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Karina Ramírez: Peterbilt donates record amount to United Way

Peterbilt Motors Co. provided a $346,464 donation to the United Way of Denton County’s 2012 fundraising campaign Thursday.

Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president, said in a statement that Peterbilt employees’ contributions raised a record-setting amount through several fundraising activities conducted at the company since the beginning of November.

Peterbilt is the largest corporate contributor to the United Way of Denton County, donating more than $2 million over the last six years.

Gary Henderson, president and CEO of the nonprofit, said in a statement that the generosity shown by the leadership and employees of Peterbilt would allow the United Way to continue serving needed populations in the community.

Since 1951, United Way of Denton County has focused on distributing resources across three strategic areas, education, income and health, Henderson said.

Headquartered in Denton, Peterbilt Motors Co. is a truck manufacturing business with a plant at 3200 Airport Road.

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Leigh Hilton, an estate planning and elder law attorney, announced that her business has moved to 924 N. Elm St. Her office used to be inside the Unicorn Lake Development at 2717 Wind River Lane.

In an e-mail, Hilton said the space is an old house, and it was larger than her previous office space.


Last week, Connected Texas, an entity that wants increased broadband Internet access, adoption and use across the state, announced its latest findings.

The nonprofit announced that 92.29 percent of Texas households had fixed broadband speeds of 3 megabytes per second at an upload speed of 768 kilobytes per second, which meant nearly 668,000 households were eligible for Connect America Fund broadband deployment subsidies.

The research also found 95.15 percent of rural households had broadband speeds of at least 768 kilobytes per second with 200 kilobytes per second upload speed — leaving another 141,000 rural Texas households unable to connect to basic high-speed Internet. Only 33.56 percent of Texas households had at least 100 megabytes per second with 1.5 megabytes upload speeds — 10 percent higher than six months ago, the nonprofit said.

All numbers exclude mobile and satellite services, a news release said.

Connected Texas executive director Don Shirley said in a news release that there were nearly 150,000 Texas households still without any available Internet service.

The data was gathered as part of the State Broadband Initiative grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Connected Texas, through its parent organization Connected Nation, undergoes a comprehensive data collection process to publish new maps twice a year. The data is then provided to the Federal Communications Commission to help direct broadband subsidies.

Texas residents and businesses can explore the different broadband services available in their neighborhood by visiting


The National Retail Federation announced last week fraud will cost retailers $2.9 billion this holiday season.

Return fraud, in the form of criminals who return stolen merchandise, use counterfeit receipts or even return items already worn or used that are not defective will cause retailers to lose an estimated $8.9 billion this year, according to the industry group’s 2012 Return Fraud Survey.

Overall, retailers’ estimate 4.6 percent of returns, especially during the holidays, are fraudulent, the federation said in a news statement.

The Return Fraud Survey polled senior loss prevention executives at 60 retail companies in October 2012. Executives from discount stores, department stores, drug stores, supermarkets and specialty stores completed the survey, the federation said.



Corinth resident Charles Fletcher, founder and CEO of SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center, was named a 2012 Purpose Prize Fellow.

The prize was granted to Fletcher by, which recognizes people more than 60 years of age who are changing the world. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a movement to make it easier for millions of people to pursue second acts for the greater good, according to its website.

Fletcher was named a fellow because of his innovative and philanthropic work in equine therapy, a news release said. Since the founding of SpiritHorse International (then SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center) in 2001, Fletcher has developed a research-based equine-assisted health care program to aid children and adults with a variety of special needs. The services are provided entirely free of charge to more than 400 children and adults in Corinth.

Fletcher has also developed this program internationally, training and certifying 495 instructors and 80 SpiritHorse centers worldwide, thus reaching thousands of children and adults with disabilities through his work, the release said.

Fletcher said in the release that he was honored to be a fellow and join many who “put others before themselves.”

The John Templeton Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies fund the Purpose Prize program.

Fletcher was recognized among more than 300 Purpose Prize winners and fellows nationwide, according to the nonprofit’s website.

SpiritHorse Therapy Center is located at 1960 Post Oak Drive.

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Ren Galindo, an exclusive agent for Allstate Insurance, has opened a new office at 214 S. Bell Ave., Suite 1104.

Galindo has more than 10 years of insurance experience, a news release said.

The full-service agency will sell auto, property, life, annuities and financial services.

Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

He can be reached at 940-380-2965.

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