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PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID MESQUITE TX PERMIT NO. 85

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VOL. III Issue 42 April 10- May 10, 2011 Published Monthly Balch Springs, Texas

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April 2011 Edition

BALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL


News, Issues & Perspectives

Seniors Get Volunteer Help During Keep Balch Springs Beautiful Event

Volunteers visited the ladies homes and provided yard services, trash clean up, and basically anything else both women needed. Home Depot store manager Bryan Kaeser, who helped put together the event said a business cannot succeed without giving back to its community. “This project is in line with our community goals,” Kaeser said. “A

company success depends not on it sales, but its reputation in the community.” Home Depot helped provided the tools to help clean-up the houses and yards of the people that were serviced. Mayor Carrie Gordon participated in the clean up day by raking leaves and getting rid of extra trash in the yards. “This Continued Page 11

Mayor Carrie Gordon joined volunteers in weekend clean-up. Diane Xavier EDITOR

Residents from all over the Dallas Metroplex joined their neighbors in

Balch Springs to help keep the local community beautiful. Citizens from Plano and Royse City joined residents in Balch Springs,

along with Mayor Carrie Gordon and city staff joined volunteers from local businesses Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sudden-

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link and local churches as they chipped in to help clean up the city by helping two local senior citizens in the area.

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News & Issues Balch Springs Community to Participate in Canned Food Drive to Help the Needy Diane Xavier EDITOR

According to the latest statistics concerning poverty, Texas has the 2nd worst rate of childhood hunger in the country, which means every 4th child in Texas is at risk of hunger. Over 50% of North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant Area Food Bank client’s have to choose between paying for food or paying for utilities. Furthermore, many families in North Texas

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struggle to put food on their table each night. Due to these sad statistics about hunger in our area, The Balch Springs Firefighters Association, along with the Balch Springs Citizens Events Committee is sponsoring a Canned Food Drive called ‘Stacking Up on Canned Foods’ in order to fight hunger. The Food Drive will take place from April 16-23 and will benefit The Cottonwood Outreach food bank in Balch Springs.

April 2011 Edition

Items such as non-perishable food items can be dropped off at The Civic Center on April 16th and also at the Balch Springs Fire Station from April 17 - 23. The Balch Springs area is looking to raise over 2,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry. Bobby Ray, who is part of the parade committee for The Balch Springs, Spring Fling Parade, which will take place on Saturday, April 16 th at the Civic Center on Elam Road,

said the community is hosting their first canned food drive this year. “We are trying to bring awareness to community service,” he said. “Instead of collecting an entry fee for the parade, we are collecting canned foods,” Ray said. “Because the economy is so bad, and we have so many people who are going through food pantries to survive, this would be a great way to give back to citizens who need help.” According to Ray, out of the 23,000 people that live in Balch Springs, 60 percent live below the poverty level, which means they cannot pay their bills on time and a lot of them have to depend on social services. “We also have a lot of older folks who are shut in and we help them also,” he said. “People are surviving just barely due to the bad economy. We are noticing all these needs in our City.” Ray encourages everyone to participate in the parade, which starts at noon. All are asked to donate a canned food item to participate in the parade.

BALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Two years ago a blue ribbon panel with conservative business leaders appointed by Governor Perry reported that Texas “faces a downward spiral in both quality of life and economic competitiveness if it fails to educate more of its growing population.” The panel focused on the need to increase college attendance and to improve higher education. Governor Perry’s budget proposes a 20% cut in state support for higher education. For the impact of the current proposed budget cuts on specific student aid programs and colleges throughout the state, click here. Please let your elected officials know what you think about this. It is not right to blame the recession for these cuts. It is just common sense: the state’s economy hasn’t gone down by 20%! These cuts reflect a lack of leadership and planning for the future. The education of our workforce is the most important investment in Texas’ future. My dad came off a subsistence farm with help from the GI Bill, and a scholarship I earned opened the door to a college my family couldn’t afford. But the current budget proposal cuts student assistance by 41%. Even support for community colleges won’t be spared during a period when their enrollment is surging. In the last decade eight countries have caught up with or tied the U.S. in the percentage of young workers with college degrees. Texas has been lagging behind other states. If you love our state like I do, please share this information with other Texans. Respectfully, Bill White

5th Annual World of Work Career Fair for Youth, Age 15-24 Saturday, April 16 Job Skills Workshop 9:30am-12:30pm (Resume writing; interview skills; work ethics; managing a bank account; how to start a business) Career Fair 1-2:30 pm

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News & Issues

Balch Springs to Get New Middle School ing and cooling systems. “The economy will benefit with all the new jobs the school will bring in,” Patten also said. Some of the special sites around the new school are a city of Dallas

park that is located adjacent to the school to the south, the NTPSA (North Texas Premier Soccer Association) fields are located adjacent to the school to the east. And at just

under 16 acres, the site is small for a middle school, requiring the building to have a 3-story classroom wing.

The state-of-the-art facility will house 63 classrooms, along with core classrooms, the facility will include four special education classrooms, two visual arts classrooms, four performing arts classrooms, three instructional technology classrooms, and four career education classrooms. Diane Xavier EDITOR

Balch Springs very own Middle School has landed on city grounds. As part of the Dallas Independent School district, Balch Springs Middle School located on 710 Cheyenne Road in Balch Springs, will have its groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, April 12th at 10am. All are cordially invited to this special ceremony for the community by the DISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa. The new school will start in the August 2012 school year and has a student capacity of 1,250. The school will enroll students from grades 6th through 8th from six dif-

ferent elementary schools throughout the region. The gorgeous state-ofthe-art facility will house 63 classrooms, along with core classrooms, the facility will include four special education classrooms, two visual arts classrooms, four performing arts classrooms, three instructional technology classrooms, and four career education classrooms. Patsy Patten, Government Services Administrator for the City of Balch Springs, said the new school will help boost the local economy as well. “The school was part of the bond package the DISD did awhile back,” Patten said. “It will provide a middle school in city

limits and will help ease overcrowding in other schools.” Patten said due to the school’s size, the school will utilize the latest technology available. “It will be good for students because it will have features that will help the environment as well,” she said. Some of the sustainable features of Balch Springs Middle School include: over 200 geothermal wells to provide cost effective heating and cooling, use of white concrete for site paving to reduce the amount of surface heating, irrigation commissioning plan, water management system, recycling of construction waste and ducted return air for heatBALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL April

2011 Edition

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Arts & Entertainment Over 75 Vendors Participate in Spring Expo Businesses such as Home Depot, Discovery Toys, One Plus One Image and several independent beauty consultants showed off their talents and gifts at the Expo held at Double D Ranch last month. Over 75 vendors participated. Hundreds of attendees got first hand looks at Sandra Wood, President of the Balch Springs Chamber of Commerce, said the Spring Expo was a great opportunity to showcase the unique place that Balch Springs is. “This was a great opportunity for people to find out all the businesses that are in Balch Springs so people can shop in Balch Springs and support the local community,” Wood said. The Expo also included performances by members of the Ms. Texas Senior Classic Pageant and several children also performed. Peggy Wagner, State Director, said the pageant is held to change the image of aging. Women 60 years and older participated in the talent show by rapping, singing, and dancing. “It’s a recognition program for our Senior ladies,” Wagner said. “Just because we are seniors doesn’t mean our talents stop. These ladies are full of life.” Music was provided by Bill Wright of KKVI radio in Garland. Food was also a part of the festivities as several businesses showcased their treats and tastes. The 2011 Spring Expo proved to be a success as the community, local businesses and friends all came together to celebrate the special place Balch Springs is.

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April 2011 Edition

BALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL

More Expo Photos Page 9


Arts & Entertainment

“Candles in the Devils Wind” Blows into Town on April 16 Diane Xavier EDITOR

She is considered the ‘Next’ Tyler Perry, bringing laughter and joy to thousands who have seen her perform. Always engaging her audiences in the show, Mary Humphrey, a premier upcoming playwright currently based in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, will perform her latest play, ‘Candles in the Devil’s Wind. The play will take place on Saturday, April 16th at the Balch Springs Library and Learning Center in the auditorium on 12450 Elam Road. The day time matinee will take place from 3pm to 5pm and the evening show will go from 7pm to 9pm. To purchase tickets visit www.maryplays.com or call 972-926-8503 or 817-443-1362. A Mary Humphrey’s play is not just a performance but an experience. Even from the beginning when she wrote, produced, and starred in her first play in Taegu, Korea in 1998, she and her family have relentlessly worked o present life on stage that helps, heals, connect to, and entertain audiences in an unprecedented way. Mary Humphrey has been acting, writing, directing, and producing

plays for the last 13 years. “I love sharing my talents with people,” she said. “Acting is a gift and a passion of mine that allows me to give messages in the form of entertainment. I just had an innate feeling that I belong on the big stage performing.” Humphrey’s will play a male character in her latest play, ‘Candles in the Devils Wind.’ “It is a laugh out loud comedy with tons of talented cast members,” Humphrey’s said. One audience member said of Mary’s performance: “Her shows should be a movie!” “I love giving messages in the form of entertainment,” she said. The message is serious but the comedy is what brings the show out. In the show, we bring the audience into it. The audience gets involved because we pull people in and people will get a chance to talk to the characters.” Humphrey’s encourages everyone to come out and witness this great play to provide hope for the future in these hard times. “People should come out because the times were are in with the economy, Japan disaster, and the uncertainty of life, this show is going to speak to every part of you, it will

The Cast

Joseph Bridgewater

Maxine Ingram Writer, Producer and Director Mary Humphrey

Ke Ke Perez Darrell DeWayne Caston Joshua Bridgewater

Terren Humphrey

answer questions like why life is like this, why there are bad times but also the

best times too. It speaks to everyone’s spiritual life as well.”

BALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL

Keomi Dotie

April 2011 Edition

Kristina Bridgewater

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Coed

City Council Proclaims “Wranglers Day” Diane Xavier EDITOR

West Mesquite High School was recently honored by the Balch Springs City Council at its recent meeting. Mayor Carrie Gordon recognized the school during the February 28th meeting of the council and proclaimed it “Wranglers Day,” in honor of the school’s exemplary football season for the second straight year. The football team finished the season as District Champions for

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the third consecutive year and received the Coaching Staff of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and District MVP honors. Several members of the West Mesquite High School community were present, which included the Mesquite Independent School District Superintendent, along with West Mesquite Principal Keith Adams, Head Coach Michael Overton, the Booster Club, the Wrangler cheerleaders, and several parents. Patsy Patten, Gov-

April 2011 Edition

ernment Services Administrator for the City of Balch Springs said the City Council honors those who excel in academics, athletics, and community service. “The proclamation is bestowed upon groups or individuals who have excelled in their work and bring pride and success to the community,” she said. “The City Council and Mayor congratulate West Mesquite High School for its outstanding accomplishments.” Several members of the West Mesquite High School community were present including the Wrangler cheerleaders.

BALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL


Coed

PHOTOS/SENTINEL

Sights and Sounds from Spring Break Expo

City to Host Spring Parade Diane Xavier EDITOR

The City of Balch Springs is hosting a Spring Fling and Parade on Saturday, April 16th from 12 noon until 3pm. The parade route will begin at the rear of WalMart parking lot, down Crumpton then left to Hickory Tree Rd, down Hickory Tree Rd turning left on Elam Rd, down Elam Rd to the Civic Center. Entrance to the parade is a minimum of one non-perishable food item for the local food bank. There will also be an Easter Bunny, an Easter egg hunt for the children,

craft and food vendors, a Youth Job Fair at Pioneer Oaks Shopping Center and the 1st annual food bank drive. The Parade theme is “Spring into Giving”, which steps the City into a new adventure with their 1st annual Local Food Drive. Patsy Patten, Government Services Administrator for Balch Springs, said the goal is to raise 2000lbs in non-perishable food items to be given to the local Food Pantry for Balch Springs residents. “This is a great time for us to do something for the community in Balch Springs,” Patten said. The food drive will also

run for several days. After the Parade, items can be dropped off at the Fire Station in Balch Springs, where there will be a collection box available until April 23rd. Local firefighters will also be participating in the parade. Adam Brooks, a firefighter with the City of Balch Springs, said some members of the squad will perform in the Pipes and Drums Band. A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers “We are performing in honor of one of our fallen firefighters who passed away due to cancer in February 2010,” Brooks

said. “It started when the City of Lewisville offered their services for our firefighter who passed away. Lewisville is the first city in the Metroplex to march in the Pipes and Drums band. And a couple of us worked to get that started here in Balch Springs and portray the tradition.” The Pipes and Drums Band includes a bagpiper and is an Irish tradition. Brooks said the April 16th Parade will be the group’s first public performance. “Its music that I never thought I would be involved in,” Brooks said. “It is rewarding and I consider it a ministry for others.”

BALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL

April 2011 Edition

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Regional

Clean-up Weekend From Page 3

Mayor Gordon helps in clean-up. PHOTO/SENTINEL

day brings us all together,” Mayor Gordon said. “When you spell the last words in community, you get unity. Community unites us all.” Two of the ladies the community helped included a 90 year old who suffered from hip injury and another grandmother who takes care of several of her grandkids alone. Pastor Derek Lewis of Love and Grace Community Church said the church wants to be active in the community as well. “We are helping a local church member who is a single grandmother raising three to four of her grandchildren by herself,” Pastor Lewis said. “This is a great opportunity for us to help her get work done in her house.” Mayor Gordon summed it up best on what the day meant to the ladies and the City of Balch Springs. “We are here to be a sunshine and brighten up their spirits and their lives,” she said. BALCH SPRINGS SENTINEL

April 2011 Edition

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