Episode 016 – 4/15/20

Welcome to another episode of About Mansfield, I’m Steve Cosio with Coleen Daniell, who is perfecting her social distancing skills 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. Coming up on this episode, news and local weather for the upcoming week.

And, as always, we will conclude this episode with the trivia question of the week for a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee and Sandwich Shoppe.

Let’s take a look at this week’s headlines:
• Coronavirus case numbers continue to rise in Tarrant County
• Local golfers create a change in local policy
• “Feed the Front Line Friday” campaign kicks off in Mansfield
• The City of Mansfield asks for your cooperation in filling out the 2020 Census
• AirBnB steps up to help those working on the front lines

Alexa is here with the weather and we have an in-studio interview with city council candidate Philip DeGroat. We are Mansfield’s only source for news, talk and information. This is About Mansfield.

Hi, this is John with Pool Aid, your local pool care specialist. The CDC has determined that pool maintenance services are an essential business due to the added threat of bacteria, algae, mold and fungus that is a byproduct of the lack of cleaning and a chemical imbalance. Allow us to be an essential part of your pool. If you have any questions or concerns or need a certified professional to help keep your pool safe and clean. Visit us on the internet at PoolAid.net. That’s PoolAid.net. We’re here for you!

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Tarrant County continues to rise. The county website reports as of this recording that there are 876 positive cases. Mansfield has 37 confirmed cases, ranking us as the fifth highest city behind Euless, Grand Prairie, Arlington and Fort Worth. The Community Spread Level is set at “Substantial,” meaning all individuals should limit community movement and adapt to disruptions in routine activities such as school and/or work closures, according to guidance from local officials.

Breaking down the virus in the county by numbers, over half of the positive cases were contracted “in the community” while 33% were reportedly traveling.

Men have eight percent more confirmed cases than women, while the majority age group of both genders is between 25 and 64 years old. Caucasians make up 41% of the cases while African Americans and Hispanics even split 42%. Nearly 90% of those who have died from COVID-19 were over 45 years old, predominantly Caucasian male.

Here’s what you should know, if you get sick:
• Stay home until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours unless you experience significant symptoms.
• If possible, limit your contact with others in your household, including the number of people who provide care to you.
• If you have persistent fever, high fever, and/or have underlying medical conditions, contact your medical care provider.
• If you have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your medical provider before seeking care. If you don’t notify them before arriving at the clinic or hospital, immediately grab a mask and let the intake staff know your concern so that you don’t potentially expose others while waiting to be seen.

Mansfield city council debated for over an hour Monday night on whether golf is an essential exercise such as walking, jogging or bicycling, resulting in a couple of addendums to the mayor’s emergency order. Council came to an agreement that both Walnut Creek Country Club and Mansfield National courses can remain open for business as long as golfers adhere to six-foot social distancing and only one rider per golf cart. Councilman Casey Lewis inquired about household family members riding together.


COUNCILMAN LEWIS: I have an 11 year old son who can’t drive his own cart. If I want to take him to play golf, does he have to walk the whole course?

MAYOR COOK: Does your son have a, you know, it’s like, “Okay, let me see your ID. You’re 11 years but you don’t have an ID. I mean, so are you really a household member of Casey Lewis?” I mean, that’s why it takes it completely out of there. If you have one guy on the cart then, well, you know. But, my personal opinion, yeah, 11 year olds should be walking the golf course. Mr. Moore.

COUNCILMAN MOORE: I’ve had several people contact me about two per cart saying my wife and I play golf. The problem is, is that if two people together you don’t know if they’re wife and husband or not. So this is a compromise, okay? They lost golf for a day and it scared the bejebers out of them. Okay, and some of them went out of town to play golf. I know that because they called me. But it’s a compromise and I think to make an enforceable by our police, it should be one per cart, no negotiations. If it’s an 11 year old son, I agree he needs to walk, okay? We just have to have some kind of accommodation that makes this workable.

About Mansfield spoke with local golfer Fred Closs starting with the issue of whether golf courses should stay open or not, which started at the governor’s desk.

FRED CLOSS: Originally did but then he retracted that. They later clarified as I understand, to close the golf courses in the state parks.

ABOUT MANSFIELD: And so as that trickled down from the state, down to the county and then eventually to the city, it included Mansfield National and Walnut Creek.

FC: I believe a week ago Monday or Tuesday he put out written orders. They were discussed with 1,100 various cities in Texas and someone asked this specific question, you’re closing all non-essential activities, does that include golf and he said golf is a non-essential activity. And they took that as closing all golf courses in Texas. They later verbally retracted that and said state parks. Mansfield is one of those cities that just jumped the gun, I guess.

AM: And that fired up a few Walnut Creek members didn’t it?

FC: Yes, it did.

AM: How many emails do you think the the council got before last night?

FC: I have no idea. I started an email to David Cook, the Mayor of Mansfield, and copied all of my buddies, probably about 50 of them and they copied all their buddies, so they may have gotten a couple thousand emails. This is politicians run amok trying to appease people who call up and say those people aren’t practicing social distancing. And they were inundated with phone calls from Betsy busy bodies all over the golf course taking pictures. There are still women out there to take pictures of every group, send them into the mayor. I understand they’re frustrated having to put up with the phone calls and says but this needs to stop immediately.

AM: What’s your feeling on drivers stopping on Country Club Drive to confront golfers that they’re standing too close together?

FC: If you’re 30 yards away, and you see a group of people, you can’t tell how far apart they are from a depth perspective. Then if you take a photograph, you won’t be able to demonstrate how far apart they are depth wise either. Good luck telling social distancing, while driving 10 miles an hour on a bicycle much less driving 30 to 40 miles an hour in a car. Yeah, I’m gonna hold up traffic to enforce a regulation that is at best nonsensical.

The Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the City of Mansfield and have launched a GoFundMe campaign in support of “Feed the Front Line Friday.” The goal for the campaign is to raise the required funding to feed Mansfield front line workers a nutritious lunch for as long as this crisis lasts. About Mansfield spoke with chamber president and CEO Lori Williams last Friday about who the drive benefits.

LORI WILLIAMS: It’s benefiting our first responders, our health care professionals that are on the front line at Methodist Mansfield, and then our police department and our fire department. It’s going very well. We’re about halfway to our goal. So we’re doing it every Friday. We’re picking one of our chamber members that is in a restaurant that has the capability to feed 450 people. So we’ve got first and second shift at the hospital that we’re feeding and then we’re delivering X number of meals for the fire and police department and then they distribute those meals for the guys that are on shift.

AM: You mentioned that you’ve almost reached your goal. What is your goal?

LW: Our goal is at this point $25,000. We’ve estimated the cost to do this one day, on Fridays with the amount of people that are working, it’s $3,700. And so we’re kind of estimating out how many weeks we may have to do this. We’re not sure. But that’s our first goal. Hopefully things will be under control and and we’ll be beyond this. If not, then we’ll pick it back up and continue again.

AM: Who are some of the participating restaurants?

Melisa Perez of MaryLou’s helps deliver 450 boxed lunches.

LW: We reached out to everybody and then the way that we’re doing it is those who said yes, I want to be a part of it. I found actually an online service that does this random name picker. So we put those names in the hopper, but we’ve got MaryLou’s, who is actually doing it today. We have Qdoba, we’ve got McAlister’s, El Primo’s, Soulman’s La Gondola. We’ve got about eight or nine that we’ve set up. And so then, like MaryLou’s is doing the today so so once they do their delivery, then they’re taken out of the equation. And then we go down the list. We’re just randomly picking to make sure that they get an opportunity because it does benefit them as well. Our local restaurants have been hit very hard by all of this and so this gives them a shot in the arm if they get it that week.

AM: So your goal is to reach $25,000. How can the Mansfield community contribute to this GoFundMe project?

LW: Basically, they go to the GoFundMe page. It is a cooperation between the Mansfield Chamber and the City of Mansfield. And we both have the links on our websites. So you can go to our website to get the link on GoFundMe. And you just click on the link and make your donation. And then each Friday, what I’m doing is I will post an update so that you know what’s been done and who did it. We’re posting just a couple pictures just so that you can see that and then giving you an update and telling you where we are and what’s going to happen next week. So those updates are posted once a week as well. I think it’s really important that we stand behind these people. You know, they’re the ones that are going to work every day they are exposed on a daily basis. Yes, it’s their chosen profession. However, to me, it’s the right thing to do to stand behind these folks and let them know that we appreciate and we thank them so it’s the least that we can do. It’s not a big thing, but belief that we can do to show our gratitude.

Participating restaurants include: Big D Barbecue, Fish City Grill, Jason’s Deli, MaryLou’s, McAlister’s Deli, Qdoba, Raising Cane’s, and Soulman’s Bar-B-Que. You can contribute to the GoFundMe “Feed the Front Line Friday” campaign by going to our website, About Mansfield dot com and click on LINKS.

AirBnB has mobilized in the wake of disasters such as the Australian fires or Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Now, through its hosting network, the short-term housing-rental company has met its goal of being able to offer 100-thousand lodgings around the world to health care professionals flying into hard-hit cities, of those who want to be near a hospital where they’re practicing. The New York Times reports that participating AirBnB locations will be made available free or at a discounted rate. If you have an unoccupied living space, check with AirBnB about offering it to a front line responder.

The City of Mansfield reports that just 56 percent of households have responds to the 2020 Census. That’s the good news but that also means we’ve got 44 percent have yet to reply.

The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.

Mansfield needs you to be counted. There are ten easy questions that shouldn’t take more than five minutes of your time. There are three different ways to respond to the 2020 census request: online at MY 2020 Census dot gov; by phone toll-free at 844-330-2020 or by mail, simply complete the form received at your address. If you missed any of this information, click on LINKS.

A reminder as April 15 has come and gone that the Internal Revenue Service has announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15 to July 15 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15 to July 15, without penalties and interest regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers including individuals, trusts and estates corporations and other non corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self employment tax. The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days.

Let’s check the weather forecast for the upcoming week with Alexa.

ALEXA: Here’s the weather in Mansfield for the next seven days:
Wednesday – 65º and lots of sun
Thursday – 75º and mostly sunny weather
Friday – 70º and thunderstorms
Saturday – 70º and thunderstorms
Sunday – 75º and lots of clouds
Monday – 81º and lots of sun
Tuesday – 81º and intermittent clouds

That’s a look at news, weather and sports. If you have a news tip that you would like us to follow up on, send us an email to news@AboutMansfield.com. Again, that’s news@aboutmansfield.com.

I’d like to remind you to follow this podcast so you will be notified when a new episode is released. The easiest way is to log on to our website at AboutMansfield.com and enter your email address under the “Follow Podcast by Email” heading on the home page. About Mansfield can also be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeart Podcasts and many more platforms.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak the City was prepared for a May Second election for three city council seats and the mayor’s place. After the break, an in-studio interview with city council candidate Philip DeGroat, with whom we spoke in early March. You will notice that the interview refers to the May election date, which has since been postponed. Stay with us. I’m Steve Cosio with Coleen Daniell and this is About Mansfield.


Hi, this is John with Pool Aid, your local pool care specialist. With the exceptional amount of rain that we’ve experienced so far this year, spring is a vital time to clean pool filters, skim leaves and debris and keep skimmers clean to ensure proper circulation as well as keeping pool sweep in good working condition. If you have any questions or concerns for me the certified professional to help keep your pool safe and clean, visit us on the internet at PoolAid.net. That’s PoolAid.net. We’re here for you!

We welcome all feedback about the program, whether it’s about a specific news story or feature that you heard. Feel free to chime-in by email at comments@aboutmansfield.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 episode.

Congratulations to Eric Peterson who was the first person to email the correct answer about last week’s trivia question — Who is Ellis County named after? Eric knew that the answer was — Richard Ellis, president of the convention that produced the Texas Declaration of Independence. Eric receives a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee & Sandwich Shoppe.

After the break, this week’s trivia question of the week. I’m Steve Cosio and this is About Mansfield.

It’s time for the highly-coveted, wildly popular, Trivia Question of the Week. The first person to email the correct answer to trivia@aboutmansfield.com 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. Open for take-out and curbside pick-up every day except Sundays, you can find them on the Internet at MaryLous.net.

Let’s get to this week’s question — One of the longest highways in Texas is U.S. Highway 287, which runs 640 miles from Amarillo, through Mansfield, and ends in the Gulf Coast city of Beaumont. In 1940, U.S. Highway 287 was changed from another name.

This week’s trivia question is: [YOU MUST LISTEN TO THE PROGRAM FOR THE QUESTION]

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 mayoral candidate Michael Evans. The show will be released on Wednesday April 22nd. 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, AboutMansfield.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.