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Allen Plano McKinney Frisco Celina

  • Solemn sunset symbolizes ultimate sacrifice

    As the sun sets over Memorial Park tomorrow, 42 flags will wave in the breeze, serving as a solemn reminder of the fallen soldiers who once called Plano home.More than 1,000 people are expected to attend to show their gratitude and respect during Sunset at Memorial Park, 2101 Bay Hill Drive. The event begins at 7 p.m. following the arrival of a motorcycle parade of members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and other patriotic residents.Against a picturesque backdrop of statues portraying the sacrifices of war, an active duty service member will read the names of Plano’s own who were killed in action.“They’re not forgotten, and we’re not taking their deaths for granted,” said Karen Marks, who started the ceremony in 2010. “Freedom is not free, so don’t take anything for granted.”The Sunset at Memorial Park ceremony had humble beginnings and has grown to become one of the biggest Memorial Day events in the area. Prior to Marks getting involved, the city for years held a relatively small morning ceremony in front of City Hall.Moving the service to a park dedicated to veterans made it more personal for participants, said Marks, who got a call after the first year from a city official offering support.

  • Plano Animal Shelter Pets of the Week: May 24, 2015

    Kelly (ID #122428) is a lovable female Labrador Retriever. She is about 5 years old and is very sweet and playful.Sugar (ID #122358) is a shy and lazy domestic short hair spayed female tabby cat who is good with other cats, as well as children. She is about 8 years old and is litter box trained.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. 

  • 'He knew everybody's name': McKinney ISD educator celebrated after 22 years with district

    Sleeves on his white button-down rolled up, his focus apparent, Harvey Oaxaca looked intense. He spent the study hall working through math problems with the young student.“I asked somebody later who it was, and they said, ‘That’s our principal,’” recalled Millie Abbott, a substitute that day at Faubion Middle School. “That’s the kind of man he is.”These days, it’s hard not to know Oaxaca. Recently announcing his retirement, the 39-year educator spent the past 22 with McKinney Independent School District. He was everywhere, study hall included: football games, alternative campuses, out in the community.His impact went beyond it all, pervading a district he’s called home since he arrived.“McKinney was a small town when I got here, but I knew it had a heart,” Oaxaca said. “We’ve kind of grown together.”So it wasn’t a surprise to see hundreds gather Thursday afternoon at central office for a reception honoring Oaxaca. Former students and administrators, current district staff and friends and family wrapped around him in admiration.

  • Q&A: Prosper High School valedictorian Grayson Barrett

    Grayson Barrett, Prosper High School 2015 ValedictorianFather’s Name: Matthew BarrettMother’s Name: Janet BarrettWhere do you plan to attend college? Undecided. A&M, UT or Rice.What do you plan to major in, and what are your career plans? Engineering; engineeringWhat school activities have you been involved in? Track, football, basketball, baseball and UIL academics

  • Q&A: Prosper High School salutatorian Olivia Alexander

    Olivia Alexander, Prosper High School 2015 Salutatorian Father’s name: Ray AlexanderMother’s name: Brenda AlexanderWhere do you plan to attend college? Texas A&M UniversityWhat do you plan to major in, and what are your career plans?Mechanical engineering, be a mechanical engineer at a successful engineering firm

  • Historic McKinney cemetery to hold first Memorial Day tribute without ceremony founder

    Historic Pecan Grove Cemetery’s Memorial Day Tribute has kept its nostalgic reverence for 31 years, but Monday’s event will feel significantly different. It will be the first without founder Harry McKillop.“The Memorial Day program is what it is today because of him,” said Jeff Hull, the cemetery board’s president following McKillop’s passing in November. “He took it to a whole new level.”Fittingly, as part of this year’s recognition, the cemetery will rededicate its meeting hall as Harry E. McKillop Memorial Hall. A World War II veteran, McKillop served on the cemetery board for 25 years, including 20 as president.Situated next to Founders Hall, the chapel at the northeast corner of Pecan Grove, the ceremony begins at 10 a.m., with McKinney Community Band welcoming guests 30 minutes prior. Collin County Judge Keith Self is master of ceremonies, and McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller will lead the rededication.Longtime ceremony guest U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson will again be in attendance, and city historic preservation officer Guy Giersch will go through the history that lays before guests.Pecan Grove celebrates its 145th anniversary this year. Last Thursday, the 793rd soldier – a WWII veteran – was buried at the ceremony, whose hallowed grounds tell of the sacrifices that have protected and shaped McKinney and the entire nation.

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

  • Northwest Dallas has seen nearly 10 inches of rain since May 1

    The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, in association with the NWS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reported 9.65 inches of rain has fallen in northwest Dallas since May 1.The results were compiled at its Irving station.The network reported 3.45 inches of rain fell Monday, 2.3 inches on May 17, 2.07 inches on May 10 and 1.78 inches May 8.

  • Memorial Day in Double Oak

    Officials from the town of Double Oak decorated Town Hall in observance of Memorial Day.

  • Gallery: The Colony hosts Memorial Day remembrance ceremony

    The American Legion Holley-Riddle Post 21 of The Colony sponsored a Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony Monday at Five Star Veterans Memorial, 5151 N. Colony Blvd.

  • LHS hosts 80th annual Rosecutting

    Lewisville High School held its 80th annual Rosecutting Ceremony May 19 at Leo C. Stuver Auditorium. The tradition began with the class of 1935. Rosecutting is an event carefully choreographed to symbolize the value placed on the friendships and experiences that bond students with their friends, even as they break that bond to begin new chapters in their lives beyond high school.During the ceremony, each member of the class is given a rose and it is attached to a continuous maroon ribbon, showing their connection with their classmates. Then, each student cuts the ribbon to free his or her rose in the formal and emotional ceremony.

  • Lake levels keep parks in limbo

    When it rains it pours. And Flower Mound is one of many municipalities dealing with the effects of a weather pattern that just won’t quit.As of Friday, Grapevine Lake had a level of 551 feet, which is 16 feet above normal. The spillway is 560 feet. Kenneth Myers, natural resources specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the lake hasn’t reached the spillway since the early 1990s. The lake was at 528.4 feet a month ago.Twin Coves Park has been the biggest area impacted. Since May 13, day use amenities, camp sites and the boat dock have been closed.Mark Long, the town’s athletic and outdoor pursuits supervisor, said it could be weeks before the park is open again, in part because of access. The main road to the park is under water.“The boat ramp parking lot is 95 percent under water,” Long said. “We have four camping sites under water, and we have several trees and flower beds that have been impacted.”Long added that two of the camp sites have electrical outlets.

  • Nelson gives status of proposed legislation

    With 10 days left in the 84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, several pieces of legislation by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, are working their way to the governor's desk."The finish line is within our sights, but there is still work left to be done," Nelson said. "We are finalizing a responsible budget that meets our needs, makes smart investments and continues the policies of fiscal responsibility that will take our state to even greater heights. We are also finishing our work on a major tax relief package, contracting reforms and the re-organization of our health and human services agencies."Following is a report on Nelson's legislation and its status in the legislative process:State Appropriations Bill: HB 1, the state appropriations bill, is the only bill the Legislature is required to pass each session and provides the funding for all state agencies and programs. "Our state budget will responsibly meet our growing needs while addressing our priority issues including increasing funding for education, securing our border and addressing our transportation needs. This is the only bill we have to pass all session, and I am confident we will complete our work and produce a budget worthy of the citizens of Texas." Status: Approved by Conference CommitteeProperty Tax Relief: SB 1 increases the homestead exemption for school district property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000, providing $1.2 billion in property tax relief over the biennium for Texas homeowners. "Our economy is producing sufficient revenue to meet our needs and return a substantial portion of those dollars back to the taxpayers. I see this as an investment in our economy that will make sure we continue to have jobs and opportunities for our citizens." Status: Approved by House Ways & Means CommitteeFranchise Tax Relief: HB 32 reduces the franchise tax on Texas businesses by 25 percent, increases the revenue threshold for businesses to use the E-Z rate from $10 million to $20 million and reduces the E-Z rate from .575 percent to .331 percent. It would provide $2.56 billion in tax relief to businesses over the biennium. "For our economy to continue to thrive, for businesses to grow and for jobs to be created, we have to support our businesses. This is a smart investment, not just for our economy but also for young Texans to grow up in a state with jobs and opportunities." Status: Approved by Senate Finance Committee.

Mesquite Rowlett Sunnyvale

  • Early bird gets a show

    Crews prepare the Rowlett Chamber of Commerce building for its big move. Main Street will closed Saturday starting at 6 a.m. to make way for the building, which will be placed down the street near Herfurth Park. Arrive early for a good view.

  • RHS student’s business plan receives funding, advances to regional competition

    Tara Davis, a senior at Rowlett High School and YEA! student at the Rowlett Chamber of Commerce, was among 37 top YEA! Students, ages 11 to 18to compete last week in the Saunders Scholars Western Regional competition in Phoenix, Ariz.She and the other competitors had six minutes to present their business ideas and plans to a public audience and a panel of executive judges.Davis developed The Sunshine Pack, a comfort package for children visiting the hospital, to put smiles on their faces and keep them content.The winners of the regional competition, both from YEA! chapters in Palos Verdes, Calif., will fly next month to Washington, D.C. for the national finals at the opening event of America’s Small Business Summit, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with support from Sam’s Club.At just 18 years old, Rowlett High School senior Tara Davis has already established a foundation for her very own small business. The burgeoning CEO created a detailed business proposal through the Rowlett Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a national after-school program that transforms middle and high schoolers into confident executives. In April, Davis won first place in YEA!’s Investor Panel Event, besting five other high school students and securing  $1,100 and a $500 Sam’s Club gift card for her business, Sunshine Pack. Now, this Garland ISD participant is competing for more funding and a chance to advance to nationals at the Saunders Regional Competition May 14-15 in Phoenix.“I was so excited and grateful when I found out I won first place in April,” Davis said. “I have been rehearsing my speech, going over questions the investors might ask me and reviewing my business plan in preparation for regionals. Ultimately, I am hoping that everyone will leave satisfied and will still want to carry on their businesses no matter what happens. We worked really hard on this and I do not want anything to go to waste.”

  • Mosquito tests positive for West Nile in Mesquite

    Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) laboratory confirmed the first positive West Nile Virus mosquito trap for 2015 in Dallas County yesterday. The trap was collected from the 75150 zip code in Mesquite.“West Nile Virus season is underway, so Dallas County residents should take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. “We are urging everyone to be vigilant in the fight against West Nile Virus.”DCHHS issued a health advisory to Dallas-area medical providers and hospital infection preventionists yesterday. DCHHS is reminding medical providers to be alert for cases of WNV disease.According to city officials, the Mesquite Health Department has sprayed the area to neutralize the threat. The city posts a vector control map on its website that shows the areas in which the city has sprayed for mosquitoes. DCHHS encourages citizens to practice the 4Ds to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus -- DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions; Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside; Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace, and Dusk and Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.“While all 4Ds are important, stopping mosquitoes where they breed is especially crucial,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority.

  • Late night accident, traffic stop keep cops busy in Mesquite

    Traffic remains backed up this morning on southbound Interstate 635, just south of the U.S. 80 ramp, after a single vehicle accident that occurred just before 11:30 p.m. sent a driver to the hospital. According to police, the driver of the vehicle was ejected from the vehicle during the accident and was transported from the scene to a local hospital. He was responsive and conversing with police and paramedics on the scene.In an unrelated incident, police were in pursuit of a vehicle traveling at high speeds on northbound Interstate 635. The driver did not initially stop for police, but they were able to successfully complete the traffic stop near U.S. 80 ramp, just prior to the accident on the opposite side occurring.Police officials said both incidents happened within a short time frame of each other.

  • RHS student selected as participant in epilepsy-focused conference

    Every year, the Epilepsy Foundation of America selects a small group of teens to attend a two-day conference focused on public policy and medical advancements in the field of epilepsy. Rowlett High School student Cole Pettit was one of just 40 teens from across the country invited to the Teens Speak Up! conference, held in April in Washington, D.C.“It was an honor to participate in Teens Speak Up!,” Pettit said. “Living with epilepsy has been hard, but I am very fortunate and want to help other kids who still need a cure. I had my first seizure when I was 5. They continued for 10 years, and I tried nine different medications. Thankfully, I was able to have surgery and have been seizure-free for almost two years.”In addition to meeting other peers with epilepsy, discussing political issues and discovering the latest medical developments, Pettit was also able to participate in the National Walk for Epilepsy and meet with government officials.According to a press release, Pettit met with congressional representatives, senators and legislative staff to share stories about living with epilepsy. He and fellow participants also encouraged support for legislation and funding that would improve the lives of people with this condition.Medical research funding, drug approval process legislation, and a new drug therapy for treating uncontrolled seizures known as CBD oil were some of the topics discussed.And to keep the enlightening experience alive in their hometowns, every participant must develop a one-year, epilepsy-centered community service action plan. Pettit will fulfill this mission by serving as a counselor at one of his favorite childhood destinations, Camp Spike-N-Wave, a camp made specifically for kids aged 8-14 with epilepsy.

  • Things to know in Mesquite

    Art exhibitThe Mesquite Arts Center is hosting artwork from the Mesquite Plus 50 Ceramic Club through May 29 in its main gallery. The free gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during other special performances at the arts center. Movie in the ParkThe Mesquite parks and Recreation Department was forced to move its May Movie in the Park event to May 29, due to the inclement weather that passed through Mesquite over the weekend. The city will show the movie “Big Hero 6,” and host several activities for the whole family. The parks and recreation department encourages all attendees to come dressed as their favorite super hero for the event. Preshow entertainment will begin at 7 p.m., with the movie starting at dusk. All attendees are invited to bring their picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets as the park offers no fixed seating for the event.


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Star Local Media Blogosphere

  • PCA defensive stalwart Williams lands OU offer; star freshman tabbed by LSU

    Prestonwood Christian Academy is no stranger to receiving recruiting interest from major universities about its football players.This spring appears to be no different, as two cogs in the Lions' state runner-up defense each saw their respective recruiting profiles blossom in recent days.Junior Deonte Williams, a three-star linebacker, added the University of Oklahoma to his budding list of suitors, tweeting out an offer from the Sooners on Thursday. Oklahoma is the fifth Big 12 program to offer the 6-foot-1, 218-pound prospect, with TCU, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Baylor also expressing interest.Last season, Williams totaled 70 tackles (24 for loss) along with a team-high nine sacks for Prestonwood en route to receiving TAPPS 5A all-state first team honors.Also instrumental in the Lions' success on defense was freshman Verone McKinley III, who accrued 28 tackles, four interceptions and four pass deflections in just nine games played last season. The SEC has taken notice, as LSU offered the cornerback on Tuesday.

  • From rock to country to rap … and back

    After another concert-filled, extended weekend, I think I realized that, at times, you can have too much entertainment. Most of my weekend was spent at Richardson’s Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival, but i did have a chance to catch a few shows elsewhere. Since I saw so much, I’ll try to be brief, but you know how that goes. Thursday, May 14Though I have seen Dokken many times over the years – including the most prodigious, ’80s lineup – I always find myself going back for the attack. Luckily the band makes an annual trip through Dallas to sedate the fixation. There’s just something about songs like “Kiss of Death,” “Tooth and Nail” and “Just Got Lucky” that remind me of the ’80s metal scene enough to make me want more.This show happened to be my second time in the new(ish) Gas Monkey Live venue, but not the last for the weekend – more on that later. Though Dokken didn’t sell out, there was a nice crowd on hand to hear a few surprises thrown into the set, like “Paris is Burning” – a song I thought they had all but abandoned years ago. It was also great to hear “When Heaven Comes Down” as well seeing as it is a song they don’t play as often these days.I got there a bit late, so I only caught one of the opening bands – local act, 76. I have seen them a few times as well, and they always look like they’re having as much fun as you are. And why not, this is supposed to be fun. It was good to hear “I Want to Be Famous” as well as an excellent cover of the UFO staple, “Shoot Shoot.”

  • Smart named NBA All-Rookie second team

    Boston Celtics rookie and Marcus product Marcus Smart has been selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie second team the league announced Monday.Smart, a 2012 graduate of Marcus that helped the Marauders to consecutive state tournament titles, received 28 first-team votes and 86 second-team votes (142 total points).Smart is joined on the second team by Minnesota’s Zach LaVine (135), Brooklyn’s Bojan Bogdanovic (107), Denver’s Jusuf Nurkic (97) and New York’s Langston Galloway (72).First-teamers were Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins (260), Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic (258), Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel (252), Orlando’s Elfrid Payton (250) and Los Angeles Laker Jordan Clarkson (200).  Smart’s debut season included averages of 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

Community Updates

Going Green a Step Further at Highland Springs

DALLAS, TX—Conservation is for people of all ages, a point made during the Earth/Arbor Day Expo held at Highland Springs retirement community on April 24.

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