Around the State

Around the State
The Dallas Examiner stock photo


The Dallas Area Rapid Transit board of directors selected Stadler US May 28 for the contract to assemble and build eight Fast Light Intercity and Regional Trains and design an Equipment Maintenance Facility for the Cotton Belt Regional Rail Project.

The Stadler FLIRT is self-propelled by a diesel multiple unit and meets Tier 4 EPA emissions standards and FRA standards, and is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The vehicles seat 230 and include automatic passenger counters and closed-circuit television. Each train is approximately 318 feet long and has four units, a power pack, four powered axles and eight unpowered axles.

The CBRR Project, a new 26-mile alignment planned for the northern part of the DART service area, will traverse Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Dallas, Grapevine, Plano and Richardson. Service is scheduled to start in 2022.

Stadler also intends to assemble and build the new DART trains in Salt Lake City.


Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Alpha Xi Omega Chapter, the first Greek letter sorority for African American women, will celebrate 90 years of service and is poised to continue delivering service to Dallas residents and beyond. This large chapter of almost 600 members of college-educated African American women is committed to serving humankind and improving the quality of life for all.

The chapter was established on June 6, 1929. Florence Harlee Phelps, a Howard University graduate, initiated the effort to establish a chapter in her hometown, along with assistance from four other women: Ethel Boswell Darden, Alberta Adams Lott, Johnella Patton Lott and Annie Lacy Watson.

Phelps was elected as the first president of the chapter. Although small in number, they began working immediately to fulfill the purpose of the organization. The chapter encouraged young women to develop high standards of character and excellence in educational achievement.

Since its beginning, the chapter has continuously awarded college scholarships to local students. Other programs have included vocational counseling and guidance for high school students; health and other social service initiatives for women and children; support of the African American family; and support to developing art, cultural and educational institutions and groups.


The Texas Workforce Commission awarded 10 grants totaling $640,008 for Camp Code to focus on increasing the interest of middle school girls in coding and computer science by providing summer camps. Students will get hands-on experiences that allow them to learn problem-solving and analytical skills while fostering an interest in science, technology, engineering and math related careers with a focus on computer science.

The camp provides more than 1,000 students with activities and lessons that encourage their interest in technology, such as working in teams to use programming languages to build games, web pages and robots.

“Programs like Camp Code for Girls that encourage young women’s interests in computer sciences increase the recruitment and retention of high-tech businesses in Texas,” said TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “We are dedicated to providing young students learning opportunities where their passion and enthusiasm for STEM fields can be developed for postsecondary education and rewarding career opportunities with Texas employers.”

The grants awarded to independent school districts, universities and higher education institutions are designed to spark girls’ interests in careers in computer programming from an early age and encourage them to consider careers in these highly sought-after fields.

“A solid foundation in computer programming and software development puts our students on a path to pursue careers that command competitive salaries,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Young girls who are given a glimpse into the world of coding at Camp Code will leave inspired to continue their studies in science and engineering fields.”

Summer camps that offer computer science projects and incorporate art with storytelling and robotics, video games, websites and applications can also help further interest in the coding field. The coding education includes the most in-demand and popular computer science languages, such as Java, SQL, C++, Net, Perl, Ruby and JavaScript.


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