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Allen Plano McKinney Frisco Celina

  • Growing Frisco to add city 75 new positions, 28 for public safety

    In August, Frisco leaders celebrated a population milestone as the city topped 150,000.The proposed city budget for the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 comes with a staffing milestone: the city workforce will increase to 1,400, up 75 positions from the current budget.Those additions are about keeping up with the demands of a rapidly growing city, Anita Cothran, city director of financial services, explained.“We are a service industry,” she said in a video explaining the budget. “We are here to provide a service.”The video has been shown at the past two regular council meetings during two required public hearings on the budget and is available for viewing online at friscotexas.org.Neither of the budget public hearings, nor two hearings on the unchanging property tax rate of 46 cents per $100 valuation, has drawn speakers from the public, but City Council members said they have been getting calls, emails and letters from interested residents.

  • Allen High School FFA one of top ten chapters in state

    The Allen High School chapter of the Future Farmers of America was recognized as one of the top ten in Texas and was designated a two-star National FFA chapter at the group’s state convention in Corpus Christi over the summer.The chapter will be recognized for the designation at the national convention in Louisville, Ky., in October.Several individual FFA members also were honored at the state meeting. Graduating senior Brittney Borserine was a state winner in the Agriculture Communications proficiency and a National Gold rank finalist for her elementary school program advocating agriculture.Twelve Allen students received the Lone Star Degree, the highest FFA degree: Jordan Adams, Abby Banks, Maressa Cooper,
 Amanda English, 
Kimberly Hernandez, Kayla Hintze,
 Samantha Johnson,
 Kyle McCord, 
Jordan Nickal,
 Kayla Persyn,
Olivia Tesauro and
 Lyric Waugh.Kimberly Hernandez won state Spanish FFA Creed Speaker recognition and Brittney Borserine won fourth in the Animal Science category of the Prepared Public Speaking contest.

  • In Frisco population up, not crashes

    Frisco’s population continues to climb, but traffic accidents, not so much.According to the city’s 2013 Crash Summary Report released in August, accidents in Frisco numbered 1,398 in 2009, 1,311 in 2010, 1,406 in 2011, 1,291 in 2012 and 1,160 in 2013.“You can see that crashes have held steady or even had a downward trend, and that’s despite all the growth,” observed Brian Moen, assistant director of engineering services for the city.Population estimates put Frisco at now more than 150,000 people. During the years covered in the report, the city grew from 108,379 in 2009 to 129,850 in 2013.The cost of those crashes is averaging about $20 million a year, ranging from a low of $19.1 million in 2013 to a high of $26.7 million in 2012, when an unusually high number of traffic fatalities – seven – caused the cost level to spike, according to the report.The city had five fatality accidents in 2009, three each in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

  • Local Boy Scout brightens up Junior High

    The gateway to downtown Celina has a new look thanks to the work of a local Boy Scout.  Earlier this summer, Stockten Blanco, 14, was trying to develop a service project that would meet his Eagle Scout requirements.  After discussing possibilities with Scout leaders and school administrators, he decided to spruce up the hill in front of Celina Junior High. Visitors to town are now greeted with the iconic Celina “C” as they enter onto Pecan Street. “There wasn’t much there before,” Blanco said.  “We thought we could clean it up and make it look better.”Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Boy Scouts. To attain the rank, a Scout must meet number of requirements, including developing a project helpful to the community.Blanco’s project wasn’t easy.  For two days in the summer heat, he led a group of 15 to 20 volunteers.

  • Sewage dumper still unknown

    The identity of the person who dumped sewage into an area lake remains unknown.  Back in July, park officials discovered what appeared to be porta-potty waste in the Old Celina Park Lake.  City officials reacted quickly to prevent the contamination from spreading.  The contamination levels never got high enough to kill fish, and have since returned to normal.  However, the total clean up cost may come close to $150,000.The Celina Police Department, Collin County Sheriff’s office, and Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife are all involved in the investigation.  A spokesman for the Celina Police department said that a definitive suspect has not been identified yet.  However, they are still pursuing leads and anonymous tips.“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Celina Mayor Sean Terry. “However, we have people literally going door to door and examining logbooks.  Something should turn up eventually.”In the mean time, the city has installed cameras at Old Celina Park that should help deter similar incidents from happening again.  

  • Due date dispute doesn’t matter; alcohol petition met deadline, however it’s defined

    Not that it matters now, but alcohol sales advocates and Frisco city officials can’t seem to agree on when a petition is due.Petitioners in their effort to legalize all alcohol sales in the city submitted about 15,150 signatures around 3 p.m. on Aug. 21, meeting their deadline no matter how it’s defined.City officials had identified Aug. 21, the last business day before the end of the 60-day period petitioners had to gather signatures, as the due date.But alcohol advocates insist they could have waited until the following Monday, if necessary, because their 60th day occurred over the weekend.John Hatch, founding partner of Texas Petition Strategies, cited information from the Secretary of State’s office: “If the 60th day after the petition is issued falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the petition may be timely filed on the next regular business day.”Texas Petition Strategies worked on behalf of the Frisco Committee for Economic Growth on the petition drive.

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

  • Event in Lewisville to kick off literacy program

    Black Child Development Institute- Dallas and M.A.X. Individual and Family Services will host a barbecue to help launch its Raising a Reader program, which is an early literacy initiative for minority fathers with children up to 5 years old. The event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Turner Park, 700 Hembry.For information email infor@maxlifeservices or call 469-240-1806.

  • Council approves EDC budget, discussed various items

    On Tuesday, the Little Elm Town Council approved the 2015-16 Economic Development Corporation budget and discussed a variety of other items.Economic Development Corporation budget approvalThe 2015-16 fiscal year budget for the EDC was approved by council. The budget proposed $1,943,136 in revenue and other sources; $956,095 in expenditures; $291,084 in personnel costs; $1,077,376 in other operational costs; and $2,434,555 in transfers to other funds. The beginning fund balance is $4,476,872 with an ending fund balance of $3,985,453. A large portion of expenditures will be used on loan consolidations for Palladium, a mixed development purchased in 2008 that is expected to break ground within 45-60 days. To view the budget, go to littleelm.org.Span, Inc.Span, Inc. provides transportation services, including Meals on Wheels, to the town of Little Elm. These nonprofit services used to be funded by federal grants, however the government has ceased financial assistance. Span now requests a significant amount of monetary guidance from the town in order to keep these services going. The town discussed this request but will not make any decisions yet.Doe Creek Road

  • Land used by Indian Creek Golf Course to be studied for best use

    The Carrollton City Council gave direction Tuesday to have an outside company study the near 300-acre parcel of land at Indian Creek Golf Course to find the best use for the land.“I think doing the study gives us all the information,” Carrollton Mayor Matthew Marchant said.City Manger Leonard Martin said “speed was critical” and that a contract for services could be ready as soon as the next council meeting.The study costs $50,000 and is expected to take three months to complete.Assistant City Manager Erin Rinehart presented the council six options for the course. Three options include renovations or rebuilds to the course, one is a development of a nature center or hike and bike trails and a possible partnership with a private entity.The second option presented calls for the city to spend $500,000 to open the Lakes Course. Rinehart said the $500,000 would be used to level the fairways, resand bunkers, make some renovations to cart paths and replant dead grass. She said the renovations would give the city a “slightly better” course.

  • 9th annual Fry Street Oktoberfest adds charity fun run to event

    The 9th Annual Fry Street Oktoberfest is working with local nonprofit, Friends with Benefits, to add a fun run and costume contest to the Oct. 3 event. All proceeds from the fun run will go to Michael’s Memories and The Russ Martin Show Listeners’ Foundation, both benefiting North Texas first responders.The event will kick off with a 10 a.m. fun run. The course will wind through the UNT campus. Runners are to meet at 1209 W. Hickory St. in Denton, the parking lot behind Lucky Lou’s and Riprock’s Bar and Grill. All race participants will receive a finishers’ medal and t-shirt. After the race, the costume contest will be judged with prizes for the top male and female entrants. Race participants who purchase the combo pack in advance will get into the 9th Annual Oktoberfest an hour early. The race is $25, the combo pack is $35 and pre-registration for Oktoberfest is $12. Prices will go up day of. The race shirt guarantee deadline is Sept.10.Regular admission is at noon, and attendees will receive an event t-shirt and three limited edition steins. Oktoberfest takes place in three Denton neighboring bars Lucky Lou’s, Riprock’s Bar and Grill and Cool Beans Bar and Grill, all located next to UNT campus on Hickory Street. Food tickets will be sold individually featuring traditional German-style cuisine.The event will also include a Stein Hoisting competition, live polka music, specialty German style beers and friendly bar staff dressed for Oktoberfest at all three establishments. The run and event is family friendly.For information visit FWBdenton.com or any of the Facebook pages for Friends with Benefits • Denton, Lucky Lou’s, Riprock's Bar and Grill or Cool Beans Bar and Grill.To register visit active.com/denton-tx/running/distance-running-races/9th-annual-fry-street-oktoberfest-and-fun-run-2015

  • COLUMN: Aim for the heart: In the wild west of 6-6A volleyball, who emerges will be anyone’s guess

    Kill or be killed.It’s an appropriate saying with respect to volleyball, given the sport’s terminology, and especially in District 6-6A this season, where the early returns from tournament and non-district action make for an easy segue into comparing upcoming action to the Wild West.The district already has two teams (Allen and Plano West) in the top 10 of the state ranking for 6A. Another (Hebron) is in the top 20, while McKinney Boyd is patiently lurking in the shadows and Plano Senior has yet to find its groove.The team no one is talking about (Flower Mound) also picked up its first 6-6A win last Tuesday and got back a preseason All-American (senior middle blocker Lauren Cox) in the middle of its lineup for the first time this season.Lewisville, Marcus and Plano East might not move the needle in the state rankings, but to sleep on any of the three during a district match is an upset waiting to happen.So picture nine programs, if you will, on a journey, with an ominous tone from the start.

  • Retirement center to open in Carrollton

    Sagora Senior Living’s community, Briarview, will be located at 2699 E. Trinity Mills Road in Carrollton, a suburb of Dallas.The 70,521 square-foot location’s amenities will include spacious cottage homes, assisted living and memory care apartments. It will also offer restaurant-style dining with individualized choices and specialized fitness classes. Full-time nursing and care associates, transportation and medication management will be available to residents in assisted living.Briarview’s memory care community will implement the Sagora Pathways program with individualized dining, daily programs and planned activities tailored around each residents’ needs with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other memory-related diseases. Briarview will be the third Sagora community in the Dallas area. Lakeview at Josey Ranch, which opened in 2012 and is located at 2105 N Josey Lane, is Briarview’s independent-living sister community. Orchard Park, at 304 West FM 544 in Murphy near Plano, was acquired Aug. 21 this year.“We are excited to bring a cottage, assisted living and memory care community to Carrollton. Briarview will complement our independent living community, Lakeview at Josey Ranch,” stated Chris Sykes, regional director of operations, in a release. “Now our residents at Lakeview have a nearby Sagora community to transition to when the time comes that they need more assistance.”For more information, visit http://www.briarviewlife.com

Mesquite Rowlett Sunnyvale

  • The Brits have landed: English couple, homemade airplane come to Mesquite

    A typical commercial flight from England to Dallas lasts approximately nine hours. For one couple who recently arrived by plane in Mesquite the journey was much longer.Patrick Elliott and Linda Walker flew their Rutan Long-EZ airplane across the ocean from Reigate, a city just south of London. Along the way, they made several stops to visit friends, fellow Canard-style plane owners and refuel along the way.“Quite a few of the stops we made were associated with meeting people who have a similar airplane,” Elliott said.The couple recently arrived at the Mesquite Metro Airport to visit Walker’s brother, who lives in Rowlett and operates a wellness clinic in Dallas. Walker said her brother has been in the states approximately 27 years, and they have visited him several times.“I don’t know how many people from the U.K. make trips like this to the U.S. in a small plane. Since I have been here – 18 years – this is the first time I can recall we had someone come in a small airplane like this from a foreign country,” said Cynthia Godfrey, Mesquite Metro Airport manager.The couple originally planned to make the trip last year, but due to technical issues with the plane, they were unable to. They chose Mesquite Metro Airport based on its proximity to her brother’s house and the attitude that was conveyed in an email exchange last year with Godfrey, which showed the couple the airport was willing to work with them to take care of their needs.

  • Time to clean house: Biannual Trash Bash scheduled for Sept. 12

    One of the biggest challenges Keep Mesquite Beautiful faces in completing its mission is keeping the clutter, trash and debris in the city picked up.To help with the cleanup efforts, the organization hosts two Trash Bash events per year during which hundreds of volunteers help pick up at selected public areas. The next Trash Bash is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 12.“Litter cleanups are important to what we do to help maintain the city, but they also give us that visible presence for residents to see it is important to not litter. Volunteers have to pick up that litter,” said Paige Swiney, Keep Mesquite Beautiful executive director. “We help expand our mission by not only picking up litter, but by helping others understand why we don’t litter.”Each Trash Bash, Swiney said approximately 400 volunteers pick 2 tons of trash and litter, much of which she said can be avoided if people took more responsibility for their trash.“A lot of what we find is stuff such as food or drink cups that have blown out of people’s vehicles,” she said. “If people would carry a litter bag or an old grocery bag with them, we would have a lot less litter out on our streets in the city.”Since the volunteers work four hours during the event, they contribute approximately 3,200 hours per year, which is roughly the equivalent of the amount of time two full-time employees work per year. The volunteers consist range from school age to senior citizens. In recent years, Swiney said, crime watch groups have become more active in volunteering to pick up trash in their neighborhoods.

  • Richland College receives grant from the Texas Workforce Commission

    A check for $500, 3888 was presented to Richland College on behalf of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The signing ceremony, held Wednesday morning, was at the school’s Garland campus.Richland College administrators, TWC, Dallas County Manufacturers Association and the Garland Chamber of Commerce were in attendance at the event.The money rewarded to Richland was a skills development fund grant. The grant will be used by Richland College to train 285 employees, totaling more than 9,278 training hours, for companies including Garrett Metal Detectors, Interceramic, Plastipak Packaging, Inc., Sanden Vendo, SilverLine by Andersen and Van Rob.Employees being trained will include manufacturing and production supervisors and technicians, purchasing clerks and human resource personnel.Training under the grant includes AutoCAD, process improvement, electrical basics and troubleshooting, hydraulics, blueprint reading, Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma Green Belt, CPR/first aid/AED, project management and Microsoft Office. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average hourly wage of $21.71. 

  • Man running from police in Rockwall, last seen near I-30

    At 7 a.m. this morning, Rockwall fficers were dispatched to the 1500 Block of  Interstate 30 to assist with a search involving a man who fled from a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper during a traffic stop.The subject is described as a black male, 6 feet tall, thin build, and approximately 50 years of age. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and black jeans.  The individual was seen running behind a business in the 1500 block of the I-30 North Service Rd. If anyone has information regarding this subject, they are advised to call the Rockwall Police Department at 972-771-7721

  • 'Unsightly' scene clutters Bayside at Lake Ray Hubbard

    Boat owners who use the public ramp at Bayside, formerly Elgin B. Robertson Park, have noticed a significant amount of trash in the grass around the parking lot and boat ramp near the shoreline of Lake Ray Hubbard.An old tire, empty alcoholic beverage bottles, mounds of full trash bags, plastic bottles and paper plates make up the majority of the trash just feet from the shoreline.Chuck Bogda, a Rowlett resident and boat owner, is concerned the situation may worsen over the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Bogda said he believes the city has abandoned the park and its upkeep.“My concern is that our city has invested a large amount of our tax dollars on the purchase of [Bayside],” Bogda said. “Perhaps this is merely an oversight, but not having any trash receptacles at this city park not only contributes to an unsightly and potentially negative environmental damage, but puts the city in a negative light.”On Friday, city staff was made aware of the trash by a resident’s Facebook post. Jim Grabenhorst, Rowlett’s economic development director, said that once notified, the city worked quickly to correct the situation.

  • Plaque to be put in at local park to honor Rowlett High alumna

    When Rowlett City Councilman Carl Pankratz heard about a young Rowlett High School alumna whose life was cut short, he began garnering support to put up a memorial in her honor.Devin Oliver was described by peers as caring, funny, athletic and positive.  On June 3, 2014, she was driving back to Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she attended as a junior, when an 18-wheeler hit the car she was in while crossing an intersection in Paris, Texas. Oliver and the other passengers were attending a basketball camp at Paris High School. Aubree Butts, of Lewisville, who was on the college basketball team with Oliver, was also killed in the accident.When he heard about Oliver’s death, Pankratz said it hit him hard.“Devin was an exceptional young lady,” he said. “When you saw her list of accomplishments, it was readily apparent how special she was.”Initially, Pankratz wanted to name the new basketball court at Isaac Scruggs Park in Oliver’s honor but then focused on instead placing a plaque at the park. He first needed approval from the council and the parks and recreation advisory board. Pankratz was committed to his goal of honoring Oliver and consistently collected letters from those who knew her.

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Star Local Media Blogosphere

  • COLUMN: Aim for the heart: In the wild west of 6-6A volleyball, who emerges will be anyone’s guess

    Kill or be killed.It’s an appropriate saying with respect to volleyball, given the sport’s terminology, and especially in District 6-6A this season, where the early returns from tournament and non-district action make for an easy segue into comparing upcoming action to the Wild West.The district already has two teams (Allen and Plano West) in the top 10 of the state ranking for 6A. Another (Hebron) is in the top 20, while McKinney Boyd is patiently lurking in the shadows and Plano Senior has yet to find its groove.The team no one is talking about (Flower Mound) also picked up its first 6-6A win last Tuesday and got back a preseason All-American (senior middle blocker Lauren Cox) in the middle of its lineup for the first time this season.Lewisville, Marcus and Plano East might not move the needle in the state rankings, but to sleep on any of the three during a district match is an upset waiting to happen.So picture nine programs, if you will, on a journey, with an ominous tone from the start.

  • Allen atop latest AP high school football state poll

    Allen kicked off its 2015 season in convincing (and familiar) fashion on Friday, toppling Denton Guyer, 48-16.In the wake of extending their active winning streak to 44 consecutive games, the Eagles retained their perch atop the Class 6A ranks in the latest edition of The Associated Press state poll, compiling 21 of a possible 25 first-place votes.The remaining four votes belonged to Katy and Euless Trinity -- the latter fresh off a noteworthy 26-21 upset of national No. 1-ranked De La Salle (California) on Saturday.Here are the top-10 rankings from each classification in the most recent state AP poll.CLASS 6A1. Allen (21 first-place votes)

  • Climbing up and down your family tree

    Which way do you go? Up? Or, do you climb down? Sometimes I go both ways. Both journeys throughout your family trees are acceptable and rewarding. We are hunting early ancestors when we climb up the tree. It is called ‘ascendency ancestral research.’ Our mission is to find as many ancient direct bloodline ancestors as possible, including their immediate families. These would be grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Conversely, when climbing down the family tree we are hunting as many descendants of an ancestor as possible. We call this type of research ‘descendency’ research. We collect and identify the first, second, third and fourth cousins, etc. Sometimes I refer to it as trying to link to everyone in the world. It can get out of hand. Many sites on the Internet are for that purpose only. Frankly, I do not think I will live that long.However, I do want to find the direct bloodline ancestor, his spouse, his children, his grandchildren, and the names only of the great-grandchildren. I go no further. We call this ‘three-four generation genealogy.’ I guess you could say I use a little of both ascendency and descendency methods in my genealogy.Using DNA to connect to relatives who likewise submit their DNA results to a common site turns out to be descendency genealogical research—you are connected by bloodline.To learn more about the descendency technique and examine a descendency tree, go to www.FamilySearch.org, click on Learning Center, then type in “Descendancy Research” by Donna Potter Phillips.Whether you climb up or down your tree, just do it. Whatever technique you use, enjoy your genealogical pursuit. Your ancestors are beckoning you.The Native American genealogy section grows in the Genealogy Center

Community Updates

Teamwork: Highland Springs Pitches In for Kids Against Hunger

Dallas, TX—By the numbers, a charitable project performed by residents of Highland Springs retirement community was a tremendous success.

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