Episode 50: Hungry for Change Plano Rally | Black Lives Matter

Thousands turned up in downtown Plano for Hungry for Change, a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Plano, Texas. Hear from organizer Cheryl “Action” Jackson and leaders Cynt Marshall,  Ed Drain and S. Lee Merritt who spoke at the rally. Plus, we talk with a retired Plano cop who was in attendance, and has a unique story of his own. You might remember him as “OP”.

Episode 49: Education in the Time of COVID-19

Education during the COVID-19 pandemic has gone virtual. It’s a new frontier in education for Plano. While COVID-19  has shut down many businesses and nonprofits, the business of educating our young people in Plano and Collin County is still in full operation. We talk to Dr. Neil Matkin, president of Collin College, and Sara Bonser, superintendent of Plano ISD. They share how they’re forging the path ahead. Plus, a word Jana Hancock, director of guidance and family services at Plano ISD.

Episode 48: Coronavirus | Covid-19 in Plano Texas

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is in Plano, Texas. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has turned life upside-down in Plano and around the world. Where can we get testing? Why isn’t the city telling us where COVID-19 positive patients have worked and shopped? When will this be over? We went looking for answers at the city, county and state level, talking to Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, Collin County Administrator Bill Bilyeu and State Representative Jeff Leach.  Plus, we found a few silver linings — ingenious ways that area residents, businesses and nonprofits are coping during the crisis and helping others — including a platform called Get Shift Done that will help fill understaffed volunteer shifts at nonprofits with furloughed restaurant and service industry employees. Hear from Sejal Desai of the Communities Foundation of Texas about how to get involved.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) resources you can trust: Centers for Disease Control  Texas Health and Human Services  Collin County Health Care Services  City of Plano Covid-19 Information

If you are experiencing a health emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Get Shift Done website for Hospitality/Restaurant companies to offer displaced service industry staff, Non-profits to apply for needed workers, and for individual service industry workers impacted by closures.

Episode 46: Plano Valentine Isiah Joshua, Jr.

It’s that time of year when we show some love! Allow us to introduce you to our Plano Podcast Valentine, the Rev. Isiah Joshua, a beloved pastor and Plano community leader. Hear how he’s helped Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church grow by leaps and bounds and why worshipers drive for hours just to hear him preach. Plus, he shares his hopes  and dreams for the city of Plano.

Plano Podcast Extra: Officer Parker Retires

We can’t let Officer Parker – “OP” – retire this month, after 34 years with Plano PD, without making a splash.  He’s become a beloved Plano character and was one of our favorite podcast interviewees ever. We’ve pumped up our February 2017 Valentine to OP episode with previously unreleased excerpts as our tribute to this very special man. Hear for yourself why Officer Arthur G. Parker means so much to the community of Plano.

Episode 45: Plano Christmas Traditions

The holidays are here! Hop on our Plano Podcast sleigh as we explore some unique Plano Christmas traditions.  Hear about a local shopping destination for people who want to celebrate a Scandinavian Christmas. Take a look at the solumn Midnight Mass in area Catholic churches and the traditional Latino Catholic procession of Las Posadas. And find out why thousands travel to Plano from around the U.S. for a spectacular Christmas program at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Episode 45 | Plano Christmas Traditions opens the door to some great Christmas traditions both local and international. Not sure what lutefisk or a Lucia celebration is? Never heard of Las Posadas? We’ve got answers. Think all Christmas church services look and feel the same? We take you from one end of the spectrum to another- from Midnight Mass to the Broadway-style production of The Gift of Christmas. Any way you choose to celebrate, we wish you the Merriest of Holiday seasons.

Episode 44: Haunted Plano

Haunted Plano. Yes, it’s a thing. Do spirits of those who lived in Plano long ago still haunt the halls and streets of our city? Many who live and work in the buildings in historic downtown Plano are convinced there’s ghostly mojo afoot. We take you to three of Plano’s Most Haunted Places and hear stories from Jamey Jamison and Leesie Pool –  two residents who’ve encountered spooky shadows from the past.   The author of Haunted Plano, Texas – aka Plano Podcast producer Mary Jacobs – is our guide.

Episode 43: North Texas Giving Day | The Giving Bunch

Start your credit cards and reach into your pockets — North Texas Giving Day is almost here!  We re-visit six Plano-area nonprofits that are doing great work in our community.  Hear why we call them The Giving Bunch, and why they deserve your support on September 19.

We’ve made it easy to give to our guests. Below are the donation pages for My Possibilities, TOPAchievers Foundation, Heritage Farmstead Museum, Hope’s Door/New Beginnings Center, The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation and Grace To Change. We also included a link to North Texas Giving Day, powered by the Communities Foundation of Texas.

My Possibilities, TOPAchievers Foundation, Heritage Farmstead Museum, Hope’s Door/New Beginnings, Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Grace to Change

North Texas Giving Day

Here’s a great way to hear more about each of these non-profits. We’ve collected our six great Plano Podcast episodes featuring these guests in an easy to listen playlist. Hear why we consider these six “The Giving Bunch” because of their service to our community.

Episode 42: Collin Creek Mall

Collin Creek Mall is headed for a bright new future. But for the “mall rats” who grew up at the mall, the memories live on.  We talk to the founder of the CCM An Era Gone By Facebook group  – 7000 strong — that’s keeping those memories alive; we meet the security officer who’s walked the halls of Collin Creek Mall since 1992 ; and we discover an urban explorer who clues us in on the Stranger Things going on underneath the mall. So dig out your hair scrunchie and Z Cavaricci’s and take a trip to the past with Plano Podcast.

Photo Credit of all tunnels: Eric Kuhns | Koonagi Media

Podcast Extra: Phil Pollacia | Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

On this historic 50th anniversary of the NASA Apollo 11 Mission- we give you more from our December, 2018 interview with Plano resident Phil Pollacia.  This special Plano Podcast Extra goes in depth with Pollacia about his hand in the space program while at IBM working a NASA in Houston, and shares facts about the Apollo Mission.