TFNB Your Bank For Life has had quite a year. In fact, it has had quite a 125-year run, having recently received a Texas Treasure Business Award from the Texas Historical Commission that honors businesses contributing to the state’s economy for at least 50 years.

But the McGregor-based bank also has opened a location on the first floor of Triangle Tower, the gleaming building at New Road and Valley Mills Drive, and continues construction of a full-service location near Eighth Street and Interstate 35 to serve Waco’s flourishing downtown.

Last week, TFNB announced it had hired Dale Smith to lead the bank’s popular nonprofit program, Charity Champions, that now is headquartered in Triangle Tower. Smith, 59, comes to TFNB after 19 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, where he worked on several teams, including the Jesus Film Project, according to a press release from TFNB.

Smith, whose wife, Beth, is a Waco native, also practiced law for 15 years in Louisiana, where he served as a state representative.

“Nonprofit groups are the first responders in meeting the needs of the marginalized people in our communities,” Smith said in a prepared statement released by TFNB. “Charity Champions is committed to helping nonprofits succeed in serving those they are called to serve, and my team will do this by sparking creative engagement between the nonprofits, donors, volunteers and the marginalized.”

The team of 360 Solutions, a business consulting firm that has relocated its headquarters from downtown to Triangle Tower, will assist Smith and continue to provide leadership training to Charity Champions.

In four years, TFNB has chosen 24 champions from among hundreds of nominations on the bank’s website. Each organization receives marketing support that includes on-field and on-court presentations during Baylor University football and basketball games, as well as exposure on television and social media, according to a press release.

Marketplace hotels

Heritage Hospitality Group, based in Mississippi, officially announced last week it soon will start construction on a four-story Residence Inn by Marriott. The 104-room property will open in spring 2019 near Central Texas Marketplace.

The hotel will offer studio and one-and-two-bedroom suites, fully equipped kitchens, free Wi-Fi and high-speed internet, complimentary hot breakfast and free grocery delivery, according to a press release.

Other amenities include outdoor spaces with barbecue and fire pits, a business center, dry cleaning and onsite laundry, social hours, pool and whirlpool spa, a 24-hour market and lower rates for longer stays.

President Chico Patel said Heritage Hospitality Group also plans to build a four-story TRU by Hilton near the marketplace. It represents a new Hilton concept aimed at millennials that offers game-playing areas and high-tech attractions, according to online information about TRU.

It also is scheduled to open in spring 2019 and will have 98 rooms.

Holiday driving tips

With the holidays in full swing, motorists will find themselves topping off their tanks to visit friends and family.

With that in mind, and the AAA Texas auto club released a couple of reports that the public may find interesting.

A finding of the auto club blares, “Don’t Be Fueled: Premium Not Always Worth the Price.” It says tests conducted by AAA show premium fuel benefits some vehicles but is not necessarily worth the extra cost.

Consumers wasted almost $2.1 billion fueling vehicles with higher-octane gasoline when they could have performed just as well on regular gasoline, according to the report. AAA collaborated with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center to compile its findings.

Higher-octane premium fuel, with a rating of 91 or higher, has the potential to boost a vehicle’s fuel economy and performance. But given a choice by the vehicle manufacturer to either regular or premium, it makes sense to stick with regular, according to the report. That’s especially true since premium gas typically runs 50 cents-per-gallon higher than regular, according to AAA.

Meanwhile, suggests “aggressive driving habits,” including speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking, may cost drivers an average of $477 a year in unnecessary gas consumption.

“Gas prices fluctuate constantly, which is something we can’t control,” GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan wrote in a report on the findings. “But what you can control is making appropriate changes that can save you between 13 cents and 89 cents a gallon.”

GasBuddy’s analysis of driving habits nationwide found that the most aggressive motorists are found in Georgia, California, Wyoming, Arizona and Washington, D.C., according to its report.

Rollos ice cream

Rollos Rolled Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt has opened in Westrock Centre on Hewitt Drive, next to Poppa Rollo’s Pizza. It reportedly offers more than 50 toppings, as well as low-fat alternatives.

La Madeleine on hold

Construction of a La Madeleine restaurant in Central Texas Marketplace has screeched to a halt, and developers of the commercial strip to be anchored by the French-styled restaurant have not returned calls seeking comment. Sources at Waco City Hall say the project is not dead, but has been put on hold temporarily.

Lakeshore Estates

Lakeshore Estates, a senior living complex at 3209 Village Green Drive in Waco, received a “Best of 2018” award bestowed by, which is devoted to grading senior care services and facilities, according to a press release from the website.

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