McKinney hosting tribute to Neil Diamond at MPAC on Jan. 30

‘A Neil Diamond Tribute’ rocks the McKinney Performing Arts Center

Don your finest sequined blouse and travel back in time to the heyday of rock and roll with ‘A Neil Diamond Tribute with Keith Allynn’ presented by the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) on Friday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.

General admission tickets are $22 and available for purchase online, at MPAC, 111 N. Tennessee St., or by calling 214-544-4630.

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McKinney Citizens Police Academy begins Feb. 19

Citizens Police Academy registration under way

The McKinney Police Department is offering a Citizens Police Academy to educate residents about personal safety, traffic laws, DWI stops, crime scene investigations, SWAT and K-9 teams, and other police functions.

The 14-week course begins Feb. 19 from 7-10 p.m. and meet every Thursday at the McKinney Public Safety Building, 2200 Taylor-Burk Drive.

This program is free and open to those 21 years and older. View additional class requirements and application form online. Applications are due Feb. 1.

                 

Collin County Magazine is an independent news source read by thousands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area every day. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @CollinCountyMag

Collin-Fannin County Medical Society selects executive officers, names emergency physician as president

2015 C-FCMS Executive Board (l-r): Dr. Steve Duffy; Dr. Brent Spencer;  Dr. DJ Verret; Dr. Carrie de Moor; Dr. Ronald Scott; Dr. Radha Iyengar; and, Sam Barbee, Executive Director.

The Collin-Fannin County Medical Society installed Dr. Carrie de Moor as its 2015 president on Jan. 22 at the Annual Installation Banquet.

Dr. de Moor is the Managing Partner/CEO of Frisco, Texas, -based Code 3 Emergency Physicians, free-standing urgent care facilities, and is an Emergency Medicine specialist who has also been trained in Pediatrics.

In addition to presiding over the C-FCMS Board and practicing medicine, Dr. de Moor oversees the many physicians providing voluntary care for the healthcare needs of Collin county’s underinsured through Project Access Collin County (PACC).

She succeeds Dr. Radha Iyengar, a surgeon and the Medical Director of the Breast Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Allen, Texas.

 

Collin County Magazine is an independent news source read by thousands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area every day. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @CollinCountyMag

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Sheriff Terry Box will serve through 2016, says he won’t run again

Sheriff Terry Box has served Collin County since 1985.
Sheriff Terry Box has served Collin County since 1985.

Collin County Sheriff Terry G. Box announced that he will not seek re-election when his current term ends on Dec. 31, 2016.

Sheriff Box’s law enforcement career has spanned 47 years.

Box has served the citizens of Collin County as Sheriff for the past 30 years, since 1985.

The Unbroken Congressman – Sam Johnson

The Unbroken Congressman

Sam Johnson after downing a North Korean MiG and before joining the Air Force Thunderbirds as a solo pilot.
Sam Johnson after downing a North Korean MiG and before joining the Air Force Thunderbirds as a solo pilot.

By Alvin Townley

Throughout American military history, few prisoners of war have proven worse than Sam Johnson.

His shootdown over North Vietnam and subsequent capture began a seven-year run of behavior so cantankerous, uncooperative, and subversive that his North Vietnamese captors actually evicted him from the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” Still, Sam continued making trouble for his adversaries until the POWs finally returned home in 1973.

And where would such a trouble-maker ultimately find his niche? The United States Congress.

As former lead solo pilot for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Sam could argue his place among the world’s finest pilots; he’d downed two MiGs in Korea to prove it. While a teenager, he’d worked long summer days stringing telephone wire across blistering plains; he’d shot out streetlights with a gang in Dallas. He would need that attitude and mettle to survive his seven-year sentence in Vietnam.

In 1966, Sam ejected from his stricken F-4 Phantom and parachuted in a North Vietnamese field with his shoulders broken and arms useless; they would never fully heal. He received virtually no care and certainly no mercy after he arrived in Hanoi and began a regimen of brutal physical and emotional torture that would not relent for more than four years – four years during which Sam knew his family remained unaware of his survival.

His sturdy six-foot frame withered to a shadow on his paltry diet of soup. His once-proud gait became a painful shuffle – especially after he endured seventy-five straight days immobilized in leg stocks. A draconian interrogator called Pigeye would twist Sam’s body with ropes, straps, and bars, forcing him to sign false confessions. Yet he never surrendered anything without a fight; he always faced Pigeye with defiance. He was determined to return home with honor.

More than 400 other Americans would eventually join him North Vietnam’s prisons and a group of eleven die-hards emerged to lead the American resistance; Sam was among them. They would lead their fellow POWs through eight long years of torture and uncertainty, of determination and faith. In writing Defiant, I would spend three years coming to know these eleven men; never has America had such a band of brothers. Never have such heroes gone so unrecognized.

After more than two years inside the Hanoi Hilton, these troublemakers – Vietnam’s own Dirty Dozen – had proven so subversive that the their jailers exiled them to a miserable dungeon called Alcatraz. There, they would spend two years (nearly 24 hours per day) in solitary 4’ x 9’ concrete tombs, locked in irons, being tortured with ropes, incessant propaganda, and sleep deprivation. They were known as the Alcatraz 11. Among them were future U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton and Medal of Honor recipient Jim Stockdale. Yet it was Sam who proved so inflammatory that he became the last POW released from solitary confinement, perhaps the cruelest torture of all.

Finally, in 1973, Sam Johnson came home to his family in Texas, his head held high. He had faced the worst and returned just as he’d aspired: with honor.

Years later, he found another way to serve his country and has represented the Third Congressional District of Texas for the past fourteen years.

So as Americans fill theaters to watch World War II POW Louie Zamperii’s powerful story unfold in Unbroken, let us also remember the unbroken POWs from that less-celebrated war in Vietnam. Let all Americans, and both sides of the aisle, rightly honor Sam Johnson and his fellow captives who endured the longest and harshest deployment in U.S. military history.

Congressman, your service and example are not forgotten.

Alvin Townley is author of DEFIANT (St. Martin’s Press, 2014) about the leading 11 American POWs in Vietnam and their wives at home, who founded the POW-MIA movement.

McKinney Performing Arts Center hosting Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra on Jan. 24

Limited tickets remain for Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra will play in the McKinney Performing Arts Center on Jan. 24
The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra will play in the McKinney Performing Arts Center on Jan. 24

A limited number of tickets are still available to hear the ukulele played like never before with the wildly popular Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra as they make their McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) debut at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24.

General admission tickets are $35, with discounts available for seniors, students, children and groups, and available for purchase online, at MPAC, 111 N. Tennessee St. or by calling MPAC’s Emerson Ticket Office at 214-544-4630.

‘A Neil Diamond Tribute’ rocks the McKinney Performing Arts Center
Don your finest sequined blouse and travel back in time to the heyday of rock and roll with ‘A Neil Diamond Tribute with Keith Allynn’ presented by the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) on Friday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.

General admission tickets are $22 and available for purchase online, at MPAC, 111 N. Tennessee St., or by calling 214-544-4630.

Clark Middle School student wins Frisco ISD spelling bee

Yogita Manikandon of Clark Middle School won the Frisco ISD Spelling Bee.

Manikandon finished atop a strong field. In addition to Manikandon, top honors were achieved by:

2nd: Austin Ma, Fowler Middle School
3rd: Brydn Abraham, Wester Middle School
4th: Rishika Kanaparthy, Tadlock Elementary
5th: Aswin Nair, Pioneer Heritage Middle School
6th: Avery Canuteson, Sem Elementary
Alternates: Sujit Gurrapu, Vandeventer Middle School; Anna Huff, Griffin Middle School; Payton Barnes, Purefoy Elementary

The Frisco ISD hosted its Inaugural FISD Spelling Bee on Jan. 13 at Heritage High School. More than 30 students in Grades 4-8 went head to head in this battle of precision, memory and wit.

Each student won a spelling bee at his or her elementary or middle school to qualify for the contest – a feat in its own right.

After a brief explanation of the rules, the bee began simply enough with the first contestant and the first word, diadem. D-i-a-d-e-m.

One by one, students took their turn at the microphone, correctly spelling words like scintillation, dodecahedron and velociraptor.

Sometimes students would ask for their word to be repeated, used in a sentence or for the definition, alternate pronunciation, part of speech or language of origin.

Several words were entirely unfamiliar to the audience, or at least to this writer, who was baffled, and quite impressed, when students spelled words correctly she’d never heard of, much less knew their meaning or how to spell them.

After five rounds, the field had been narrowed to four contestants, who all spelled each word correctly through the 13th round.

Back and forth, back and forth it went until the judges decided to challenge the students with more difficult words.

By the 15th round, there were only two: Austin Ma of Fowler Middle School and Yogita Manikandon of Clark Middle School.

“It was nerve wracking and I was just scared for the next word,” Manikandon said.

Then Manikandon earned her chance after correctly spelling the word effete (soft or decadent as a result of over refinement of living conditions or laxity of mental or moral discipline). She only needed to spell one more word correctly to be named the winner.

“When he said coacervate, I knew that I knew it so I was really excited,” she said.

Manikandon successfully spelled c-o-a-c-e-r-v-a-t-e, an aggregate of colloidal droplets held together by electrostatic attractive forces, to claim the title.

Manikandon and the other top five finishers will advance to the Collin County Spelling Bee on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Plano West Senior High School.

The winner of that bee will continue to the regional bee in March.

Collin County County Magazine is an independent news source read by thousands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area every day. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @CollinCountyMag


WHO ARE OUR READERS? – Collin County Demographics:

County Seat: McKinney

Area: 848 sq. miles of land, 38 sq. miles of water

Towns and Cities: 27

Estimated Population (2013): 854,788

New residents moving in each day (2013: 55 Paved County Roads: 726 miles

Median Household Income (2012 estimate): $82,238

Median Family Income (2011 estimate): $96,008

Average Taxable Home Value (2013): $238,030

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Funeral Tuesday for Constable Joe Barton in Farmersville TX

Constable Joe Glenn Barton, beloved husband, father and friend died, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, in Farmersville at the age of 64.

Born May 5, 1950 in Room 210 of the Waxahachie Sanitarium, the room his grandfather would die in later that year, Joe was the only child of Joe Ab and Billie Gardner Barton.

The family moved to Garland when Joe was a child and joined First Baptist Church of Garland. Barton graduated from Garland High school in May of 1968.

It was through a dispatching job in McKinney that Barton found his professional calling in law enforcement. He served the McKinney Police Department for 14 years, working his way up in the department. Barton held the roles of Dispatcher, Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant of Operations and left the department after serving as Interim Chief of Police.

On Jan. 14, 1972, in the chapel of the First United Methodist Church of Farmersville, Barton married Eva Hartsell. The pair settled in Farmersville and five years later welcomed the birth of their only child, Jessica Autumn.

Barton began his career as Collin County Pct. 2 Constable Jan. 1, 1989. He was re-elected six times and served a total of 26 years in the position up to the day of his death.

Barton joined the Farmersville Rotary Club in 1986. He served as President of the club for one year, earned 22 years of perfect attendance and was presented two Governor’s Awards by the District Rotary Governor. Joe believed wholeheartedly in serving others before oneself.

He delivered Meals on Wheels in Farmersville for 13 years, served as Chairman for the 2002 Audie Murphy Day event and was Chairman of the Chaparral Rails to Trails committee for 19 years.

In 2003, he was named the Farmersville Chamber of Commerce’s Harry O. Cameron Citizen of the Year.

Barton was an avid reader, history buff and car enthusiast; the breadth of his knowledge and intelligence never ceased to amaze those who knew him well. He was a loving, supportive and devoted father and husband.

Barton was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Billie Barton of Garland. He is survived by his wife Eva Barton, daughter Autumn Barton and mother-in-law Opal Hartsell all of Farmersville.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Farmersville.

Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12 at Hurst’s Fielder Baker Funeral Home at 107 North Washington Street in Farmersville, Texas.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 13 at the First Baptist Church of Farmersville at 124 South Washington Street.

Interment will follow at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

Collin County Magazine is an independent news source read by thousands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area every day. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @CollinCountyMag

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