1. TxDOT opens public hearing on I-30 east corridor project

The Texas Department of Transportation is accepting public comments until July 14 regarding proposed improvements to I-30’s east corridor in Dallas. The project would widen I-30 from eight lanes in the main road to 10 lanes and add two reversible managed lanes in the center median.

TxDOT estimates the project will cost $1.02 billion and expects to start accepting construction bids in 2027. The proposed improvements aim to address the highway’s aging infrastructure, reduce congestion and improve accessibility for all modes of transportation.

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2. Richardson ISD to expand locked cellphone program

Richardson ISD officials announced in early June plans to expand a pilot program prohibiting cellphone use on campus to more schools in the district. Students at the school were required to put their cellphones in magnetic locked bags made by a company called Yondr throughout the school day to prevent usage.

For the 2023-24 school year, the program will be expanded to four additional schools: Lake Highlands High, Lake Highlands Junior High, Apollo Junior High and Liberty Junior High schools. The expanded program is expected to cost the district $140,000.

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3. North Texas water district proposing 11% rate increase for member cities

Proposed rate hikes from the North Texas Municipal Water District could see member cities’ wholesale rates for treated water increase by 11% to $3.77 per 1,000 gallons. The district's budget and rates for fiscal year 2023-24 will be finalized Oct. 1 with preliminary rates being the best estimate about the upcoming rates at the time.

Richardson City Council was briefed on the potential 11% increase to the wholesale water rate during a June 5 work session. All presented rates are the same proposals for other NTMWD member cities, which include Plano, McKinney and Frisco. Final projections for water, wastewater and solid waste rates will be given to member cities at the end of July, Vaught said, adding she expects them to be below the June 5 estimates.

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4. Fort Worth takes 2-step approach to promote smart irrigation

Fort Worth is informing residents of tools to use to optimize their irrigation systems. The city offers a watering tool: MyH20 portal. Residents can monitor and track water usage through the app.

The city has a year-round watering schedule that allows for biweekly watering based on home address. The Fort Worth Water Department will be sending blue irrigation advisory postcards to certain customers this summer with the goal of encouraging responsible water usage and addressing any potential violations.

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5. Collin College to offer new bachelor’s degree

Collin College will offer a new baccalaureate degree for the upcoming fall semester, according to a news release. The new degree offered is a Bachelor of Applied Science in clinical operations management, and the program is accepting students for the coming semester.

The program requires students to be admitted to Collin College and hold an associate degree in allied health, health science, emergency services or related fields. All program courses are online and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

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