Welcome to another episode of About Mansfield, I’m Steve Cosio with Coleen Daniell, who is now a pro at 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. Coming up on this episode, news and local weather for the upcoming week.
Let’s take a look at this week’s headlines:
• Governor to start re-opening the state in phases
• The Director of Tarrant County Public Health updates is on the local COVID numbers
• Attorney provides area renters with legal advice
• Mansfield Rotary clubs show appreciation with stars and stripes salute
• Mansfield Parks and Rec calls the Flatten the Curve Virtual Marathon a huge success
• Officials look to you to help write our city’s history
• Vacation plans dashed by the virus? You’re not alone
Alexa is here with the weather and we have an in-studio interview with school board trustee candidate Corinne Fiagome. 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. 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. 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 keep your pool sweep in good working conditions. 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.
Welcome back to About Mansfield.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: That executive order has done his job to slow the growth of COVID-19 and I will let it expire as scheduled.
Governor Greg Abbott stated that he will let the executive order that he signed a month ago lapse at the end of April. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Abbott said that he plans to re-open Texas carefully and in phases.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Now it’s time to set a new course. That course responsibly opens up business in Texas. We will open in a way that uses safety standards, safe standards for businesses for their employees as well as for their customers. Phase One begins this Friday, May 1. So with my new executive order, all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen May the first, the extent to which this order opens up businesses in Texas supersedes all local orders.
During Phase One, the restaurants, theaters, museums and other types of businesses the Abbott mentioned will be able to operate only at 25% capacity while customers and employees continue to maintain social distancing. Abbott explained what happens after the two-week completion of Phase One.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: If Phase One works well containing COVID-19, Phase Two will expand that occupancy to 50%. Phase Two will open more businesses and allow the businesses open in Phase One to expand their operations. We need to see two weeks of data to confirm no flare up of COVID-19. That is exactly why now, more than ever, Texas must continue safe distancing practices. If we do that, the faster we can safely open businesses in Texas. Now a lot of business in Texas is done by sole proprietors, they can safely return to work now. Also, churches and places of worship, they were kept open under the existing executive order, but effectively on the first, they will be able to expand their capacity even more. Outdoor sports are also allowed at this time. So all however, as it involves no more than four participants playing together at any one particular time, and so long as certain distancing practices are followed. Examples of this would be things like golf and tennis.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Tarrant County continue to rise. Speaking on a teleconference town hall Monday night, Dr. Vinny Taneja, Director of Tarrant County Public Health breaks down the numbers in the county.
DR. VINNY TANEJA: This morning we declared that we have 2,019 positive COVID-19 cases with 72 that were added new for today. And we have 53 deaths in Tarrant County that have occurred due to COVID-19. Since yesterday, there were zero deaths. So that was good news. This is only our second day I believe that has had zero deaths in the last quite a while. But I can already tell you late today we got a couple more reports. So we’ll work through all of that and once everything is finalized, we’ll probably be declaring two more deaths tomorrow, if everything stays accurate on how it was reported.
Dr. Taneja did offer some encouraging news.
DR. VINNY TANEJA: Somewhat is good news because for the last several weeks, our testing capacity was tight and lagging and all of those positives were hanging around at about 10%. So we’ve seen a down-tick in number of positives. We’re at about 8% as our testing capacity increases, so that gives us a little bit of good news that we’re possibly looking at the start of a downward trend in positive cases coming from the entire state of Texas.
The town hall meeting was hosted by Tarrant County Precinct Two Commissioner Devan Allen.
Renters in Tarrant County who have hit a roadblock with their landlords while seeking some relief on their monthly rent may find relief by way of legal advice. Attorney Stuart Campbell with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas spoke on the same virtual town hall meeting as Dr. Taneja on Monday night and advises.
[CAMPBELL] If you receive a notice to vacate or if you receive some type of informal communication from your landlord, whether it’s oral or via text mentioning that you may be at risk for an eviction, you need to make it clear that you are in this circumstance because of COVID-19 and that you’re willing to make payment arrangements to make up that payment later in the months that come after this crisis. And the most important advice I’ve been giving all of my applicants and clients in the last six weeks is that the agreement between your landlord must be in writing to protect you as much as possible. Say, for example, you might be facing an eviction later on. Well, any Justice Court judge is going to want to be able to review any of the communications that established. That payment plan is most effectively done in writing.
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal help to low-income residents in 114 Texas counties throughout North and West Texas. If you are in need of housing-related legal help due to the coronavirus pandemic, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas is there to help you. We have a link on our website. Click on the LINKS tab.
Members of Mansfield Rotary clubs got together on Thursday to launch the “Be the Hope Project” to show appreciation to frontline heroes. Members from both clubs planted American flags in front of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center along Broad Street as a salute to veterans as well as those healthcare workers who have worked above and beyond the call of duty during the coronavirus pandemic. You can see the flags as you drive down East Broad Street in front of Methodist Mansfield Hospital.
The Mansfield Parks and Rec launched the “Flatten the Curve Virtual Marathon” just over a month ago in hopes of getting Mansfield residents out of their chairs and onto the sidewalks and trails for some exercise. The goal was for everyone to log at least 26 miles of walking, running, jogging over the four-week period. The response was overwhelming with over 12-hundred people from all over the country who participated and turned in their logs by last Friday’s deadline. All totaled? Over 32,500 miles were logged.
Historic preservation is more than just the places and events important to the City’s past. It’s also about the experiences of the people who live here. In 2020, Mansfield will celebrate the 130th anniversary of the City’s incorporation. To mark this milestone, the City of Mansfield Historic Preservation Officer Art Wright has teamed up with the Mansfield Public Library and the Mansfield Historical Museum and Heritage Center to create the “This Is Us: A Mansfield History Project.” The organizers want to know YOUR stories about life in Mansfield. Tell about your experiences in Mansfield: growing up, going to school, working or simply living here. For more information on “This Is Us,” we have a link on our website. Click on the LINKS tab.
The Coronavirus has disrupted the lives of many Mansfield residents, whether it’s working from home, the ability to go to the movies, or your canceled vacation plans. About Mansfield spoke with Mansfield resident Ileana Hamilton, who had big travel plans with her entire family.
[HAMILTON] There was four of us: my immediate family — my husband and my son, he’s three — and our exchange student we had this year. So that was going to be our family trip with her for the year. She’s from Bulgaria, but she is no longer here because of everything that’s going on. We spent a lot of time trying to decide where to take her, and what month take her somewhere, and we ended up with Universal Studios to make it easy on all of us. We were going to go on Easter weekend. The official cancellation was March 24. The week after that, we found out that her country was calling her to come back home, so she unexpectedly had to leave early. So we can’t, we can’t re-book that memory.
Hamilton has not re-booked her Universal Studios vacation and is expecting a full refund within the next couple of weeks.
Early morning and late night thunderstorms that we’ve experienced within the past couple of days are what make Texas weather exciting. Alexa is here with the seven day forecast.
[ALEXA] In Mansfield for the next seven days:
Wednesday: 81º and lots of sun
Thursday: 85º and mostly sunny
Friday: 91º and partly sunny
Saturday: 94º and intermittent clouds
Sunday: 95º and intermittent clouds
Monday: 91º and lots of clouds
Tuesday: 90º and intermittent clouds
That’s a look at news and weather. If you have a news tip that you would like us to follow up on, send us an email to email@example.com. Again, that’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Prior to the coronavirus outbreak the City was prepared for a May second election for three city council seats, the mayor’s place and two school board seats. After the break, an in-studio interview with school board candidate Corinne Fiagome, 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.
[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. 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 episode.
Congratulations to Sheri Curb who was the first person to email the correct answer to last week’s trivia question — What high school did Stepfan Taylor play for and what year did he graduate? Taylor played for Mansfield High School and graduated in 2009. Sheri receives a $25 gift card to MaryLou’s Coffee & Sandwich Shoppe.
After the break, this week’s trivia question of the week. I’m Coleen Daniell and this is About Mansfield.
Hi, this is John from 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.
It’s time for the highly-coveted, wildly popular, Trivia Question of 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. 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.
Mansfield independent School District’s R. L. Anderson Stadium was the lone hotspot for Friday Night Lights for years in Mansfield, Texas. To accommodate a growing school district, Mansfield ISD constructed a second and a much larger facility — The Vernon Newsom Stadium. This week’s trivia question is: [Please LISTEN for the question]
Good luck and thanks to Melisa 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 school board candidate Courtney Lackey-Wilson, who is seeking re-election. The show will be released on Wednesday May 6th. 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.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.