MURPHY (February 27, 2014) The act of driving while under the influence of alcohol can only become worse when the driver in question is under-aged, and that’s one of the reasons Murphy police officers will be participating in an aggressive Spring Break enforcement, says Police Lt. Adana Barber.
"Our major emphasis will be from Friday, March 7 to Sunday, March 16," she said. "Officers of the Murphy Police Department will be joined by state law enforcement agencies and other area departments as we keep an eye out for drunk drivers, especially youthful offenders."
Tragically, the eagerness and enthusiasm of some students during the traditional Spring Break gets in the way of good judgment. Terrible decisions lead to serious consequences, both legally and physically. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Spring Break can be a particularly dangerous period for not only young people, but also friends, associates, family members and innocent bystanders. And so to keep roads safe, Murphy Police will exercise zero tolerance.
"Unfortunately, drunk driving is all too common for youngsters out for a good time during Spring Break. That carefree attitude can often lead to extremely hazardous behavior. Mixing alcohol with the bravado that sometimes is part of a young person’s personality can lead to actions that may put that person or other persons at grave risk," she added. "We implore parents to be mindful of where their children are, what they’re doing and who they’re with at all times."
Drunk drivers often face jail time, loss of driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs and lost time from school or work. Even worse, a drunk driver can cause a traffic crash that claims someone’s life, or their own.
The department offers these tips to keep Spring Break safe and trouble-free:
If you plan on drinking, do not plan on driving. Designate someone to stay sober and drive.
If you have been drinking excessively, do not drive. Call a taxi, a sober friend or family member.
Be responsible. If someone you know is drunk, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
Remember, it is never safe to drive drunk:
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov. Mobile apps such as RAIDS or tip411 allow instant access to Murphy Police tip lines.
Murphy is one of ten cities included in Precinct 3 of Collin County. The other nine cities are Sachse, Parker, Fairview, Lucas and parts of Richardson, Dallas, Plano, Allen and Wylie.
Precinct 3’s Constable is Sammy Knapp, Murphy resident Sergeant Matt Carpenter is one of the nine deputies in the Constable’s office. Constable Knapp was elected November 2013 after serving as deputy Constable and before that a police officer for thirty-eight years.
“On March 5, 1823, John Tumlinson, the newly elected alcalde of the Colorado District in Stephen F. Austin' first colony in Texas, wrote to the Baron de Bastrop in San Antonio that he had "appointed but one officer who acts in the capacity of constable to summon witnesses and bring offenders to justice." That appointee, Thomas V. Alley, thus became the first Anglo law enforcement officer in the future republic and state of Texas.” (wilco.org)
Holding to the job description outlined in 1823 the Constable’s office of present time continues to summon witnesses and bring offenders to justice. Sergeant Carpenter and the other deputies spend much of their time enforcing writs of execution (a writ of execution “is a court order granted to put in force a judgment obtained by a plaintiff from a court” (Wikipedia.com)). In Precinct 3, a Deputies work load includes many evictions, custody issues, serving warrants, taking property and collecting debt.
Constable Deputies are extensively trained in civil and criminal law enforcement. Once a order from a court has been issued it is the Constable Department’s responsibility to enforce the order. Whether that be removing a child from an unhealthy situation or forcing a business to pay a debt they weren’t willing to pay. Carpenter informs, “There are no ifs ands or buts. I have the judge’s orders. This will be done.”
Constable Knapp provides a realistic snippet of the multi-faceted responsibilities of Constable Officers: “The judge might call and say Johnny needs to be picked up from school because he is not abiding by a Court Order. Take Johnny to juvenile detention. While at juvenile detention, another person needs to be transported to Green Oaks to be evaluated. (Now I am a Transport Deputy) Then the alarm goes off at the Passport office (now I am a Patrol Deputy). Then I need to be in court and am the Bailiff where I might witness a wedding by proxy. You must be fluid in this position.”
A Constable also has the same authority as a police officer. Recently a Precinct 3 Constable Deputy pulled a person over for not stopping the proper distance when a bus was unloading children. During this traffic stop the deputy observed the person acting nervous and suspicious which led to an arrest when narcotics were found in his possession.
Sergeant Carpenter finds his job to be very rewarding. He appreciates the fact that he gets to follow through to the conclusion of situations compared to his time when he was a patrol officer and typically provided only the initial step (the arrest) in the judicial process. He declares that all deputies in the Constable department “love catching the bad guys”. Sergeant Carpenter believes that in many cases ‘the bad guy’ is having a bad day/year. The Constable’s department provides resources (such as food pantries and counseling) in the hope of preventing repeat criminal behavior. Carpenter reports that when a person is in handcuffs, riding in the back of his car they want to talk using phrases such as, “If I had food for my kids” and “If I had another job”. During these times the important characteristic of compassion during traumatic events comes into his job skill set as well as pointing out consequences for actions.
Precinct 3 Constable Department currently has two positions available for reserve deputies. The position will require sixteen work hours per month. The department will keep up licensing for the selected Deputy. (Contact Sergeant Matt Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.)
Constable Knapp and Sergeant Carpenter welcome speaking engagements where they can educate the public on the responsibilities of the Constable’s office. If you would like to schedule them as speakers for an organization please contact Sergeant Matt Carpenter.
McMillen High School Drama Department will be performing the high energy, upbeat musical ‘Grease’ February 28, March 1
st and March 2nd. Theater Director, Sherika Gaines began the theater department three years ago when McMillen opened. She, along with the Choir Director Lisa Walter, chose ‘Grease’ because, “…it was the first musical at McMillen, we needed to do something big that everyone knew…” Gaines’ favorite parts of the show are the, “…cool dances our choreographer Cody Alarcon has come up with. It has been so fun to see the students with no dance background pull together these exciting numbers. I just have a love for dancing and the music from that time gets me excited. My other favorite part is the scene for Greased Lighting, with the car and dancing, and singing, it is definitely my favorite song in the show.”
Mac Welch will be playing the part of Danny Zuko, the cool leader of the T-Birds. Welch says, “I have been in theater for so long but never in a musical. You can’t say you’re a true stage actor until you’ve tried it all.” Welch intends to continue with theater after high school majoring in performing arts and possibly trying a year in Los Angeles or New York in television, movies or stage. He believes this will be the most fun show you will ever see!
Lauren Murray will be playing the part of Sandy. Murray feels she has learned to work better with other people through this theatrical experience as well as improve her singing and acting skills.
Ashleigh Ready is Sandy’s understudy and will be featured during Sunday’s performance. She really likes the transition represented by her character going from sweet to sassy and confident.
Madellyn Moran plays her dream roll, Rizzo. Moran plans to participate at Plano East Senior High’s Theater major studies program. She feels that the audience will really appreciate this upbeat show and states, “The choreographer taught us fun dances. This will be different from most performances of Grease.”
Grace Miller is the Assistant Director of ‘Grease’ which will give her wonderful experience to reach her goal of earning her Masters in Fine Arts in directing at Yale. She applauds the hard work that has created a successful blending of technical, singing, dancing and acting.
There are thirty-eight students involved in the show. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults. Show times are Friday, February 28 at 7:00, Saturday, March 1 at 7:00 and Sunday, March 2 at 3:00.
Murphy City Council on Feb. 4 unanimously approved a construction bid to 3i Construction LLC for the city’s animal shelter project, authorizing the city manager to initiate contract documents and funding the overage of $161,000 from the city’s general fund.
3i Construction provided the lowest bid for the project at $810,600, estimating that it will take approximately 132 days to complete.This bid exceeds the city’s budgeted amount for this project by $161,000, which City Council approved to use from the general fund. Based on the current and anticipated future needs of the facility, city staff didn’t recommend decreasing the size of the shelter to save money.
Before approving the bid, Murphy residents addressed Council during the public comment session. Keith Patton said the average home price in Murphy is $250,000 and the city is building an $800,000 facility for animals. He asked if City Council could look at other options to decrease the price.
Resident Kim Heartly said the city has worked with the Humane Society in the past and asked if there was a way to increase the number of adoptions. Additionally, Kim Rozman asked what steps could be taken to designate the shelter as a no-kill facility.
Murphy Police Chief GM Cox said the city’s animal control officers make every effort to get the animals adopted and use euthanasia as a last resort.
In other news, City Council continued discussion on the Safe Routes to Schools sidewalk and enhanced crosswalk projects.Barry Heard, a representative for TXDOT, reviewed portions of this project related to possibly removing North Murphy Road from the state highway system. He said TXDOT is currently responsible for controlling speed zones, landscaping, pedestrian movements and utility permitting along FM 2551 (North Murphy Road).
Council Member Bernard Grant inquired about the upfront costs if the city removed North Murphy Road from the state highway system. Heard responded that at this time there would be no upfront costs to the city.
Council Member Rob Thomas asked if TXDOT would require the city to take North Murphy Road off the state highway system at some point in the future. Heard responded that was the direction TXDOT was moving toward and it could possibly happen in the next 10 years.
Heard said striping and landscaping were the primary maintenance costs of the road for the first 15 years. Additionally, the city would also have to take on the maintenance costs of the traffic lights at Betsy and North Murphy Road.
City Manager James Fisher said there are many factors that still need to be evaluated in this project, and that he is working with Plano and Wylie about a proposed interlocal agreement for traffic signal maintenance and striping.
Thomas said he would like for City Council to hold a special meeting to get comments from the public about North Murphy Road and the Safe Routes to Schools project. Mayor Eric Barna agreed that he would like to hold a special meeting after the city received cost estimates on the project.
In planning and zoning news, City Council approved the application of BV Murphy TFG to re-plat 150 West FM 544, the site of the former Neighborhood Walmart. The re-plat will allow for an additional lot to be created at the front of FM 544.
Kristen Roberts, director of economic and community affairs for Murphy, said a fast food restaurant was currently being reviewed by city staff for the site. City Council approved the re-plat suggesting that an access easement be provided between the property and Jack in the Box.
In other news, City Council approved the revised alcohol policy for the Murphy Community Center and the Murphy Activity Center.
Council also approved an ordinance ordering that a general election be held May 10, 2014, for the purpose of electing the mayor and council members for Place 3 and Place 5 to a three-year term of office.
Murphy Road Weekend Lane Closure Could Cause Travel Delays
WHERE: FM 2551 (Murphy Road) will be closed to one lane from north of Spring Ridge Drive to south of Maxwell Creek WHEN: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 and Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014
WHAT: Weather permitting, Murphy Road will be closed to one lane for paving of the northbound outside lane from north of Spring Ridge Drive to south of Maxwell Creek. Traffic will share one side of the road and flaggers will direct traffic through the construction zone one direction at a time.
Backups are possible and motorists are encouraged to consider alternate routes.
Bryan Dodge’s vision came to fruition in high definition surround sound heart string pulling glory a few times in the year he owned Saxby’s Coffee in Murphy. His vision was a place where people would come to be neighbors and where kids could grow up together. One Saturday while hosting his radio show looking out at the comings and goings of Saxby’s he remembers thinking to himself this is exactly what I thought this would look and sound like when I opened my doors on November 4th, 2012. Dodge, with a fly on the wall perspective, warmly watched as two friends who hadn’t seen each other in a long time had a chance reunion at Saxby’s. These types of moments are snapshots that run across Dodge’s heart as he tearfully states the moments were too infrequent and revenue was too low so Saxby’s Coffee closed these doors December 21st.
He knew that financially he had to bring in a certain amount of profit each day to cover overhead. He felt that monetary goal was attainable. They tried everything to bring customers in. With the glasses of hindsight firmly in place Dodge says he should have closed this location and opened in a smaller location. On that note he tells that he is aggressively looking for a new location for Saxby’s Coffee. He is considering connecting with a business that already has high foot traffic and is open to any suggestions. (Dodge requests that you send any ideas to him at email@example.com.)
Dodge wishes to thank store manager Ida Deleon, the barrista team, media, KLIF, City of Murphy and their loyal customers. Specifically to his wife Margaret he says, “Thank you for allowing me to have a chance to make my dream come true.” To his kids he expresses gratitude for dealing with the stress Saxby’s put on their family. Upon finding out Saxby’s was closing, one of the Saxby’s “family” team members emotionally queried, “Do we still get to stay together?”
Dodge stated in summary, “If not enough people want what you have you will not be successful. I see no change coming in the future. I had to make this decision, it is not easy but it is right.”
Disaster preparedness group adds four residents The citizen-volunteer organization in Murphy that provides emergency assistance immediately following a natural disaster or during special events recently gained four new members, according to Fire Marshal Perry Elliott.
“Four people were officially welcomed into the CERT fold as they underwent a rather rigorous training program,” he said. “The training is a necessary component of their preparation for these types of emergencies. The instructors try to give them a full complement of scenarios they are likely to encounter in a disaster.”
The four graduates include Joe Richardson, Jason Fincanon, Jennifer Yock and Jennifer Berthiaume.
Sponsored and conducted by Murphy Fire Rescue, the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training program lasts some 10 weeks, concluding with a realistic disaster drill. The four graduates made up the program’s third class. There are now 34 fully-trained CERT volunteers in Murphy.
Elliott says their training and preparation is essential in the event of a natural or man-made disaster because some affected areas may be inaccessible to first responders.
“Following a disaster, residents should be prepared to be completely self-sufficient for up to 72 hours, with only the resources on hand. Neighborhood-based CERT teams have the training and the equipment to help bridge the gap between the incident and when additional help arrives,” he said.
The CERT program trains volunteers in disaster preparedness, looking for and dealing with hazards that may have an impact in their area. Participants learn basic disaster preparedness skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
“It’s highly specialized training that can’t be gained any other way. This training is hands-on, intensive and highly-focused,” said Elliott.
On November 14th Murphy resident, ten year old Nicholas Harrison had just been called by his mother to come home to get ready for soccer practice. His two brothers stayed at the creek to play a bit longer.When young Nicholas arrived home he witnessed his mother (Polly Harrison) fall in the garage. He remembers right before she fell asking if she was ok since she was holding her head and foam was coming from her mouth. Knowing this occurrence was something way beyond what he could handle on his own, he immediately called 911.
From this moment in time Polly remembers that she had been cleaning the garage and that Nicholas asked her if she was OK but beyond that she doesn’t remember anything until waking up at the hospital and replying “No” to the question, “Do you know where you are?”
Polly has Stage Three Melanoma and had been self-treating with chemo injections since August. Until this point the only side effect she experienced was tiredness. Seizures had never been mentioned as a side effect to the medication so Polly had never thought to mention that possibility to her children.
Nicholas stayed on the phone with Murphy dispatch until the paramedics arrived. Without being asked he brought the medication his mother was taking to the paramedics because, “I thought they would want that.” He reports that he was alone with his mother for five to six minutes. During this short time that seemed like forever he witnessed her making odd twitching movements then she looked like she was sleeping with her eyes open lying on the ground of the garage. He says he was afraid and was crying until his father arrived. His mother fought the paramedics in a dreamlike state, which according to Polly is common when having a seizure.
He is not exactly sure how he knew to call 911 before calling his dad however he did share that the fire department performs a drama every year at Tibbals Elementary stressing the importance of 911. When the paramedics arrived they told Nicholas to call his dad and asked general health questions regarding his mother.
Nicholas’s advice to others who might experience something similar is to stay calm. (He admits that he was “freaking out”.) Polly is very proud of her son Nicholas for doing what needed to be done. She stresses the importance of discussing all potential emergency situations with your children. Teach them how to call 911, how to seek help. Have a list of neighbors who can be called and a list of medications being taken. She mentions that this could have easily happened when it was just her and her six year old son home alone and said they will have a talk with him as well.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK Hobby Lobby Stores, a privately held national retail chain of craft & home decor stores, is set to open a new store in Murphy, TX. Construction and renovations have begun on this 54,000 square-foot building formerly occupied by Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, located at 150 W. FM 544.
This is Hobby Lobby’s 89th location in Texas, which is projected to open in March of 2014. The location will bring about 35 – 50 jobs to the community paying $14 per hour for full time and $9.50 per hour for part-time associates.
“We are excited to bring our unique store to the community. Customers new to Hobby Lobby are pleasantly surprised at the size of the store as well as the crafts and home decor selection of merchandise we carry. Shopping at Hobby Lobby is a truly unrivalled experience in value and service,” stated John Schumacher, Assistant Vice President of Advertising.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, began as Greco, a miniature picture frames company in 1970. When David Green moved his business from the family’s garage to a 300 square foot retail space in 1972, Hobby Lobby was founded. Today, Hobby Lobby has nearly 600 stores across the nation that average 55,000 square feet in size. This major Oklahoma City-based private corporation offers more than 70,000 crafting and home decor products in its stores. Departments include floral, fabric, needle art, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, arts and crafts, jewelry making, scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday.
Jason Duke, franchise owner of the UPS Store in Murphy (120 E Fm 544) expressed that this year was the toughest Christmas season he has experienced in the ten years he has owned this franchise. Customers communicating distress over packages not arriving as promised were told by Duke and the UPS employees (many are students paying their way through college) that this was out of their control. As soon as a package leaves their store these employees cannot go and pick up the package, change the delivery speed and/or bring it back.
“The delays were blamed on poor weather earlier this week in parts of the country as well as overloaded systems. The holiday shopping period this year was shorter than usual, more buying was done online, and Americans' tendency to wait until the last possible second to shop probably didn't help.” (triblive.com)
Elements that Duke believes caused this backlog of packages and crippled UPS was last minute orders from retailers such as Amazon promising quick delivery. This maxed out UPS’s capacity and everything snowballed from there. Speaking of snowball, the storms that occurred early December brought on additional delays. He feels UPS didn’t anticipate the demand increase of this year but believes they will be better prepared next year.
If you were one of the customers who ordered a package relatively late and received it before Christmas you might wonder how you happened to be so lucky. Duke explained that some packages were stuck on back log trucks as new orders were processed then immediately sent on their merry way. He also tells that UPS brought in nine hundred managers to the DFW area in attempts to unload the back load.
Duke states that UPS is normally ninety-five percent accurate in their promised delivery dates; however, acts of God can change this statistic. He hopes that customers will remember this and keep faith in us, stating, “We do the best we can.” On Christmas Eve Duke spoke to their UPS driver at 8:45 pm who stated he was almost done with his deliveries.
For the very first time in their ten years of operation the UPS Store in Murphy had to remain closed December 6th because they didn’t have any power. Power was returned to their business at 4:30 that afternoon. Duke mentioned that he personally had UPS packages delivered late this year and didn’t receive any special treatment.
He gives a “Big thank you to the entire area. We appreciate your business and hope to continue to build strong relationships for years to come.”