City News Briefs

November 4, 2014

Snider Plaza tree lighting festivities - Sunday, Nov. 23

The 8th annual University Park Tree Lighting in Snider Plaza is scheduled for Sunday, November 23 from 1 to 6 p.m. The event will include live performances on the main stage, children’s activities, bounce houses and over a dozen vendors offering treats, food and drinks. Children will have the opportunity to meet the "Rein-Steer," have their faces painted and to snap a picture with jolly Santa Claus. The tree lighting will culminate the festivities.

Non-perishable food & small donations for Phil Romano's non-profit, Hunger Busters

Event attendees are encouraged to bring canned food items or small monetary donations to help stock the shelves of Phil Romano’s Hunger Busters program. Phil's non-profit provides an often missed third meal of the day to underprivileged children in 9 DISD schools, most of which sit at or below the poverty level. Also be on the lookout for the Park Cities Rotary Club's Angel Tree, benefiting the children at George Washington Carver Elementary School.

Additional event parking 

Additional parking will be available at the SMU Law School parking garage and along Lovers Lane just west of Dickens, adjacent to Curtis Park and UP Elementary School.

2014 Event sponsors

This year’s key sponsors include:  Legacy Texas Bank, the Snider Plaza Merchants Association, Payne Mitchell Law Group, Park Cities People Newspaper, Sewell Automotive, the Rotary Club of Park Cities and the City of University Park. 

If you have questions about the event, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 214-987-5488.

City Buildings Thanksgiving Holiday schedule

  • City Hall and the Peek Service Center will be closed Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Both buildings will reopen on Monday, December 1 at 8 a.m.
  • UP Public Library will close early at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November, 26.  The library will be closed on Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28.  The library will operate normal business hours on Saturday, November 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The library is always closed on Mondays.  The library will reopen on Tuesday, December 2 at 10 a.m. 

Texas Rangers to investigate in-custody death - September 23

UPPD has asked the Texas Rangers to conduct an independent investigation of an incident that resulted in an in-custody death.
The incident began at 12:43 a.m. when UPPD officers responded to a suspicious activity call in the 3900 block of Lovers Lane.  An alarm monitoring company reported that a white male was seen on a surveillance camera at a gate outside a residence.  The alarm monitoring company requested that UPPD check the area.  The alarm company reported that the man was seen on camera leaving the location on foot, walking to the west.  The first UPPD officer to arrive on-scene spotted the man and tried to talk with him.  The man was uncooperative.  He pushed the officer to the ground and started running.  A second UPPD officer arrived, and both officers followed the man on foot.  The officers stopped the man a short distance away in the 4000 block of Amherst.  At this point, as three other officers arrived on scene, the man was repeatedly told to place himself on the ground.  He refused those commands and fought with officers as they tried to restrain him.  During the scuffle, officers used pepper spray to detain him.  Because pepper spray was used, departmental procedures require that officers call UPFD paramedics to the scene.  Soon after the paramedics arrived the man became unresponsive and UPPD officers and UPFD paramedics began CPR treatment.  UPFD paramedics transported the man to Presbyterian Hospital.  At 2:25 this morning UPPD was notified the man was deceased.
The man has been identified as 23 year-old Thomas E. Klessig of Dallas.  Because this incident is being investigated by an outside law enforcement agency, UPPD will not be making additional comments on any aspect of the case.  All evidentiary materials, including dashboard video and dispatch audio will be provided to the Texas Rangers to assist them in their review of the incident.

Burleson Park improvements

Parking slots on west & east side of the park not accessible during construction
In August crews began working on a series of improvements at Burleson Park.  Funded by the City’s Capital Improvements program, upgrades include: 

  • Installation of a rubberized surface and shade structures for the playground area
  • Installation of walkways that will connect the park’s various amenities and improve accessibility for all park visitors
  • Decorative lighting
  • Installation of a smart irrigation system
  • New turf and botanical beds    

Weather permitting, all work will be completed by January 2015. 
Park closed to the public
During construction all park facilities, except for the tennis courts, will be closed to the public.  During construction temporary fencing will be in place to prohibit access to the playground area, ball fields and basketball court (See map).  Temporary fencing will be in place on the sidewalks around the full perimeter of the park.
Parking slots at park reduced
Access to the parking slots on the Dublin Street and Durham Street sides of the park will not be accessible during the construction process.  This reduction involves about 60 parking slots. 


Some tree removal necessary
Trees selected for removal were either diseased or were cleared to enhance the vitality of other existing trees.  Prior to completion of the park's renovation, crews will plant several new trees throughout the acreage.