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Featured Articles
» News Release From TxDOT
By Staff Writer | Published 07/25/2014 | Breaking News | Unrated


4777 E. US Highway 80

Mesquite, Texas 75150

(214) 320-4480

TxDOT’s four goals:  Maintain a safe system, address congestion, connect Texas communities, and be a Best-in-Class state agency



                                                                                                                        JULY 24, 2014



Murphy Road Closed For Short Periods Of Time Saturday


WHERE:   MURPHY/PARKER – FM 2551 (Murphy Road) at Maxwell Creek


  WHEN:   Beginning at 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Saturday July 26

  WHAT:   Weather permitting, the Texas Department of Transportation will be setting beams for Phase 2 of the bridge at Maxwell Creek.  Northbound and southbound lanes will be momentarily closed for approximately 15-minute intervals on either side of the bridge to unload beams for phase 2 of the bridge.


 Backups are possible and motorists are encouraged to consider alternate routes.




» Why are these two lion cubs smiling?
By Staff Writer | Published 07/18/2014 | Smiles | Unrated

Lambert is smiling because he and the other new arrivals at In-Sync Exotics are happy to be in their new forever homes where it is clean and safe and there is good food to eat. Rafiki is smiling because he loves all of the attention he is getting from the multitude of adoring volunteers and visitors who tell him each day how cute he is and how much he and the other cats are loved!

Meet the new residents:

We were honored to be part of a large rescue operation headed by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). There are multiple US sanctuaries now offering homes to animals that would otherwise be left homeless as a failed sanctuary near Buffalo, NY has closed its doors. The two adult lionesses (Kitty and Lola) and one adult male lion (Athos) were transported by and cared for by ISE volunteers and staff during their 20+ hour journey home to Texas. You can see some videos of the rescue operation here: 2 year-old male has been named Athos and his brothers are Porthos and D'Artagnan. Kitty was named for a female character in The Three Musketeers, and Lola was named after a lioness we knew from the big rescue in Poetry, TX, where we rescued eight others cats. We welcome our new lions from the north and look forward to showing them our “southern hospitality”.

Introducing... RAFIKI! Rafiki is 7 months old, and was part of a group of animals, (not a circus) no longer needed in a traveling animal show. Due to space requirements and nutritional problems the animals were left in the care of another facility to help find permanent homes for them. We welcome Rafiki with open hearts and joy! To watch this baby boy grow will absolutely be one of the biggest rewards we will experience.

Introducing.....Karma!! On 6/30/14, we received a call from someone looking for a new home for a five-year old female white tiger. She belonged to a breeder who was not getting the “results” he had hoped for, and the man wanted to get rid of her. Arrangements were made and now this beautiful girl has a new home! Karma, as we have named her, is the first female white tiger to call In-Sync Exotics home, and we are excited to welcome her to her new family!

As a side note, white tigers are neither a separate species nor “albino.” The white coat is an expression of a recessive gene and is the result of breeding a male and a female that both carry the gene; the parents may be white or orange in color. Sadly, white tigers are most often the result of inbreeding and many of them do not survive. Because inbreeding rarely, if ever, happens in the wild, and because wild-born white tigers cannot camouflage themselves, they are almost completely non-existent in the wild.


We were contacted by GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries) and asked if we could give a home to a bobcat who was living in Montana, as well as help with the transport of two tigers from there to another facility. We agreed to bring the bobcat to In-Sync Exotics and transport the tigers to a sanctuary in Mississippi. After a VERY long trip, Nola made it home to us on April 19. A few days later she took a trip to the vet, where she had the matted hair around her neck removed, had blood work done, received her vaccinations, and a thorough check-up.

She is 8 years old and settling in well with her new roommates, Chance, Jasper and Isaac! Let the good times roll!! (By the way, we hear the tigers that were transported to MS are doing well also.)

Introducing... Lambert! Lambert was privately owned by a family in West Texas. They purchased him as a pet for their children, but soon realized that Lambert was getting to be too much for them. They contacted us, and chose to donate him to In-Sync Exotics. We are very grateful that they made the decision to place Lambert in a home where he can live with others of his kind, and receive the care that a lion needs. We hope to introduce him to Rafiki, our other young male lion, so that they will each benefit from companionship. We made the 14-hour round trip drive to pick him up on Saturday, 6/14, and he arrived home late Saturday night. Because he has been raised in a house, we decided to keep him inside for his first night, as he arrived after dark and was a little overwhelmed by the sounds of all the other cats at In-Sync. On Sunday 6/15, he was moved to a temporary outdoor enclosure, but will be introduced to Rafiki very shortly, and we hope that he will be able to live in the enclosure with Rafiki. We believe he is approximately 3 months old based on his size, but he may be older and just be rather small for his size. Lambert was named in honor of the lion Lambert in the documentary The Elephant in the Living Room.

Come out and visit our new cats! The two lion cubs are growing each day, so if you want to see them as “babies”, don’t wait too long! Lambert especially is very active and playful at this stage and we know you will find him entertaining!

» Murphy residents to receive two bonus watering days
By Staff Writer | Published 07/18/2014 | Local Government | Unrated


Supply in water system requires movement for efficiency

MURPHY (July 18, 2014) Residents will get a one-time bonus watering day this summer as the City of Murphy will suspend the twice monthly watering schedule to both reward homeowners for conserving and clear out the water system, says Mayor Eric Barna.

"We have been asking residents to conserve, and they have responded," he said. "Now, it’s time for them to get something in return for the kind of cooperation they’ve shown. An additional watering day doesn’t sound like much, but it’s our small way of saying thank you."

Residents with addresses ending in an odd number may water on Monday, July 28, a day that is not on the schedule for them. And, residents with addresses ending in an even number may water on Wednesday, July 30, a day that would normally not be one during which watering was allowed. The bonus day also applies to businesses, homeowner associations, schools and other non-residential locations, which can water on Friday, Aug. 1, a day outside of their allowable watering schedule.

"While we are pleased to offer these bonus days, the watering times still apply," added Barna. Watering is prohibited after 10 a.m. or before 6 p.m. to avoid the hottest part of the day during which evaporation is most likely.

Stage 3 seasonal restrictions, which limit watering to every other week, are in place until Oct. 31. These restrictions apply to all automatic sprinkler systems.

City Manager James Fisher explains that the effects of water conservation have resulted in placing the City of Murphy in the unusual position of having water linger in the storage system longer than normal.

"We need to move the water in our storage system to maintain the system at its peak level of efficiency," he said. "The residents and businesses in Murphy have done what we’ve asked, and that has put us in this very uncommon position. We’re actually pleased to give something back for their support of our water conservation efforts."

Watering restrictions are available for review online at the Public Works page of


» Murphy firefighters to ‘Fill the Boot’ July 31 to Aug. 2
By Staff Writer | Published 07/17/2014 | Around Town | Unrated

MURPHY (July 17, 2014) Murphy firefighters are planning a three-day fund-raising blitz for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual drive at one of the City’s busiest intersections, says Fire Chief Mark Lee.

"We’ve decided to participate in the Fill the Boot campaign after a two-year absence," he said. "Our firefighting corps is ecstatic that we will once again help with this worthy cause. We fully expect Murphy residents to again demonstrate their very generous nature."

Fill the Boot days include Thursday, July 31, Friday, Aug. 1 and Saturday, Aug. 2 at the intersection of McCreary Road and Betsy Lane in the City’s northeast corner. Motorists will only be approached during complete traffic stops, and donors should only reach out of their vehicles when completely stationary. "We, obviously, want to ensure the safety of our firefighters, but we also are concerned about distractions to drivers in moving vehicles," said the Chief.

Every dollar that motorists pitch into the firefighters’ boots helps members of the Murphy Firefighters Association and Murphy Fire Rescue provide funds for medical treatment and support services to individuals and their families living with neuromuscular diseases in the Murphy area.

The partnership between the International Association of Fire Fighters and MDA began in 1954 when the first Fill the Boot campaign was inaugurated. The IAFF remains committed to the fight to end neuromuscular diseases.

"Firefighters are American heroes who make such a difference for the people and families we serve," said Fill the Boot Coordinator Jenny Allison. "The funds they raise are used for health care services and equipment support, and to help send kids to free MDA summer camps. We are grateful for everything they do."

Fill the Boot funds also are used to support some of the 300 worldwide research projects seeking better treatments and cures for the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases covered by MDA, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and ALS.

"The money we raise through Fill the Boot makes a difference in the lives of people," said Murphy’s Chief Lee. "We are pleased to volunteer our time and energy to such a worthy cause. Fill the Boot is also a great reminder to residents that we are always around, ready to assist in any way possible."

Over the years, firefighters have raised millions of dollars to help improve and enhance the lives of those living with neuromuscular disease. In addition to Fill the Boot, many firefighters raise money for MDA by sponsoring golf and softball tournaments. Many also contribute some of their vacation time each year to volunteer at MDA summer camps across the country.

"Our firefighters are giving people, which is why they went into this career field," added the Chief. "Fill the Boot is just another way for us to express that sentiment."

» City Council welcomes new member
By Greg Goodwin | Published 07/17/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

City Secretary, Kristi Gilbert, certified a quorum with all members present. Consent Agenda items, June 17, 2014 Regular Meeting minutes and a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a sanitary sewer easement agreement with Beacon Hill Centre, LLC, were approved.

In other action concerning Election Procedures, Council unanimously approved an ordinance canvassing and declaring the election results of the June 21, 2014 Runoff Election for Place 5. Winning the Runoff Election was Sarah Fincanon. Mayor Barna issued Ms. Fincanon a Certificate of Election and welcomed her to the City Council. City Secretary, Kristi Gilbert, administered the Oath of Office and Ms. Fincanon took her seat on the Council. Mayor Barna then presented outgoing Councilmember Bernard Grant a plaque thanking him for his service to the City of Murphy of three (3) years.

Nomination was then taken for Mayor Pro Tem and Scott Bradley was elected by Council in a four to three (4/3) vote. Owais Siddiqui was then nominated and elected unanimously for Deputy Mayor Pro Tem.

The floor was then opened for public comments.


Marv Williams, 1201 Cactus Path Dr- Murphy resident and President of the Murphy Chamber of Commerce, on behalf the Chamber, wanted to thank the City and Police Department for the ceremony at Central Park on Flag Day with the unveiling of a park bench honoring Police Officer Sgt. Kyle Kucauskas who passed away unexpectedly on March 23, 2013. He was a former Chamber member and served on the board as Director of Safety. Mr. Williams read excerpts of a touching letter from Sgt. Kyle’s family, thanking all those involved in this event and dedication honoring his memory.


Shelly Bottlinger, 509 Newcastle Ln- expressed thanks on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and the Exchange Club to the City Manager, staff and City Council for their support of Flag Day, Veteran’s Breakfast and Freedom Shrine Dedication.


Linda Martin, 142 Moonlight Dr- expressed thanks to Bernard Grant for his service to the City and being on the City Council and also to the City Council in general for all their hard work. She also thanked Bernard and the Council for their help in getting Moonlight Dr/Grant Rd closed as a thoroughfare.


Don Kiertscher, 416 Skyline- gave a hearty thanks to Bernard Grant for all his years of service and all the hours he put in, saying he (Grant) was very thoughtful, always paid attention to detail but saw the big picture. He thanked former Councilmember Grant as well for his help in the closing of Moonlight Drive. He also extended a welcome to Sarah Fincanon, the newest member of the City Council.


Kent Manton, 419 Moonlight Dr, addressed Council on the closure of Moonlight Dr. He believes the decision was rash and poorly thought out saying among other unintended consequences, it increases the response time for emergency personnel to reach the neighborhood. On the personal side, Mr. Manton said, it significantly increases his commute time, not allowing him rear access to Hwy. 78 as before, causing him to use the Murphy Rd/544 intersection, the busiest in Murphy. He suggests a better way of dealing with the problem of speeders on Moonlight would be the construction of speed humps (not bumps) in the area of the barrier. He hopes the City and City Council will reconsider.

The City Council then held a brief closed Executive Session and when reconvening voted to accept the resignation of City Secretary, Kristi Gilbert. Ms. Gilbert has accepted a position with the City of Argyle, Texas, as City Secretary. She stated that it will be a much shorter commute for her as well as the position being in a smaller city, she will have an expanded role in duties and city administration.

Council then moved to the Community Workroom for a budget discussion regarding the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 General Fund and Utility Fund Revenues and Expenditures and other associated budget items. This discussion continued on the following evening, July 2, 2014. More information on the FY 2015 budget can be found on the City of Murphy website. Also tentative Public Hearings on the budget are scheduled for August 19 and September 2, 2014.

Recent Articles
» Mayor and Councilman Sworn In – Place 5 in Limbo
By Greg Goodwin | Published 05/22/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

In a regular meeting of the City Council on May 20, 2014, the meeting was called to order and city secretary Kristi Gilbert certified a quorum with all members present.

On the Consent Agenda, Regular Meeting minutes for the May 6, 2014 meeting were approved. Also approval of a Resolution authorizing continued participation with the steering committee of the cities served by Oncor; and authorizing payment of 10 cents per capita to the steering committee to fund regulatory and legal proceedings and activities related to Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC for 2013 and authorizing 11 cents per capita for 2014. More information on the duties the steering committee undertakes can be found on the City of Murphy website.

An ordinance was approved canvassing and declaring the election results of the May 10, 2014 General Election. Mayor Eric Barna was re-elected
to an additional three (3) year term of office. Administering the Oath of Office was city secretary Kristi Gilbert. Scott Bradley was also re-elected
as a Council Member for Place 3 for a new three (3) year term and was
administered the Oath of Office by city secretary Kristi Gilbert.

Within this ordinance was the approval for a Runoff Election for Council Member for Place 5. Present Council Member Bernard Grant and Sarah Fincanon, having received an equal number of votes for Council Member for Place 5, shall participate in a Runoff Election, approved by amending ordinance 14-02-970 to reflect a change in date to June 21, 2014. City Council also authorized City Manager, James Fisher to contract for full election services with Collin County. City Council decided to take no action on nominations for Mayor Pro Tem and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem until after the results of the Runoff Election. 

City Council heard additional information on the Utility Rate Study by NewGen Strategies & Solutions. Chris Ekrut presented a review and summary of the report and received additional questions and considerations. No action was taken by Council at this time. The study and recommendations will be reviewed and considered again in next City Council meeting June 3, 2014.


» Collin County Preservation Celebration & Awards Ceremony
By Staff Writer | Published 05/14/2014 | Around Town | Unrated

On Saturday, April 26

th, historians and historical groups gathered in Celina, Texas for the 8th Annual Collin County Historical Commission’s Preservation Celebration and Awards Ceremony. This event recognizes nominated individuals, cities, and historical preservation projects for their achievements during the past year.

Collin County Judge Keith Self opened the program. Murphy was well represented at the event. The Cemetery Association of Murphy, Inc. nominated the W. H. L. Wells Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans for their participation in the annual Memorial Day Observances held at the historic Decatur-Maxwell-Murphy Cemetery. Although the SCV group did not win the “Excellence in Historical Education Award” for which they were nominated, Richard Smoot from the reenacting unit accepted a framed certificate of appreciation.

The City of Murphy was also nominated for an award. And although they did not walk away with top accolades for the “Leadership in Preservation Award”, Murphy City Manager James Fisher accepted a framed certificate of appreciation.

Murphy resident and Cemetery Association of Murphy member and Collin County Historical Commission member Lolisa Laenger was nominated for the “Living Legacy of Collin County Award”. She also received a framed certificate of appreciation.

Members from both the Murphy Historical Society and Cemetery Association of Murphy, Inc. manned display booths showcasing their accomplishments over the past year.

» Book Worms at Tibbals Elementary
By Staff Writer | Published 05/14/2014 | Education | Unrated

Wylie ISD has a gem hidden at Tibbals Elementary school located in Murphy, TX.

Kindergarten teacher, Susie Garcia, has managed to accomplish something amazing.In 2009, she started a program called The Birthday Book Club. This program allows the students, teachers, WISD employees, and members of the community to donate a book to the Tibbals Elementary library in honor of their birthday. Each person that donates gets to choose their book, fill out a dedication form and submit a photo. Mrs. Garcia then arranges to get the exact book specified, as well as place the picture and dedication on the inside cover of the book.

Recently, Mrs. Garcia celebrated the 1,000th book donation. Mrs. Garcia has been a kindergarten teacher for 23 years. She believes that reading is the best foundation for her students. One of her favorite books to read to her class is, The Little Engine That Could. She even uses the words, "I think I can, I think I can" as a part of her everyday lessons, as well as a spin off from that, “

Can’t doesn’t live in this classroom!” Many of her kindergarten students from several years ago helped recognize this accomplishment by donating that exact book in her honor. They were on hand to give this book to her, as well as Mrs. Garcia’s 14 year old son, whom she recognized by donating the 1001st book in his honor. As the children were being recognized, the number of books donated continued to grow to 1,005. This is truly a great example of The Wylie Way. Thank you Mrs. Garcia, you are a treasure and a blessing to the Wylie school district!

» Check Mate!
By Brenda Boyd | Published 05/14/2014 | Education | Unrated

The Boggess Elementary PTA hosted  their 6th annual chess tournament on May 1st. The school gym was full with a rising community of chess enthusiasts that included 47 participants, 6 parent Judges, 2 student judges and many parents and volunteers. After the two hour long tournament and amazing sportsmanship, the following winners took home trophies: First Grade Winner: Troy Vu, Second Grade Winner: Zain Khan, Fourth Grade & Runner-up Winner: Walt Mayfield, Fifth Grade & Grand Prize Winner: Abhiram Valisammagari, Third Grade Winner: Jason Heston, Kindergarten Winner: Lukas Wolinski.


» 4-H Students Participate in DAWG Project
By Karen Chaney | Published 05/14/2014 | Recreation | Interest Level:

TC Cappel, instructor with DAWG (Dallas Agility Working Group - is working with Dallas County 4H students on their dog project. This is a six week course which has a goal, according to Cappel, of “teaching the kids to have fun and bond with their dogs, respect your dog, never harm or scare your dog.” This project also teaches the students to be physically fit and to keep their dogs fit as well.

Annette Limanta, a mother of a participating 4H student was a 4H member when she was a child and wanted to pass the experience on to her daughter. Limanta inquired to a few area agility programs, Cappel was the one who agreed to this first time partnership. At the end of the six weeks participants will be given a quiz over what they have learned and ribbons will be awarded accordingly.

Joe Sullivan is the club manager, and also a former 4H member as a child who desired to share this rich legacy with his children. His son is involved in this dog project. Sullivan tells that 4H offers a large range of projects including consumer training, fashion, nutrition, citizenship, photography, dog obedience, cattle and horses to name a few. For more information on 4-H go to

Valerie Evans, DAWG’s board secretary provides that DAWG is celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year and is the United States' oldest active agility club.

Cappel, who has been training dogs for fifteen years, hopes that these 4-H participants will “learn to have a strong bond with their dog at a young age and when they have children they can teach their children to bond with their dogs.”

DAWG classes are held at the Southpaw Training Center at 5355 Betsy Lane in Murphy, next to the Veterinary Clinic at the Northwest corner of Murphy Rd and Betsy Lane.

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