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Featured Articles
» Animal Shelter native plant garden seeking volunteers
By Staff Writer | Published Yesterday | Education | Unrated

MURPHY (October 20, 2014) Volunteers are being sought to assist in creating the native plant garden that will grace the entryway of the new Murphy Animal Shelter. The garden is one of only 13 awarded a state grant across Texas for this purpose, says Candy McQuiston, Manager of Customer Service.

"We’re developing and nurturing this native plant garden as a demonstration project," she said. "One of our principal aims is to show residents how to successfully landscape their homes with native and adapted plants."

The planting process, which includes minimal soil preparation, some minor digging and placing plants in specific clusters, will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1. The Animal Shelter is located at 203 North Murphy Road, behind the Murphy Activity Center and Murphy Community Center. Entry into the area may be limited, requiring volunteers to park in the Wal-Mart lot and walk to the shelter.

"We anticipate concluding around 2 p.m.," she added. "To help keep volunteer workers productive, we will have water, soft drinks, hot dogs and chips. Volunteers should dress appropriately with closed-toe working shoes or tennis shoes and gloves."

A grant from the Native Garden Grants Program from Keep America Beautiful allowed the City to partner with Lowe’s in providing support and materials to create and maintain the native plant demonstration garden. The grant included a $600 gift card to Lowe’s and $500 in maintenance assistance, a variety of gardening materials and additional support from Keep Texas Beautiful.

"Part of the demonstration is the planning, of course, but also that plants native to the area or successfully adapted to the area can thrive with little water and maintenance," she said. "The plants will all be listed in the Ladybird Johnson native plant database."

In addition to the professional Parks personnel on the City staff, gardening professionals from the Murphy Lowe’s store, the Murphy Middle School Environmental Club and some Boy Scouts will be on hand to assist in the installation of the garden.

"But, really, we want community volunteers to be part of the process and take ownership of the garden," she said. A rain-collection barrel is also planned for the site, further demonstrating how residents can enhance their gardens.

To enrich the learning experience of visitors once the garden is in place, a marker will be placed at each plant base with a QR code, allowing smart phones and mobile devices to access the plant’s characteristics, watering requirements and soil preferences online.

To learn how individuals and organizations can become part of this program, representatives may contact McQuiston at

cmquiston@murphytx.org, call the Customer Service line (972) 468-4100 or visit www.murphytx.org.

» Truck-wrap recycling art contest for students returns
By Staff Writer | Published 10/17/2014 | Education | Unrated

MURPHY (October 17, 2014) For the second year in a row, Murphy students will compete for a cash prize or an iPad mini by illustrating their commitment to recycling, says Candy McQuiston, Manager of the City’s Customer Service Department.

"Progressive Waste Solutions, the City’s Green Team and Keep Murphy Beautiful are teaming up again," she said. "We’re challenging students to show us how important recycling is to them by either drawing a poster or coming up with a super-hero," she said.

Murphy students in Kindergarten through fifth grade in any elementary school, home-schooled, or enrolled in private or charter schools can enter by creating a poster showing how recycling can have an impact on the residents of Murphy. Themes might include the importance and benefits of recycling or what the world may be like without it. The top two entries in each school will win a T-shirt for the artists. The grand prize for this level is $100 in cash.

Meanwhile, students in sixth through tenth grades are invited to develop a mascot for the recycling effort in Murphy. The mascot should be connected in some way to the student’s understanding of the importance of recycling in Murphy. The super-hero creation contest will accept any hand-drawn, stylized or painted mascots. Again, the top two entries in middle and high schools will win a T-shirt for the creators. The grand prize for the mascot contest is an iPad mini.

"The students in the younger category can show how they or their families recycle," said McQuiston. "Or, they might draw how a community can benefit from recycling. Older students can let their imaginations loose on the mascot. An action figure or an inanimate object or a big, furry animal with super-powers or a combination of all of these can be part of their creation."

The winning poster and the mascot will appear as wraps on the sides of the Progressive recycling truck currently in use. Residents have already seen the truck with last year’s winning entries as it goes around the neighborhoods of Murphy picking up recycling items.

Deadline for entries is Monday, Nov. 24 at 5 p.m. Submissions may be emailed to

customerservice@murphytx.org or dropped off at Customer Service on the first floor of the Murphy City Hall, 206 North Murphy Road. Rules and more information are available online at www.murphytx.org or by calling 972-468-4100.

Winners will be announced at the City Council meeting of Jan. 20, 2015.

» KIRKIN’ O’ THE TARTAN AT CORINTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
By Staff Writer | Published 10/16/2014 | Recreation | Unrated

Corinth Presbyterian Church will celebrate the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan at 10:55a.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2014, the day we change the clocks back one hour. The Procession of the Tartans begins at 10:55 followed by the 11:00 a.m.worship service. It is celebrated annually on the first Sunday in November, and the public is always invited. Following the service, refreshments, including the traditional haggis, will be served and The Dallas Highland Dancers will perform traditional dances.

The Presbyterian Church has early origins in Scotland and Corinth Presbyterian Church in Parker, Texas, is proud to honor that heritage. Members and guests are invited to wear the Scottish tartan attire, but it is not required.

Corinth Presbyterian Church is located at 5609 East Parker Road, in Parker, Texas, directly across from the Parker City Hall. Additional information, a map and directions to the church can be found at

http://www.corinthpresbyterian.org or phone 972-372-4765.

The members of Corinth Church invite the community to join us in this Scottish tradition. The Kirkin' o' the Tartan is a traditional blessing of the tartans by the Clergy. “Kirk” is the Scottish word for Church. Tartan is the traditional kilt worn by the Highland Scots.

The history of this event began following the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 when the tartan was forbidden to be worn. The Clan System, with its representative tartans, was demolished as troops loyal to the Duke of Cumberland and the House of Hanover ravaged the Scottish Highlands, searching out Jacobite supporters. Anyone found wearing clan tartan was subject to arrest, imprisonment, or banishment to the colonies. Countless Scots were forced into the British army to fight in several wars on the European mainland and in the American colonies. Thus the Kirkin' o' the Tartan went into hiding, away from official eyes. Tradition holds that during this time, the women of the Highland clans would bring a small piece of their tartan to the Kirk (church) with them to be blessed secretly and to pray for protection for the clan and its members. Each Highlander secretly touched a bit of their tartan hidden among their clothing at the appropriate moment in the worship service.

The Kirkin’ in its present form was probably first held in 1941. Scottish-born Dr. Peter Marshall, pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and Chaplain of the U. S. Senate, led the service in an effort to promote solidarity among American-born and native-born Scots who were once again involved in a European war–World War II. Since that time, the tradition of the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan has evolved into a colorful, festive occasion for celebrating Scottish heritage, asking God’s blessing and protection for those represented by the tartans, recognizing the historical contributions of native Scots and Scottish-heritage Americans, and celebrating the faith traditions of the Celtic and Scottish peoples. The service is a creative blend of music, hymns, and prayers from Scottish faith traditions. The heart of the tradition is the presentation of their tartan by representative clans and individuals, accompanied by the sound of the bagpipes.

Corinth Presbyterian Church was founded in Collin County on August 2, 1846, and continues to worship and service to the community. Many of Corinth’s founding members carried Scottish ancestry.

We invite you to worship with us and join us in this colorful and joyful celebration.

» Ride-Along with Murphy Police
By Karen Chaney | Published 10/16/2014 | Around Town | Unrated

Between 0930 and 1300 Thursday, October 2 I was allowed to do a ride along with Murphy Police Sergeant Jason Smith. He has been with the Murphy Police Department (MPD) since he graduated from the North Texas Police Academy thirteen years ago. He recalls when MPD was housed in double wide trailers behind Murphy City Hall (currently Murphy Community Center), he thought Murphy would just be a stepping stone in his career; he has stayed because “It’s been a blast. The City really takes care of us.”

Sgt. Smith provides details of the contents of his patrol vehicle: A video recording system that activates with the use of the emergency lights or if the vehicle is going over eighty miles per hour. Video automatically starts recording thirty seconds before activated. Video recording has proven valuable in cases where it is the officer’s word against the person being charged. Recordings are automatically downloaded to MPD secured server – Smith provides, “There is no way for PD to alter or tamper (the video).” Dispatch is received over radio and over the MDT (Mobile Data Terminal). Locked in the police car are a twelve-gauge Remington shotgun and an AR15 Semi-automatic. The backseat, upholstered in plastic for easier fluid clean up, is divided from the front seat by a fluid-proof window. They are also equipped with a ticket printer, traffic cones, gloves, flare, gas mask and blood tubes.

Murphy is divided into four districts: South, North East, North West and Business. An officer is assigned to patrol each district; Sergeants patrol the entire city. The Central Business District mostly includes the businesses along FM 544. All officers are responsible for patrolling that area.

The first call we responded to was a burglary alarm. Sgt. Smith and Officer Hunter walk the perimeter house and verify there is not an intruder or other reason for alarm. An investigation was made of a vacant car found in Dallas registered to a Murphy resident. Sgt. Smith requested,

“Give me the other half of that call” when APS (Adult Protective Services) requested verification of welfare of an elderly female. Her welfare was confirmed and reported to APS. Using the forward-facing radar Sgt. Smith pulls a person over doing forty-four mph in a thirty five mph area greeting her with, “Good morning, in a hurry to get someplace?” He runs her license through the MDT and finds she has never had a ticket or warrant. She received a warning. Using the back-facing radar he clocks a person who was doing thirty-five mph in a twenty-five mph area. She also had a clean record and ironically was a previous student at Murphy Middle School when Sgt. Smith was an SRO (School Resource Officer) years ago. She was given a warning. A person rolling through a stop sign at Heritage Parkway and Ashley Road was given a ticket. His greeting to Sgt. Smith was, “I know I stopped at that stop sign.” The fact that he had been pulled over two weeks ago for the same violation was proved upon running his license through the MDT.

Sgt. Smith recounts a time he felt he made a difference in a person’s life as a Murphy Police Officer. It was when a student who had behavior issues at Hunt Elementary (PISD), continued on as the student got older when they attended Murphy Middle School. As an SRO he was able to talk with the student encouraging him to follow his dream of becoming a football player. Eventually the student played football and became a track star at Plano East Senior High.

A time he wishes he could have done more for a person was when he responded to a call where a person had died and a relative was inconsolable. He explains as a police officer “you see so much pain. You want to help them but there is only so much a police officer can do. You deal with people at their lowest moments and then you move on to the next call. It is hard to get over it sometimes.”

Unexpected events occur daily and are faced by the Murphy Police Department, sometimes the situation is clearly outlined in the code book, and sometimes it is not. A Murphy Police Officer must know how to legally react. Sgt. Smith explains, “The mindset of every officer is a desire to go home at the end of the night.” Personally speaking he states, “I want to be proud of where I work. I ask myself, ‘Is what I’m about to do or say to this person going to make me proud to tell people that I work for the City of Murphy?’”

» Ebola Questions and Answers
By Staff Writer | Published 10/16/2014 | Health & Family | Unrated

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever that is caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains.

Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

How is it transmitted?

Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola, objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus, or infected animals. Ebola is NOT spread through the air or by water, or in food.

What body fluids should be considered?

Ebola has been identified in blood and many body fluids. These body fluids include mucus, saliva, vomit, sweat, feces, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen.

What about coughing and sneezing?

Unlike respiratory illnesses such as measles or chickenpox, which is transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease.

Coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.

What does “direct contact” mean?

Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.

How long can Ebola live outside the body?

Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dried surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

If someone survives Ebola, can he or she still spread the virus?

After an individual recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. People who recover from Ebola are advised to abstain from sex or use condoms for 3 months.

Can Ebola be spread through mosquitos?

There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to spread and become infected with Ebola virus.

What are some of the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms of Ebola can include fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F), severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain, and unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising).

When do symptoms start?

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days. A person does NOT spread Ebola virus until symptoms appear.

What are some prevention tips?

If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak you are at higher risk of contracting the virus. If you have direct contact with an infected person’s body fluids you are at increased risk. Practice careful hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids.

For the latest information please visit:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html

Information obtained from: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html

Recent Articles
» Fill the Boot drive closes yet another successful year
By Staff Writer | Published 08/6/2014 | Health & Family | Unrated

MURPHY (August 4, 2014) Final numbers are not yet in, but expressions of thanks from Murphy Fire Rescue and the cadre of firefighters who manned the Fill the Boot corner are being loudly voiced, according to Fire Chief Mark Lee.

"The boots were definitely filled," he said. "We have not counted all the coins yet because there was so many, but in terms of folding money, we collected $1,649. That alone would make this a rousing success."

Adding the coins could bring the total to a significant amount, and signal a successful return to the Fill the Boot campaign for Murphy Fire Rescue after missing the annual event in 2013.

"We had a small one-year lapse in participation, but we are still very much committed to the cause," he said. The International Association of Fire Fighters and many local firefighter associations and departments have partnered with the National Muscular Dystrophy Association in fund-raising for some 60 years, garnering millions of dollars in the fight against these neuromuscular diseases.

"We are dedicated to assisting our community, as firefighters and as residents, and so we gladly and eagerly do what we can to help," added the Chief. "And, while I have been part of these community fund-raisers and toy drives and other community-based programs for many years, I am always so very gratefully pleased to see the outpouring of generosity."

As is now becoming customary, the kindness of Murphy residents has shown through in the amount of money gathered, and in the many expressions of support the firefighters heard and saw over the three-day campaign. The funds will be combined with other firefighter companies and presented to the MDA during their Labor Day Telethon on behalf of the larger firefighting community.

"In reality, though, we only collected what the community was willing to give, so it’s a gift from the greater community," he said. The unseasonably cool weather was another positive note, giving firefighters a break from the usually oppressive heat of early August.

"All in all, we consider it a success, and we thank the MDA folks for their assistance as well," he concluded.

» Murphy Municipal Development District (MMDD) finalizes Fiscal Year 2015 budget
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

A brief meeting was held to discuss and finalize the FY-2015 MMDD budget to be presented to Murphy City Council on August 5, 2014. The meeting was called to order and a quorum was certified. The minutes of the July 14, 2014 Joint City Council and MMDD meeting and the July 14, 2014 Budget Work Session were approved.
At this meeting, items discussed on July 14, 2014 were incorporated into the proposed FY- 2015 budget with a couple of adjustments. These were presented to the board by Kristen Roberts, Director of Economic and Community Development.
· It was noted that the Finance Department projected MMDD revenues for FY- 2015 at $883,600. This is an increase of 2.5% that is reflected across all revenue projections.
· Adjusted was the set dollar amount for Economic Incentives to
$100,000. Discussed was the possible focus of these incentives to be
Murphy Market Place.
· The Promotional Expense line item was adjusted to reflect $25,000 for
appropriate opportunities that become available during the Fiscal Year.
· It was discussed that in consideration of fees waived by the City for
yearly Murphy Chamber of Commerce events, that no additional specific
amount of funding be added at this time.

The formal reading of the City of Murphy’s Budget will be at the August 5,
2014 meeting. The first of two (2) public hearings on the budget is scheduled for August 19, 2014 with a second hearing scheduled for September 2, 2014.

Additional City Budget information can be found on the City of Murphy
website.

» City Council and Murphy Municipal Development District (MMDD) Joint Session
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

The meeting was called to order and a quorum was certified for both City
Council and the MMDD.

A presentation was given by Aaron Farmer from The Retail Coach outlining the current status of the retail development study and recommendations. A demonstration of the mapping studies, showing the overall retail area that impacts Murphy indicated that the City attracts people from as far north as Lucas, as far east as eastern Wylie, as far south as Garland and on the west side, Richardson and Plano. The study so far recommends targeting retailers and developers for businesses involving Groceries, Sporting Goods, Dine-in Restaurants, Home Improvements and Clothing. A list of potential targeted businesses to attract to Murphy was presented and discussed.

A continued discussion involved the Economic Development Vision for the City of Murphy. Expressed by several Council and MMDD members was a continued desire to make Murphy a “unique” place to live and work and to look at attracting businesses, services and entertainment that will enhance that vision.

Council and MMDD then held a closed Executive Session. The regular meeting was then reconvened with no action taken. The joint regular session was then adjourned. The City Council and the MMDD then moved to separate meeting rooms for work sessions regarding Financials and FY 14-15 Budget proposals.

Discussions are ongoing with budget approval tentatively scheduled for the
end of August. Fiscal Year (FY) 14-15 budget information will be available on the City of Murphy website.

» Parks and Recreation hears Monarchs for Murphy presentation
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

The meeting was called to order and Kim McCranie, Executive Administrative Assistant, certified a quorum.
The first item on the agenda was a call for discussion on planting wildflowers in various areas of City owned parks and open space. Rajesh Jyothiswaran- 728 Ashley Place, approached the city staff and gave a presentation to the board about Monarch butterfly migration. He said we are in the crossroad of the migration path of the Eastern Monarch. With development over the years of migration areas, migration has slowed considerably. Mr. Jyothiswaran inquired about the possibility of planting in certain Central Park areas and other open spaces, butterfly host plants to hopefully increase Murphy as a stopping point along their migration journeys. The board thought this was an idea worth investigating and requested the city staff to look into appropriate areas, care and maintenance costs as well as seasonal considerations. The board members liked the idea of “Butterfly Gardens”, and thanked Mr. Jyothiswaran for an informative presentation.
City Staff presented a Murphy Central Park Playground Shade Structure design and requested P & R Board input. The design consists of geometric canopies of various shapes and sizes suspended on metal poles. The board discussed canopy and pole colors and requested additional information from City staff about expected lifespan, replacement costs and maintenance.
Also discussed was the current state of the Murphy Central Park Learning
Center. Four (4) truckloads of mulch was donated by Raising Canes and
trucked in by Arborilogical Services. Additionally four (4) wood-grain benches have been added as well as an Owl House. The board discussed with staff possible future projects for the Boy Scouts, school field trips and future expansion.
Before deciding on a date(s) for Murphy Trail Connectivity Work Session(s), the board asked the City staff for an updated Master Trail Plan which should include new planning for trails and signage. Also City staff updates on the success of Amphitheater Concert events and the Timbers Nature Preserve projected completion date of May 2015.
The Parks and Recreation Board then approved the April 14, 2014 minutes and adjourned.

» Murphy Community Development Corporation (MCDC) holds a brief meeting
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

The MCDC meeting was called to order and Lori Knight of the City Staff
certified a quorum. Individual agenda items were:
· The Regular Meeting Minutes for June, 16 2014 were approved.
· There was a request by City Staff to add an Event Coordinator and
amend the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget to include this new position as
well as add to the FY- 2015 budget to be submitted to City Council. In
2013, the City of Murphy held eight (8) community events. In 2014/2015, the City of Murphy has sixteen (16) events scheduled. This increase has necessitated the need for a dedicated staff position.
· A public hearing was held but there were no comments on the MCDC FY- 2015 budget. With minor adjustments, the board approved the FY- 2015 budget to be presented to the City Council for final approval.
· The City Staff updated the MCDC board on the Community Enhancement Grant Program. Outlined were the Approval, Program Guidelines and Application process for eligible applicants. Possible recipients include community service organization projects and community enhancement projects that enhance the quality of life for the residents of the City of Murphy. Initial grants will be in the amount of $2500. Some projects could be eligible for a larger grant with the approval of the MCDC and City Council. The first application deadline will be January 31, 2015. Additional Grant information and the Program Overview will be available on the City of Murphy Website.

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