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Every Friday morning at 10:30 in the lobby of the historic Interurban Railway Museum in downtown Plano, spellbound children take a magical train ride through the tales of professional storyteller Genie Hammel and her sidekick Eugene the Motor
Mouse. The 30-minute fun-filled, interactive experience is aimed at toddlers and preschool children. However, kids of all ages are welcome and often attend.

Ms. Genie is a master at providing young children age-appropriate ways to learn about trains. Her stories arouse their curiosity to explore the rest of the museum, especially its model train display and interactive exhibits based on the principals of electricity used to power the Texas Electric Railway cars. There’s even an opportunity to board Interurban Rail Car 360, manufactured in 1911, just outside the train station for an imaginary trip down the line.

A parent or guardian must accompany all children. Large groups should call 972-241-2117 to ensure a spot in this highly popular program. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome!

January 23: Trains bring Cookies!
Train cars are filled with boxes of treats,
Cookies of all kinds can't be beat!

January 30:  Trains and Rhythm!
The wheels of the train go Clickety Clack,
It's the rhythm of the train on the track!

February 6:  Rockets Blast Off!
This train carries secret cargo,
Blast Off! Rockets are on the go!
.
February  13:  We love Trains!
This train loves to carry the mail,
Especially Valentines, o'er hill and dale!

February 20:   GRRRR....Tigers!
A train spies Babaji in his new clothes,
Tigers want them, goodness knows!

February 27:  Celebrate Black History!
This train hears Satchmo singing his song,
"It's a Wonderful World" all year long!

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117 

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William Brittain of Plano is a fourth grade student at Faith Lutheran School. www.flsplano.org

William Brittain of Plano, a fourth grade student at Faith Lutheran School, won the school competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 8 and a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship.  The school Bee, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 27th annual National Geographic Bee.

Thousands of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories are participating the 2015 Bee.  The school champions, including Brittain, will take a written test.  Up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee on March 27, 2015.

The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for state winners to participate in the Bee national championship rounds May 11 - 13, 2015.  The first-place national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and a trip to the Galapagos Islands, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

Award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien will moderate the national finals on May 13.

About National Geographic:

With a mission to inspire, illuminate and teach, the National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organization.  The member-supported Society, which believes in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world, reaches over 600 million people each month through its media platforms, products and events.  National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 research, conservation and exploration projects, and its education programs promote geographic literacy. For more information, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com.

About Faith Lutheran School
Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through
the twelfth grade.   School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts.  In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.

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Faith Lutheran Church is located at 1701 E. Park Blvd. in Plano.

Faith Lutheran Church - Plano to present North Texas Free Conference

Faith Lutheran Church will host the North Texas Free Conference on Friday, January 23 and Saturday, January 24 at Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas. The conference, themed “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word” will feature two guest speakers -Dr. Cameron MacKenzie and Rev. Dr. Martin R. Noland - discussing a variety of topics including the Bible, modern culture, Martin Luther and more.

"The Bible is the very Word of God. It points to Jesus at the heart and center of Scripture and as they key to its true meaning. Of course there are those who see the Bible as a book of myths or fables or merely as a book of rules," said Rev. James Woelmer, senior Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church. "There are those who think that the concerns of our modern culture determine truth. But the Bible alone is the final determine factor in what we believe and teach."

Dr. Cameron MacKenzie is a professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana and the chairman of the Department of Historical Theology. Before joining the faculty in 1983, he served St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Detroit, Michigan, as pastor (1975–1983) and as headmaster of its school (1972–1983). Dr. MacKenzie received his B.A. from the University of Detroit (1969), a M.A. in History from the University of Chicago (1970), a M.A. in Classics from Wayne State University (1979), a S.T.M. in New Testament from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (1984), and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Notre Dame (1992).

Rev. Dr. Martin R. Noland is the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Evansville, Indiana. He was the Director of Concordia Historical Institute (2002-2008), St Louis, Missouri, an associate editor of “Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology” (since 1996) and an officer of the Board of Directors of the Luther Academy (1993-2008) and a current board member of the Lutheran Concerns Association. He received his M.Div. degree from Concordia Theological Seminary (1983), an S.T.M. degree from the same school (1986), and a Ph.D. degree from The Union Theological Seminary in New York (1996).

Faith Lutheran Church is located at 1701 E. Park Blvd. in Plano. The conference is free, but free will offerings will be accepted to offset conference expenses. Registration is encouraged. Babysitting will be provided. For complete conference schedule, additional information or to register, call 972.423.7447 or visit www.faithplano.org

About Faith Lutheran Church:
Faith Lutheran Church puts Jesus at the center of all that is preached and taught. It is a congregation that is faithful to the Scriptures and to the Lutheran Confessions. Faith Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and has locations in both Plano and Wylie, Texas. For more information, please visit www.faithplano.org or call 972.423.7447

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Faith Lutheran Church today announced that the church has called Rev. Kurt A. Ulmer to serve as Associate Pastor.  Ulmer will serve the church's Wylie location.

Ulmer was installed as associate pastor in a December 28, 2014 church service conducted at Faith Lutheran Church's Wylie location. A welcome dinner followed the service.

"We are delighted to add Rev. Ulmer to our ministry," said Rev. James Woelmer of Lucas, who is Faith Lutheran Church's senior pastor.  "Rev. Ulmer will serve our members through the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.  We are pleased to add Rev. Ulmer to our staff because we know he is dedicated to preaching about Christ, as well as providing excellent, high-quality, Christ-centered leadership for our members and their families."

Ulmer earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Truman State University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2008, he graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana with an emphasis in systematic theology.

After taking time to work on earning a Master of Sacred Theology degree, Ulmer was ordained into the holy ministry. Prior to his work at Faith Lutheran Church, he was pastor of Shepherd of Peace Lutheran Church in Braidwood, Illinois.

Ulmer and his wife Alissa have one daughter and currently reside in Wylie.

About Faith Lutheran Church: 
Faith Lutheran Church is a Christ-centered congregation of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that confesses the teachings of the historic Christian church as they are taught in the Bible. Faith Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and has locations in both Plano and Wylie, Texas. For more information, please visit www.faithplano.org  and www.faithwylie.org or call 972.423.7447

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Faith Lutheran School in Plano, Texas will be conducting an open house on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 3 p.m. to showcase the school's K-12 and early childhood preschool programs.

Families interested in the school will meet the headmaster and teaching staff, tour the facilities and enjoy light refreshments.

Faith Lutheran School is located at 1701 E. Park Blvd in Plano.  For more information please call 972.723.7448.

You may read more about Faith Lutheran School at www.flsplano.org and www.facebook.com/flsplano

About Faith Lutheran School
Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade. School
curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. In
1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation.
Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School,
please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448. 

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Students at Plano's Faith Lutheran School recently had the opportunity to get their hands dirty while studying all about "Wonderful Worms", thanks to a presentation from Erin Hoffer, Environmental Educator with the City of Plano. 

"Each student was given a hand lens and worm 'wrangling rod'," explained Faith Lutheran School teacher Cheryl Wildauer of Allen. "Working in pairs, students 'wrangled' worms from a pile of organic soil, then examined them under a microscope, looking for such things as segments, hairs, a 'saddle' and cocoon. Other observations revealed what happens when two worms touch or a worm's reaction when touched by a human."

Students also learned about the best environment for worms to flourish, what they eat, a worm's life span, body parts, a worm's sensitivity to light and dark, and a useful product of a worm's digestion, called 'castings'.

"This hands-on activity certainly convinced students that worms are wonderful and a vital part of the environment!" added Wildauer.

About Faith Lutheran School
In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through
the twelfth grade.   School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.

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Interurban Railway Museum welcomes many during Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano Event

Interurban Railway Museum welcomes many during Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano Event

Many gathered at the Plano Interurban Railway Museum during Plano's "Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano" on Friday, December 5 to enjoy museum tours, two special children's story times, live performers and much more.

"The downtown area was filled with music, carolers, concessions, shopping and holiday fun," said Russell Kissick of Plano, co-founder of The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., the group that manages the museum.  "This popular event also gave us the opportunity to showcase the Interurban Railway Museum to guests who have not have had the chance to experience the museum before."

The museum offered two special children's story times, featuring readings of "The Polar Express." Uniformed railway motormen were available for photo opportunities throughout the evening. The City of Plano tree lighting was a highlight of the evening, as well.

The Interurban Railway Museum is located at 901 E. 15th Street in historic downtown Plano. For more information call 972.941.2117 or visit www.planoconservancy.org

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117. 

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Faith Lutheran Church in Plano recently announced the church's Advent and Christmas schedule of special services:

Advent Worship Service: Wednesday, December 3 at 7 p.m. "To Us a Child is Born" (Isaiah 9:2-7)

Faith Lutheran Church Sunday School Christmas Program: God's Love at Christmas - Wednesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.

Advent Worship Service: Wednesday, December 17 at 7 p.m. "The Righteous Branch (Isaiah 11:1-11)

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Christmas Day Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion: Thursday, December 25 at 10 a.m.

New Year's Eve Worship Service: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Faith Lutheran Church is located at 1701 E. Park Blvd. in Plano, Texas. For more information, call 972.423.7447 or visit www.faithplano.org

About Faith Lutheran Church:
Faith Lutheran Church is a conservative congregation of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that confesses the teachings of the historic Christian church as they are taught in the Bible. Faith Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and has locations in both Plano and Wylie, Texas. For more information, please visit www.faithplano.org or call 972.423.7447 

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The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. today announced that the group is interested in restoring the historic Collinwood house. Currently, the Collinwood house, which was built in 1861, is located at 5400 Windhaven Parkway in Plano.  The original, two-story, 1,800-square foot home is in good condition.  The City of Plano recently released a query seeking groups interested in restoring, relocating and repairing the home.

"The city of Plano has an asset and opportunity with this home," said Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. board member Clint Haggard, whose family has lived in Plano since 1856.  "This is the oldest home in the city of Plano next to the Foreman home on Avenue K that was built in 1867.  Plano has a great staff and council members that care about this city.  I’m hoping we can provide some guidance on how to find a way to keep the house where it is.  I am working beside some smart people from The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., the Heritage Farmstead Museum and the City of Plano to find a win-win solution to keep the home where it was built 153 years ago." 

Clint Haggard's great-great-great grandfather Clinton Shepard Haggard (for whom Plano's C.S. Haggard Middle School and Haggard Park are named) purchased what is now known as the Collinwood house from Charles M. and Julian K. Fox in March 9, 1862, when C.S. Haggard was 23 years old. 

C.S. Haggard came to Texas when he was 18 years old with his father John Haggard in 1856 from Winchester, Kentucky.  John Haggard came because Clinton was his youngest child and all of his other children were much older and out of the house.  John also raised Clinton on his own after losing his wife (Mourning Quisenberry Haggard) when Clinton was eight years old.  The two were part of the first settlers to come to the area known as Peters Colony, which later became Plano.   They originally settled near White Rock Creek, just to the East of the current Dallas North Tollway between Parker and Spring Creek.  John passed away two years after arriving in Texas, and C.S. was on his own. In 1859C.S. Haggard married Nannie Kate Lunsford and the couple had nine children. C.S. already owned land next to the Collinwood House property, so he purchased the property where the Collinwood House stands today. 

The land and home were passed down to C. S. Haggard's daughter Annabel Haggard Aldridge, who gave it, in turn, to her daughter, Emma Ruth Aldridge Kendrick.  Mrs. Kendrick and her husband sold the property in 1936, so it remained in the Haggard family from 1862 until 1936...for 74 years.  

C.S. Haggard lived in the Collinwood house for a while due to its close proximity to White Rock Creek.

C.S. Haggard went on to serve in the Civil War and raise nine children.

"Through quiet determination, frugality and hard work, he became one of the largest landowners in Collin County," said Clint Haggard.  "His interest in education led to the establishment of Add Ran College, which later became Texas Christian University.  He lived to 92 years old."

Clint Haggard said he and others with The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. and throughout the city are interested in preserving this unique piece of Plano's history.

"It’s hard for us to find examples of the past when Texas was at its very beginning," he said.  "In the 1860’s, Texas was a like a third world country. This is an opportunity to preserve a piece of that."

Clint Haggard believes it would be a mistake to relocate the Collinwood home. 

"I’ve moved four historic homes and outbuildings to save them from developments over the years," he said.  "One thing I have learned is that once they are moved, they are never the same and neither are the environments that they came from.  It’s also one of the reasons that the Texas Historical Commission and National Register of Historic Places will rarely register a home that has been moved."

Regardless, Haggard said he and The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. are interested in an ongoing dialogue with the City of Plano and others to work to save the Collinwood home, whether it is relocated or rehabilitated in the place where is has been for so many years. 

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.

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The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. recently debuted a wind energy program exhibit “Discover the Power of Wind,” an exhibition sponsored by Texas Tech Universities National Wind Institute. The exhibit is on display at the Interurban Railway Museum in historic downtown Plano.

"At the Interurban Railway Museum, we teach guests a lot about how the interurban railway system used electricity to make lives better for people in this area and beyond," said The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation Co-Director Jeffrey Campbell of McKinney. “'Discover the Power of Wind' gives us the opportunity to show how Texas Tech University's National Wind Institute is discovering the power of wind energy to make lives better for residents in the state of Texas and beyond."

The exhibit details the wind energy program options available through Texas Tech University's National Wind Institute.

From the university's printed materials: "Right now, the field of renewable energy has the potential for huge economic expansion.  Wind energy is poised to provide 20 percent of the nation's electricity by 2030, which means that there will be significant growth in the number of highly skilled personnel needed to join the wind energy labor force. During the next 10 years, the U.S. wind industry could support more than 500,000 jobs, including those associated businesses such as accountant, lawyers, steel workers and others."

The exhibit is available to the public at the Interurban Railway Museum in historic downtown Plano. The museum is open from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 - 5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information about viewing hours or to arrange group visits, contact The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. at 972.941.2117 or email info@planoconservancy.org

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.