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Karina Ramírez: Home sales increase during 2012’s second quarter

In the second quarter of 2012, home sales across the state increased 13 percent from a year ago, and the median price increased by 7 percent over the same time frame.

In Denton County, the number of home sales was up 23.4 percent while the median price increased 8.3 percent, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, issued by the Texas Association of Realtors.

In comparison, sales of homes in Collin County were up 18 percent while the median price increased 4.1 percent. In Northeast Tarrant County, home sales grew by 18.8 percent and the median price by 6.28 percent. Dallas home sales increased 15.4 percent while the median price was up 7.62 percent

Swash Labs recently moved to 209 E. University Drive because it needed more space, said Josh Berthume, CEO and creative director of the creative agency.

It was previously located on Mulberry Street across the street from Hannah’s, but the firm needed a different layout, Berthume said.

“The space we were in was nice when we were small,” he said.

Groggy Dog Sportswear, a Denton screen-printing and embroidery business, opened a second location in Lewisville on Wednesday.

“We have been thinking about it for three to four years and decided to have a storefront over there,” owner Craig Jones said.

Groggy Dog, founded in 2000, first had a storefront off Loop 288, then moved to 615 Dallas Drive eight years ago.

The Lewisville location is at 1079 W. Round Grove Road, Suite 500, and will have two employees, Jones said.

For more information, visit


Ricky Grunden, president and CEO of Grunden Financial Advisory Inc., was awarded the Dallas/Fort Worth 2012 Regional Five Star Wealth Manager award.

Five Star Professional, a firm that provides localized and independent research on the performance of service professionals, partnered with the Texas Monthly Dallas-Fort Worth region to find wealth managers who satisfy certain criteria to get the award. Fewer than 4 percent of the wealth managers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were selected, according to a press release.

The Five Star Award is presented to service professionals, such as wealth managers and real estate agents, in more than 45 markets in the U.S. and Canada, according to its website.

Grunden will be featured in the 2012 special section of the August edition of Texas Monthly.

Grunden Financial Advisory, an investment and wealth management firm, is located at 2516 Lillian Miller Parkway, Suite 110.

For more information, visit

Claudia Aviles, ex-general manager of the Olive Garden in Denton, was presented with Darden Restaurants’ top honor: the Joe R. Lee Diamond Club Award, named after the company’s retired chairman and CEO.

Now in its 15th year, the award is presented annually to general managers throughout North America who demonstrate outstanding results while achieving top financial performance in the company’s previous fiscal year, according to a press release.

Thirty-nine general managers were selected for the award from the more than 750 Olive Garden restaurants in North America.

The Denton restaurant is located at 2809 S. Interstate 35E. For more information, visit

Coming up

The deadline to apply for the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association’s Green 3 Awards is 5 p.m. Monday.

The award recognizes outstanding efforts from the association’s members and their customers and clients to reduce waste and establish, deliver and promote extraordinary recycling programs to offer creative recycled products in North Texas, according to the association’s website.

For program rules and an application, visit www.ntcra.

The Pilot Point Chamber of Commerce luncheon will start at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at Lantana Lodge, 2200 FM1192.

The chamber is now asking for reservations and advance payment for all events. Cost for lunch will be $12 per person in advance, or $15 at the door.

The Denton Office of Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation will host a brown bag educational session regarding new rules on medical dispute resolution.

The free session will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at the Denton Field Office, Suite 475, 625 Dallas Drive. The session is for all Texas workers’ compensation participants, including injured employees, health care providers, insurance carriers, claim adjusters and attorneys.

The session will cover new rules and processes for medical fee and medical necessity dispute resolution, including a new Benefit Review Conference for Medical Fee Dispute and new form requirements that took effect June 1.

The event is free, but registration is required before the session. Participants must provide their name and phone number to June Mitchell at

Staff writers Dawn Cobb and Rachel Mehlhaff contributed to this report.


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