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Elsa England Elementary and Pearson Ranch Middle School Get Long-Awaited Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons on Pearson Ranch Road

Photo was taken on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 in front of the PHBs and other safety improvements.

  • 18 November 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 3058

Standing alongside Dist. 6 Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan, Commissioner Cook tosses her hat into the air to celebrate the new PHBs and improved safety for students.District 6 Austin Council Member Jimmy Flannigan and Commissioner Cook raise their hands into the air to showcase the new PHBs.

The Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) and other safety improvements on Pearson Ranch Rd. are the result of the cooperation between different local government entities – Williamson County, City of Austin, and Round Rock Independent School District. It all started with the parents of students at Elsa England Elementary and Pearson Ranch Middle Schools letting their elected representatives know what the situation was like on the ground. Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook and Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan continue their pledge to assist parents and school leaders with any future issues that may arise.

Similar relief is also coming soon for Patsy Sommer Elementary students and PRMS students who utilize routes around Pearson Ranch Middle School. Again, City of Austin and Williamson County are working together to do the right thing: the long-awaited signal lights at Pearson Ranch Road and Avery Ranch Blvd. should be in play by late November.

Commissioner Cook Accepts National Family Caregivers Month Proclamation for Citizens of Round Rock

The City Proclamation was presented at the Round Rock City Council on Nov. 14, 2019.

  • 14 November 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2914

Standing lf to rt are Round Rock City Council Member Tammy Young and Commissioner Cook. Both are holding the Proclamation from the City of Round Rock. The Round Rock City Council approved November 2019 as National Family Caregivers Month in Round Rock to honor the more than 40 million caregivers across the country who support agining parents, ill spouses or other loved one with disabilities who remain at home.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton proclaimed November to be National Family Caregivers Month for the first time.

Commissioner Cook Announces New Bridge Now Connects Another Section of Brushy Creek Regional Trail (Photo Video Included)

The bridge was lowered over Brushy Creek on Round Rock Avenue behind the former 620 Cafe area near I-35 on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

  • 22 October 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 3013

Brushy Creek Regional Trail, Phase 5

Oh, the saga, cheers for the progress. BCRT expansion from Round Rock to Fern Bluff was only partially funded with the 2013 Park Bonds program. It took acquiring a CAMPO grant (thru TxDOT) to complete the funding; however, there was a catch. The grant funding was by the mile of trail land the county owned by an early TxDOT deadline in February 2018.

This section of the BCRT was the trickiest with 24 parcels of property, much of them with commercial owners. Our right-of-way team from Sheets and Crossfield worked long hard days – they acquired 18 of the parcels and closed on them by early February. I was working with Randy Bell, our former Park Director, on negotiating with a Faith Missionary Baptist Church deacon on possible passageways across the property when the hammer fell on the deadline. We had six parcels with two property owners to go, so, between the cost of the ROW and the length of the fully funded, owned-by-the-county trail ROW, the length of the trail was reduced from 2.7 miles to .931 miles. Fern Bluff would remain a distant vision.

Then an intern writer from Community Impact wrote an ever-so brief article and included the phrase “the project will begin ….and end just before reaching Faith Missionary Baptist Church …” Well, all heck broke loose on social media with the Church being publicly condemned. It wasn’t their fault – we hadn’t finished negotiations; certainly couldn’t go to closing prior to the TxDOT deadline. Furthermore, the Church owned both sides of Brushy Creek. This trail expansion was going to greatly change their pastoral setting, and we wanted to be careful and thoughtful about a route across their property. Click on READ MORE!


WGU Honors Veterans, Military Personnel, and their Families with $3,000 Scholarships

Top military-friendly university announces offering in celebration of Veterans Day

  • 21 October 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2930

(October 16, 2019) – In recognition of the commitment and sacrifice of America’s military personnel and their families, Western Governors University (WGU) is offering the Salute to the Armed Forces Scholarship at http://tinyurl.com/y2q3afxd. The scholarship is worth up to $3,000 toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree in IT, business, K–12 education, or healthcare. Applications are now being accepted through December 31, 2019.

Open to U.S. military veterans, active-duty servicemembers, reservists, and military family members newly enrolling in a WGU degree program, scholarships will be awarded at the rate of $750 per six-month term, for up to two years. For most programs, that means a reduction in tuition cost of approximately 20 percent. This is a competitive program, and scholarships will be awarded based on a candidate’s academic record, financial need, readiness for online study at WGU, and current competency, plus other considerations.

Nonprofit, competency-based WGU is consistently ranked among the nation’s most military-friendly colleges and universities, offering online degree programs that provide the flexibility, portability, and job relevance our nation’s military personnel, veterans, and their families need. In addition, WGU’s affordability and financial aid opportunities—including military tuition assistance and GI Bill benefits—put a high-quality WGU education well within reach.

At WGU, students can take advantage of their existing knowledge and experience to move quickly through material they already know, so they can focus on what they still need to learn. WGU faculty members work one-on-one with students as mentors, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction. While WGU’s degree programs are rigorous and challenging, competency-based learning makes it possible for students to accelerate their progress, saving both time and money.

To learn more or to apply, visit http://tinyurl.com/y2q3afxd.


About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 119,000 students nationwide and has more than 158,000 graduates. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 22 years, the university has become a leading influence in the development of innovative workforce-focused approaches to education. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at .

Central Texas’ Aging Population and Caregivers Need More Services

Oped by Commissioner Cook

  • 17 October 2019
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 3173

Members of the AGE Thrive Social and Wellness Center in Williamson County enjoy a day of socializing and creativity with art projects.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the second fastest growing population of adults 65 and older and the fastest growing population of adults 55 to 64 are in the Central Texas region.

The Aging Services Council of Central Texas reports that by 2040 more than half a million (517,772) adults ages 65 and older will live in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties and comprise nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of the Central Texas population.

Many seniors already do or will rely on adult caregivers, often family members.

AGE of Central Texas, a non-profit organization, operates licensed, non-residential activity and health service centers for seniors, one in Round Rock and one in Austin.

Called Thrive Social and Wellness Centers, these facilities provide daytime care for older adults with physical or cognitive needs, with 90 percent of them suffering from memory loss or dementia.

These centers also provide caregivers who are still in the workforce a place that is safe, engaging and active for their senior loved ones, and they provide respite for other caregivers.


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