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Texas Education Resource

Post by Arianna Long

With the rise of the internet, online education has become a more integral part of our higher education system. Top colleges and universities are now offering online options as part of their curriculum. Unfortunately, in the past when students try to research these opportunities, information is fragmented and not easily accessible. With this in mind, over the past couple of years my team and I have worked to research, catalogue, and publish a database of every online program offered by an accredited college starting with the United States. Our database is a thorough list of institutions and degree programs, with in-depth information including the specific accreditation’s of each institution.

School districts and cities in Texas, as well as other organizations have recently cited our resource on their websites, enabling students, educators and their families to access our database. Examples include:


Check out the Whitney Lions Club May 2014 Newsletter here. 





Can you dig it?

NSDM web button

Beginning April 1, Atmos Energy Corporation invites you to join its “iDig It” campaign designed to remind property owners, construction crews and do-it-yourselfers to always call 811 before they dig. The reminder comes as utilities across the nation recognize April as National Safe Digging Month.

“It’s the law in every state we serve that all excavators call 811 at least two to three business days before excavating begins on public or private property,” said John McDill, Atmos Energy vice president of pipeline safety. “The 811 program is provided at no charge, and it can save you time and money as well as prevent threats to life and property.”

Atmos Energy’s “iDig It” campaign, which begins on April 1, offers participants the chance to win $811 if they snap a picture of a clearly marked digging site in their community. The contest information and rules are on Atmos Energy’s Facebook page and website (www.facebook.com/atmosenergy). The goal of the campaign is to educate the public about the need to Call 811 before every digging project, whether simple landscaping or major construction of a building.

“The greatest risk to our underground natural gas pipelines is accidental damage during excavation,” McDill said. “Even minor damage, such as a gouge, scrape, dent, or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak or failure.”

By calling 811, property owners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utilities about the excavation. Professional locators are then sent to the digging site to mark the locations of underground utility lines with flags or spray paint.

“Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree or laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting,” McDill said. “Protect yourself and others by calling 811 well in advance, waiting until any buried utility lines are located and then respecting those location marks when digging.”

We also have several videos that can be shared via social media:
Do you dig it?
National Safe Digging Month
811 Kids Cartoon

Hillsboro Chamber Golf Classic | HILLSBORO COUNTRY CLUB

Hillsboro Chamber Golf Classic | HILLSBORO COUNTRY CLUB

  • $700 each to First, Fifth, and Tenth Place Teams
  • 4-Person Scramble
  • $300 Entry Fee for Team includes BBQ Lunch
  • Closest to the Hole, Long Drive, and Raffle Prizes
  • 8:30 am and 1:30 pm Tee Times Available

Premium Sponsors

BobCat Contracting and AT&T

Contact Rachal Cox to Team Entry Forms 254-582-2481

Lake Whitney State Park Hosts Zumba Program on April 5th

The State Parks Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a new initiative called Arts in the Parks.  The goal of this program is to provide diverse opportunities to Texans of all ages to get outside, use their imagination and connect with the outdoors though art.  Through this initiative, we could say that the state park setting serves as muse for artists.  Since the inception of the Arts in the Parks last summer, we’ve had some very creative and thoughtful art-based programs in varied formats throughout our state park system.

One form of art that has not been well represented to date is hip hop.  Additionally, April is National Poetry Month.  To that end, Lake Whitney State Park is hosting an Arts in the Parks Socially Conscious Hip Hop Workshop at Lake Whitney State Park on Saturday, April 19th.  We have a group of 15 children from the South Dallas Cultural Center coming out to the park.  My understanding is that, for all of these children, this will be their first visit to any state park.  The children will be accompanied by chaperones, including poet KD Brown, who has been working with this group of children in coaching them to write appropriate hip hop lyrics.

In the morning, we will provide the children with some natural and cultural resource based interpretive and educational activities.  We will convey state park resource values, and we will provide an introduction to broader Texas conservation issues.  In the afternoon, Mr. Brown will be coaching the children in writing state park-and Texas conservation-based hip hop lyrics.  Depending on the comfort level of children, we hope they will have an opportunity to perform their poetry to each other at the end of the day.

We are excited to be able to host this event and to serve as ambassadors for a group of first-time state park visitors.  We are also proud that this will be the first program of its kind in our State Park System.

Our brothers and sisters at Brookshire’s of Whitney have generously agreed to contribute water and snacks for the children.  We are hoping that one of our Chamber members will contribute a lunch meal for the children plus the event facilitators.  If a member restaurant or a sponsor who would provide payment for to a Whitney restaurant could come through for us, we will be most grateful.  Again, we anticipate needing to feed 20 – 25 people.

We will mention the generosity of Brookshire’s of Whitney and any other generous event sponsors through our Facebook fan site (which has approximately 1,030 fans) and in the post event press release

Thank you in advance for considering.  I would look forward to responding to questions for any Chamber members who are considering helping us.  They could call me at the Park HQ or my cell at the numbers below.

Chris Bishop
Park Superintendent / State Park Police Officer
Lake Whitney State Park
P.O. Box 1175
Whitney, TX 76692
(254) 694-3793 OFFICE
(903) 286-8651 CELL
“Fall seven times.  Stand up eight.”  –Japanese proverb


Country Club Retirement Community

Lake Whitney’s Stucker Receives Commission as a State Park Police Officer


Region 5 Cadets from Meridian, Lake Arrowhead and Lake Whitney State Parks receive their State Park Police Officer commissions at the Bastrop State Park Refectory. Pictured here (from left to right) Regional Director Rodney Franklin, Regional Law Enforcement Coordinator Shawn Bengtson, Officer Erika Chaisson, Superintendent Adrian Smith, Superintendent Keith Gauthier, Officer Laramy Estel, Officer Luke Stucker, Superintendent Chris Bishop.


Lake Whitney State Park, Hill County, Texas –  Lake Whitney State Park’s Assistant Superintendent Luke Stucker was commissioned as a State Park Police Officer at the historic Bastrop State Park Refectory on Friday, March 7, 2014.

In order to receive his law enforcement commission, Stucker completed a five month Basic Police Officer Academy at McLennan Community College (MCC) in Waco followed by the seven week State Park Police Officer Academy at Bastrop State Park.  Stucker graduated as valedictorian of his Basic Police Officer Academy, and he was also selected by his peers as the recipient of MCC’s Spirit Award.  The Spirit Award is given to the cadet who shows greatest character, attitude and leadership aptitude.

Stucker joined Lake Whitney State Park’s staff in November 2012.  Prior to that, he worked at Mother Neff State Park in Texas and Cherry Creek State Park, an urban-interface state park in Colorado.

State Park Police Officers are conservation law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction.  State Park Police fulfill public safety and law enforcement functions at the 95 units of the State Parks Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  State Park Police enforce State Park Rules & Regulations, fish & game and boater safety laws, in addition to the Texas Penal Code, Transportation Code, Family Code, Alcoholic Beverages Code and Health & Safety Code.

According to Park Superintendent Chris Bishop, “We could not be more proud of Luke Stucker and his performance.  The training regimen to become a State Park Police Officer is a long and rigorous process.  The training is a significant investment, on the parts of both the agency and the officer.  Throughout the process, Luke engaged the training experience fully, and he represented himself, his family and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with distinction.”

Lake Whitney State Park is a 775-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.

For more information about Lake Whitney State Park or this release, please contact Chris Bishop, (254) 694-3793, email –christopher.bishop@tpwd.texas.gov, or join the park’s Facebook fan site.

Chris Bishop
Park Superintendent / State Park Police Officer
Lake Whitney State Park
P.O. Box 1175
Whitney, TX 76692
(254) 694-3793 OFFICE
(903) 286-8651 CELL
“Fall seven times.  Stand up eight.”  –Japanese proverb

30 Days of Giving MARCH 1-30

Bealls department store at Richland Mall is sponsoring Friends for Life through their “30 Days of Giving” program during the month of March!  Here’s how it works:  Each customer who makes a purchase at Bealls (Richland Mall location only) will be given the opportunity to add to their purchase a donation of $1, $5, or $10 to benefit Friends for Life.  In return, the customer will then receive a 30% off shopping pass to use later.

The proceeds from this program will be used to provide assistance to our Waco area Independent Living clients in emergency-type situations as they arise throughout the year.

Information about the “30 Days of Giving” will be posted on our website & facebook, so please share with your friends and family!

NOTE:  If you prefer to make a monetary donation at the Friends for Life office (5000 Lakewood), during the month of March, you may do so and receive your shopping pass at that time as well.

Please call or email if you have questions.

Della Ryberg
Director of Volunteer Services
5000 Lakewood Dr.
Waco, TX  76710
Office (254) 772-8100 ext 110
Fax (254) 772-1255

The Boys and Girls Club of Hill County

On Saturday, April 26th, The Boys and Girls Club of Hill County will hold their 4th Annual 5k (3.2 miles) Run/Walk at the Outlets of Hillsboro. All money raised from this event will help fund the daily operational expenses of the club. The race start time is 9am. The course will start in the parking lot of the Outlet Center closest to Old Brandon Road and will go through Hill College to Hwy 22 and return to the outlets via Old Brandon Rd. This race is open to all ages and participants may run or walk the course. All participants will be timed. Under Amour gift cards and place medals will be awarded to the Top 3 Male and Female participants ($75/$50/$25 accordingly). Medals will also be awarded to the top female and male in each category (U8/U12/U15/U18/U25/U35/U45/U55/U65/65 and over).

The first 100 participants will receive a race day T-shirt and drawstring bag.  The registration fee prior to April 23rd is $25 per person.  Participants may register for the race in person at The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce located at 115 North Covington St.  Registration forms and fees can also be mailed to the Boys and Girls Club, PO Box 554, Hillsboro TX 76645. Registration is also available online at www.active.com.  Registration on the morning of the event is $30 and will be held from 7:30-8:30 am  at the Outlet Center Race Location.

The Event Committee, led by Bill Siddons, is currently seeking sponsors for this event. Sponsorships are requested on 3 levels: Gold $250, Silver $100, and Bronze $50. In appreciation of your support, each sponsor name will be printed on a section of the race day shirt. The section of placement of name and/ or logo depends on the level of sponsorship. Donations towards the club can be accepted online at www.active.com. If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Bill Siddons at 254-582-1436. All sponsorships and donations to the club are tax deductible.

The Boys and Girls Club of Hill County provides an after school and summer p2014 BGC5K RACE FLYER BGC 5K Sponsorship Flyer 2 2014rogram for school age children that reside in Hill County. Members of the Club receive homework assistance, meals, and programs that encourage healthy lifestyles and hobbies. Currently the club serves 40 children. The Club continues to improve operations and programs with the addition of key board members, diligent volunteers, and the support of the community.

BGC 5K Sponsorship Flyer 2 2014



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