Archives for April 2019

Stephenville Establishes TIF

The Empire-Tribune reports Stephenville City Manager Allen Barnes confirmed the city council approved an ordinance establishing the Stephenville Tax Increment Financing District #1– or TIF– during their meeting on April 25th. Tax Increment Financing is a law that allows municipalities to establish special funding districts. The entity is funded by taxes paid within the district. Examples of allowable funding include water, sewer, transportation, economic development contracts, as well as other improvements that benefit the district. On May 7th, the council will pass an improvement funding plan based on a recommendation of the TIF board.

PRSSA Coming to TSU this Fall

The Public Relations Student Society of America is coming to Tarleton State University this fall. Associate professor of communication studies Dr. Liza Benedict will be the faculty advisor for the student organization. PRSSA will be recognized officially at Tarleton by November, once the Stephenville chapter dues are paid. Benedict is currently a member of the Public Relations Society of America. She says that the organization will provide various opportunities to students interested in pursuing a career in the field, saying it’s a matter of learning about public relations and communicating on a professional level. The cost for a student membership is $55 per year.

E-T Backs the Blue, Dress Code for Parents

The Empire-Tribune presented a $357 check to the Stephenville Police Department on Monday as part of its Back the Blue campaign. E-T General Manager Melissa Horton presented the donation to Stephenville Police Chief Jason King. See more at;

and; One Texas high school has announced a dress code for parents. Anyone wearing [quote] “bonnets, pajamas, hair rollers or leggings” [end quote] will be turned away if they arrive at Houston’s James Madison High School. The Houston Chronicle reports the new dress code was issued in a memo signed by the school’s principal, Carlotta Outley Brown.

TSU Faculty Awarded OER Grants

Ten Tarleton State University faculty members were recently awarded grant funding to develop Open Educational Resource materials that will ultimately impact students by reducing textbook costs. TSU provost and executive vice president for the Division of Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Murray provided each recipient with a $1,000 grant to foster development of OER materials this summer for use in courses for the fall 2019 semester. These OERs will impact several thousand Tarleton students, with a potential savings of nearly $250,000. OERs are teaching, learning and research elements available in the public domain or openly licensed so that anyone may legally use and re-share them.

TSU Faculty and Staff Honored

Tarleton State University recognized faculty and staff at their annual Awards Banquet. Honorees include Dr. Dustin Edwards, who received the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award; Dr. Sharon Tiffany Bowers, the Engaged Faculty Award; Dr. Christopher Higgins received the Barry B. Thompson Service Award; Dr. Donald McGahan was honored with the Jack and Louise Arthur Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching; Dr. T. Wayne Schwertner, Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award, and; Dr. Syed Hussain Jafri was named the Texas A&M University System’s Regents Professor. Staff members Lacie Harris, Ashlee Rather, Kim Hart and Marki Eakin earned staff honors.

Bernie Sanders in Fort Worth

Vermont Independent U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential frontrunner Bernie Sanders made an appearance at a rally in Fort Worth on Thursday, saying he believes Texas can turn blue in the 2020 presidential election. Sanders is the second Democratic hopeful to visit once-solidly-red Tarrant County in the last few weeks, as California freshman Sen. Kamala Harris visited Grapevine in March. While Texas Republicans spoke out against the self-described Democratic Socialist, Sanders was not shy about characterizing President Donald Trump by saying [quote] “People understand increasingly he is a pathological liar and a fraud.” [end quote]

TSU Project Addresses Food Insecurity and Depression

Tarleton State University unveiled a project, known as Texans Reducing Food Insecurities and Depression. A $300,000 grant, awarded by Texas Health Resources’ Community Impact initiative, will support healthy food services and increasing access to mental health services, and will offer resources to residents age 55 and over who face the daunting personal issues of food insecurity and depression. Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio said the grant is another important way that Texas Health Resources and Tarleton State are partnering to improve health care in the community. The initiative pinpoints specific ZIP codes with the best opportunities to effect change in Erath County.

Flooding Tragedy in Dublin

A flash flooding accident took the lives of a mother and two children. The Empire-Tribune reports that Erath County’s sheriff gave details of the tragedy in Dublin Wednesday morning. The father of the two deceased children was the lone survivor in a family of four that got caught up in the rushing water on FM 1702. Erath County Sheriff Matt Coates said he was found clinging to a tree, then transported to the hospital in Stephenville. The names of the victims and survivor have not been released. An investigation is underway. Learn more at;

Search Firm for TSU President Selected

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has selected Wheless Partners to lead a national search for Tarleton State University’s 16 th president. Open forums for students, faculty, staff and the community are set for Monday and Tuesday, April 29th and 30th, in Room 125 of the Math Building on the Stephenville campus. The executive search firm located in Birmingham, Alabama, will work with Tarleton’s Search Advisory Committee, chaired by A&M System Regent Bill Mahomes. Parking is available in Lot 15 at the intersection of Cain Street and Rudder Way behind the Wells Fine Arts Center. For directions, go to;

Rise in Gas Prices Slowing Down

As the summer travel season approaches, the rise in gas prices has recently slowed. According to‘s daily survey of over 13,000 stations across the Lone Star State, prices have risen 0.7 cents in the past week, averaging $2.56 per/gallon. Gas prices in Texas are 17-and-a-half cents higher than a month ago and 6.2 cents a gallon higher than a year ago. The cheapest gas in Texas is $2.29 per/gallon, while the most expensive station is $3.49. The national average is up 22 cents per gallon from a month ago. Read more at;