Sisterhood / Motherhood


“I’m pregnant.”

I did not expect to hear those words coming from my sister’s mouth on the drive home. I had just moved in with Sarah and her husband a few weeks before. I was speechless, shocked, and maybe a smidge angry. A baby? My older sister wasn’t supposed to have a baby or be a mom … not yet anyway. I wasn’t ready. There was supposed to be a warning, an announcement to the family that they were going to start trying so we could mentally prepare. But that’s not how life works. They weren’t exactly expecting either.

Black Salutatorian a First for Hillcrest High


“In the past, there hasn’t been a spotlight placed on academics for African-American kids.” Mebruk Jemal (Courtesy Mebruk Jemal)

Like many other high school seniors, Mebruk Jemal is counting the days until summer and excited to begin a new adventure at college.

But there’s something unique about 18-year-old Jemal: he will be Hillcrest High School’s first African-American salutatorian.

“His outstanding academic performance makes all of us, both on campus and throughout the Hillcrest community at large, proud to say I know Mebruck Jemal,” school monitor George Robinson said.

DSM High School Theatre Awards Set for May 18

Sara Held (Belle) and Cameron Bossalini (Beast) in Hockaday High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast. (Courtesy Dallas Summer Musicals)

Whether it’s a Tony, Emmy, or Oscar, most aspiring young actors or actresses dream of receiving a statuette in front of an audience of adoring fans and celebrities.

Through the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards program, patterned after Broadway’s Tony Awards, area high school musical productions compete for 32 different awards and 17 scholarships totaling $55,000.

W.T. White High School, the Hockaday School, and Highland Park High School are among the recordbreaking 76 schools participating in this year’s showcase, which will take place at 7 p.m. May 18 at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

Rundown Revival

Dallas Equestrian Center upgrades are attracting new trainers and users. (Courtesy of Dallas Equestrian Center)

After changing owners in 2015 and undergoing extensive renovations last year, the Dallas Equestrian Center (DEC) is making a new name for itself as a top horse facility in North Texas.

The most significant improvement is a 50,000-square-foot GeoTEX outdoor arena surrounded by new fencing and footing to better accommodate horses.

Other highlights include a European horse-walker, 20 new covered paddocks, and some general maintenance improvements to the barn intended to make DEC a premier facility. A new clubhouse with locker rooms and coaches’ offices is also in the works, according to co-owner Scott Wilson.

Ursuline Rowers Make College Choices


Ursuline’s Paula Villegas (La Salle) and Derrian Thompson (Loyola Marymount) each signed National Letters of Intent in April.

By Kelly Morris / Special Contributor

The rowing careers of Ursuline seniors Derrian Thompson and Paula Villegas won’t end in high school.

Thompson is headed to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and Villegas is headed to La Salle University in Philadelphia. The duo signed their Nationals Letters of Intent in April.

“It was so fun to wrap up the four years of our rowing together at our Signing Day,” Villegas said. “It’s something we always talked about. We’ve been best friends since we were freshmen.”

Police Reports: May 1-7



The tool used to draw on a Dallas woman’s vehicle at Berkshire Court between 8:15 and 8:25 p.m. May 7? An unknown sharp object.


1 Monday
An unknown elderly man drove into and injured a Dallas man at 1:54 p.m. in the 4400 block of Wildwood Road.

Taken between 2:20 and 2:32 a.m.: miscellaneous property from an unlocked vehicle at the Blakley Capital building in the 5500 block of Kemper Court.

Shoplifted at 6:15 p.m.: merchandise from Nordstrom at NorthPark Center.

A stranger fled after assaulting a 34-year-old Allen woman in the Smoothie King in the Market at Preston Forest at 8:26 p.m. by throwing a smoothie at her.

Between 8:40 and 9:27 p.m., two burglars removed a door panel to break into a home in the 6800 block of Woodland Drive and take household goods.

Looking Back to Put Best Face Forward


For women, the ladies in our lives who came before us are typically the ones we learn beauty secrets and tips from – our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, stepmothers, and any other female that helped to nurture and rear us.

They’re the first beautiful women we know. They are the ones that not only teach us how to be strong, loving, kind, and independent, the things that give us “character,” but they also teach us how to put our best face forward.

My mother spent a lot of time with her maternal grandmother Zudie, who was born in 1883. From the time my mother was in first to third grade, sitting in the same chair every morning, she French braided mother’s hair.

St. Mark’s Wins Fourth Straight TISCA Title


Another season, another state water polo title for St. Mark’s. The Lions won their fourth in a row on Saturday against Flower Mound.

St. Mark’s keeps facing tougher competition, yet continues to win TISCA state water polo titles. The Lions claimed their fourth consecutive crown by slipping past Flower Mound 7-6 on Saturday in Lewisville.

Earlier on Saturday, St. Mark’s rolled past Houston Jersey Village 12-4 in the semifinals. The Lions also topped The Woodlands and Houston Clear Brook earlier in the tournament.

In the championship game, St. Mark’s avenged a one-goal loss to the Jaguars at a season-opening tournament in Denton. Andrew Lin received first-team all-state honors during the tournament.

Next season, St. Mark’s will have a chance to tie the record for most state titles in a row. Clear Lake won five straight from 1994 to 1998.

Hillcrest Keeps Rolling Against Dragons


Hillcrest has proven itself this season against teams from Dallas ISD. The Panthers must now face Mansfield Legacy in the playoffs. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

After completing a perfect run through District 11-5A during the regular season, Hillcrest carried its dominance of Dallas ISD opponents into the postseason.

The Panthers surged past Seagoville 8-5 in a Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff game on Friday, extending their winning streak to 13 games overall. Juan Sandoval and Cruz Barrera each posted doubles as part of an eight-hit attack for Hillcrest, while Chris Sandoval earned the victory on the mound.

The Panthers (16-10) will face a much tougher test this week when they meet Mansfield Legacy in the area round. The best-of-three series will begin on Thursday in Mansfield before shifting to Hillcrest on Friday for Game 2. A deciding game, if necessary, would be on Saturday at Grand Prairie’s Turner Park.