Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You can be a busy body, in life and death

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

From playing basketball to getting married, there are a lot of things to do in life.
But what about after you die?
Granted, not much happens to your body after that last breath, but there are some choices you can make now that will put your body to good use.
Liza Anne DeNeice, of Orchard, is one person who’s opted to forgo the traditional burial.
“I want my bones to be a skeleton at a Texas A&M lab,” DeNeice said. “After my back and knee surgeries, there are bound to be some neat things to look at.”
The 52-year-old woman was smiling as she talked, but she wasn’t joking.
“There’s just no sense in rotting,” she said.
She’s already shared her plans with her family and is in the process of completing the necessary paperwork.
Her family has accepted her decision.
“I thought it was a little weird at first,” said DeNeice’s daughter, Jamie Belknap, of Houston. “But the idea makes her happy. And she’s always been into re-using and recycling, so in a way, it’s fitting to who she is. I’ll be happy to see that her wish is carried through.”
This topic is not meant to take away from the joy of Christmas. It’s just something to think about so wills are updated for the New Year.
So here are some ways you can put your body to use after you die.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Teen chefs cook for Habitat volunteers

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

Building a house – that’s hard work, work that can make a man hungry.
Dec. 15 at noon, nobody knew that better than Chuck Dawson, of Georgetown. He’d been up since 7 a.m., working on the Habitat for Humanity house at 504 S. Doak St. in Taylor. And he was hungry.
“Oh, just let me look at a picture of food,” Dawson said, rubbing his belly. “I’ll salivate at that.”
His lunch was a little late.
Taylor High School’s Culinary II class was preparing a spaghetti lunch for the Habitat for Humanity volunteer crew, but their work was about half an hour behind schedule.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Relay for Life has plans for new year

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

Taylor’s Relay for Life committee is set and ready to go for the New Year.
Taking the helm as event chair in 2011 is Tammy Patin, a woman who was raised in Taylor but now lives in Leander. Strong emotions and the need to contribute to the fight against cancer inspired her to get involved.
“I took on this responsibility after losing my grandfather to cancer in August,” Patin said. “I also lost my father-in-law, grandmother and uncle to cancer. So the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event is very dear to my heart and so is raising money to find a cure for that horrible disease.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

Taylor’s honored as a National Main Street

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

Hundreds flocked to the Christmas bazaar earlier this year, stocking up on baked goodies, homemade decorations and all things crafty. Who was behind all the holiday hubbub? It wasn’t elves.
The efforts of the Main Street program, responsible for putting on the bazaar as well as events throughout the year like Zest Fest, have not gone unnoticed.
Last month, the Texas Historical Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Taylor as one of the 52 National Main Street Cities in Texas for 2011.
“It’s a fabulous honor,” said Deby Lannen, manager of the Taylor Main Street Program.

Volunteers sought to deliver

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

If there’s a blank spot on your New Year’s resolution list, consider filling it with the pledge to become a volunteer.
One group that could use the extra help is Taylor’s Meals on Wheels. The program provides food and company to the area’s home-bound senior citizens.
“We need help for the whole year,” said coordinator Verna Guajardo, explaining that the efforts of the Meals on Wheels crew are non-stop. “The seniors need their lunches everyday, and the area we cover is broad.”
The group services the Taylor, Thrall and Bartlett areas.
“That makes five different routes,” Guajardo said.
Making stops Monday through Friday, the local Meals on Wheels team managed to deliver a total of 17,925 lunches in 2010.
Naomi Pasemann, of Taylor, has volunteered with the group for five years, and she said the work is rewarding.
“It’s a grand experience, so I’d encourage anyone to be a part of it,” Pasemann said. “It’s a way to see a people be helped, and it’s right here in Taylor.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taylor band makes good impression at regional contest

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

December has turned out to be a good month for Taylor High School’s Duck Band.
Their run of recent success started Dec. 11 when they auditioned for the state’s All Region Band.
“That’s where the top students from the different bands in Texas come together to compete,” said Jacques Brown, THS band director. “It’s a contest run by the Association of Texas Small School Bands, and this year it took place at Smithville High School.
Of the 19 Taylor band students who auditioned, 13 earned spots on the All Region Band.
The winners include Ashley Bengston, Kyle Bohac, Taylor Bryant, Nathan Dunn, Lorellye Graham, Amy Janecka, Travis Kovar, Diane Lepe, Elric Martinez, Andrea Navarro, Stephen Svatek, Julie Polasek and Josh Villarreal.
As All Region Band members, those 13 students will have the chance to spend a weekend at Texas State University in Waco.
“They’ll be rehearsing for a big concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 22,” Brown said.
But the success story doesn’t end there.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Youngsters ring charity bells

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

“Thank you and Merry Christmas!”
Those are four simple words, but they have a world of meaning to Stephanie Richardson, a 13-year-old student from Taylor Middle School.
“It’s a good thing to see people donate,” Stephanie said as she rang a Salvation Army holiday bell. “It’s nice to watch them put money in for kids.”
She knows exactly what kind of good that money can provide.
“There was one year when we, my two brothers and sister, didn’t have nothing,” Stephanie said. “But the Salvation Army made sure we had stuff for Christmas. And it was wonderful.”
That’s why she volunteered to brave the cold wind and man a Salvation Army post last Thursday night outside of the Walmart in Taylor.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Soldiers come home, families overjoyed

By TOMIE PARKS
Staff writer

It was a camouflaged Christmas Saturday. Literally.
Dozens of Army bags and holiday decorations decked the halls at the Texas Army National Guard armory in Taylor as a crowd of about 100 awaited the homecoming of the Guard’s Alpha Troop.
“The luggage made it to Taylor before the troop did,” said Lila Beard, of Austin, the troop’s family readiness group leader. “They’re all coming home from Iraq.”
The 63 Army duffels didn’t have to wait long for their owners, though.