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Texas school grading system faulty, say many

| January 12, 2017
Texas school grading system faulty, say many

‘Work in progress’ program political, confusing: SISD’s Kelley

BY CHRISTINA DERR
The release of a “work in progress” assessment of Texas school districts has been met with great disdain all across the state – including in Springtown.
SISD Superintendent Mike Kelley said there might be political motives behind the push to reveal the ratings.
He said, “I am convinced that the very sad reality is that some of our politicians are working very hard to undermine public schools and paint them to be as ineffective and inefficient as they possibly can.
“If public schools are deemed ‘failing,’ Lt. Governor Dan Patrick can leverage support for a voucher system he has acknowledged is a priority this legislative session.”

‘Work in progress’
For many years, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has issued school districts and individual campuses one of two distinctions: “met standard” or “needs improvement.”
In 2015 the Texas Legislature voted to reconfigure the methods for the state’s accountability rating system for public schools.… Read the rest

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Locked and loaded

| January 12, 2017

Springtown PD given 2 rifles for Rapid Response Plan

BY CHRISTINA DERR
The Springtown Police Department recently accepted the donation of two assault rifles as part of its Rapid Response Plan (RRP).
The two Bushmaster AR-15s were donated by On the Square Guns and Ammo.
The gun dealer also gave SPD two red dot holographic sights.
The total value of the donation was approximately $2,000.
SPD Chief Tony Motley said the donation is an essential part of his department’s plan to respond and contain situations like an active shooter incident until backup agencies arrive.
Motley said that Springtown Mayor Tom Clayton has been instrumental in the formation of the plan.… Read the rest

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Many helped with facelift

| January 12, 2017
Many helped with facelift

Tabernacle upgrades many

BY CHRISTINA DERR
Springtown’s Tabernacle outdates a majority of the city’s residents.
Originally built during the Depression, the structure has recently received more than a few additions, upgrades, and improvements.
A majority of the work was donated – both material and labor – by area businesses and citizens of the town.
The city’s public works department erected new exterior columns, and Diamond B Roofing installed a new roof.
Fort Worth Monument Company moved the structure’s dedication monument; when they did an old Springtown newspaper was found underneath.
Not only was the newspaper discovered, but it was in good enough shape that the story describing the Tabernacle’s original dedication – in 1934 – could be read.… Read the rest

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Local man dies in truck wreck

| January 5, 2017

BY CARLA NOAH STUTSMAN
A 23-year-old Springtown man was killed in an early-morning, one-car accident Dec. 31 near the western shore of Lake Worth.
Coby Ray Whitaker was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at 8:31 a.m., although a spokesperson for the Fort Worth Police Department said the actual time the crash occurred is unknown, since there were no witnesses.
The spokesperson said Whitaker was driving a black 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup northbound in the 3500 block of Silver Creek Road approaching Watercress Drive when the vehicle left the roadway toward the east at a bridge.
The pickup struck three trees and flipped onto its side before coming to rest in a dry creek bed below the bridge.… Read the rest

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Looking back: Year in Review – Part 2

| January 5, 2017
Looking back: Year in Review – Part 2

BY MARK K. CAMPBELL
Here’s the second part of a look back at 2016:

July
Work continued on upgrading the Tabernacle.
The city put in place technology to stream meetings online.
An invasive species – zebra mussels – reached Eagle Mountain Lake.
A British soccer camp came to town.
The Epigraph won state and national awards for photography and writing.
Texas Football magazine picked Springtown to finish third in the new 5-4A – and that’s what happened.
Longtime city resident and city employee Debbie Maness died suddenly of natural causes.
A July Fourth fundraiser at Still Waters Retreat raised $1,000 which was split equally between four local non-profits.… Read the rest

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Kids Swear in Officials

| January 5, 2017
Kids Swear in Officials

Two Parker County elected officials were sworn in by their relatives Tuesday, Jan. 3. Pct. 1 Commissioner George Conley was sworn in by his grandson Gage Pane. Conley was reelected to his third four-year term in November. Pct. 1 Constable Charlie Hunt was sworn in by his daughters Kylie and Karsyn. Hunt was elected to his first term as Pct. 1 Constable in November and is replacing longtime Constable Larry Nix who announced his retirement in 2016.

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Dispatch move officially okayed

| January 5, 2017

ESD 1 now in charge of county fire calls

BY CHRISTINA DERR
The board of Parker County ESD 1 voted 4-0 at a called meeting Monday, Jan. 2 to approve a revised contract for county-wide fire dispatching service.
The board initially reviewed the contract at its Dec. 21 meeting at which time the contract was tabled for further discussion with county officials regarding concerns over contract language.
Board President Rena Peden and ESD 1 Chief Stephen Watson met with County Attorney John Forrest, County Judge Mark Riley, and representatives of the Parker County Sheriff’s Office to come to an agreement on the issues at hand.… Read the rest

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SISD earns passing grade

| December 29, 2016
SISD earns passing grade

On states’s ‘School Report Card’

BY CHRISTINA DERR
The Texas Education Agency has released its final accountability ratings and School Report Cards for 2016.
These ratings evaluated financial conditions and student performance district-wide, and at all six SISD campuses individually, for the 2014-15 school year.
Report Cards also examine attendance rates, the number of students who are considered economically disadvantaged – those who qualify for free or reduced lunch – and the number of students who have limited proficiency in the English language.
For high school campuses, School Report Cards also examine graduation rates, drop-out rates, the number of students who take college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT, the scores on those exams, and compare all categories to their statewide averages.… Read the rest

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Delayed response?

| December 29, 2016

ESD 1 taking over fire dispatch might be postponed

BY CHRISTINA DERR
Concerns about a contract might delay Emergency Services District 1 from taking over county dispatch services on Jan. 1 as planned.
Discussions between the Parker County Commissioners Court and ESD 1 seemed to be concluded when the court voted to approve a contract for those dispatch services at its Dec. 13 meeting.
Judge Mark Riley said of the contract, “Parker County is contracting with ESD 1 to provide fire dispatch services in the county effective January 1, 2017.
“The ESD will continue, for the present time, to use the dispatch center located at the county Emergency Operations Center (EOC).… Read the rest

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Holiday Goodwill

| December 29, 2016
Holiday Goodwill

On Dec. 21, anyone could stop by Bright Boutique on the Square and pick up food from the business’ free pantry.             Photo by Mark K. Campbell

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