort Worth Zoo logo

FORT WORTH, TX: The results are in for USA Today’s 10 Best Zoos, and the Fort Worth Zoo is proud to announce that it has been named No. 1 in North America! USA Today assembled a panel of industry experts who created a list of 20 zoos that excel in animal care and enrichment, while also creating meaningful interactions between animals and humans. The news organization opened the voting, asking people nationwide to choose their favorite. The final rankings were revealed this morning, Friday, July 17. This is the fourth year the Fort Worth Zoo has finished in the USA Today’s top five and the first time in the No. Continue Reading →

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DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS® OFFERING PRIZES AND SCHOLARSHIPS TO TEXAS STUDENTS

Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest and Don’t mess with Texas K-12 School Art Contest now taking submissions

AUSTIN — Don’t mess with Texas is holding two contests to award prizes and scholarships to Texas students demonstrating efforts to raise awareness about litter prevention in their communities. The 2020 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest and the Don’t mess with Texas K-12 School Art Contest are presented in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Both contests are currently accepting applications and submissions. The 2020 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest is open to any Texas high school senior currently attending public, private or home school and planning to attend an accredited college or university in the coming year. The contest will award one $5,000 scholarship, one $4,000 scholarship and one $3,000 prize in May 2020. The scholarships recognize the achievements of high school seniors who are taking an active role in preventing litter in their schools and communities, while working to build awareness for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Don’t mess with Texas initiative. 

In the Don’t mess with Texas K-12 School Art Contest, Texas students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit their original artwork for the opportunity to be featured in the 2021 Don’t mess with Texas Calendar. The artwork should promote the Don’t mess with Texas and/or Keep Texas Beautiful litter prevention messages to encourage and inspire Texas residents to advocate and take action for litter prevention. Continue Reading →

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The Alamo Announces Lead Actors For World Premiere of Remember on Feb. 29

SAN ANTONIO – On Saturday, February 29, the Alamo and the Tobin Endowment will present the world premiere of Remember, a musical honoring those who gave their lives for Texas. The Alamo is proud to announce the casting of Ben Jones as William Barrett Travis, and Michael Dailey as Stephen F. Austin. Rated as “show-stopping” by the San Francisco Classical Voice, Ben Jones has performed principal roles in productions of Sweeney Todd, Guys and Dolls, The Last Five Years, and Cats. 

Michael Dailey, who has been described by Opera News as being “blessed with freshness,” has performed over 32 principal roles with opera companies like Opera San Jose, Theater an der Wien, Tricities Opera, and New York Harlem Productions. He has been a featured tenor soloist with the Berkeley Symphony, Sacramento Choral Society, Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra, and the Cole Porter Society. Remember was written by W. Blake Winchell, who has directed over 30 amateur performances including Camelot, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Forever Plaid. Born in Houston, Blake has written six musicals and Remember is the first one to premiere publicly. Continue Reading →

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WWII VETERAN REQUESTS 100 CARDS FOR 100th BIRTHDAY

BONHAM, TEXAS – Today, Chairman of the Veterans Land Board George P. Bush asked the community for help in ensuring WWII Navy Veteran Lyndoll Hurley receives 100 birthday cards for his centennial birthday. It’s not every day that a WWII Veteran turns 100 years old. On Wednesday, January 8, WWII United States Navy Veteran Lyndoll Hurley will turn 100 years young. Lyndoll Hurley proudly served in WWII in the Navy. Please help us celebrate this momentous occasion by sending a birthday card to Lyndoll Hurley’s home at the Clyde W. Cosper Texas Veterans Home, run by the Veterans Land Board. Continue Reading →

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54th annual Austin Trail of Lights Powered by H-E-B Announced for Dec. 10-23, 2018

Austin, Texas’ most vibrant holiday winter attraction is back for its 54th year; announces activities, event calendar and more

 

AUSTIN, Texas:  The Trail of Lights Foundation today announces dates for the 54th annual Austin Trail of Lights, powered by H-E-B, running from Monday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018 in Austin’s beloved Zilker Park. Since it began in 1965, the Austin Trail of Lights has grown into one of the city’s largest events, attracting an average of 400,000 people from all over the state and country per year. Every holiday season, Austin’s iconic Zilker Park is transformed into the Trail of Lights with more than two million lights, 65+ displays, 30 food trucks, three entertainment stages, 50 private holiday parties and interactive experiences throughout the park. Last year, the Austin Trail of Lights was recognized as a Top 10 lighting or holiday event by USA Today, Yahoo and Southern Living and was deemed the second largest event in Austin, according to the Austin Business Journal (2017). Continue Reading →

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Music Festival For A Cause Celebrates San Antonio’s 300th Anniversary At The Sunken Garden Theater

SAN ANTONIO, TX:   Texas-based nonprofit for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH), Aid the Silent, partners with hearing-solution industry leaders to host second annual all-accessible festival in San Antonio, TX. The Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival (GVMAF), open to hearing individuals and persons with hearing loss, will take place at the historic Sunken Garden Theater Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 1 p.m. – 11 p.m. The event is an official Tricentennial Community Partner that will honor San Antonio and Bexar County’s 300th anniversary. GVMAF benefits Aid the Silent’s efforts to provide accessibility and equality to deaf youth. The Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival is an all-day, family-friendly event featuring popular musicians Parachute, American Idol winner Kris Allen, Penny & Sparrow, Willow City, Zoë Nutt, Ryan Scott Travis, Emma Faye Rudkin, Sarah Spivey and Adopted Kids. With dozens of vendor booths, games and photo opportunities, there is something for everyone to enjoy. GVMAF is open to people of all ages. Continue Reading →

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Odessa Most Expensive City in Texas To Visit, According to Survey

Texas, March 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Odessa, located in the heart of the Permian Basin, is the most expensive destination in Texas based on the cost of its lodging. That’s the main finding of a recent survey conducted by CheapHotels.org. The survey compared 30 cities in the Lone Star State, using as its basis of comparison the average rate for each one’s cheapest available double room (minimum: 3-star hotel) during the month of April 2018. April also happens to be the month during which most Texan cities reach their highest average hotel rates. To stay in Odessa, travelers will have to spend an average of $186 per night. Continue Reading →

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Will The Alamo Fall Twice?

During the Presidential election of 1960, then-Senator John F. Kennedy while campaigning in Texas, made a brief visit to the Alamo. His speech, given in front of the historic mission yielded an iconic photo. Having completed his remarks and pressed for time, JFK reportedly asked San Antonio attorney Maury Maverick, Jr. if there was an exit in the back of the Alamo, to which Maverick replied, “there is no back door, that’s why they were all heroes.”

And so it is, that the Alamo and its remarkable history have been seared into the consciousness of our national character. It is the 19th century’s version of the Spartan 300, who stood defiantly against an overwhelming Persian army. The Alamo story is, in essence, our American Thermopylae, and the lodestar and standard of courage to which our fighting men and women aspire to till this day. Continue Reading →

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HCSO Tweet Shows America is Alive and Well

Texas, USA- A little over three hours ago the Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted the picture seen here.  Along with regular updates on the status of 911 calls, evacuations, and areas of need, the sheriff’s office is using social media to update the world and the people of Texas on Harris County, Texas.  The picture tweeted came with the reassurance “HCSO deputies are out in the Blackhorse subdivision still working high water rescues. #Harvey”

As the picture was being tweeted, out in California newscasters were tweeting a different type of picture.  They were busy tweeting the “faceless,” masked participates of ANTIFA as they took over a park.  They chanted “This is our park” and attacked several people.   Their hate-filled and fueled propaganda routine continued to blast across the twitter feeds.  Fortunately, those tweets do not represent who we are as Americans.  They do not represent what we do as Americans.   They do not represent how we as Americans act.   There are pictures of African Americans helping Caucasians, of Caucasians helping Hispanics, and so on.  People of all races, backgrounds, sexual orientations, sex and religions are coming together to help with the disaster in Texas. Surrounding states, like Arkansas and others, have governors sending aide and supplies – not because the Texas problem is an Arkansas problem, but because the Texas problem America’s problem.  We are America.  The people going into the flood areas and bringing others out, the people giving blood, the people helping with evacuees across the state, and the service people already on the ground wading through water to carry out children, elderly and others are the true representations of America. Continue Reading →

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Intellectual Disabilities and Openings in the ICF/IID Programs in Texas

Despite efforts in Texas to move forward with services for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, the state still lingers far behind most others in the nation.  United Cerebral Palsy conducts surveys on Inclusion of the states, and Texas is always near the bottom.  In 2012, out of 51 states and districts surveyed, Texas ranked number 50 at the bottom of the list.  In 2016, that ranking had not changed and the only state lower than Texas was Mississippi.  While the inclusion survey covers several areas such as employment, housing, services, treatment, etc. of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, the disheartening fact is that one of the largest, wealthiest states in the union is unable to raise its level of services in a four-year period.  This shows either a lack of concern on the part of the state, a lack of effort, or a combination of both. The state currently operates thirteen “State Supported Living Centers” or SSLCs.  These are the large institutions were once called “State Schools” prior to the reorganization a few years ago.  According to the DADS website, which is currently transitioning into the HHSC website, all thirteen of these facilities have vacancies, or openings to serve people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.  There are currently 376 openings in these facilities according the latest update at the DADS website completed on August 5, 2017. There are 796 facilities in the state of Texas offering Intermediate Care Facilities services for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID).  These facilities unlike the SSLCs are usually smaller six or twelve bed styled facilities in the community.  Many are operated privately by organizations or small corporations.  Some are considered non-profit and some are considered for profit. Out of the 796 facilities, 199 of them have openings of one or more vacancies.  There is currently a total of 415 open beds in ICF/IID programs across the state of Texas. Continue Reading →

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