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Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

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Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

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Westchester Plaza manager says "business as usual" for now

The future of a redevelopment plan for the 50-year-old Westchester Plaza on Fort Worth's Near Southside is unclear.

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Texas jobless rate falls as employers add workers

Texas unemployment fell to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth straight month of declines, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

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Monty Bennett: Businessman, water district activist

Monty Bennett’s name will not appear on the ballot for the Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors yet he remains a powerful backstage player whose influence could shape the direction of the district’s business for years to come.

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Newsmakers - July 14, 2014

Banking & Finance
Chris Grasher is a new tax partner in the Fort Worth office of Whitley Penn. Grasher was most recently a partner at Ernst & Young LLP, where he had a 38-year career. He served as coordinating partner and tax account leader of multinational accounts, as managing partner of the Charlotte office and director of tax for the Carolinas area. Grasher brings extensive knowledge in fixed asset capitalization practices; tax technology tools; state, local and international tax planning; and assisting high net worth individuals with estate and life insurance planning. Throughout his career, he has gained global experience in Western and Central Europe, the Americas and Pacific Rim including China.
Whitley Penn’s Fort Worth office also made several promotions. Elevated to senior manager are Mark Duffy (tax), Brandi Fletcher (tax) and Kristin Smith (audit). Promoted to manager are Rebecca Garza (tax), Anna Hardy (forensic, litigation and valuation services), Charlie Kennimer (audit), Blayne Rhynsburger (audit), Mark Selking (tax), Justin Wetzler (tax) and Jonathan Whitley (audit). Promotions to senior include Jenni Burks (audit), Michael Hughens (audit), Crystal Moralez (tax), Landri Ognowski (audit) and Bridget Walters (tax).
Daniel M. Stewart joined J. Taylor & Associates LLC as a tax manager. Stewart’s practice areas include partnerships and S corps, high-net worth individuals, fiduciary taxation, estates and gifts, and nonprofit organizations. Stewart progressed from an internship to tax manager at Weaver LLP before joining J. Taylor & Associates. He is a member of the Texas Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs and Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society serving accredited business programs.

Boards & Organizations
Vicki Mize, director of United Way of Tarrant County’s 2-1-1 information and referral service, has been elected chairman of the Accreditation Commission of the Alliance of Information & Referral Systems.
Don Smith, community development division vice president and director of United Way’s Area Agency on Aging, has become part of the 11-member Evidence-Based Leadership Council, which supports programs proven to promote the health of older Americans and help them manage chronic health conditions. United Way of Tarrant County and its Area Agency on Aging support a dozen such programs, including a community health navigator program that will receive a national Aging Innovations Award at the annual conference of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging in Dallas July 12-16.

Honors & Awards
Tarrant County College District Assistant Chief Leigh Dietrich received the Larry W. Fultz Memorial Award for Excellence from the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators. Dietrich has received numerous departmental awards, including “2004 Officer of the Year,” “2008 Supervisor of the Year” and as the recipient of a life-saving award in 2011. Her areas of responsibility include the development of department policies, such as crisis management and critical incident responses, and the establishment of liaisons and cooperation with other agencies when emergency or disaster response coordination is required. Dietrich began her career with the Dallas Police Department, where she was president of her academy class. She started as a police officer on TCC’s Northwest Campus in 2001, where she worked for almost five years. She later worked at Northeast Campus, where she was promoted to corporal in 2008. In April 2010, Dietrich was promoted to sergeant at Northwest Campus. She was promoted the next year to lieutenant at Southeast Campus. On June 2, 2012, she became the second person to become assistant chief of police at TCC.
Brandon Booker, vice president of finance and controller for United Way of Tarrant County, has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by the Texas Society of CPAs. Booker is a Financial Accounting Standards Board resource group member and has helped develop accounting guidance for United Ways throughout the country. He is vice president of communications for the Fort Worth Chapter of TSCPA.
John M. Banks, senior vice president-complex manager of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, is one of 10 managers in the nation to receive On Wall Street magazine’s Top 10 Branch Manager Award. Banks oversees the downtown Fort Worth office of Wells Fargo Advisors. He has been with the company for 17 years and has 32 years of experience in the brokerage industry.
Fort Worth architect Bart Shaw of Bart Shaw Architect won the American Institute of Architects 2014 Farmers Market Pop Up Project Design Competition. Shaw’s design, the G model, provides a platform for custom printed fabric to be wrapped. When transported it serves as a hand truck so goods and the canopy can be moved simultaneously. It will be featured by the Cleveland Museum of Art for the next few weeks, then be donated to nonprofit Growing Home Chicago for use by their clients and program participants.
Fort Worth Allstate agency owner Diana Troy won the Agency Hands in the Community Award for her commitment to helping others. This award included a $1,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation for Cancer Care Services, where Troy volunteers.
Four Arlington Independent School District principals have been selected to be among the 50 participants for this summer’s Raise Your Hand Texas Leadership Program at Harvard University. Mary Helen Burnett from Dunn Elementary, Selina Elizondo from Goodman Elementary, Mark Kammlah from Williams Elementary and Joshua Leonard from Blanton Elementary will attend a weeklong professional development course all expenses paid.
Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital earned the American Excess Insurance Exchange Risk Management Award for delivering high-quality, cost-effective health care from Premier Inc. The hospital was one of only five winners in the national alliance to receive the award. The project was a collaborative effort involving employees from Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
Texas Health Resources has been selected by IDG’s Computerworld magazine as one of the top 100 workplaces for information technology professionals. Texas Health ranked No. 8 among large companies in the national survey. Texas Health was recognized for programs such as its initiatives that promote the health and well-being of its employees.
The commercial real estate industry honored Burnett Plaza in downtown Fort Worth with The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award for the Over 1 Million Square Feet category. The award recognizes excellence in building operation management.

Nonprofit Organizations
Kim Davis, previously managing director of donor resources, has been named managing director of donation systems at LifeGift, an organization helping individuals needing transplants in 109 Texas counties. Davis will now lead hospital donation system development in the greater Houston area, Fort Worth, Amarillo and Lubbock. Brian Roe, previously managing director of tissue services, has been named managing director of tissue and donor resource operations, expanding his responsibilities to lead LifeGift’s Donor Resource Center, a 24/7 lifeline for organ and tissue donation that works with more than 200 hospitals statewide.

Tusk Enterprises hired Thomas “T.R.” Griffith II as the medical staffing company’s first chief technology officer.

Send newsmakers to Betty Dillard at

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