Welcome to another episode of About Mansfield, I’m Steve Cosio with Coleen Daniell, who is practicing social distancing by broadcasting from home. Thank you for being here. This is special coverage of COVID-19 and how the Coronavirus is affecting the lives of those who live in Mansfield.
Let’s take a look at this week’s headlines:
• Area gas prices plummet as residents heed the call to stay home
• Hundreds show support for our local medical community
• Residents flock to local restaurants. But, are we handling the food correctly when we get home?
• Put on your running shoes and enter the Flatten the Curve Marathon!
• The Mansfield Library may be closed but you still have options
• The government hopes to roll out stimulus checks next week. Are you on the list?
• The Parks and Rec department officially closes all park amenities
And, this week’s poll question: “While the stay-at-home order is in place, how are you spending your time at home?” We will conclude with your chance to win a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee & Sandwich Shop with the trivia question of the week. The news is next. We are Mansfield’s only source for news, talk and information. This is About Mansfield.
Welcome back to About Mansfield.
As the coronavirus continues to crush the demand for oil, and lock-downs reduce driving and keep Americans home, the U.S. national average for regular gasoline has just fallen to $1.99 per gallon, the first time since March 2016 according to Gas Buddy dot com. The online gasoline advocate reports that the national average could dip to $1.49/gallon by mid-April, the lowest since 2004, with potentially hundreds of stations pushing their price to 99-cents per gallon for the first time since the early 2000s.
With the national average at $1.99/gallon for regular gas, major markets around the state include:
• Houston at $1.75/gallon
• San Antonio at $1.67/gallon
• and, Austin at $1.71/gallon
Closer to home, Dallas checks in at $1.62/gallon while Fort Worth has an average of $1.58/gallon. And finally, here in Mansfield, as of this recording, GasBuddy reports that Sam’s Club on FM157 is offering regular gas at $1.48/gallon.
Car horns never sounded so good! It was a proud moment in Mansfield as motorists of more than one hundred cars surrounded Methodist Mansfield Medical Center earlier this week to show appreciation for medical front line workers. Hospital employees watched the parade of cars from the windows and curbside. A banner was placed in front of the medical center that reads, “Heroes work here.”
With the online campaign to get Mansfield residents to patronize your local eateries, one health care provider wants to make sure that you’re handling your food properly when you get your order home. Speaking on his YouTube video, Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen says that you should me most cautious with the bags and wrappers.
VANWINGEN: Fortunately, the good news is that you don’t have to worry so much about the food, but it’s the wrappers that I’m more concerned about. And I know you’re asking, “Can I Microwave This?” And the answer to that is absolutely yes you can. Now I’m not talking about the novel COVIS-19 coronavirus, I’m referring to some other coronavirus species, and studies showed that even just a little bit of microwaving takes care of the coronavirus. In addition, heat destabilizes the coronavirus as well. When you do choose food at a takeout restaurant, think “now’s the time to choose more hot goods over cold goods.” On the other side with frozen foods, you’re not going to do so well, some coronavirus species can live inside of a frozen environment for up to two years. So I would not consider your freezer safe ground to kill coronavirus. A good example would be a frozen pizza. You bring a frozen pizza in. You’ve got the cardboard box, you’ve got some plastic wrapping. And with that, you can dump the plastic out and consider the cardboard dirty and then go ahead clean your hands and put that plastic into the freezer. Good.
VanWingen can be found online at DrJeffVW.com.
The gyms may be closed but the sidewalks are open, and there’s no better way to practice some social distancing than a walk or run around the neighborhood. Mansfield Parks & Rec has introduced the Flatten the Curve Virtual Marathon, an unprecedented race for these unprecedented times.
Simply sign up on the City of Mansfield website, and log 26.2 miles of running or walking by April 24. Each participant who completes the distance by the deadline will earn a free t-shirt. The virtual marathon is free and open to adults only, and no matter your activity level, there’s plenty of time to stack up the miles and be a part of a totally unique 2020 athletic event.
So, you’ve been cooped up in your home for the past two weeks, you’ve read every book, magazine and owner’s manual in the house and you’re still clamoring for more. The Mansfield Library may be closed but Mayor David Cook says there are an array of online options, such as ebooks and language programs.
MAYOR COOK: The ebooks and audiobooks that are available, they’re very easy to download. By using Overdrive and Libby, those are a couple of programs that are on the website, those will allow you to download all the ebooks and audiobooks and hopefully you’ll take advantage of that and really enjoy some of the books that we have to offer through that. There’s also a lot of language programs there that are available for you. Maybe while you have some time at home with family, if y’all wanna work on different language programs now would be a good time and I would encourage you to take advantage of that.
You can access the Mansfield library online at MansfieldTexas.gov/library
The U.S. government is about to send checks or direct deposits to most Americans to help people survive financially as much of the economy shuts down in an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.
Bipartisan legislation signed into law would provide $1,200 payments to adults with annual incomes up to $75,000, plus another $500 per child. Some Americans earning more than $75,000 would also receive money if they meet certain qualifications outlined below. The money is likely to arrive in April via direct deposit. Mailed checks may take longer.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who exactly qualifies for a payment?
• Individuals with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000.
• Married couples are eligible for a $2,400 check as long as their adjusted gross income is under $150,000 a year.
• Heads of household will also receive an additional $500 per child under 17.
How does the U.S. government know where to send the money?
If you e-filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return, the IRS will use the direct deposit information on your return to send your payment to your bank account. If you don’t provide the IRS with your direct deposit details or you closed that account, then the IRS will mail you a check.
When will the payments arrive?
The first batch of payments will hopefully roll out the door the week of April 6.
Are the checks taxable?
No, they are not taxable.
For more information on the government stimulus checks, log onto IRS.gov.
The Mansfield Parks and Rec Department updated their park use policy and, as of Tuesday morning, all Mansfield playgrounds, courts and skate parks are now closed to the public due to the public health emergency. This includes swings and play structures at all parks, volleyball and basketball courts, outdoor fitness stations, athletic fields, restrooms, drinking fountains, and the Chandler Park skateboard park. Trails and open spaces will remain open as long as the public uses them with proper social distancing. For more information on park closures, cancellations and other Parks department responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit https://www.mansfieldtexas.gov/1536/Parks-Rec-COVID-19-Information.
In this week’s poll, Podcast Mansfield Recording Studio once again took to social media and asked the question, “With the stay-at-home order in place, how are you spending your time at home?”
With over 300 votes cast, the top three are:
- 3. 11% responded with: Working around the house
- 2. 23% replied: Going to work
- 1. 33% said: Working from home
Got an idea for a poll question? Shoot us an email — news@AboutMansfield.com. We’ll have the results of another poll next week.
Let’s check the weather for the upcoming week with Alexa:
Here’s the weather in Mansfield for the next seven days:
Wednesday – 72º and partly sunny
Thursday – 71º and thunderstorms
Friday – 73º and thunderstorms
Saturday – 68º and thunderstorms
Sunday – 74º and cloudy skies
Monday – 83º and lots of clouds
Tuesday – 83º and lots of clouds
Don’t forget your umbrella! That’s a look at news and weather. If you have a news tip that you would like us to follow up on, please send us an email at news@AboutMansfield.com.
We’d like to remind you that there are a couple of ways you can easily follow this podcast. log on to our website at AboutMansfield.com and enter your email address under the “follow podcast by email” heading or simply click on the subscribe tab on the podcast player you’re listening to following or subscribing is free and we will never send you any spam.
As you can imagine the Coronavirus has turned to everyone’s schedule upside down and including ours. The Mansfield city council and mayoral elections have been postponed yet about Mansfield has already interviewed four of the nine candidates. So over the next two months we will run the interviews one week at a time, including the school board candidates. When we come back in studio interview with City Council candidate Scot Bowman. This is About Mansfield.
[PLEASE LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW]
We welcome all feedback about the program, whether it’s about a specific news story or feature that you heard.
ANGELA writes, “I love what you are doing, thank you! I have a suggestion: For those that are receiving government checks that don’t really need it, why not give half to a charity (or charities) and spend the rest at local restaurants?
HEATHER writes, “I am concerned about the number of people I read about that are out running errands. I appreciate that it is challenging. I feel it too. However, if we don’t limit our activities outside the home, how do we anticipate to flatten the curve? Based on the report by the FWST, April 8-23 is going to be epic records of catastrophe. I do not understand why others won’t curb their actions.”
Got something you need to get off your chest? Feel free to chime-in by email at email@example.com or by voicemail at 817-435-2938. That’s 817-435-2938. We’ll read or play back some of the comments in a future show.
Congratulations to JOLENE MARCHANT who was the first person to email the correct answer about last week’s trivia question — Who established the Kow Bell Indoor Rodeo? Jolene knew that the answer was — lifetime Mansfield resident William H. (Bill) Hogg, and receives a $25 gift card to Big D Barbecue. After the break, this week’s trivia question of the week. I’m Steve Cosio with Coleen Daniell and this is About Mansfield.
It’s time right now for the trivia question o the week. The first person to email the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee and Sandwich Shoppe, located on the corner of East Broad and Waxahachie Street in Downtown Historic Mansfield. Experience the joy of a cup of coffee on their wrap around porch and a meal in the beautifully restored interior of a historic home. You can find them on the Internet at MaryLous.net. Let’s get to this week’s question.
The Mansfield News-Mirror newspaper was originally launched as the “Mansfield Chronicle” and, until they closed up shop last December, was the oldest newspaper in Tarrant County.
This week’s trivia question is: What year was the Mansfield Chronicle founded?
Email your answer to email@example.com.
Again, What year was the Mansfield Chronicle founded?
Good luck and thanks to Melissa and Ca’Lee at MaryLou’s for the gift card!
Coming up next week on About Mansfield: continuing coverage of the coronavirus and how it affects the lives of Mansfield residents and we’ll talk in-studio with city council candidate Philip DeGroat. The show will be released on Wednesday April 8th. Until then, don’t forget to follow to this podcast, if you haven’t already, so you never miss an episode. It’s free and easy. Just enter your email address on our website, About Mansfield dot com. We will never send you any spam, we promise. Thanks for listening. For Coleen Daniell, I’m Steve Cosio and this is About Mansfield.