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Interfaith Ministries of Denton and United Way of Denton are recruiting local businesses to collect school supplies for the city’s “Stuff the Bus” initiative and the first-ever Denton Back to School Fair on Aug. 11.

Local businesses can collect school supplies or become a community partner for a $200 booth rental, or by donating to purchase school supplies for kids in need.

Company leaders who want to collect supplies — which will be used to supplement bulk supplies already ordered — can learn more by calling Alicia McElroy, director of education and workforce initiatives at the United Way of Denton County, at 940-566-5851, ext. 119.

Denton’s new splash pad at Carl Young Park is so popular that residents are clamoring for more.

New Parks Director Gary Packan says the department is drafting a new parks master plan that should identify other possible locations for splash pads.

While the parks department is hunting for a new spot to put a splash pad — or “sprayground,” as the department calls it — officials might also be on the hunt for money to pay for it.

The new splash pad didn’t become a possibility until local parents raised seed money for it. (And let’s hope that when the city finds a few locations, they will have room for the pads to get bigger as the city grows.)

Brian “Beerman” Houser was all set to play a regular set July 20 at the Frisco Bar. Alas, he had to postpone the date because he had to have an emergency appendectomy. He’s scheduled to return to the Frisco venue on Sept. 7.

Why do we get the feeling someone will ask to see his scar? (And do appendectomies even lead to gnarly scars anymore, or do surgeons just use a laser or something?)

Anyway, we’re glad Beerman is on the mend.

Eleven-year-old Issi Neufeld, an ambitious Coppell resident, will appear on the Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship at 8 p.m. Aug. 6. May her pastry dough rise softly and her icing taste sweet.


Contestant Issi Neufeld discusses her dish with host Valerie Bertinelli in the heat, as seen on Kids Baking Championship Season 5.


Contestant Matthew Azuma, left, assists contestant Issi Neufeld of Coppell in the heat, as seen on season 5 of “Kids Baking Championship.”

It’s no secret that health care professionals are a busy lot, but one Frisco dentist hasn’t let a bustling patient load get in the way of continuing dental education. The Texas Academy of General Dentistry awarded Anil K. Gudipati the prestigious Fellowship Award during the Academy of General Dentistry’s convocation ceremony. The commencement celebration recognizes academy members’ commitment to excellence in dental education. Gudipati accepted this award along with more than 267 other recipients.

The Greater Denton Arts Council is hosting a concert worth your time this evening. American Stains is a 14-track album that “connects, details, and intertwines the lives of various characters in the last two centuries of American history.” The performance and record touches on slavery, war, the frontier and the borderlands. It’s a look at the humble lives of Americans who have struggled for their liberty from coast to coast.

The show features Caleb Coonrod, Katina Stone-Butler, Dunashay Thomas, Gary Chase, Doug Anderson, Clark Erickson and Kris Wallace. The performance is from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. today at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E. Hickory St. Admission is free.

Sad news: Denton resident Bob Huffaker, a journalist best known for his live coverage of President John F. Kennedy‘s assassination just outside the emergency room at Parkland Memorial Hospital in 1963 as a reporter for CBS News and KRLD-AM, died at age 81 on June 25. Two days after JFK’s death, he witnessed Lee Harvey Oswald‘s murder by Jack Ruby. It was Huffaker who famously yelled “Oswald has been shot!” into a live microphone.

Huffaker earned his master’s degree and doctorate from what is now the University of North Texas. He is survived by his wife, Veva Vonler, sons, Kevin Huffaker and Zach Vonler, and his sister, Genelle Huffaker Mercer.

“While Huffaker was an extremely wise man, his charisma came from his generous heart, his kindness, his courage, and his attentiveness to each and every one that he met. He endeared himself to his friends and family with his gentle ways,” friend Tracie Ferguson wrote in a recent tribute for the San Marcos Daily Record.

Parting Shot

“I quit coffee. It won’t be easy drinking my Bailey’s straight but I’ll get used to it. It’ll still be the best part of waking up.”

— actress Megan Mullally

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at

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