Foli Park in Plano may close for construction; work includes trail and pier

A contract has been approved for work on improvements at Foli Park in Plano.

The $269,557.28 contract for the Foli Park project was awarded to GLI (George’s Landscaping Inc.) of Joliet by the Plano City Council.

The city has been working with Robinson Engineering of Itasca on plans for recreational improvements at Foli Park, which is on the south side of Plano just off Hale Street across from Plano Middle School.

Edward R Garcia
Edward R Garcia

Funds for the project came from the $202,000 state grant the city received in 2015, along with other funding from the city.

The development of the park will include:

• A paved half-mile walking/hiking/jogging trail.

• Installation of three exercise stations along the walking trail.

• Water fountain along a connecting path.

• A fishing pier.

• An open-air shelter with picnic benches, refuse receptacles and lighting.

• A sand volleyball court.

• Rehabilitation of existing restrooms with handicapped accessible accommodations.

• Expansion of parking lot to double capacity.

• Resurfacing of Larson Street access road to the park.

Mayor Bob Hausler said the project will begin soon, and the city has already begun some preliminary stormwater-related work in preparation for the project.

He said that it may be necessary to close the park during at least some of the construction phase. He said it might be possible to complete the project this year.

“I am excited about this project,” Hausler said. “Foli Park is one of Plano’s hidden gems.”

Susan Thanepohn is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News

Texas man sues woman $17.31 for texting during cinema date – and gets his money

It has been described as the “first date from hell” – and it ended in a lawsuit.

A man from Texas sued a woman this week for $17.31 – the price of a cinema ticket – after she irritated him by texting during a movie.

Brandon Vezmar, 37, of Austin, claimed Crystal Cruz was “a threat to civilised society” after she used her phone to read and send text messages “at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes” during the 3D showing of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” on Saturday.

Mr Vezmar asked Ms Cruz to stop but she refused. He suggested she step outside to use her phone, after which she left the cinema and never came back.

The 35-year-old woman also drove away in her car, in which she had driven them both, leaving him without a ride home, he said.

A few days later, he messaged her asking for the price of a ticket but she refused because “he took me out on a date”, she said.

“This is crazy,” she told the newspaper. “I’m not a bad woman. I just went out on a date.”

The case even attracted the attention of the film’s director, James Gunn, who tweeted: “Why stop at suing? She deserves jail time!”

Mr Vezmar filed the petition in the small claims court in Travis County.

The texting was a “direct violation” of the cinema’s policy and the woman “adversely” affected Mr Vezmar’s viewing experience and that of other patrons, the petition states.

“While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behaviour is a threat to civilised society,” it says.

The pair were reunited at the cinema on Thursday in an attempt to sort out the dispute.

“The date just didn’t work out,” she told him during the reunion, according to Inside Edition, which arranged the meeting.

She also apologised and handed him money, asking him to “just leave this alone.”

Mr Vezmar accepted the apology and said he would withdraw the lawsuit. He also said he would donate the money to charity.

 EDWARD R GARCIA

Texas police save puppy from hot car at Walmart, owner arrested

Police officers near Austin rescued an 8-week-old puppy from a locked car in a Wal-Mart parking lot this weekend, according to a report from the Manor Police Department.

A witness called the police after seeing a blonde puppy sitting inside a car that was not running.

When police arrived, they said they could hear the puppy crying and panting. Officers reached through a partially opened sunroof and used a tire iron to hit the unlock button and open the door and remove little Annabelle.

Officers gave water and air-conditioning to the overheated puppy, who they reported to be infested with fleas and had several lesions on her body.

The owner Chandler Bullen, 20, returned to his car from the store and officers asked him why he left the animal.

“I did not want to waste gas,” replied Bullen.

 

EDWARD R GARCIA

 

 

 

Mixed Martial Arts hopeful Arnold Allen could lose licence after drunken brawl at Christmas party

One of the world’s leading Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) prospects has been spared jail after he ‘ran amok’ at a Christmas party, assaulting the venue’s owner and six women.

 

The incident happened when a number of parties – including one for Specsavers’ staff and another with people dressed as Oompa Loompas – took place at All Manor of Events in Henley, near Ipswich, on the night of December 23 and 24.

The burgeoning career of professional fighter Arnold Allen, of Old Kirton Road, Trimley St Martin, now hangs in the balance after he pleaded guilty to affray, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Allen is facing the possibility of having his licence taken away by his sport’s governing body.

He may also have a problem travelling to fight in the US due to his conviction, which could also cause issues with his training camps in Canada where he spends a number of months each year.

Arnold Allen in the ring. Picture: DOLLY CLEW/CAGE WARRIORS
Arnold Allen in the ring. Picture: DOLLY CLEW/CAGE WARRIORS

Sentencing the 23-year-old, Recorder Richard Christie QC acknowledged Allen, who was drunk, had originally stepped in to protect his girlfriend after she had been in an altercation with another woman.

However, the judge said: “After that you went wild.”

Allen was said by one witness to have been ‘windmilling’ his left arm about while having his right arm around his girlfriend.

While imposing a five-month prison term, suspended for 12 months, on Allen Recorder Christie told him: “You essentially ran amok.

Arnold Allen celebrating a win in Berlin in 2015. Picture: JOSH HEDGES/ZUFFA LLC/GETTY IMAGES                                                     Arnold Allen celebrating a win in Berlin in 2015.
“Part of your training is self-control and knowing when not to exert more force than is necessary, and that’s plainly something you have done on this occasion.

“Your whole career has been [put] on a knife-edge as a result of this.”

Previously prosecutor Michael Crimp said a series of parties were taking place at the venue, including an Oompa Lumpa party with some people dressed in character.

At around midnight a fight broke out. The origin of it was not clear.

Allen’s girlfriend had become involved. People intervened and Allen’s partner was taken to one side by a wall.

Mr Crimp said Allen later told police he believed his girlfriend was being manhandled and he went across due to his concern for her.

Andrew Hayward-Farmer, the owner of All Manor of Events, had been attempting to break up the original melee.

The court was told he already had occasion to speak to Allen earlier in the evening because of his poor behaviour.

After Mr Hayward-Farmer took Allen’s girlfriend to one side, the MMA fighter came up and punched him to the left-hand side of his face, causing him to fall to the floor.

Mr Hayward-Farmer got up and went towards a gate intending to close it, but Allen chased after him kicking his legs from under him.

Mr Hayward-Farmer landed on his back. Allen bent over him and delivered at least two punches to the owner.

As others came over to intervene Allen assaulted six women by punching and lashing out as he flailed away, the court heard.

Part of Mr Hayward-Farmer’s victim personal statement was read out in court.

In it he stated the incident had ruined Christmas for him as it happened on Christmas Eve.

It had also made Mr Hayward-Farmer uneasy about leaving his home, as well as having an impact on his wife – who was also present at the time.

Richard Conley, representing Allen, handed three references to the judge on his client’s behalf – including a ‘glowing’ one from a female Metropolitan Police inspector who trains with Allen.

Mr Conley said Allen was not used to alcohol as he abstains as part of his training regime.

Referring to his client’s consumption of alcohol that evening, the barrister told the court: “It had a marked affect on his behaviour, but more importantly a marked affect on his perceptions. It’s a matter of very deep regret that he’s before this court today.”

It was said Allen, who had no previous convictions, was genuinely remorseful and deeply ashamed.

Mr Conley added: “He’s gone into complete protection mode. He’s abandoned all other considerations. His only consideration was to come to the aid of his girlfriend.”

In addition to his suspended jail term Allen was ordered to pay a total of £3,250 compensation to his victims. He must also undertake 150 hours’ unpaid work and was made subject to a one-month home curfew from 9pm to 7am.

EDWARD R GARCIA

 

Watch: Keanu Reeves’s hardcore gun and martial arts training for ‘John Wick 2’

KEANU REEVES REALLY GOT INTO CHARACTER TO PLAY AN EXPERT ASSASSIN IN JOHN WICK 2

The former Men’s Fitness cover star went through an extensive training period for the film, working on a tactical gun range with actual weapons, doing fight choreography with the stunt coordinator, and even getting behind the wheel to get comfortable with the film’s (many) driving stunts.

Reeves is not stranger to working hard on his training for film roles: Back when Reeves portrayed Neo in the Matrix trilogy, he went through months of martial arts training to prepare for that film’s extensive stunt work.

Reeves likely will be getting ready to do it all over again soon, as John Wick 3 appears to be on the fast track to production. Chad Stahelski, director of the second film, told Collider that the story is in the works, and The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Derek Kolstad, who wrote the first two films, is back for the third installment.

Stahelski later gave another update to the Independent, saying that the third film could be a “completion” of Wick’s story and that the story will dive more into Wick’s backstory: “We are going to put in something about the High Table, how that all works,” Stahelski said. “We’re going to put in something about where John comes from, and where he wants to go. I don’t want to say too much more, but it will be a nice completion to Mr. Wick’s journey.” (Could that mean thatJohn Wick 3 will be the final film in the series? Time will tell, but it’s not likely as long as the reviews and box office scores are so good.)

Here’s a look at Reeves working on fight training for the film:

Reeves takes on tactical training for the movie in these two videos:

 

Want to get ripped and ready for battle like

 

Martial artists win big in tournament

 

FAIRFIELD TWP. – Peyton Cifelli, a Adlai Stevenson School in Fairfield first grader, has won First Place in the Future Kick Youth Martial Arts competition on Sunday, May 21.

“Peyton is a fierce, little girl. She meets every expectation with determination and focus,” said Instructor Peaches Vizzio. “She is going to be one very special martial artist.”

After competing in the Twin Towers tournament last year and coming home empty handed, Peyton trained harder than ever and performed her traditional Kung-Fu form against over 40 other competitors, Vizzio said. Her division was made up of over forty 6-7 year old beginner boys and girls from many different martial arts backgrounds including Korean Tae Kwon Do, Japanese Karate and Chinese Kung-Fu. Students from all over the tri-state area represented their styles in this tournament.

“She practiced a lot and even though I have no clue what she is doing, Peyton practiced by performing her form for me over and over,” mother Tricia Cifelli said. “She did awesome. I am very proud of her.”

Also competing was Isaac Rodriguez, a Grandview Elementary School in North Caldwell 3rd grader, won third place in forms in the Future Kick Youth Martial Arts.

“Isaac is such a pleasure to have in class. He is always eager to please. He makes us all smile with his silliness,” Vizzio said. “I am so happy that his hard work is starting to come to fruition.”

After competing in a few tournaments and coming home empty handed, Isaac was a little nervous about this competition, Vizzio said. He performed his traditional Kung-Fu form against over 40 other competitors. His division was made up of over forty 8-9 year old beginner boys and girls from many different martial arts backgrounds including Korean Tae Kwon Do, Japanese Karate and Chinese Kung-Fu. Students from all over the tri-state area represented their styles in this tournament.

Vizzio’s Institute of Martial Arts brought fourteen competitors to compete in the Future Kick Youth Tournament. Overall, Vizzio’s students took home six first place trophies, three second place trophies and three third place trophies. Four students also competed for Grand Champion.

 

EDWARD R GARICA

 

 

 

 

Mississippi martial artist has eye on Tokyo Olympics

(Photo: Benjamen Sanford/Hattiesburg American)

Olympic gold is on the mind of a 23-year-old martial arts instructor.

With the 2020 Summer Olympics including karate for the first time, Ian Turner has the opportunity to join the first U.S. karate team, along with four of his students.

Ian, from the small town of Bailey, was selected to compete at the World Martial Arts Games for the United States Martial Arts Team in September. Participants at the competition will be chosen to represent the U.S. at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Ian, who graduated from William Carey University majoring in speech and social science, began training in karate at seven years old.

Martial arts inundated the pop culture of the ’80s and ’90s, with films like “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Karate Kid” and movies featuring Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris. Ian laughed as he admitted that such movies made him interested in martial arts, and that he initially “just wanted to beat somebody up.”

His mentality quickly changed when he realized the intensity and beauty of martial arts at his first lesson. For the first seven years of his career, Ian trained for four to six hours a day for five days a week, taking four different classes a day.

As Ian’s love for martial arts grew, his family quickly joined him. His father, Kenneth, and younger sister, Brittany, began taking lessons. The two other Turner sisters, Kenna, 12, and Elise, 6, also take martial arts. Their mother, Sheila, does not practice but supports her husband and children at events and encourages them to master their forms.

Kenneth said martial arts became a “centerpiece” to the Turner family. They went to competitions together, trained together and Ian said they are each other’s “biggest competition.”

Brittany, 19, who started training at age 3, said she had never known anything other than martial arts.

“It’s the normal thing for our family; we are all close today because of it,” Brittany said.

At the age of 16, what Ian intended to be a small seminar to instruct other children in martial arts turned into him opening his own dojo. Turner Shotokan, in Collinsville, is run by the family with Kenneth, Ian and Brittany instructing.

“We do everything as a family,” Ian said.

At Turner Shotokan, Ian said they concentrate on teaching martial arts in an applicable way to students ranging from 6 to 40.

“I want to make sure my students get a good workout and are actually learning and are using what they learn so that they can defend themselves if needed,” Ian said.

On Feb. 25, wearing jeans and flip-flops, Ian and Brittany went to coach and encourage their trainees competing in U.S. Martial Arts Team tryouts. Next thing they knew, Ian and Brittany were given gis and convinced to try out.

“The game had changed,” Ian said.

Ten hours later, the duo were informed they had made the team, along with their trainees Thad and Logan Davis and Aaron Rhodes. Neither Turner sibling had trained for the tryouts because they were concentrating on helping their students make the team.

As part of the U.S. Martial Arts Team, Ian will participate in the World Martial Arts Games in September, along with his sisters and trainees. Ian spoke with humility and awe as he expressed the honor he felt as an athlete representing the U.S.

“It hits me every time I think about it like it’s the first time I heard the news. I am a United States athlete. I will be wearing the flag. Holy crap.”

Ian’s training for the World Martial Arts Games in Orlando consists of a strict diet and daily workouts lasting about five hours. He said this competition was the “biggest thing” he has ever done and he wants to be the best he can be.

Ian was chosen to participate in traditional kata, sparring, point fighting and continuous fighting at the games. Brittany will participate in Chinese weapons, point sparring, continuous sparring, jiu-jitsu and grapple strike.

“Martial arts isn’t just something physical, it is something mental as well,” Ian said. “Your body is only as strong as your mind will let it be. If you stop the second your body tells you, ‘This hurts,’ you will never get stronger physically.”

In the midst of his rigorous training, Ian holds on to what his father, Kenneth, has told him since he was a child: “Sacrifice a little now for a lot later.”

Ian is focused on winning gold at the World Martial Arts Games in the hopes of proceeding to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.

To compete in the World Martial Arts Games, the five Mississippi athletes are raising $4,000 for tournament and travel expenses. Those interested in sponsoring may contact Ian at ianturner15@yahoo.com.