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Featured Articles
» Murphy’s IT system safe from Heartbleed vulnerability
By Staff Writer | Published 04/17/2014 | Local Government | Unrated


April 17, 2014

Monitoring of system continues to ensure safety

MURPHY (April 17, 2014) Worldwide concern over the potential damage to individual internet accounts, websites and servers due to the Heartbleed vulnerability has placed a cloud of anxiety over the safety of public sites like the City of Murphy’s, says IT Manager Wendle Medford.

"It’s certainly a concern when these types of vulnerabilities hit the web," he said. "But, thanks to security defenses and a constant watch over our systems, nothing has penetrated any of our sites, including our online payment site."

The Heartbleed is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows protected information to be stolen, in spite of the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the internet. The encryption provides communication security and privacy over the internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging and some virtual private networks.

The vulnerability allows anyone on the internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software, allowing attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

"We continue to closely monitor the situation and to work diligently with system protection software to ensure we are not affected," he added. "The Heartbleed vulnerability did not exist for any of the City’s online payment websites. No user information or data has been compromised."

Residents with questions regarding the safety and security of the City’s IT system may contact Wendle Medford,

Manager of Information Technology at or by calling 972-468-4027.

» Head Gear Worn By Girls’ Soccer Teams
By Karen Chaney | Published 04/16/2014 | Sports | Unrated

Some Mutiny FC Soccer teams, which have many Murphy resident team members, recently began wearing head gear during practices and games. Paul Hason, Mutiny FC Technical Director, Mutiny FC 2003 Girls Team Coach and Mutiny FC 2002 Girls Team Coach stated regarding his opinion of the headgear, “As a coach and player, I have seen countless concussions. Obviously, there is no way to 100% prevent a concussion. It’s just like there are still fatalities in car accidents even though people are wearing their seatbelts.”

Hason’s team wears the Storelli ExoShield HeadGuard. “Key Characteristics: Out performs traditional headguards in scientific protection testing and reduces the effect of G-forces by over 50%. Sleek design avoids traditional “helmet” look while still maximizing protection in key areas. Constructed specifically for soccer with best-in-class materials to provide superior impact absorption, temperature control, breathability and comfort. Incorporates the same lightweight open-cell viscoelastic foam used in combat-grade military helmet liners.” ( (This brand is listed at $59.99 at

Dayna Wolfe, Murphy resident and mother of a Mutiny team member, shares, “I didn’t think about head gear until my daughter got a concussion and laceration requiring eight stitches this season. I wonder what the injury would have been if she had been wearing the head gear.” Amy Mougia, another mother of a team member tells, “My daughter fell and hit the back of her head, she said she could feel the cushion of the head gear.” Both of these mothers are pleased that the team decided to wear the head gear. They know it won’t prevent concussions but agree that it seems like it will soften the blow.

Seasoned licensed athletic trainer Steve Parker, currently with the Dallas Sidekicks, remarks from his years of experience in the soccer arena that the head gear helps reduce forces on the brain while heading the ball. As with any head protection it’s all about cushioning the brain. He reflects on the history of hockey where helmets weren’t mandatory until the 70’s.

Hason mentions, “The players have adjusted to them (head gear) because they wear them for both team training and games. It’s just like when you have to wear a new pair of shoes until you get used to them. Now, we have to sometimes remind the players to take them off after team training and games because they are used to wearing them.” “Wearing the head gear is not mandatory in the Mutiny club. We provided information to the parents and each parent made their own decision.”

Hason has been a coach since 1990. He has been involved with Mutiny for several years as the goalkeeper coach; he came on board full-time as the Technical Director last May. He is the third generation to reach the professional level as both a player and coach, following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. He holds the United States Soccer Federation “A” coaching license, the highest level awarded by the USSF and several other distinguished National Coaching Licenses. He was 1 of 14 coaches in the world recently awarded the Advanced Director of Coaching Certificate by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He played professionally overseas in Slovakia and Czech Republic and locally for the Dallas Sidekicks. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries from Mid-America Christian University.

» Letter to the Editor - Is Murphy a City in the U.S.A.?
By Ray Shahan | Published 04/16/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

My fellow citizens of Murphy, the heading to my letter deserves both an explanation as well as an answer. I'd like to share with you a hidden Murphy City law in PD 03-10-590 for the Ranch/Gables sub-division: "

All screening shall be maintained by the Homeowners' Association except for the 6-foot high board-on-board wooden fence with a top rail along McWhirter Road, which shall be maintained by each owner on whose lot the fence is located."

Neighbors, any reasonable American that reads this law, can see that one group of people are to be treated differently than all others, and in this case, it's 30+ homeowners' being treated differently than the other 520+ homeowners' as well as everyone else in the City of Murphy. We all pay HOA dues in our sub-division, but this discriminatory law forces us to pay our HOA for a service we are, at the same time, excluded from receiving from our HOA; that alone is not in keeping with our constitution, but there's more. This law is a gross over-reach of government authority - our city is not a member of our HOA, nor does it contribute dues to our HOA, yet the city has created a law telling our HOA what it will spend our dues on, and telling homeowners' what services they will receive from our HOA. Consider this: at the corner of McWhirter Road and McCreary Road, there are two adjacent corner lots. These lots are next-door-neighbors, and the law will treat each neighbor as exact opposites. The homeowner who abuts McWhirter will have to maintain his exterior HOA screening while the next-door-neighbor, whose home abuts McCreary, will have his exterior HOA screening maintained by the HOA. Laws treating next-door-neighbors differently from each other is not only unfair and unjust, it's an absolute absurdity.

Our HOA covenants were filed in Collin County in 2002. This law was created in 2003 and supersedes our covenants. The law also came with a deed restriction, but that deed restriction was never filed by Murphy with the Collin County Clerk, and because of that, the law nor the deed restriction appeared in our title searches. The HOA covenants we signed at closing make no mention of this law or its deed restriction, either. This law, for all intent and purpose, is invisible to anyone trying to make a decision about a property purchase along McWhirter Road. As you'll see after reading this letter, the city not filing the deed restriction may well have been deliberate - Murphy was getting unwitting new tax payers, and DR Horton was selling us homes at a premium price by telling us the HOA was responsible for our boundary screening. We had no reason to doubt DR Horton at the time, because as a general rule, HOA's are responsible for boundary screening in order to maintain the uniform appearance of the exterior of a neighborhood.

It gets worse: We found out about this law on April 1st of 2013 because our HOA, who is the beneficiary of this unfair law, made us aware of it after our HOA had severely damaged the McWhirter screening. We promptly set about trying to find out how such a law came to be (we thought it was simply a mistake). You see, for a city to enact a law that violates the constitutional rights of anyone, there would have to be a compelling reason to do so, and that reason would have to be well documented. But we soon found that there are no meeting minutes to support this law, no documentation exists showing who asked for the law, what problem was the law to solve, nor how this law was to solve any problem. We've not even been able to determine if the law was ever really even presented to the people for a vote. The city said it mailed out 96 letters, and received 7 replies with 6 for the law, and 1 against. But neighbors, as yet, we've not been able to find a copy of those 96 letters, nor copies of the 7 replies, we can't even determine the addresses the letters were supposedly sent to!! It is critical that everyone understands that there shouldn't have been any homes built along McWhirter Road at the time this law was created, so how could a directly affected citizen ever have ever been notified?! Just about every check and balance we citizens have to avoid the creation of these types of unfair and unjust laws, seems to have been side-stepped. It appears that this law was underhandedly created for the sole benefit of our HOA, and that no supporting documentation exists, reeks of a cover-up.

It's vital that all understand our HOA and our builder, DR Horton, were, at the time of this law's creation, one and the same. We are now beginning to realize that something seemed to have gone terribly wrong in Murphy City Government back in 2003. Note that despite all these glaring problems with the law, never once has Mayor Barna, nor any Council member, publically showed any concern whatsoever for the problems with this law -it's disgraceful of them to ignore these horrendous


Singling out 30 citizens to be treated differently than everyone else in Murphy could never be of benefit to the city or citizens of Murphy. With that truth, and

virtually no knowledge in city politics, what a few of us homeowners' decided to do was, in May of 2013, approach the city council, and simply ask them to amend the law to remove the discriminatory exception, and then the law would treat everyone equally.

Given all the negatives of the law, to us, it seemed a simple task. My fellow citizens of Murphy, we were soon to find out that not only were Mayor Barna and City Council not going to help us change this unfair law, they were going to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure it stayed in force!!

Let me first tell you that, in every City Council meeting we attended on this matter over the past year, despite our efforts to the contrary, never once did Mayor Barna, nor any Council member, ever once publically discuss our constitutional rights to fair and equal treatment. It's as if we were in any other country other than the U.S.A.! The city could care less about us, our constitution, or anything else except - money...the city's money. Mayor Barna, in an email sent on 12/21/2013, said this "To change the ordinance will require thousands of dollars". The city has made it clear that they may be open to financial liability if they correct this law, and for Mayor Barna and City Council, money matters trump our constitutional rights to justice and equality.

We have fought this battle for close to a year now, and here are just some of things we've encountered:

1). Our first two meetings with City Council in the spring of 2013, proved a useless waste of time - the City Council just flat ignored our concerns about the unfairness of the law. So in our third meeting with City Council (early summer of 2013), I asked which of our elected officials wanted to be the first to defend this law in front of our children at one of our schools?In a subsequent meeting at Saxbys with Councilman Owais Siddiqui, we were actually told by Councilman Siddiqui that we had to be nice to the city council if we want them to help us. I don't know how nice they expect us to be - we're Americans fighting for our rights...this is not a game! Councilman Siddiqui asked for our email addresses, so he could add us to a contact list - we were never to hear from Councilman Siddiqui again.

2). In another early summer 2013 meeting with Councilman Ben St. Clair, again, at Saxbys, he presented the idea that it would not be fair to change the law now because what if someone bought their home knowing this law existed, and thus, knowing their money would not go to maintaining our HOA screening? I was speechless!! Councilman St. Clair just stated the whole problem without ever truly understanding it - others are benefitting from our oppression!! It's ok for the law to continue to treat us unfairly, just so long as we don't upset anyone else!? We were never to hear from Councilman St. Clair again.

3). We also reached out to Councilman Rob Thomas in the early summer of 2013. He replied to us, via email, that he needed to get with the city attorney first - we were never to hear from Councilman Rob Thomas again.

It became abundantly clear that no one on the City Council was going to lift a finger to help us correct this unfair law.

4). In months of closed door City Council meetings (AKA, executive sessions), Mayor Barna, and Council members cooked up this scheme: They'd have DR Horton build us a new fence, and in return, we'd agree to the law and a deed restriction. What!? The City was going to use someone else's money to effectively bribe us? DR Horton was having none of it, and we would not have agreed either - our constitutional rights are not for sale! We are not asking to be treated to a new fence, we're asking to be treated equally! At the very least, this shows a horrible lack of judgment. I believe it to be unethical, and may well have skirted the fringes of being illegal. The city would seemingly stop at nothing to keep this law intact!

5). Mayor Barna, in an email, agreed to help us correct the law back in the fall of 2013 if the HOA would agree to take the fence. But it was not really a genuine offer to help because, as we found out, the Mayor had already been told by our HOA they would not willingly take the fence. We asked the HOA anyway, and in a letter to Mayor Barna that our HOA board tried to hide from us, they not only refused to take the fence, our HOA board asked if the City would repeal the part of the law that made the HOA responsible for the exterior landscape behind the McWhirter screening!!! Our HOA board was asking the city for more unfair ways to force us to keep paying the same HOA dues, and receive even less services from our HOA! If it worked in the past for our HOA, why not try it again? The rampant greed and lack of any sense of fair play was appalling.

6). Councilman Scott Bradley, on 12/29/13, sent this to us in an email: "If the HOA is willing to take ownership of the fence line, we would be happy to change the ordinance, if they refuse we will not.". This is jaw-dropping disbelief!! The city is now ordaining our HOA dominion over our right to participate in and affect change to our government!! In short, Councilman Scott Bradley was making us beholden to the benefactor of this unfair law, for permission to change the law! This would be like President Lincoln telling the slaves that he'll abolish slavery if the plantation owners agree to it!!!! This is the United States of America, and neither Councilman Scott Bradley, nor anyone else, can tell us how or when we can participate in city government!!

Again, it was as if we were no longer in America!

7) Mayor Barna, in several emails to us, suggested that this law is fair because Murphy has other laws similar to this one. We repeatedly replied that if there are other laws like ours where one small group of homeowners' is to be treated differently than all others, show us, and we'll help the Mayor correct those unjust laws, too. But Mayor Barna has never once produced those laws...not one time. We're confused by this...does Mayor Barna not want to reveal these laws to others for fear they will want them changed, or did Mayor Barna make false statements about the existence of these laws? We, and the rest of Murphy deserve to know the answers to these questions.

8). In an email late in 2013, Mayor Barna said that removing the exception text from the law would be just a hallow victory for us, and we replied that we'd gladly take that hallow victory. So in a meeting with about 13 homeowners' and Mayor Barna on 1/22/13, we homeowners' reminded the Mayor that we wanted that hallow victory. The Mayor made it a strong point in that meeting that we understand he was not the one that created this law, and he agreed to help us (again). He even shook our hands, and said he'd get with the city attorney to see what steps to take. Then, in the City Council meeting on 3/4/14 to discuss amending the law, rather than help us like he told us he would, Mayor Barna deceived us again, he had the city attorney spend 20 to 25 minutes of dialogue with council members trying to justify the law, and then gave me just 5 minutes to present our side. Mayor Barna never once uttered a single word in our favor - not one single word, and in fact, Mayor Barna was part of the unanimous vote against changing the law!!! This was an outrageous breach of trust by Mayor Barna, and the last straw.

Citizens of Murphy, the writing is on the wall. Mayor Barna and City Council are about money, and they feel they have nothing to lose by ignoring we citizens, or the constitution. They'll force us to hire an attorney to get this law corrected. I have walked our neighborhood many times, and I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with just about every person and family this law burdens. I want you to know that I shouldn't have to ask young parents with toddlers for money. I shouldn't have to ask senior citizens on a fixed income for money. I shouldn't have to ask struggling families trying to pay for their children's education for money. I should not have to ask any of my neighbors for money to fight Mayor Barna and City Council. But most importantly, I should not have to ask our veterans for money - especially my neighbor just down the street, Mr. Earl Gervais - he's a Korean war veteran on kidney dialysis who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and then moved to Murphy, Texas to start a new life. Even though time has taken some of Mr. Gervais' stature and health, it has not diminished his patriotism and willingness to fight for what's right - when his health allows, Mr. Gervais shows up to the City Council meetings, with his walker and breathing aids, to fight alongside us. He's always accompanied by his sweet wife of 59 years (also using a walker), his brother who was in the National Guard, and his daughter. Mr. Gervais' and his family, are nothing short of National Treasures, and I gave Mr. Gervais my word that I will never give up on trying to help him and his family, and I never will - because Mr. Gervais has already paid his price to be treated with justice and equality many decades ago.

So, my fellow Americans, the answer to the question, "Is Murphy a City in the U.S.A.?", is yes, as long as we all make sure it is. We are Murphy - you and I; it belongs to us - all of us. It does not belong to HOA's or retail interests, and Murphy can't be taken away from us by politicians who only care about raising our taxes, water rates, and how quickly they can get the next fast food establishment built - unless we let that happen. Please, my fellow citizens, don't let that happen. I believe that Mayor Barna and City Council are counting on you not to get involved, but please get involved because we need each other's help. All you need to do is log on to the Murphy, TX web site at MurphyTX.Org, and let the Mayor and City Council members know that this despicable law must change - let them know that all of Murphy's laws must be fair, they must be well documented and created with integrity, and they must treat each of us equally - there can be no exceptions! When you send your email, please include as a recipient, so we have a copy, too. Neighbors, this is not about Democrats or Republicans, it's not about fences, HOA's or money, it's about our constitutional rights - it is our city leaders' first duty to preserve all of our rights, and it is the responsibility of we citizens' to make sure they do just that. Our city leaders have lost the American vision - they see us as consumers; not as citizens. If we don't fight our city now, then don't be surprised if you wake up one morning to find that the City of Murphy has told you what kind of car to drive, how many children you can have, or what color of roses you can may even find that the City of Murphy is telling you what church you can attend, how much your offering is to be, and just what the church can spend that offering on.

Once again, neighbors, you can contact the Mayor and City Council at, then click City Council (at the middle of the page), then scroll down to their email links. Better yet, council meetings are every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, so pop in at 6:00 pm, and let your elected officials know what you think - you can leave just as soon as you’re done.

On a closing note, I'd like to personally thank Marcia Ann Jowers for her stewardship of one our most vital American rights, the right to freedom of the press, for without The Murphy Messenger, our voices would not be heard. And to my neighbors who've fought alongside me in this struggle, I am humbled by your patriotism, your dedication and your efforts, and I want the readers to know that if Mayor Barna and City Council had a tenth of the integrity my neighbors’ have exhibited, there would never have been a need for this letter. And most of all, a huge thank you to my loving and supportive family - for my two sons who watched me walk out the door to pass out flyers instead of walking out the door to take them fishing, and to my incredible wife for all the times I asked her to proof read a presentation, and accompany me to city hall, instead of asking her to accompany me to dinner and a movie.

Thank you all, may God bless you, and may God bless America.

Your Murphy neighbor,

Ray Shahan

» Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy; Specializing in Customizing
By Karen Chaney | Published 04/16/2014 | Business | Unrated

Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy located at 223 E. FM 544, Suite 806 is owned by brothers Mike and Steve Sands and co-owner Bill Fixler. They opened their doors December 2

nd, 2013 and have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of walk-in traffic they have received. They attribute this traffic flow to their ideal location which brings the bulk of their customers from Murphy, Sachse and Wylie. The Sands brothers’ share that they chose Murphy for their compounding pharmacy based on Murphy’s demographics as well the small town feel of Murphy.

When compared to retail pharmacies Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy is not a ‘one size fits all’ pharmacy. “Our experienced team of compounding pharmacists and technicians use advanced technology with FDA-approved chemicals. This allows us to individualize your medication based on your body's unique requirements while making sure it meets your doctor's exact specifications. Inverness Lone Star Pharmacy follows the industry's strictest quality and safety standards. Being a member of PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America), enables us to use only the highest quality of chemicals and ingredients on the market.” ( Mike Sands adds, “Our mission is to treat our customers like family and help enhance their wellness one prescription at a time.”

Steve Sands reports that their customers have been surprised by the multitude of prescription forms available when they visit Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy. A customer, who is the mother of an autistic son was ‘head over heels’ when Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy was able to produce an increased dosage Melatonin cream that is rubbed into the temples to replace the previous oral medication which resulted in much better sleep for her son. Working with another family whose baby could not swallow medication Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy was able to provide a liquid form of the medication that could be administered through her feeding tube.

Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy also offers veterinarian prescriptions. Sunkist the cat was experiencing depression but wouldn’t take the prescribed medication. Changing the flavor to chicken turned Sunkist into a cooperative patient and he quickly pepped up to his perfect level of pep.

Their most commonly requested service is Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy’s pharmacist is Murphy resident Mahdi Al Hallaq. Customers have expressed surprise over the great atmosphere, customer service, speed of delivery, quality of the product and the way in which they are listened to and a solution to their pharmacy request is found.

“When deciding on a treatment protocol, practitioners are no longer constrained by the limited dosage forms from drug manufacturers. Our compounding specialists can prepare medications free of problem causing excipients such as sugar, lactose, dyes, alcohol, or preservatives. Like pharmacists of the past, we talk with our patients to find out how we can help them. Our ultimate goal is to create the best medication for each patient.” (

Compounding Dosage Forms available at Inverness Lonestar Pharmacy: Oral capsules and liquids, Topical creams, ointments, sprays, and gels, Lollipops and lozenges, Vaginal & Rectal Suppositories, Oral Mouthwashes and Rectal Rockets. Check out their list of 127 flavors including Butter Rum, Hawaiian Coconut and Pumpkin at, you might wish they were in the snow cone business as well as Compound Pharmacy.

Their hours are Monday – Friday 9:00am – 6:00pm. They are currently hiring, interested pharmacists are welcome to call 972-535-2020 to apply.

» Popular Local Author Did Not Set Out To Write a Book
By Karen Chaney | Published 04/16/2014 | Around Town | Unrated

Parenting with Scripture, A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments was written by Murphy resident Kara Durbin. The first edition was published in 2001; second edition published in 2012 and is currently on its third printing. Durbin explains, “… (I) never set out to write a book.” The idea started when her nephew had lied about something. Her sister told her son that God does not like us to lie and was able to provide a Biblical scripture that reiterated the point. Durbin thought to herself that she would like to be able to parent that way. This thought process spurred Durbin’s lists of topics and coinciding scriptures that she believed to be useful when parenting.

The list grew longer and longer which made Durbin look for a topical Bible that was geared toward parenting. Her search came back void, thus Parenting with Scripture was begun.

It took a year to write the first sixty-five topics. Reflectively she states, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be published. I researched Christian publishing companies and aimed high.” Three publishers wanted to publish her book, she chose Moody Publishers because they were the first company to reply back the same week she had submitted. Instead of the original sixty five topics Durbin had provided, Moody Publishers requested one hundred and one topics which she provided. Based on feedback Durbin included more teachable moments in the second edition. She has a background in Children’s education so was able to incorporate mini-lesson plans for each topic. Each topic includes the word defined from a Children’s Dictionary, Biblical verses applicable to the topic, discussion points/questions and ways to take action. Durbin furnishes a strategic index as a quick reference when parents encounter teachable moments.

Parenting with Scripture is a “…topical resource that parents of toddlers through teens can rely on when teachable moments arise “( Durbin, as a parent finds herself in moments when she doesn’t know what to say and turns to her own copy of Parenting with Scripture, “When I look up the topic, what God has to say is always better than anything I could have said as a parent.”

In addition to using Parenting with Scripture when specific issues arise some readers love to use the book as a topical Bible Study.

On February 19th Durbin was featured on the internationally broadcast Focus on the Family radio show hosted by Jim Daly who is also president of Focus on the Family. Soon she will be featured in an interview on Dr. Gary Chapman’s weekly radio program called Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Durbin believes this book and media activity paves the way for future projects and she is “looking forward to seeing what God will do.” In addition to these engagements Durbin increases her marketing knowledge through online courses as well as writing weekly blogs which you can read at Smilingly, Durbin states, “If I end up being a one hit wonder, that’s fine. I hope to reach as many people with this book as I can. I am open to writing more if that is what God has in His plan.”

You can purchase Parenting With Scripture at most Christian book stores and all online book retailers.

Recent Articles
» Firefighters urge preparation for tornado season
By Staff Writer | Published 04/8/2014 | Health & Family | Unrated

MURPHY (April 8, 2014) While more accustomed to taking a hands-on role in ensuring public safety and protection, Murphy firefighters are encouraging residents to take a more active role in preparing for and dealing with foul weather, says Fire Chief Mark Lee.

"There are basically three phases when dealing with a tornado - before, during and after," he said. "And in each phase, residents can take proactive steps that will raise their chance of getting through safe and sound."

For example, before a tornado strikes, put the following in place:

 Establish a family emergency and communication plan.

 Identify safe rooms at home and work.

 Build an emergency kit, including whistles and instructions on how to turn off the gas main.

 Practice your plan with the entire family or officemates.

 Monitor weather broadcasts in severe weather, and follow instructions of emergency personnel.

Once a tornado is present in the area, these steps are essential:

 Immediately seek shelter.

 If home, go to your safe room.

 Stay away from windows, and keep them closed.

 If outside, lie flat in a dry ditch or low-lying area.

 If driving, stop, exit vehicle and seek a low-lying area.

 Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car.

 Beware of flying debris.

After a tornado passes, ensure these steps are followed:

 Seek medical care for injuries.

 Stay out of damaged areas.

 Stay clear of fallen power lines.

 If in the dark, do not light a candle or match, use a flashlight.

 Monitor the weather broadcasts, and cooperate with public safety personnel.

Examples of effective emergency kits and other emergency-related information can be obtained at

"Things happen so fast when a tornado strikes," said the Chief. "It’s absolutely critical that the plan you’ve developed is followed to the extent possible. Often, the greatest danger is from downed power lines and broken gas mains."

Being aware of these dangers and putting a plan in place, following it and sharing it with family members and co-workers can mean the difference between successfully navigating a tornado and tragedy.

» Members of past and current City Councils gathered at the Murphy Central Park dedication on April 5
By Staff Writer | Published 04/8/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

From left, former City Council members Dennis Richmond and John Daugherty were joined by current Council member Scott Bradley, former Mayor Brett Baldwin, current Mayor Eric Barna and current Council member Bernard Grant in celebrating the new park’s grand opening. The planning, financing, designing and opening of Murphy Central Park spanned the service terms of the assembled group.

» Council Member Grant Provides Hope in Water Bill Rate Decrease
By Karen Chaney | Published 04/3/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

Council Member Grant believes residents could see a rate reduction in their water bill as soon as this July. A current water rate study is being conducted by NexGen Solutions Corporation to provide Murphy with an expert analysis of what our water usage will look like when Murphy is completely developed by extrapolating the past ten years’ water usage data. Based on these results, which should be in by the end of May, Grant says we should see a flat rate decrease and an increase in per galleon usage tiers. This system will produce a way for citizens to pay for only what they use.

Grant expresses an optimal situation that when North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) raises their rates in the future the increase will be reflected automatically into the water bill so that City Council does not need to be involved in the process.

Grant is a Murphy resident and states, “I am just as interested (as other Murphy residents) in getting fair and equitable rates that allow us to maintain rates and continue to receive the services we require.”

“There is a certain amount of water we have to buy from NTMWD regardless of what we use. We get a small rebate if we don’t use all of the water we paid for,” states Grant. “We have to ensure the water system is paid for, we don’t want a shortfall that we have to pay later. It is not wise to not properly fund programs and it is not wise to take more than you need.”

» EC Athletics All-Star Cheer Teams to Compete at the Summit in Orlando
By Missye Ward | Published 04/3/2014 | Sports | Unrated

In May of 2013 the cheer season started for the All-Star teams at EC Athletics. The goal was set to earn bids to the most prestigious of cheer competitions, the Summit. Only 10% of teams from across the country (and world) qualify. It would take a lot of focus, dedication, and hard work to earn a bid. The three All-Star teams trained all summer and fall to prepare for the competitions that would be giving out bids to the Summit.

First, the Senior Level 3 team, Ice, earned a bid when they won ACA Nationals in January. Next, the Junior Level 2 team, Thunder, earned their bid by winning the largest cheer competition in the world, NCA Nationals, in March. They competed with over 1100 teams and over 25,000 athletes from 41 states and 5 different countries to earn the coveted black NCA National Champion jackets and the bid to the Summit in Orlando. Now both of these teams are preparing for this competition which takes place May 3


and 4th.

As part of the preparation, the two teams will be holding fundraisers on April 5


. First, Ice, the Senior team, will host a Cheer Clinic from 8am to 11am at EC Athletics for children ages 3 and up. The clinic is $25 per athlete if registered in advance or $30 at the door. Then Thunder, the Junior team, will host a Dance-off that evening beginning at 5pm. Entry into the dance-off will be $10. There will be a prize to the winner as well as pizza and drinks available for purchase.

More information on both of these activities can be found at as well as by calling the gym at 214-473-9801.

EC Athletics is owned by Murphy residents Lee and Missye Ward and is located at 1601 E. Plano Pkwy, Ste. 140 in Plano. Information about the cheer program at EC Athletics can be found at Placement evaluations for the 2014 –2015 teams will take place on April 26th at the gym.

Members of Ice include Murphy residents Natalie Anspach, Jordyn Babla, Tayler Crisp, Mackenzie Holsted, Samatha Miller, Anna Nohrenberg, Meg Nohrenberg, Sarah Nohrenberg, Kyla Rankin, Chloe Regelean, Isabella Regelean, Brianna Roberto, Hayley Roberto, Brooke Ward, Kelsey Ward, Allison Watkins, Camryn Watkins and Danielle Watkins. Members of Thunder include Murphy residents Alycia Burwinkel, Macie Joyner, Carlee Miller, Brianna Thompson, Claire Traylor, and Riley Welock.

» Favorite Recipes from the Manor House
By Kimble McSweeney | Published 04/3/2014 | Everything Else | Unrated

Time to Change Our “Hare” Color!

You bet your bunny slippers it is!! At Easter time, every color of the rainbow, and then some, is up for grabs!! Especially when it comes to coloring Easter eggs!!

Let’s be honest! We all have wonderful memories of the afternoons or evenings spent with our brothers and sisters coloring Easter eggs and getting them ready for the Easter Bunny’s visit!!

After all, he had to have something to hide along with our Easter baskets!! Right?!

Now, I know there are many coloring products available on the market today for coloring Easter eggs, and many of them have been used for years by countless families! Even my family had a go with Paas coloring kits, but when all is said and done, the most fun I can recall ever having in coloring Easter eggs were the times when we made our own colors using plan, simply, everyday food coloring available at any super market!

Making your own shades of color for Easter eggs is not only easy, but a great deal more fun and versatile! You have complete control over just how deep or pastel the colors will be! Oh, and the colors are wondrous and vivid!!

Even the colors available offer great variety without even mixing and matching to make your own favorite shades. You can purchase the basic four-color set of McCormick’s Food Colors and Egg Dye, but McCormick’s also has NEON Food Colors And Egg Dye!! Now, that’s something even Paas can’t give you!!

Here is a chart on how to get some basic colors. And if you want your colors even deeper, all you have to do is to double the amounts and have fun!!

For every color you wish to make, you will need:

1 cup boiling water

1 tblsp vinegar

Basic Green 10 drops Green

Basic Blue 10 drops Blue

Basic Yellow 10 drops Yellow

Basic Red 10 drops Red

Pink 5 drops Red

Orange Sunset 5 drops Yellow 1 drop Red

Raspberry 7 drops Red 3 drops Blue

Purple 5 drops Blue 1 drop Red

Jungle Green 7 drops Green 3 drops Yellow

Teal 5 drops Green 1 drop Blue

Apricot 4 drops NEON Green 1 drop NEON Pink

Turquoise 5 drops NEON Blue 2 drops NEON Green

Dusty Rose 6 drops NEON Pink 2 drops NEON Blue

Apple Green 10 drops NEON Green 1 drop NEON Blue

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