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  • Summer reading fun resumes Monday at Frisco Public Library

    The Frisco Public Library is closed today through Sunday, but after a one-week break leading up to the Independence Day holiday, story times, classes and other Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge events resume Monday and continue through Aug. 2.The summer activities include babies through adults and are the most attended programs the library offers, Library Director Shelley Holley told the City Council recently. “Almost all the activities – if not all the activities—will be filled, and we do turn people away.”The events are free, but tickets are required.“We have tickets mostly just for fire code issues, since we can only have a certain amount of people in rooms at a time,” said Jennifer Cummings, library youth services manager.For example, the popular Monday Mindstretchers for elementary school students is held in the 311-seat City Council Chambers, Holley said. “We fill them up four or five times depending on the day.”Those interested in participating need to pick up tickets for one of the time slots at 9 a.m., she said. The library is located in the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center, 6101 Frisco Square Blvd.

  • Plano Animal Shelter Pets of the Week: July 3, 2015

    Bailey (ID# 123464) is a spayed female Australian Shepherd. Bailey is beautiful and has the sweetest face. She is house trained and crate trained and knows how to sit and shake. Bailey is a typical herding dog and loves to play Frisbee. She is afraid of children, so will be best in a home without young ones. She is 9 years old and is a sweetheart.Marmalade (ID# 122228) is such a handsome cat. He looks very aristocratic and is about3 years old. He is a playful cat who seems to be litter box trained. He is a domestic shorthair orange tabby cat.All animals are microchipped and have received their first set of vaccinations. Free pet health insurance is included for 30 days. For adoption options and information, visit Plano Animal Shelter at 4028 W. Plano Parkway or call Jamey Cantrell, director of animal services, at 972-769-4360. 

  • Spend the 4th in Frisco: Freedom Fest features ‘futball,’ fireworks, food, festivities, fun

    A three-day holiday weekend may make it tempting to travel for this year’s Independence Day celebration, but Frisco is offering plenty of reasons to stay put for the Fourth of July.Frisco’s centennial celebration held in 2003 has become an annual Freedom Fest that keeps getting bigger every year – so big that Marla Roe, executive director for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, says travelers should be considering Frisco as their holiday destination.“People are probably ready after all the rain in May to have a fun weekend at a hotel, spend some time at the pool and get out of the house,” she said.Dana Baird, director of communications and media for the city, said city leaders anticipate 30,000 people turning out for a patriotic celebration supported by a large variety of area businesses, and offering a wide range of holiday activities from the traditional to the whimsical.Want fireworks? Following Saturday night’s soccer match between FC Dallas and the New England Revolution, the team and the city will present a 20-minute high-aerial show – billed as one of the biggest in North Texas and easily enjoyed from within Toyota Stadium or down the street at Party in the Plaza in front of the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center.Want music? A concert featuring Into the West, an Eagles tribute band, will close out a Community Stage lineup after a dozen other performances by such groups as Jesus Jam, MagiQ, Zen and Tonic, and the Saints.

  • DPS, area police crackdown on DWIs during Fourth of July weekend

    Texas is one of the toughest states when it comes to DWI enforcement, with the most recent Legislature passing a bill to require all DWI first offenders to have a breathalyzer interlock system installed in their vehicle, and during this Fourth of July weekend state and local police will be stepping up efforts to catch people driving under the influence.This year, as with previous years and other holidays when more residents choose to spend the weekend celebrating with friends and families, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and other local law enforcement agencies will be implementing patrols and, in some cases, implementing a “no refusal” policy.“As Texans make their plans for the Fourth of July, DPS is urging everyone to enjoy the holiday responsibly,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Driving while impaired can have deadly consequences, so Texans who plan to drink alcohol should always designate a sober driver or choose alternate forms of transportation. During the holiday, DPS troopers will be increasing patrols to help keep travelers safe and take dangerous drivers off the road.”During last Fourth of July’s enforcement period, DPS arrested more than 1,050 drivers for DWI, cited more than 15,000 Texas residents for speeding and nearly 2,500 for seatbelt-related violation, according to the agency’s statistics. The increased level of enforcement by the department is partly funded through TxDOT grants, which provide additional resources for officers patrolling “high-risk” areas.While the increased possibility of being arrested is a deterrent for many, law enforcement officials also stress the potential risk to the safety of residents to help curb would-be offenders. According to TxDOT statistics, between Dec. 1 and Jan. 1 of 2014, there were 2,367 alcohol-related crashes throughout the state. Of those, 763 resulted in serious injuries and 92 resulted in fatalities. However, numbers of reported fatalities have slightly declined in recent years.In addition to state police, the police departments of such cities as Plano and Dallas have announced their own Independence Day weekend efforts to crack down on DWIs, but Frisco police won’t be making such an effort.

  • Don't miss Friday night's dachshund races, Hotter ‘n Firecrackers Glow 5K Run

    Want to start celebrating Independence Day early? Come out Friday night for dachshund races and the Hotter ‘n Firecrackers Glow 5K Run. This is the second year for both events.The dachshunds will dash first in four-dog heats. “It’s pretty hilarious,” said Dana Baird, director of communications and media for the city of Frisco.She explained that dog owners will work in pairs, one at the starting line and one at the finish line to encourage the dogs.The human racers go next wearing LED light bracelets and glow necklaces as they run through Frisco Square with speakers set up along the route providing music to energize the participants, said Cara Harting, sponsorship and event development manager. There are even light-up medals for the winners in various categories.Friday – Dachshund Dash - 8 p.m.As a warm-up to the ‘glow run’ Run, dachshunds will race to earn fantastic prizes. The $10 entry fees will benefit the Collin County Animal Shelter. Registration begins at 7:30 p.m. The dog races start at 8 p.m.

  • Rockwall County businessman Justin Holland seeks to replace state Rep. Scott Turner, who plans to retire

    With state Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, not planning to seek another term, the race to replace the Tea Party Republican has begun.Rockwall County businessman, Justin Holland announced on Thursday his plans to seek Turner's State House District 33 seat, which covers portions of Collin County and all of Rockwall County.Holland, a former mayor pro tem serving his third term on the Heath City Council, leads a large, independent real estate agency with almost 40 agents."Texas is the center of innovative new legislative ideas to lower taxes on business and limit damaging regulation. Like Rep. Turner, I will continue to build upon the 'Texas Miracle' and make sure Collin and Rockwall Counties continue to lead the way in making Texas a model for the country," Holland said in a press release.Holland said he supports limited government and cutting government regulations that needlessly limit job creation and prosperity.He is strongly pro-life, a vocal opponent of Obamacare, and is a lifelong defender of the 2nd Amendment, according to the press release.

The Leader Lewisville Lake Cities The Colony Carrollton Coppell L.E.

  • Hawaiian Falls to host heroes week

    Hawaiian Falls will honor active duty military members, veterans and first responders with Heroes Week Monday through Friday at all seven Texas water parks and adventure parks. The heroes, including military, firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel will be admitted free with a valid ID card and a coupon downloaded at <>;. The heroes’ family members can purchase discounted tickets for $19.99 each at the front gate of any of the seven parks.“We can never thank our heroes enough for their sacrifices,” said David Busch, Hawaiian Falls CEO. “As military personnel, fire fighters, police and emergency responders, they put their lives on the line every day so we can enjoy a carefree summer with our families. In the past, we’ve recognized them on Memorial Day and Independence Day. Knowing they don’t always work a regular shift like many of us, we wanted to go above and beyond to recognize their efforts for a whole week.”During Heroes Week each park will open at 10:30 a.m. with a salute to the heroes, followed by the playing of “God Bless America” across the parks’ Splash Radio system. 

  • Flower Mound to conduct mosquito control spraying

    The town of Flower Mound Environmental Health Services Division has confirmed a mosquito sample collected in the 4800 block of Windmill Lane has tested positive for the West Nile virus.This is the first positive mosquito sample found in the Town this year.Flower Mound scheduled spraying operations in the approximate one-half square-mile radius surrounding the specified area between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesday through July 9.Spraying operations may be rescheduled if weather conditions are not suitable. Residents  in  the  affected  neighborhoods  will  be  notified  by the community notification call system and  community  signs  placed  at  major intersections within the spraying area. Residents are advised to minimize exposure when possible. The following precautionary steps are also advisable:

  • Three of four locations in Corinth test positive for West Nile

    The city of Corinth samples for West Nile Virus on a weekly basis. The city this week received notice that three of the four mosquito sampling sites tested positive for West Nile virus on Tuesday. Those sites are Woods Park, Meadowview Pond and Thousand Oaks Pond.Based on city policy, the city has placed signs at each of the three sites indicating that West Nile virus has been detected at that site. City officials said they will sample all four sites again next week and if a second positive test for West Nile virus occurs, the city will ask the council for approval to spray.In the event the council approves spraying, it will be posted on the website and a notification will be sent out through CodeRED. For more information visit

  • iSchool High to open in the fall

    A new type of high school in Lake Cities is preparing for its first semester. iSchool High of Hickory Creek will be taking over the former Vista Academy location, which will be moving to Corinth along the western side of the Interstate 35E. The school is located at 800 Point Vista Street, Suite 518.The free charter school is small in design, only allowing a maximum enrollment of 200 students. This is something that campus director Shaina Tackett said can be good for students who prefer a more individual learning experience.“We want them to have a small school option for those that feel like the traditional experience is overwhelming,” Tackett said.iSchool High is part of Responsive Education Solutions, the largest charter school system in Texas with more than 65 campuses. The school’s goal is to provide innovative educational choices to students for free. In the case of iSchool High, the focus is on the media digital arts, such as photography, graphic design, video and more.“Each child gets to choose what area they want to focus on,” Tackett said.

  • DCTA cancels Saturday service for Independence Day

    In observation of the Independence Day holiday, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) will not operate any bus or rail service on Saturday. DCTA operations, customer service and administrative offices will also be closed. Regular operational hours will resume Monday.For information visit 

  • Building blocks: Falcons to rely on veteran offensive line, experience heading into 2015 season

    In 2014, the Lake Dallas football team soared to a 9-2 record – going undefeated in District 6-5A – and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2012.The Falcons, however, fell to Wichita Falls, 17-14, in the bi-district round.Fast forward to the offseason, and Lake Dallas enters its 2015 campaign with several question marks.Quarterback Spencer Fredrickson will fill in for Dagan Haehn as he recovers from a torn ACL. Lake Dallas will also look to fill holes left by one of the largest graduating classes in the program’s history.District scheduleThe Falcons’ first year in 6-5A did not bring with it any growing pains.

Mesquite Rowlett Sunnyvale

  • Sunnyvale student to attend UNT journalism workshop

    Kristen Schabel, an incoming senior at Sunnyvale High School, is one of 15 Texas high school students and recent graduates selected to attend this summer’s multimedia high school journalism summer workshop at the University of North Texas (UNT).UNT’s Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism is hosting the workshop July 17-23 in collaboration with the annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which is July 17-19 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine. The theme of the conference and the summer workshop is “Bridging the Great Divide,” with focuses on social, economic, racial, cultural and political divisions in American society.Funded by a grant from the Dow Jones News Fund and led by Mayborn School faculty members, the workshop gives students who are juniors and seniors in high school or have graduated from high school just prior to the workshop experience in multimedia storytelling through news articles, online photo galleries, blogs and broadcast news packages. It is open only to Texas residents.The workshop begins with the students attending the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference from July 17-19, at which UNT faculty members will teach classes on broadcast writing and videography, news writing and social media during the weekend. Students will interview some of the conference’s speakers and attend the keynote speaker dinners Friday and Saturday with other conference participants.On July 19, the students will go to the UNT campus in Denton, where they will stay in a residence hall and spend the next four days working in teams to create multimedia feature stories. Their story assignments will be related to the conference and workshop theme. The students will also create a TV newscast and podcasts.The workshop will end with the students uploading their multimedia packages to a website. Their work will be shown at a graduation ceremony July 23 at UNT’s Willis Library.

  • Things to know in Mesquite

    STAR Transit holiday scheduleSTAR Transit will not operate its normal routes or the COMPASS service from Handby Stadium from Friday through 8 a.m. Monday, in observance of Independence Day. The Balch Springs Midtown Express will operate its regular schedule during the holiday.For more information, call 877-631-5278 or visit Scam alertThe Mesquite City Manager’s Office was notified by residents that some had been contacted by individuals soliciting funds for injured Mesquite firefighters.

  • Rockwall County businessman Justin Holland seeks to replace state Rep. Scott Turner, who plans to retire

    With state Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, not planning to seek another term, the race to replace the Tea Party Republican has begun.Rockwall County businessman, Justin Holland announced on Thursday his plans to seek Turner's State House District 33 seat, which covers portions of Collin County and all of Rockwall County.Holland, a former mayor pro tem serving his third term on the Heath City Council, leads a large, independent real estate agency with almost 40 agents."Texas is the center of innovative new legislative ideas to lower taxes on business and limit damaging regulation. Like Rep. Turner, I will continue to build upon the 'Texas Miracle' and make sure Collin and Rockwall Counties continue to lead the way in making Texas a model for the country," Holland said in a press release.Holland said he supports limited government and cutting government regulations that needlessly limit job creation and prosperity.He is strongly pro-life, a vocal opponent of Obamacare, and is a lifelong defender of the 2nd Amendment, according to the press release.

  • Parks and rec time: Heritage Trail opening marks celebratory month

    July is celebrated across the U.S. as National Parks and Recreation Month. This July is special for the national association as it celebrates its 30th anniversary, and it’s also special for Mesquite.In addition to highlighting several parks and activities, the city will officially open its Heritage Trail on July 25.“The trail has already had a tremendous impact on our community,” said Chris Keheley, assistant city manager. “ I’m looking forward to officially celebrating the completion of this project and encouraging more people to enjoy this great community amenity.”The city will host a grand opening from 9-11 a.m. that will feature a short ribbon-cutting presentation with dignitaries from Dallas County and the city of Garland expected to participate.According to Jessica Larson, Mesquite city marketing specialist, officials are still ironing out details, but there will be activities and entertainment for the whole family throughout the grand opening.“We really want to celebrate. This is our largest amenity. It is 4.25 miles long with misting stations, water fountains with drinking bowls for dogs, picnic tables and metal artwork at each of the trail heads or at the major intersections it crosses,” Larson said.

  • Teen falls victim to synthetic drug: Police remind public of K2 dangers

    A synthetic drug’s potentially fatal impact was felt in Mesquite recently as Daniel Kyle Tompkins, 17, A Mesquite teenager died June 21 after ingesting what’s commonly known as K2 on June 21 at a residence located in the 2300 block of Northview Drive.According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), K2, or “Spice,” is a mixture of herbs and spices typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The drug is commonly purchased at head shops, tobacco shops, various retail outlets and online.According to Mesquite Police Lt. Brian Parrish, Tompkins got the drug from a friend who purchased it online. The DEA says purchasing such drugs online can be especially dangerous because it is not usually known where the products come from or how much chemical is on the organic material.“Unfortunately, it is just like many other drugs that you typically have to have prescriptions for - it has found it has way onto the Internet,” said Jeff Goodfred, crime prevention officer. “It is completely illegal in Texas to possess or use it.”Goodfred said the drug simulates effects similar to those of marijuana, but with some added side effects such as increased heart rate, seizures, increased blood pressure and hallucinations.“We are mostly concerned about the person’s health,” Goofred said. “When we get a call and determine they used it, then it becomes a medical issue.”

  • Christmas drive in July: Sharing Life aims to gather more bikes for holiday need

    A simple Google search for bikes at Christmas will pull up hundreds of various organizations that give bikes to children in need during the winter holidays. One of those organizations is Mesquite-based Sharing Life Community Outreach, which serves southeastern Dallas County.Each year Sharing Life holds a Christmas fair to allow its clients to shop for their kids and fulfill their Christmas wish lists. Bikes are always near the top of the lists.“On a good year we probably have 100 bikes to give away. Since we serve 1,200 to 1,300 kids during the event, that’s less than 10 percent,” said Teresa Jackson, Sharing Life executive director. “We never have anywhere close to enough bikes.”In an effort to collect more bikes this year, Sharing Life began its Christmas in July campaign this week.Jackson said that in the past she’s been approached by various business leaders who’ve asked if Sharing Life can do anything during the summer to get people to purchase bikes, so she decided this was going to be the year.“This campaign is really focused heavy on the business community,” she said. “A lot of businesses have some type of drive or charity they look to help, either with their customers’ support or amongst themselves. This will give them something they can use as a month-long emphasis.”


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Star Local Media Blogosphere

  • Frisco's Jack Anderson, Plano East's Anthony Hines highlight 2017 Scout 300 rankings

    On Tuesday, Scout unveiled its 300-player national football prospect rankings for the Class of 2017.The list featured several Metroplex standouts, including a pair of players ranked among the best in the country at their respective positions in Frisco junior center Jack Anderson and Plano East junior linebacker Anthony Hines III.Both prospects have logged plenty of time under the national limelight and garnered no shortage of attention from Division I programs. Anderson -- a 6-foot-4.5, 285-pound lineman -- has picked up offers from more than 40 schools, while Hines (6-2.5, 218) boasts one of the lengthiest offer ledgers of any prospect in recent history with nearly 75 schools extending scholarships the linebacker's way.Hines and Anderson have each already accepted invitations to play in the 2017 Under Armour All-America Game.Below is a rundown of the prospects from Star Local Media markets that were named to the 2017 Scout 300.30. Jack Anderson (Frisco, OL)

  • From the Beach to the Stars: (Mr.) Big week of shows

    Three shows in four days to close out a week may be overkill to some, but for me it’s just an average summer week. Though this time I had never seen any of the artists before – well, I guess one I have seen with his day-job band, but not solo like this. I keep telling myself I’ll slow down, or be more choosey, but sometimes the deal is too sweet.Wednesday, June 24 – Brian Wilson, RodriguezWhen I walked into Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie it was like I had just been there – oh yeah, I had just been there on Monday for Whitesnake. For this show, the tone was settled down quite a bit. Gone was the standing thong of screaming fans, instead the audience was replaced by a mostly seated crowd of rabid sing-a-longers. I honestly don’t think I have seen as many people sing along at a show as they did to each one of The Beach Boys songs Brian Wilson played.It was remarkable. Also worth noting was the fact that in some spots, you could find a group with 3 or 4 generations – all enjoying and singing along. That is the impact The Beach Boys had on the ’60s, and beyond. Maybe other bands have passed them in popularity over the years, but rarely do you see family unity that strong at a concert.Starting off the show, Wilson roared through 13 songs of The Beach Boys before hitting a lull. And by lull, I don’t mean any negativity; “One Kind of Love” is a fine song, it was just the first of five songs from Wilson’s solo career and the spot where a few mellower songs were thrown in to the set. But I understand putting together a setlist of greatest hits cannot be easy. So far, “Heroes and Villains,” “California Girls,” “Shut Down,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “I Get Around,” and “Surfer Girl” had all been played. And that was only part of the hits parade.But this was not just about the songs; this show was to celebrate the music Wilson has gifted us over his career. Wilson may no longer be able to hit some of the notes he did when he was younger, but that’s where one of his 11 band mates can step in. Al Jardine – the only other original member of The Beach Boys on the tour – filled his role as guitarist and vocalist to perfection. As did Jardine’s son, Matt, who picked up the falsetto portions of the vocals; like on “Don’t Worry Baby” and “She Knows Me Too Well.”

  • Upcoming classes through summer and fall

    The Genealogy Center at Haggard Library again has some interesting genealogy classes for the summer months. Now is the time all you teachers can attend. The classes are not overwhelming and you will always enjoy them and learn something.The first is on how to use Daughters of the American Revolution records for those wanting to join the lineage society. It is on Thursday, July 9, from 9:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. featuring guest speaker July Avedikian.Continuing from the last 11 months (no class in December), Joanne Corney hosts the free Legacy Users Group that meets every fourth Tuesday in the Genealogy Center program room. It always begins at 1:30 but those wishing to help set up the tables and chairs with Joanne can come earlier. The classes aim for topics the attendees want to hear and learn, and are not rigidly programed. She and the attendees share information, research tips, and webinars from 1:30-3:30. The next hour and a half, 3:30-5 p.m. is for those wanting one-on-one help. Anyone is welcome at the later class. Bring your laptop or thumb drive with your Legacy Family Tree information on it and she will access it from her computer. Again, help from attendees is always welcome.The next class on August 5 from 9:30-11 a.m. features topics on obituaries, society columns, news, and how to locate and use newspapers to find your family. One of the librarians will teach this class.Then, on October 16, the Genealogy Center will host another Genealogy Lock-In from 12 p.m. until 11 p.m. I don’t know all the particulars yet, but it will feature ongoing webinars, informative classes, and one-on-one assistance.October is a busy month for genealogy education

Community Updates

Hugs Cafe Rocks the Square

Hugs Cafe is a nonprofit organization that provides food service training for adults with special needs.  They are currently raising funds to open a cafe downtown McKinney in September.  Join them on Saturday, July 11, at the McKinney Performing Arts Center for a concert featuring The Tyler Rogers Band and Rhythm & Beards.  Concert begins at 5:30 and is open to the public.  Concert is free with a donation to Hugs Cafe.  This kicks off the Go Fund Me Crowd Funding Campaign.  Patrons a encouraged to come and go during the night.  A raffle will be held for some wonderful prizes.

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