McKinney students take flight with aviation program by building — and ultimately flying — their airplane 

Originally published Dec. 11, 2015 in neighborsgo at The Dallas Morning News. In a hangar classroom at McKinney National Airport, students from McKinney’s three high schools are learning to fly — as they assemble an airplane piece by piece. Quinn Dauenhauer, a senior at McKinney North, signed up for an introductory aviation course because he […]

Emme, 5, and William, 9, are Frisco Liberty marching band’s biggest fans 

Originally published Nov. 12, 2015 in neighborsgo. Before band practice at Liberty High School last week, Emme Benton, 5, stood on the front podium, surrounded by adoring fans. “I’m going to be a band member,” she declared. “A band member?” asked Caitlyn Hazzard, a sophomore trombone player. “That’s so cool.” Jamie Weaver, the band director, […]

Frisco Arts group to refocus without Discovery Center 

Originally published Sept. 10, 2015 in neighborsgo.  Frisco Arts is about to get a major makeover. With a new board of directors in place, Frisco Association for the Arts — a nonprofit that serves as the official arts agency for the city — is reorganizing to focus on its original mission of supporting and advocating […]

Allen Eagles shooting team competes nationally with safety in mind 

Originally published Aug. 6, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News. The world was in neon-tinted contrast behind Hunter Alford’s sunglasses. Blue sky turned pink; brown dirt turned purple. He pulled his left-handed shotgun to his shoulder. “Pull,” he said softly. After a beat, a bright orange dot flew out of a trap to his left, […]

Rehabilitation program in Lucas to help injured birds 

Originally published July 9, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News. Willie, a common barn owl, was found on the ground in 2002 and was taken home by a well-meaning human. She was fed cat food with a spoon and slowly nursed back to health. But cat food isn’t made for owls; it doesn’t have enough […]

McKinney pastors lead push for peace as pool party incident draws national spotlight 

Originally published June 13, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News. McKINNEY — More than a month ago, pastor Mike Connaway was preparing for a conference presentation about race and the church. The leader of McKinney’s VLife Church said he had a vision that turned out to be prophetic. With protests raging in black communties nationwide […]

Armadillo races is one of attractions at cowboy heritage festival in Frisco 

Originally published Nov. 14, 2014 in neighborsgo at The Dallas Morning News. About two minutes before the race was set to begin, Rorie Cowden played the “Call to Post” bugle tune over a loudspeaker. His wife, Toni, put on thick leather gloves and reached into three large pet crates full of shredded newspaper to retrieve the racers. Clad […]

After middle-school football injury, prescription led to decade-long addiction for McKinney resident 

Originally published Oct. 17, 2014 in neighborsgo at The Dallas Morning News. At 4:30 a.m., Matt Robinson will start his day with a prayer for God’s guidance. The 28-year-old McKinney resident will get to the gym by 5:30 a.m. and work by 7:30 a.m., where he is vice president of a logistics company. Two years ago, […]

Frisco nonprofit rescues neglected, abused and abandoned livestock 

Originally published Oct. 3, 2014 in neighborsgo in The Dallas Morning News. Pancake the pig is stretched out in the shade of a hackberry tree to get his belly rubbed. He loves sprinkle donuts and V8 fruit juice. But he hates green beans and kale, and will grunt with disapproval when you stop rubbing his belly. […]