National Adoption Day
November 5, 2010 -- Dallas County will celebrate National Adoption Day (for the 10th consecutive year) on Saturday, November 20, 2010. This is a great event celebrating the adoption of children into healthy and loving homes. Thanks to all of the volunteers who make this event a success each year.
National Adoption Day - National Adoption Day is a national day of celebration of adoptive families and an opportunity for courts to open their doors and finalize the adoptions of children from foster care. Since 2000, more than 30,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Ad...option Day. This year on November 20, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and volunteers will come together and celebrate adoption in communities large and small all across the nation.
Lawson Road Proclamation Recognizes Staff for Innovative Planning and Development
April 14, 2010 -- Lawson Road, a road that has been a major issue for Dallas County and Kaufman County was recognized Tuesday for Dallas County’s innovative planning and development that has expedited its much needed repair. The road is now in the design and engineering phase and is expected to be under construction within a few years all due to the tenacity of two Dallas County departments. (more)
Dallas County Commissioner: use public to nab ticket scofflaws and criminals
August 12, 2010 -- Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell wants to use the lure of reward money to nab some of the hundreds of ticket scofflaws who owe the county millions. (more)
City Of Dallas Joins Scofflaws Program
January 12, 2010 - The Commissioners Court passed a court order on Tuesday to add the City of Dallas to the Dallas County Scofflaw Program. City of Dallas joins the City of Garland, which was added last year.
The program blocks vehicle registration for those that have outstanding traffic citations and tickets. If a person attempts to register their vehicle with the County Tax Assessor-Collectors office, they’ll be denied until they pay the outstanding fines, as well as any other incurred fees.
The County Tax Assessor/Collector will charge $5.24 per vehicle record eligible for flagging and for those records that cannot be flagged, they will be listed on the Dallas County Wanted website for $1 per record.
Scofflaws Program Presses Forward Since Launch
December 7, 2009 - This past July proved to be a month of new strategies for Dallas County and its approach to collecting unpaid fines and fees owed to the county, totaling more than $210 million.
The Scofflaw Program, which has been active for approximately nine months, is a program that blocks vehicle registration for those that have outstanding traffic citations and tickets. If a person attempts to register their vehicle with the County Tax Assessor-Collectors office, they’ll be denied until they pay the outstanding fines, as well as any other incurred fees.
Since the program’s commencement, about 660 people have been turned away at the registration counter. If about half or more pay what is owed, more than $100,000+ will be generated, a major success for the program itself. And while the Scofflaw program is still in its formative phase, it is certain to grow to become a critical tool within Dallas County.
In the event that someone has questions about their citations, fines and fees, they are directed to a new website, also introduced earlier this year, called Dallas County Wanted. The website allows the user to determine where they owe money, how much money is owed, for what specific offense and where they can go to take care of the tickets.
JFK Museum’s Archives Get a New Home
August 18, 2009 -- As a means to heighten Dallas’ important historical landmarks, the Sixth Floor Museum will soon add a “Resource Center” to the county administration building where it will be located on the first floor.
The Resource Center will be a collection of approximately 35,000 items that include vital records of the JFK assassination such as audio, video and documentary archival material available to students and guests alike.
As expressed by the museum’s executive director Nicola Langford, the importance of the reading room has become more significant as the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination rapidly approaches. “We are contacted by researchers all over the world. We really want to promote this important historical landmark.” she stated.
For those interested in using the new reading and media room upon its completion, the use of the facility will be monitored and managed by appointment only, Monday thru Friday, 12PM – 5PM and can be arranged through the Sixth Floor Museum office.
411 Elm St.
Dallas, TX 75202
Rx Discount Cards
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 – A contract with Financial Marketing Concepts, Inc. was approved by the Commissioners Court today authorizing the company to be the discount card provider for prescriptions, imaging and laboratory services. The Coast2Coast Rx card will be available to the uninsured both on-line on the Dallas County website as well as at certain designated locations.
The free card can be used to reduce the costs of medications as well as required services for treatment such as imaging and laboratory work. Once the card has been printed or picked up, it can be used for all members of the family without a medical history interview or prescreening.
City of Garland to Join Dallas County Wanted/Scofflaw Program
July 14, 2009 - If you live in Garland, the next time you go to renew your car registration, you may want to check the Dallas County Wanted website to see whether you’ll be allowed to or not. On July 14th, Dallas County Commissioners approved for the City of Garland to be the first city to be brought onto Dallas County Wanted and the Scofflaw program, a program what will deny car registration because of outstanding fines and fees.
The Scofflaw program, implemented by the Dallas County Tax Assessors office in early February, will block vehicle owners who attempt to register/re-register their cars if they have an outstanding violation. According to the court order approved in Tuesday’s Commissioners Court, a vehicle owner will be denied if, “The Tax Assessors office receives information from the Texas Department of Transportation motor vehicle registration system that the owner of the vehicle has an outstanding warrant from the City of Garland for failure to appear or failure to pay a fine on a complaint that involves a violation of at traffic law under Section 701.001 of the Transportation Code.”
This program is in conjunction to the Dallas County Wanted website, an on-line database introduced in October of 2008, which includes outstanding Class C citations for all 26 cities within the Dallas County area. The website was developed as a tool to improve collection rate of fines as well as a means for citizens to be able to access information regarding offense, costs and court location at any time.
The City of Garland is expected to be on-line within 2-3 weeks. After a 60-90 day period, the City of Dallas will be next in line, while another 7-8 cities remain in queue to be added.
Health & Human Services Takes to the Airwaves
July 14, 2009 – The Dallas County Health and Human Services department has taken to the airwaves to promote the prevention of a parasite that wreaks havoc on swimmers in local recreational water locations.
Cryptosporidium or “Crypto” is considered the most common waterborne parasite that infects both humans and a wide range of animals. The outer shell of the parasite allows its survival outside the body for long periods of time as well as is very resistant to chlorinated water.
Ways Crypto can be spread are as follows:*
- By swallowing recreational water contaminated with Crypto. Recreational water is water from swimming pools, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, or streams that can be contaminated with sewage or feces from humans or animals.
- By putting something in your mouth or accidentally swallowing something that has come in contact with the stool of a person or animal infected with Crypto.
- By swallowing Crypto picked up from surfaces (such as lounge chairs, picnic tables, bathroom fixtures, and changing tables) contaminated with stool from an infected person.
As a response to Crypto cases in Dallas County, the Health and Human Services department will begin airing radio announcements to promote public awareness to the general public. In accordance to Visions 2 and 3 of the Strategic Plan, HHS officials want to ensure that the optimum targeted audiences will be reached during these peak seasons to promote a healthy, safe and secured community.
*Source: CDC Online
Dallas County’s AAA Bond Rating Renewed Again
July 1, 2009 – For the 31st time in a row, Dallas County received the AAA bond rating, a rating that is considered the highest credit valuation a government entity can receive. The determination is based on credit worthiness and whether money can be borrowed.
Dallas County’s fiscal policies and management practices have allowed it to be regarded as “one of the best run counties in the country” by *Governing Magazine, and it is one of the only few counties in the United States to have a “AAA” bond rating from both Moody’s and Standard & Poors.
Dallas County Efforts Results in Energy Savings
June 30, 2009 -- During the months of April - June of 2009, Dallas County saved $627,774 through a program called the Public Power Pool. As a partner in a program, Dallas County, along with local governments in Texas, aggregated power in order to procure the best contracts for the lowest cost.
In the second quarter of 2009, P³ is reporting that the total member savings for the second quarter of 2009 is $6,779,354. (List of P³ members)
The savings were possible through a program that is “a non-profit political subdivision corporation, created by local governments in Texas, designed to save taxpayer money”. The size of the program allows better leverage, resulting in lower prices, greater negotiating strength and long-term buying strategies.
For more information, please visit Public Power Pool at www.publicpowerpool.org
South Mesquite Creek Trail Dedication
May 28, 2009 Both Dallas County and Mesquite officials met to dedicate a new trail that will one day be part of an interconnected network of various hike and bike trails throughout Dallas County.
The ceremony, held at the South Mesquite Creek Trail, unveiled a multi-use path that is located from De Busk Park along Gross Road to South Mesquite Creek, in the city of Mesquite. The total length of the trail is approximately .0562 miles long and was constructed of new concrete sidewalk measuring 6 to 8 ft wide. This effort was done as part of the Dallas County Trail & Preserve Program for the cities of Mesquite and Garland. Once the project is completed, it will be considered the longest, uninterrupted trail in Mesquite, measuring at 13.7 miles and will connect the City of Mesquite to the City of Garlands 5 mile Duck Creek Trail.
The completion of the Dallas County Trail project will provide new interconnected bicycle and pedestrian trails throughout Dallas County and will enable residents to travel most of the distance between the citys northern and southern boundaries, including multiple neighborhoods, city parks and business areas, without the use of a car.
The new alternatives will provide new routes for cyclists and pedestrians that are seeking other means of transportation. This will contribute to both the health and air quality of all of Dallas County and is proactive in addressing critical regional issues, in accordance with Vision 2 and 4 of the Strategic Plan.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were Dallas County Judge Jim Foster, County Commissioner Mike Cantrell, County Inspector Contrella Dixon, Project Manager Lily Arenas and County Trails and Preserve Board Member Dudley Hargrove. Mesquite was represented by Mayor John Monaco, Mayor Pro Tem Shirley Roberts and Council Members Al Forsythe and Dennis Tarpley. Dr. Larry May from neighboring Parkside Baptist Church gave the invocation.
Please click Photo Gallery for more images of the event.
The Blue Line to Main Street in Rowlett, Texas
April 9, 2009 With transportation issues plaguing most major cities in the United States, the groundbreaking for the new DART Light Rail in Rowlett on April 9th was a cause to celebrate. The city of Rowlett and Dallas Area Rapid Transit will now have a DART Light Rail connection from Rowlett to the city of Garland. The new extension will span from the Firewheel Town Center area to I-30 in 2011, relieving congestion and providing an alternative mode of transportation to residents and visitors. The construction of the new line is done with hopes that most will find it easier and faster to travel in the future. ?In 10 years, you will be able to get on a Light Rail and get anywhere quicker than you can on a highway,? said Mark Enoch, DART board member and former mayor.
The addition of the DART Light Rail has also spurred several developers and brokers to inquire about future opportunities with the new regional hub, promoting vital growth and economic development in Rowlett. “DART has brought a lot of interest in development, quality development interest to our city. Between the Blue Line, the development of the lake and the toll road, our future is very bright,” said Lynda Humble, Rowletts City Manager. The new Blue Line Rail is projected to deliver $20 billion over a 20-year period.
In attendance were local dignitaries such as Rowletts Mayor John Harper, Garland Mayor Ronald Jones, Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell, DART President Gary Thomas, DART board member and former Mayor Mark Enoch and Rowletts City Manager Lynda Humble.
Pleas click Photo Gallery for more images of the event.
Commissioners Court Recognizes Dallas Christian School Varsity Football Team
January 27, 2009 On Tuesday, Dallas County Commissioners Court recognized the Dallas Christian School Varsity football team for completing their most successful season in 2008. With a 14-0 record, Dallas Christian walked away State Champions as well as District, Bi-District, Regional and Semi-Final champs.
The football team is comprised of students that maintained a 3.7 team G.P.A. during the school year while playing for and ultimately winning the schools 8th Football State Championship. They were lead to success by their Head Coach Mike Wheeler whom has been Dallas Christians football coach for the past 17 years. During his tenure, he has lead the team to 4 of their 9 Football State Championship wins and closed out the 2008 season with a career 162-50 record.
Dallas Christian School has been in existence for 51 years, is alma mater to 38 National Merit Scholars and coordinates and implements service projects in Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and the Hurricane Ike relief effort.
Please click Photo Gallery for more images of the event.
CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates
If you were by the John F. Kennedy Memorial on Thursday, October 16th, chances are you got to see the life-size cut outs of children holding signs that read, “My CASA is always there for me”, “We all have the highest potential” and “8 foster homes”; There were 850 cut outs to be exact.
The display, coordinated by Dallas CASA, was hosted in an effort to show what a day in Dallas County foster care looks like. The reality of the situation however, is far more dramatic. On average, Dallas County foster care sees nearly 2,000 abused or neglected children, many unable to return home because of unfit living conditions.
The event was held to rally people to Stand Up for Abused Children, a campaign geared to bring awareness to the community and provide information about how to become a Dallas CASA volunteer. Opening remarks were made by Dallas County Judge Jim Foster with additional remarks by Supreme Court Justice Harriett ONeill and Juvenile Court Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon.
Please click here for more images of the ceremony.
A Dedication to Founders Plaza
September 23, 2008 Guests and elected officials alike gathered in Founders Plaza early Tuesday morning for a ceremony held to recognize the restoration made to the Plaza in downtown Dallas.
Founders Plaza, located in the west end of downtown Dallas, was renovated in an effort to make it a more sought out historical marker for those interested in learning about Dallas rich history. A newly landscaped outdoor plaza and an underground parking now adorn Founders Plaza; A few renovations made to accommodate the public visiting the Plaza as well as The Sixth Floor Museum and Old Red Courthouse.
The plaza also includes a water feature that sits between John Neely Bryan’s cabin and the John F. Kennedy memorial.
In attendance was Judge Jim Foster, Commissioner John Wiley Price, Commissioner Mike Cantrell, Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, Honorable Lee Jackson, Honorable Jim Jackson, Honorable Pauline Medrano and State Representative Dan Branch’s staff who attended in his place.
Please click Photo Gallery for more images of the event.