Missed out on local news? Take a look at what you might have missed from Community Impact’s coverage areas in Dallas-Fort Worth March 27-31.

1. Public shows up to discuss TxDOT's FM 407 widening project in Denton County

Denton County residents filled the Gene Pike Middle School gymnasium in Justin to view blueprints of the FM 407 widening project and meet with project engineers March 27.

Representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation were on hand in an informal meet-and-greet setting to chat with the public about the project's status while providing an opportunity for public input and answering questions from residents on how they may be affected by the road widening.

Read the full story by Tim Glaze.

2. Baylor Scott & White McKinney awarded Level II trauma center designation

Baylor Scott & White McKinney has received a Level II designation for its trauma center, according to a news release.

The designation, determined by the Texas Department of State Health Services, is the second-highest designation signifying the level of care in a trauma center. The hospital is also the second in McKinney to receive this designation and third in Collin County, according to a representative of the hospital.

“We are excited to achieve the Level II trauma designation," BS&W McKinney President Tim Bowen said. "I commend everyone, including our local EMS and first responders, who worked diligently to help achieve this Level II trauma designation. This furthers our mission and commitment to serve the community."

Read the full story by Shelbie Hamilton.

3. Franklin the Helper Children's Books bringing books, writing workshops to Plano

Franklin the Helper Children’s Books LLC will open a storefront in mid-April in The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd. The store will carry children’s books by Franklin C. Edwards, the author of a series of “Franklin the Helper” books designed to encourage kids to overcome social obstacles such as bullying and racism.

Franklin the Helper Children’s Books will also offer writing workshops for kids and adults, said Demetre Bivins, Edwards’ mother and operations manager.

Read the full story by Teri Webster.

4. Collin County Animal Services now offering foster pet program

Amid increasing intake numbers at the shelter, Collin County Animal Services launched a new foster program in January for dogs and cats.

The new program was launched shortly after the Frisco Citizen Bond Committee recommended placing a $5 million bond item on the May 6 general election ballot that would fund a municipal animal shelter. The item did not make it to the ballot after Frisco City Council ultimately decided against the committee’s recommendations.

Since 2019, the shelter has seen a decrease in adoption rates while processing a similar amount of animals each year, according to animal services’ budget reports. The kennel has 60 dog kennels and some room for temporary wire kennels to be placed in the shelter’s hallways, Volunteer Coordinator Sara Jones said.

Read the full story by Colby Farr.

5. Tarrant County taking a wait-and-see stance on property tax legislation

Members of the Tarrant County Commissioners Court received an update about the current 88th session of the Texas Legislature from Tarrant County Administrator G.K. Maenius on March 21. His remarks focused on bills that have been introduced in the session concerning the reduction of property tax burdens on residents.

“There are several bills that are in the Legislature now talking about school tax rate reform and valuations and also county valuations and the amount of taxable value being placed on those,” Maenius said.

He went on to say that while currently there is a 10% cap on property tax increases for homesteads, bills have been introduced that cap it at 5% and even 2.5%.

“When those bills come forward, we will speak with the county’s position on that. And that is we’re for tax reform and things that will help the taxpayer,” Maenius said.

Read the full story by Mark Fadden.