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Karina Ramírez: Residents encouraged to share favorite places

We all have our favorite places in Denton. Which ones are yours?

Rand McNally and USA Today are collecting reviews from travelers for use in the organizations’ annual search for the best small towns in America. Categories include: most beautiful, most patriotic, friendliest, most fun and best food.

Last year more than 600 towns and 25,000 people participated in the promotion that garnered 500 million media impressions, officials with the promotion said.

People are asked to participate by blogging and posting photos of their favorite Denton locations. They can also enter to participate as a road rally team, which is the second part of the contest.

“Once all of your votes, thorough reviews and captivating photos narrow the search down to 30 finalist towns, we’ll send five finalist teams to investigate in person,” officials said via their website.

As of Thursday afternoon, Denton was in first place in the state and third nationally with 231 votes.

Deadline to vote is May 15. Teams will begin forming Monday. The coast-to-coast adventure will take place June 15 through July 15.

For more information, visit,


The Denton County Transportation Authority, in partnership with Trinity Railway Express, Operation Lifesaver and Herzog Transit Services, announced a regional rail safety campaign Wednesday.

The campaign, titled “Consider the Impact,” uses statistics and everyday objects to inform people of the consequences of unsafe activities around rail crossings, along railroad tracks and at rail platforms, a press release states.

“This campaign presents rail safety information in a way that people of all ages can relate to and understand the importance of making smart decisions around rail corridors,” said Jim Cline, DCTA president. “Safety of our passengers, our operators and the general public is paramount to us, and this campaign is just one tool we use to advance our goal of operating a safe, efficient transit system.”

DCTA is also working with local law enforcement agencies and the Federal Railroad Administration to identify enforcement and engineering strategies to discourage trespassing along the corridor and traffic safety violations at the rail crossings.

A communitywide “Rail Ready” safety presentation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 17 at the Downtown Denton Transit Center, 604 E. Hickory St. Space is limited. To make reservations, call 972-221-4600 or e-mail


The Texas Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said this week the state’s median home price will increase again this year.

“Texas home prices remain attractive relative to the national median,” said James Gaines, research economist with the center, in a news release. “But the gap between the two has narrowed significantly as the national median price has fallen.”

The median price for a Texas home dropped less than 1 percent in 2008 and 2009, increased 1.2 percent in 2010 and then by 0.7 percent in 2011. The 2011 median state price of $148,700 was a record high, the center said.

“In 2012, the statewide median price is expected to increase 1 percent to 2 percent to between $150,000 and $152,000,” said Gaines. “That’s less than half the historical average rate of appreciation.”

Denton County’s 2011 median price was $159,400, a year-over-year change of minus 2 percent.



Two new team members recently joined the Spinal Decompression Center.

Denton resident Alex Newton was hired as a medical assistant. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and classical humanities from the University of Missouri last year. She graduated summa cum laude.

Katie Barnes, also a Denton resident, will work as a chiropractic and therapy assistant. She is pursuing a kinesiology degree with a minor in nutrition at Texas Woman’s University.

The Spinal Decompression Center is at 2500 Lillian Miller Parkway.

For more information, call 940-484-6336 or visit


Coming up

The 20th anniversary of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day will take place Thursday.

This year’s theme is “Build Opportunity: 20 Years of Educa­tion, Empowerment, Experience.”

The program is recommended for ages 8 through 18.

For more information, visit


AllianceTexas, a 17,000-acre master-planned, mixed-use community, will have a hiring fair as the final segment of the 2012 North American Work­force Symposium.

The symposium will be Thursday with the hiring fair slated for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Texas Motor Speedway’s Speedway Club, 3545 Lone Star Circle in Fort Worth.

Jobseekers will have an opportunity to network with representatives of more than 40 companies located within AllianceTexas, including Fortune 500 and Global 500 corporations.

For more information about the symposium, visit

For a listing of job opportunities or more information, call 817-548-5274 or visit


Join celebrity golfers at the 2012 Argyle Eagle Classic Golf Tournament scheduled at 1 p.m. May 2 at the Golf Club located at Champions Circle in Fort Worth.

Actor Burton Gilliam and former NFL players Barry Foster, Waddell Smith and Angelo King will participate in the tournament, which benefits the Argyle High School Athletic and Band Booster clubs and more than 800 students from the Argyle school district.

For more information, visit


Bravo Communications and Aclarus Communications Press will present a two-day workshop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 10 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 24 at the Denton Marriott Courtyard.

For more information visit,


KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is