Saturday, September 18, 2021

What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – Oct. 2014

Council Appoints Darrin Peterson to Serve 1st year of Dan Christy’s Term

On very, very short notice, Town resident Darrin Peterson kindly agreed to serve the first year of immediately resigning Council Member Dan Christy’s term.

At its Aug. 11 regular meeting, the Council appointed Darrin to serve on the Council until May 2015. At that time, Darrin may or may not decide to stand for election for the second year remaining of Christy’s two-year term of office.

Darrin was raised on a farm in Utah. He loves the small farm community he grew up in, so moving to Copper Canyon was like returning to his roots. Darrin has lived in Copper Canyon for seven years and in Texas for 20 years. He and his sweetheart, Marnie, have been married for almost 24 years and are the proud parents of nine children. Their three oldest are students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The others attend Heritage Elementary, Briarhill Middle School, and Marcus High School. The youngest is still at home and Darrin says he spends an “inordinate amount of time in his car seat,” while his mother Marnie is carpooling his older brothers and sisters.

Darrin is the CEO and Co-Founder of LifeSeasons, Inc., a company he started out of the barn on his Copper Canyon home site. LifeSeasons is a leading manufacturer of nutritional supplements that are sold in Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts, Central Markets and Vitamin Shoppes across the country.

Darrin is also a partner in Texas Land Development, a high-end residential land development company based in North Texas. Highland Oaks and Wichita Estates in Highland Village and Saddlewood in Flower Mound are projects developed by Darrin and his partner.

Darrin spends much of his free time volunteering in the leadership role of Bishop for the Highland Village congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As the volunteer, unpaid Bishop of a congregation of 500 individuals, Darrin “listens” and helps counsel on individual and family issues. His duties also require management ability and oversight of Staff and volunteers at the Church. And as a financial fiduciary for the church, he oversaw the building of the church’s lovely new facility fronting on Chinn Chapel Road in Copper Canyon.

Darrin has also volunteered in many capacities within the Tonkawa District of the Boy Scouts of America, including Scoutmaster and District Commissioner.

Besides spending time with his family, Darrin loves meeting and building relationships with other people. He genuinely sees the good in others and finds great joy in helping them achieve their goals and dreams. Darrin’s hope for Copper Canyon is that it remains a small town community, so that his grandkids will one day enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities he did while growing up.

Denton County Lowers Its Property Tax Rate!

Denton County’s new tax rate is 27.22 cents per $100 property valuation. This is DOWN from the current rate of 28.49 cents. How many municipal or county taxing authorities in Texas can manage a LOWER property tax rate?!? The owner of property in Denton County valued at $100,000 would pay $12.71 less this year. (To find your personal property tax annual savings, multiply the tax savings per each $100,000 valuation of your own home or business property.) The property tax decrease is in spite of a $15 million increase in this year’s county budget – from $238.9 million to $224.1 million. The budget increase has funded our Sheriff’s Office, mental health, debt service, juvenile probation and roads and bridges.

Please Help us Identify Individual Vandalizing our Town Road Signs

On Chinn Chapel Road, three speed limit signs and three directional “arrow” signs have been knocked over. The vehicle capable of doing this is probably a truck with a heavy duty front bumper. The three speed limit signs cost the Town approximately $360 and the directional arrows approximately $240 – or $600 total to replace the vandalized signs. (Our signs now have safer break-away posts and high intensity lettering that is more visible at night.) The damage was done during the weekend of Aug. 30-31.

Law enforcement has a lead on a possible suspect. The Town is offering a reward of up to $200 for the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons vandalizing our traffic signs.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number, 940-349-1600, or Town Hall at 940-241-2677, Extension 3 for Town Administrator Donna Welsh.

Copper Canyon’s Email Blast:
260 homes in Copper Canyon have signed up for the email blast to receive this type of specific Town information. Any resident can sign up for the email blast on the Town web site. Your email address does NOT become public information! You do not receive any solicitations.

NOTE: Canyon Oaks subdivision and other adjoining properties north and west of Copper Canyon are in unincorporated Denton County. As our Clean-Up Day is funded by Copper Canyon taxpayers, we reserve the event just for Town residents.

Trail Clean-Up is Saturday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to Noon

Copper Canyon’s Trail Committee Chairman Deb Valencia-Schmitz wishes to thank our long time Town resident and Sheriff Will Travis. Due to the efforts of Sheriff Travis and his Denton County jail trustees, no trail clean-up was scheduled for last spring. However, there will be a Trail Clean Up Saturday, Oct, 11, from 9 a.m. to Noon.

Volunteers please meet at the horse trailer parking lot on the east side of FM 2499 in Highland Village. (The parking lot is just north of the Orchid Hill Lane entrance to Pilot Knoll Park.)  Bring the usual Trail Clean-Up Day tools:  loppers for tree branches, shovels and hoes to root up smilax vines, chain saws, etc.  It is recommended that volunteers wear work gloves and use mosquito repellant. Copper Canyon’s Trail Committee will provide coffee, doughnuts, bottled water and black trash bags for the picked-up litter.

CERT conducted Search and Rescue drill on Saturday, Oct. 4, on Corps of Engineers Trails

CERT, the Denton County Community Emergency Response Team, conducted Search and Rescue training operations on our local Corps of Engineers Trails on Saturday, Oct. 4.

“CERT educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic, disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. …”

Denton County CERT was established to benefit “the citizens of Denton County, which consists of 993 square miles. Our CERT team is trained in Fire Rehab, Crime Scene Preservation, CPR/AED, Shelters and NIMS as well as search techniques for missing children and adults. The team has also trained Storm Spotters and Ham Radio Operators.” The team members can help any Fire or Police entity in Denton County and NCTCOG Region.

CERT meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Denton County EOC (Emergency Operations Center), 9060 Teasley Lane, Denton, Texas. For Copper Canyon residents, go north over the new Old Alton Bridge, turn right (east) on Teasley Lane, continu
e one block, turn right (south) into the parking lot in front of the large EOC building. Call 940-349-2855 for answers to your questions. (Mayor Tejml and former Council Member Dave Svatik completed the initial CERT training course.)

Denco 911 is an Exemplary Organization for our County!

Denco 911 is an exemplary organization for our County! Cutting edge technology, with no debt and no increase in fees since creation of the District in 1988 – for 26 years! Executive Director Mark Payne said “Denco 911 is proud to be partners with local law enforcement and firefighter/EMTs for the safety of everyone in our County!” Thirty-four municipal entities are included in Denco 911’s jurisdiction, and each one has one vote for a nominee for each of the two municipal representatives on the Board of Managers.

The current six-member Board consists of:  Chairman Jack Miller (former Mayor of Denton, who is also the appointed Commissioner on the Texas State Commission on Emergency Communications; appointed by the Commissioners Court), Vice Chairman Bill Lawrence (former Mayor of Highland Village, appointed by the Commissioners Court), Secretary Terry McGrath (current Assistant Fire Chief in Lewisville, appointed by the Denton County Fire Chiefs Association), Advisory Board Member Rob McGee (appointed by Verizon, the largest communications utility in Denco 911’s jurisdiction), and myself Sue Tejml (current Mayor of the small town of Copper Canyon – elected by municipalities to succeed former Mayor Olive Stephens of Shady Shores, when she decided to retire from the Board after many years of service!)

The Board’s membership is fairly diverse, representing large and small municipalities. Ideally, its limited membership of only six Board members represents most geographic areas of Denton County. The largest area previously not represented geographically was the western third of the county. Our former County Commissioner Jim Carter’s Precinct Four covered all the small towns in the western third of our County, including the western part of the larger municipalities of Denton and Flower Mound. Personally, Carter has lived in Trophy Club, Roanoke and now in Bartonville.

Thank You to the 15 Municipalities that voted for Jim Carter for Denco 911’s Board of Managers

Copper Canyon nominated Jim Carter to be a candidate for Denco 911’s Board of Managers.  Jim served as our Denton County Commissioner for 8 years and now serves as the President of our Emergency Services District #1, which funds fire and emergency medical protection to 56 square miles in our county. A sincere thank you to the following 15 municipalities for casting their vote for Carter:  Argyle, Bartonville, Carrollton, Copper Canyon, Cross Roads, Denton, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Hickory Creek, Highland Village, Justin, Krum, Lewisville, Little Elm and Trophy Club.

And a Thank You to the additional candidates willing to serve on Denco 911’s Board:  Drew Corn, Tom Newell and Connie White.

Personally Experiencing an Emergency Event at DFW Airport!

Each year the North Texas Commission arranges a unique experience for the 30 members of its current Leadership North Texas class! We get to “hands on” participate in a response from the EOC (Emergency Operation Center) of DFW Airport to a theoretical, but very possible, airport disaster. Our event originally concerned “two active shooters” in Terminal D, followed closely by an eminent weather crisis.

One shooter was killed; one escaped. Seven other individuals in the terminal reception area were killed; 21 were wounded. The shooters had arrived in a vehicle they left curbside with a suspicious package (bomb?) visible on the front seat. The two shooters were both observed carrying assault weapons when they exited the vehicle curbside and entered the terminal lobby actively shooting.

How do you know the Extent of this Emergency?

The critical factor originally is that you DO NOT KNOW the parameters of this disaster. Is the questionable package on the front seat of the vehicle a bomb already programmed to explode?  (Alert the bomb squad immediately.) Is Terminal D the only location of active shooters?  Or, is this a case of simultaneous or sequential shooting events in the same terminal or in other terminals or airport locations?  Is this a “trap” for First Responders? Often in Iraq and Afghanistan, the second bomb was delayed after the first; so that First Responders would bear the brunt of it. (And, respond in the future with that psychological and very credible fear in the back of their mind. As a First Responder, am I really the terrorists’ target?)

The Sheer Magnitude of the Problem of Containment!

DW Airport covers 1,800 square miles with 5 terminals, 7 runways, hundreds of planes, thousands of daily passengers and thousands of regular employees and vendors. Sweeping a geographic area of that magnitude with multiple buildings is an awesome and labor intensive task. First responders from surrounding municipalities will immediately offer help, but how do you unsnarl the incoming and exiting vehicle traffic to allow them access to the disaster scene.

Saving lives is always the first priority. Once the injured are stabilized by medical First Responders and evacuated to accepting hospitals, how do you preserve the Crime Scene for future investigation?  How do you keep well-meaning individuals from encroaching on and contaminating the crime scene? Portable screens are used for this containment, but it usually requires a law enforcement person present to ensure this quarantine of evidence.

Frightened Individuals in the Terminals

What do you do with the thousands of individuals in the terminals? Many passengers abandoned suitcases during the shooting, and you have to coax them out of hiding and re-connect them with their personal belongings. Some may be VERY DISTRAUGHT, because they have been separated from family members during the shooting! If you confine them for hours in the terminals during the ensuing investigation, you have to provide water and food. If you ask employees and food concession vendors to stay and help, you have to provide for their safety and immediate needs, too.

The Airlines Dilemma – where to route incoming planes?  Where to bed and feed Passengers and how to reroute them to their final destination?

Do you immediately divert planes to other airports in Texas and Oklahoma? Do the planes circle until the situation is secure? Do air traffic controllers have enough space to circle all planes safely? Is some planes low on fuel and have a limited time they can actually circle safely?

Do you keep passengers on the planes that are docked at terminal gates or already taxing to the runways? Do you keep anyone from entering these planes, in case it is a shooter trying to escape?

For the overwhelming majority of passengers, DFW is not their final destination. Dallas/Fort Worth is located in the center of the United States. Most passengers are in route elsewhere and even overseas. How do you reroute them? Where do you put them until new routes are available?  (And, the very mundane though secondary concern after safety, who pays for the logistics of any necessa
ry passenger layover and the cost of rerouting the passenger.)

How do you Locate the Missing Active Shooter?

If the missing shooter is trying to “blend in” with passengers and employees, the assault weapon may have been discarded. But, other weapons such as bombs and grenades may be concealed on him. The shooters did not go through any security stations; they simply just started shooting once inside the terminal. And, the missing shooter could be a “she.” Terrorists are now employing female members also, as they do not seem as immediately suspicious to bystanders.

Social Media – possibly a real help to answering key questions?!?

An active shooter in an airport terminal will immediately cause persons nearby to start taking photos and videos and tweeting. These can be very useful in solving who the shooter is and if he/she appears to have any specific targets. It can also identify the shooter’s visual facial features, body size dimensions, clothing description and possibly identify the weapon.

Unfortunately, random “tweets” can also raise concerns that have not been confirmed and may be totally false. Is the flying object a Tweeter saw really a “drone” – or just a small private plane that had a right to be in the air space over DFW. Non-validated “tweets” can easily cause unjustified panic.

Are DFW’s Utilities, Computers, and Telephone Systems Functioning?

How do you handle failed electricity and no lights in the terminals or on the runways? How do you handle computers that may not be communicating? What about elevators, escalators, electrically controlled doors that won’t open or close? Jet bridges that won’t connect or disconnect?  What about air-conditioning, heaters and air circulation systems that may not be working?  International airports have back-up generators, but what if there is a time-lag before they all kick in? And, hopefully not, what if your toilets start backing up?

Why Spend Time and Precious Personnel Effort Tracking the Extra Cost of Everything Done in an Emergency?

Because, FEMA will not reimburse any extra expenses caused by an emergency without sufficient documentation of that expense. And, because some vendor contracts have clauses that say the vendor will not pay for extra costs caused by a “force Majeure” (i.e. tornado, ice storm, etc.) or by a terrorist attack.

Challenge Yourself to Evaluate a Similar Disaster Event in any Location!

In a challenging situation, we can always figure out how to do it better – usually later – after some extended thought. But those who respond firsthand to serious emergency situations do NOT have the luxury of “second sight.” In Emergency Response, you cannot “Monday Morning Quarterback.” Your answers must be here and now – with only the BEST POSSIBLE ESTIMATE of the extent of the problem. Because, you only have LIMITED FACTS available.  And, that is all you have to base your immediate response on.

Why Pre-Emergency Drills are so Important!

This is why pre-emergency drills are so important! DFW’s EOC team has already worked with “mutual aid” from surrounding Texas municipal fire departments, police departments, sheriff’s offices and metroplex medical centers’ hospital teams. DFW’s EOC team has also already had drills with the FBI, DEA, CIA, etc. The teams from the various “first responders” and from the governmental agencies already know each other – often by sight.

And the debriefing afterwards helps everyone know where their weaknesses and strengths are and how they might have responded better. And how they might prevent some events from escalating or even happening in the first place. These debriefings also take place after emergencies occur in other parts of the United States at other airports. What is learned after each emergency event is shared across the USA.

The Duckworth Family, Copper Canyon residents for decades, says farewell to family member Carolyn Lawanda Duckworth McAnally

Carolyn Lawanda Duckworth McAnally lived briefly in her family’s home on Chinn Chapel Road.  She died Sept. 19, age 67, after a valiant extended battle with a combination of heart and diabetes problems. Carolyn is the daughter of her deceased parents Tommy and Juanita “Mary” Duckworth – decade’s long residents of our Town. Carolyn is survived by her husband Charles McAnally of Argyle, Tx; daughter Kristena Dian McAnally of Argyle; son Charles McAnally and wife Amelia McAnally of Richardson, Texas and grandsons William Matthew McAnally and Jack Edward McAnally; and sisters Milah Duckworth of Oklahoma and Tena Duckworth Burns of Copper Canyon, Tx.  The funeral Service was at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery in honor of Carolyn’s husband’s Charles McAnally’s service as a veteran in Viet Nam. Reception afterwards was at her younger sister Tena Burns’ home in Copper Canyon.

FYI:  Preparing for Natural disasters (From USAA Magazine, Fall 2014)

Flood Facts: (1) Ninety percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding. (2) The highest risk areas have a 26 percent chance of flooding over the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage. (3) Flood damage is typically excluded under standard homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies.

TWELVE of the SIXTEEN most expensive natural disaster events in U.S. history occurred in the past decade.


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