Play Comforts toy giveaway to provide 2,000 free toys to military children
WHO: The Milam Youth Activity Center on Fort Bliss will host a Play Comforts toy giveaway for military Children from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.
WHAT: Play Comforts, an initiative of the Toy Industry Foundation supported by Boys and Girls Clubs of America Military Services, will distribute 2,000 free toys to military children ages 6 weeks-18 years. The event is open to military-connected children, including active-duty, Reserve and Guard families. Toys will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of one toy per child, and children must be present to receive a toy. Entertainment and refreshments will also be available.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 17, from 4-6 p.m.
WHERE: Milam Youth Activity Center, 10960 Haan Road, East Fort Bliss
BACKGROUND: The Play Comforts program took off in 2010, when TIF partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of America Military Services to give back to the sons and daughters of our nation’s troops.
“Separation from parents, worrying about their safety in combat, leaving friends behind as they move from home to home, and readjusting when parents return from overseas are all difficult and unique circumstances military youth face,” notes the TIF website. “Together with BGCA, the Toy Industry Foundation provides special toy distributions to America’s bravest children.”
Since the Play Comforts partnership launched, TIF’s Toy Bank has provided more than $3 million worth of toys, and TIF granted more than $200,000 in funds to BGCA. The program has reached families on more than 65 military installations, with more to come. Toys are distributed through Boys and Girls Clubs located on the military bases affected by high deployment rates, and Play Comforts has served every branch of the U.S. military, at home and abroad.
Gov. Perry Announces Reward Up To $100,000 in Kaufman County Murders
Gov. Rick Perry today announced the Governor’s Office is offering a cash reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or people responsible for the deaths of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia. Kaufman County Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or people responsible for the death of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.
“Words cannot describe the shock and grief this community has suffered over the last several months. The criminals responsible for these murders will be caught, convicted and will pay the price for these horrific crimes,” Gov. Perry said. “I have full confidence that this investigation will lead to the conviction of whoever perpetrated these insidious crimes, and it is my hope and expectation that these rewards will help convince those who may be holding onto important information to come forward.”
Anyone with information that could be helpful to investigators is urged to call Kaufman County Crime Stoppers at 1-877-847-7522 or email anonymous information to Kaufman County Crime Stoppers at http://kaufmancountycrimestoppers.org.
This reward is funded through court fees distributed by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division to apprehend fugitives.
Additionally, the FBI has launched billboards throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico encouraging tipsters to contact Crime Stoppers with any information. Billboards have been donated by the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas, which includes Clear Channel Outdoor and Lamar Advertising, with additional space donated by Fairway and CBS.
Texas Crime Stoppers programs provide a partnership between the public, law enforcement agencies and the media in order to speed identification and apprehension of criminals and the solution to unsolved crimes. Programs accept anonymous tips and provide cash rewards if a tip leads to an arrest or indictment.
International Business Summit – El Paso, TX
Get the latest industry and market information presented by experts in international business. Each presentation is packed with information and resources that guarantee high-value information for your global enterprise. Grow your business internationally.
Small Business Development Center at El Paso Community College
9050 Viscount Blvd., Bldg. B, #B520
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 10, 2013
EPWU offers irrigation advice to professionals, homeowners
With another hot, dry summer just around the corner, El Paso Water Utilities will host a series of workshops that can help El Pasoans irrigate more efficiently, whether they’re responsible for watering a small lawn or a giant football field.
The educational series will be held at EPWU’s Carlos M. Ramirez TecH2O Water Resources Learning Center at 10751 Montana Avenue in East El Paso.
- Professional Workshop: On Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, professional irrigators from across Far West Texas and Southern New Mexico will gather at the TecH2O Center to attend the Landscape Irrigation Auditing and Management Short Course. The course is designed to showcase the latest techniques which ensure efficient irrigation. Professionals who enroll in the course will also gain hands-on experience by performing an actual irrigation audit. The course is intended for irrigators who are responsible for watering large tracts such as parks, apartment complexes, and sporting facilities.
- Free Public Event: On Saturday, April 6, the public is invited to attend between 9:30am and 1pm. The workshop, entitled “Waste Not, Want Not: Effective Irrigation in the Chihuahuan Desert,” is free of charge and will include demonstrations from EPWU, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Master Gardeners, and Master Naturalists. This event is intended for the homeowner and will include information on rain-water harvesting, how to xeriscape, and methods to care for desert plants. Children will have the opportunity to make a bird feeder for their backyard. More information on the public event can be found by clicking on “events” at TecH2O.org.
Anyone responsible for maintaining a residential landscape is reminded to abide by the city’s year-round watering schedule: Odd addresses water on Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday; Even addresses on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Between April 1 and September 30, outdoor watering is prohibited between 10am and 6pm. Visit LessisMoreEP.org
EPCC Celebrate National Community College Month
April is annually recognized as National Community College Month. El Paso Community College (EPCC) has much to be proud of at the national and local level. EPCC has once again been recognized by Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine as the number one community college in the areas of Hispanic student and instructor population, as well as the number one grantor of associate’s degrees to Hispanic students.
EPCC will reach out to our military community during National Community College Month by honoring outgoing Fort Bliss Commanding General, Dana J.H. Pittard. The ceremony will take place April 9th at the Centennial Club. General Pittard has been instrumental in the planning of our new Fort Bliss campus. The lease of the Fort Bliss property has been approved. Phase two of the project, hiring of an architecture firm to design the campus, is underway. The proposed grand opening is 2016.
El Paso local governments will honor EPCC during the month. The El Paso City Council will proclaim April as National Community College Month at their meeting on April 9th. The El Paso County Commissioners will put forth the resolution to name April as National Community College Month on April 15th.
EPCC will also honor its own during the month. The annual Employee Recognition Luncheons will take place in the Boardroom at the Administrative Services Center. Employees celebrating 5, 10 and 15 years with the college will be recognized at a luncheon on April 12th. Employees with 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of services will be in the spotlight on April 26th. For the first time, EPCC will have employees with 40 years of service. Congratulations to Juliana Bustamante, Leon Blevins, Jeffrey Coles and Fidel De Leon.
Get to know EPCC during April at www.epcc.edu.
Texas Lions Camp
Another summer is quickly approaching, and that means it is time to apply for a week of fun at Texas Lions Camp! We have been preparing for the upcoming summer and are excited to tell you about our online application process provided for your convenience located at www.lionscamp.com. Our original paper application is available as well and instructions are listed below. As always, this experience is offered completely without charge to qualifying children from the State of Texas.
Below is the application and more info:
Help Feed El Paso’s Hungry
El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank needs the community to help win $45,000 to be applied toward alleviating child hunger in El Paso. This contest is run by the Walmart Fighting Hunger Together competition. During the entire month of April, the food bank is asking that El Pasoans visit facebook.com/walmart, click on the Fighting Hunger Together tab, and find El Pasoans Fighting Hunger to vote. Facebook.com users may vote once per day.
Approximately 200 Food Banks across the country are competing for 40 prizes of $45,000 to fund programs specifically to alleviate child hunger. A donation of this size would make a significant impact in the lives of thousands of El Paso children.
The unfortunate truth is that more than 1 in 4 people in El Paso County are food-insecure with over 135,000 of those being children. The Agriculture Department defines food insecurity as lacking consistent access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Any degree of food insecurity can lead to chronic hunger and malnutrition.
While the problem of hunger is not easily visible, hunger and malnutrition are prominent in our community, and have significant consequences.
“Inadequately nourished children are apt to have developmental and learning problems as well as more likely to be susceptible to sickness,” John Schwarting, Executive Director for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.
The Walmart Foundation is a major partner in alleviating hunger in El Paso. Since April of 2012, Walmart has committed $200,000 of funding to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger. Help El Pasoans Fighting Hunger to continue to receive the generous support of the Walmart Foundation by voting every day during the month of April.
For more information concerning the Food Bank and how you can help, visit www.elpasoansfightinghunger.org or call 915-298-0353.
EPCC SHOWCASES STUDENT ART
El Paso Community College (EPCC) Student Art Society will host its 36th annual Student Art Exhibition as part of the college’s Spring Arts Festival. Event entries are open to all EPCC students. Presentation of jury selected pieces will be on display at the EPCC Administrative Services Center Building A Foyer, 9050 Viscount Blvd. The display is open to the public weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., April 5th through April 30th.
An award presentation and reception, open to the public, will be held in the ASC Building A Foyer Friday, April 5th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monetary awards will be presented for first, second, third place and honorable mention in the categories of two-dimensional and three-dimensional, as well as Best of Show. Awards are made available through the EPCC Student Government Association.
April is Fair Housing Month: Housing choice is your right
Without any television specials or advertising campaigns to remind us, the fact that April is Fair Housing Month can sneak up on you.
Promoting awareness of fair housing and educating people on their rights and responsibilities is essential to ensuring that we each have what the Fair Housing Act is there to provide – a choice in where we live.
And because it’s Fair Housing Month, April is a good time to highlight the Fair Housing Act and how it can protect you. This is especially important for members of a minority group or anyone whose primary language is not English.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, it is a violation of the Fair Housing Act for an individual to take any of the following actions based on the protected classes of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability:
- Refuse to rent or sell a home
- Refuse to negotiate for a home
- Make a home unavailable
- Falsely deny that a home is available for inspection, sale, or lease
- Persuade an owner to sell or rent to a particular buyer
- Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for the sale or lease of a home
Directing a client toward or away from a specific neighborhood is also a violation of the Fair Housing Act whether intentional or not.
Real estate professionals should avoid offering their personal opinion regarding or performing any activity that highlights the racial, religious, or ethnic composition of a given neighborhood or neighborhood school.
Consider looking for a real estate professional whose territory covers a broad, diverse area, as opposed to one populated primarily by members of a certain ethnic or religious group.
Although not specifically identified in the Fair Housing Act, anyone who shows, sells, owns, manages, or offers mortgage services for housing properties might consider providing reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and language assistance for persons with limited English proficiency in keeping with the spirit of the Act.
The vast majority of professionals in the housing industry are honest, law-abiding men and women who are well aware of fair housing issues. But it is important to learn and recognize discrimination.
Ultimately, knowledge is your best tool to avoiding discrimination. There are multiple facets to the Fair Housing Act and all Texans should be familiar with their rights under the laws of this state and country.
But don’t wait until you start your housing search. Fair housing violations — just like Fair Housing Month — can sneak up on you before you know it.
PROVIDENCE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL FREE SEMINARS
Sierra Providence Health Network is offering free seminars on surgical weight loss. To register, please call 577-SPHN (7746).
- Surgical Weight Loss Seminar
Class Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Sierra Providence East Medical, 3280 Joe Battle Blvd.
- Surgical Weight Loss Seminar
Class Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: Providence Regional Bariatric Center, 1250 E. Cliff, Suite 1-C
Gov. Perry Appoints Three to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three members to the Texas Department
of Motor Vehicles Board for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2019. The board
administers and enforces statutes relating to certificates of title and
registration of vehicles, identifying markings on commercial motor vehicles,
motor carrier registration, single state registration, motor transportation
brokers, foreign commercial motor transportation, sale or lease of motor
vehicles, and salvage vehicle dealers.
Luanne Caraway of Kyle is the Hays County tax assessor-collector. She is a
member and past president of the Tax Assessor-Collector Association of
Texas, a member of the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts and Texas
Association of Assessing Officers, a board member of the Texas Association
of Counties, and a past member of the Texas School Assessor Association. She
is also a member of the Calvary Baptist Church Finance Committee, a past
board member of Hays County Crime Stoppers and Central Texas Life Care
Center, and past co-chair of Hays High School Project Graduation.
Robert “Barney” Barnwell III of Magnolia is president of Universal Natural
Gas Inc., and president and board chair of Texas Gas Utility Services. He is
a member of the Texas Gas Association and Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association Air Safety Foundation. He is also president and past board chair
of the Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce, board chair and past president
of the R.S. Barnwell Memorial Garden and Art Center, and co-founder and past
president of the Samaritan Counseling Center. Barnwell received a law degree
from Louisiana State University. He is reappointed to the board.
Raymond Palacios Jr. of El Paso is president of Bravo Chevrolet Cadillac. He
is a member and past district director of the Texas Automotive Dealers
Association, board member of the Borderplex Alliance, past president of the
El Paso New Car Dealers Association, past vice chair of the General Motors
Minority Dealer Advisory Council, and a past member of the National
Chevrolet Dealer and Hummer Dealer Advisory councils. He is a member of the
Dona Ana Community College and Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Dean’s
Advisory councils, a board member of the Medical Center of the Americas
Foundation and CommUNITY en Acción, and a graduate of Leadership El Paso and
Leadership Houston. He is also a founder and past president of the Mexican
American University of Houston Alumni Association, past president of the
Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, and a past board
member of Leadership Houston, the University of Houston Alumni Association,
Yucca Council Boy Scouts of America, and El Paso Better Business Bureau. He
served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Palacios received a bachelor’s degree from
the University of Houston. He is reappointed to the board.
General Officer Announcements
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that the
President has made the following nomination:
Army Maj. Gen. David L. Mann for appointment to the rank of
lieutenant general and for assignment as the commanding general, U.S. Army
Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Redstone
Arsenal, Ala. Mann is currently serving as commanding general, U.S. Army
Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, Ky. Gen. Mann is the former commander of the
32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Fort Bliss.
Army Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Twitty for appointment to the rank of major
general. Twitty is currently serving as deputy chief of staff,
communications, Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force,
Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. Gen. Twitty is the former deputy
commander for operations at 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.
Army Brig. Gen. Gwendolyn Bingham for appointment to the rank of major
general. Bingham is currently serving as commanding general, White Sands
Missile Range, White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Anchia House Trade Committee Meets in El Paso to Consider Border Crossing Issues
On Friday, March 22, the Texas House Committee on International Trade and
Intergovernmental Affairs will convene in El Paso, Texas, at the El Paso City Hall, 2 Civic
Center Plaza, El Paso, TX 79901, at 9:00am Mountain Time. Committee Members will hear
invited testimony only on the topic: “Border Crossing Opportunities and Innovations.”
For 11 years in a row, Texas has led all U.S. states in total exports. In 2011, Mexico, Texas’
biggest customer, bought nearly $95 billion of Texas products, one-third of Texas’ total exports.
Four of Texas’ 28 border crossings with Mexico are located in El Paso, processing over $11
billion in merchandise in 2011.
“El Paso’s world class cross-border port and bridge facilities help keep Texas in the vanguard of
the world’s trading nations. The city offers the ideal backdrop for Committee Members to
examine the challenges facing Texas-Mexico border crossings, and the opportunities to improve
their efficiency, capacity and performance.”
Chairman Anchia is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Committee on Trade and
Negotiations (ACTPN). In January, House Speaker Joe Straus appointed him Chair of the
Committee on International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs.