WFAA: McKinney mom’s kids not taking STAAR test

Steve Stoler of Channel 8 reported a McKinney mom is pulling her kids out of school in protest as the state rolls out the new STAAR test. The exams are more rigorous than the TAKS test, and there are more of them.

Neely was the only parent in the entire McKinney ISD who purposely kept her kids home to prevent them from taking the STAAR test. She believes the exam puts too much pressure on administrators, teachers — and especially the kids.
Click on the story.

New manager takes over at Allen Events Center

Richard Karamatic, formerly with the City of San Antonio, has been named the new General Manager for Allen Event Center.

Karamatic brings more than 30 years of experience to his new position at Allen Event Center.

“I have been involved in hosting classic events in entertainment, sports and major conventions in concert halls, convention centers, stadiums, and arenas all over Texas,” Karamatic said. “Allen Event Center is one of the top-notch multi-purpose venues in the state and I am looking forward to working with staff, Parks and Recreation Director, the City Manager, and Allen City Council in taking it to that next level of entertainment quality and value Allen residents can boast about.”

For the last seven years, he has served as Assistant Director for the City of San Antonio’s Convention, Sports and Entertainment Facilities Department, which is responsible for the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Alamodome, Lila Cockrell Theater and Illusions Theater. The Alamodome has been host to NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Final Fours as well as college football’s Valero Alamo Bowl and the Big 12 Football Championship.

Before moving to San Antonio, Karamatic was Director for the McAllen Convention Center and Auditorium in McAllen, Texas, helping coordinate and design a new state of the art convention and performing arts center.

Karamatic spent a large portion of his career in and around the Dallas area in positions such as Director for the Waxahachie Convention Center, Director of Event Services for the Infomart Dallas, and as an Event Manager at Fair Park. His familiarity with the Dallas-Fort Worth event industry as well as his experience with various types of major event and entertainment venues will be key in helping position Allen Event Center as a desirable destination for both booking agents and tourists in this region.

“While there is a great deal of entertainment competition in the Metroplex,” said Tim Dentler, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Allen, “Richard has shown us that he has the skills and connections to not only capture new business opportunities for Allen Event Center but also extend our destination’s reach throughout the North Texas region.”

In his career, Karamatic has implemented major sporting events such as FIFA World Cup Soccer, numerous Cotton Bowl games and Red River Shootout Classics, as well as CHL hockey, NRA rodeos, and boxing. He has also been involved with countless concerts, traveling tours such as Disney on Ice and Sesame Street, the Ringling Brothers and Shrine’s Circuses, and other public shows and conventions.

Having received his Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation Administration from Northwestern State University in Louisiana, Karamatic is also a graduate of the IAAM, Oglebay Facility Managers Program and a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). He has served as President of the Texas Association for Convention Operation Managers as well as receiving their “Outstanding Member of the Year” Award.

Water restrictions remain in effect

The watering restriction won’t be watered down any time soon.

Here’s the latest word from the folks who control the tap:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages the water level of Lake Lavon based on long standing flood control procedures. Lake Lavon is first a flood control reservoir. Due to recent rains, Lake Lavon is now above the normal conservation pool of 492 feet msl and is now in what is considered the flood pool, which is when the reservoir level is above 492 msl. Runoff from recent rains is continuing to flow into Lavon, and USACE will release water as needed to protect lives and property. Releases will not occur when levels return to the normal conservation pool of 492 feet msl.

“Officials with NTMWD are monitoring the inflow of rain runoff into Lakes Lavon and Jim Chapman, water supplies utilized by NTMWD, and will also review short-term forecasts and other data to determine if the current water management measures can be relaxed while still planning for the long-term needs of its consumers.

“It is important to note that due to the zebra mussel infestation, NTMWD still cannot pump from Lake Texoma which normally provides 28 percent of the total water supply for the district.”

NTMWD, member cities, and customers remain in Stage 3 of their plans with enhanced strategies.

Twice per month watering restrictions will be extended until June 1, 2012.

Consumers are asked to only water when absolutely necessary. If you must water, please reduce turf irrigation and focus on watering trees, shrubs, and foundations.

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