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Plano Podcast is an relaxed, interview-style show focused on Plano, TX. Our guests tell their stories in their own words. We’re inside our city, just outside of what you might expect.
Jun 24, 2020
Episode 50 | Plano BLM Rally | Hungry for Change
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".
Apr 27, 2020
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.
Mar 21, 2020
Episode 48 | Coronavirus | Covid-19 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.
Mar 6, 2020
Episode 47 | Rex Burkhead with Robyn Burkhead | Team Jack Trifecta
Plano hometown hero and Super Bowl Champ Rex Burkhead is gearing up for the 4th Annual Team Jack Trifecta, a fundraiser for pediatric brain cancer that takes place in Plano in March 21, 2020. Rex checked in with us again for an update - and this time, he brought his mom, Robyn Burkhead who’s a champ in her own right. Hear their amazing story.
Feb 12, 2020
Episode 46 | Plano Valentine | Isiah Joshua Jr
It's that time of year when we show some love! Allow us 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.
Jan 18, 2020
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.
Dec 10, 2019
Episode 45 | Plano Christmas Traditions
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.
Oct 17, 2019
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.
Sep 8, 2019
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. Our Plano Podcast website has 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.
Jul 25, 2019
Episode 42 | Collin Creek Mall
Collin Creek Mall is headed for a bright new future. But for the “mall rats” who grew up at Collin Creek Mall, the mall lives on. We talk to the founder of a Collin Creek Mall 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.
Jul 19, 2019
Podcast Extra | Phil Pollacia | Apollo 11 50th Anniversary
We introduced you to Plano resident Phil Pollacia in Episode 37 | Launch last year. On this historic 50th anniversary of the NASA Apollo 11 Mission- we give you more from that interview and more detail about his hand in the space program. This special Plano Podcast Extra goes in depth with Pollacia and shares facts about the Apollo Mission.
Jul 12, 2019
Episode 41 | Greg Matthews | Wild Awakening
The story of Greg Matthews Wild Awakening is more that meets the eye. All his life, Greg J. Matthews felt the need to prove himself as a man — until a horrifying, near-death encounter with a grizzly bear put him on the path to healing. Hear this Plano resident’s amazing story, and why he wrote the book Wild Awakening: How a Raging Grizzly Healed My Wounded Heart. Greg's story was featured on the Animal Planet "I Was Prey" series, Season Two Episode Six.
May 25, 2019
Episode 40 Plano Politics | Who's Pulling Your Strings
Money from developers, endorsements from Governor Abbott and a Midland-based PAC working behind the scenes. Why are so many outside influences involved in Plano’s elections? Who’s pulling the strings and why? Three political consultants with experience ranging from local to statewide elections help us look for answers.
Mar 5, 2019
Episode 39 | Rex Burkhead | Team Jack
You and the New England Patriots just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do next? If you’re Rex Burkhead, you’re going to Plano! Find out what brings Rex back home to Plano and how you can help him help kids with brain cancer, at Team Jack TRIFECTA.
Feb 14, 2019
Episode 38 | Living in Transition
In affluent Plano … do we really have homeless folks? We tagged along for the annual census of the homeless in Collin County to find out. Plus, we met the volunteers who serve the homeless when the weather turns cold and talked with Plano ISD’s liaison to homeless students and their families. Plus, a success story: Ron Bultongez, former resident of Plano’s shelter for homeless teens, and now a rising musical star.
Dec 1, 2018
Episode 37 | Launch
LAUNCH! That’s our theme this episode, taking you on a journey into new horizons. Meet Plano resident Phil Pollacia who played a key role in the early days of NASA’s space program - and two women launching the Plano pickleball craze. Finally, we take you behind the scenes at North Texas Performing Arts - as one of us attempts to launch their community acting career in Scrooge- the Musical.
Nov 1, 2018
Episode 36 Voices | Diwali in Plano
In India, Diwali is like Christmas, Thanksgiving Halloween and New Year all rolled into one big holiday. It’s kind of a big deal in Plano, too, for our 23,000 South Asian residents. We talked to five Plano residents to learn more about the Festival of Lights.
Oct 19, 2018
Episode 35 Voices | Dylan Rafaty
Dylan Rafaty is on a mission in Plano and across Texas to boost awareness of people with disabilities. A Plano ISD graduate, hear what he’s up to and why this millennial is so passionate about inclusivity, in this Plano Podcast Voices episode.
Sep 27, 2018
Episode 34 Plano School Safety
When it comes to school safety, how secure are Plano ISD schools? We take an in-depth look at what school and police officials are doing to keep kids safe, and meet some dads who are pitching in to help. Plus, mum’s the word for our curiosity, a look at a homecoming tradition.
Aug 21, 2018
Plano Podcast Extra Keishon Ireland
To celebrate back to school- we re-introduce you to Keishon Ireland. He's the 2018 Plano ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year- and a great reason to be excited to get back to school.
Jul 27, 2018
Episode 33 Libraries Out Loud
We're headed to the library ... and we're not going quietly! Find out why the Plano Public Library is more than books - way more - and how the library can help you find a job, research your ancestors, meet new people, learn a language, take up a new hobby AND save you money. Plus, meet the super-sorters getting ready for the annual book sale ... and get on board the library's sweet new ride.
Jun 19, 2018
Episode 32 Men Gone Wild
In this episode, we turn the spotlight on MEN GONE WILD in Plano. Meet a few of Plano’s hardest working, standout males … Starting with a visit to Metroflex Gym – where the workouts are old school and hard core. Next, a sneak peek at Drag Queen Bingo, an event attracting sellout crowds to downtown Plano. Finally, meet Keishon Ireland, Plano ISD’s elementary school teacher of the year for 2018 -- and learn why kids love having this guy in the classroom.
May 22, 2018
Episode 31 Plano Farm Life
We take a look at Plano farm life, both past and present. Spring brought new life to the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano this year - as well as a heartbreaking reminder of the struggles that faced the area's original settlers. We take a look back at Plano's rural roots in this episode. Plus - if you've ever driven by Wells Brothers farm store and wondered what's inside - you'll find out, because we take you there to meet Richard Wells for our Plano Podcast Curiosity. Finally, meet one of Plano's historic characters: a sheep breeder, poker player and national celebrity Ammie Wilson.
Apr 5, 2018
Episode 30 Troubled Waters
We're navigating troubled waters in Plano, following a chlorine burn that led Erin Brockovich to call out our water system as unsafe. We help you sort out the fears from the facts. Plus, we visit Plano ISD's little known museum, and meet a Plano resident who shares a message of gratitude from the people of the Netherlands for their American liberators.
Feb 25, 2018
Episode 29 Plano Property Taxes Unplugged
Plano property taxes: they've skyrocketed, taxing some Plano families out of their homes. Why are they so high? And where is the money going? We talk to three elected officials in Plano to find out. Plus, we introduce you to this episode's Character - a real sweetheart who's helping vulnerable animals in Plano. And finally, we take on a burning question about Plano's proper demonym.
Feb 1, 2018
Episode 28 Domestic Violence | Plano Issues and Resources
The mass shooting September 11, 2017 sent a grim reminder: domestic violence happens in Plano. We find out how Hope’s Door / New Beginnings and Plano PD help victims and even batterers toward a new life. Meet our Plano character, former NBA player and Plano resident Stephen Howard who’s inspiring and mentoring the next generation. Plus, we bust a Super Bowl myth and show you how shop to fight domestic violence.
Nov 30, 2017
Episode 27 | Home for the Holidays, Plano
Will you be home for the holidays in Plano? If so, we've got you covered with this episode. Guests share the very best Plano offers in food, festivities, faith and ways to give as the season begins. Our Curiosity takes you back to the Great Texas Snow of 1929 - and shares how your family can commemorate that historic event: at Lantern Light at the Heritage Farmstead this year. And finally, our Character is pretty special. In fact, it's a pair that you'll want to stay on the good side of this holiday season. Happy Holidays, Plano!
Nov 27, 2017
Episode 26 | Tale of Two Planos
It's our tale of two Planos. Either Plano’s a great city on track for an even better future … or, Plano is headed to hell in a hand basket. Two completely different narratives are leading Plano residents to choose sides. We look at how divisiveness brings out the worst in us, and offer insights on how to improve our communication across the aisle … with help from a political consultant and an expert in dispute resolution. Plus, we introduce you to the Great Bobcat Debate … and a Plano character who unites us to care for those in need.
Oct 12, 2017
Episode 25 | Plano Family Plots
Just in time for Halloween ... we take you on a spooky tour of Plano family plots, the pioneer cemeteries of Plano. From tiny family plots tucked in quiet corners, to Plano Mutual, the sprawling final resting place for thousands of souls we visit with the living, telling tales of the departed. Learn the dark and tragic tale from Plano's past that's the origin story of one graveyard, and uncover the hidden stories behind headstones, of the founding families' heartbreaking losses, resilience and faith. Finally, we meet a few of passionate Plano citizens who are working to preserve and restore these historic treasures -- including one who's earned the title of "the Cemetery Lady of Collin County."
Sep 15, 2017
Episode 24 | The Harvey Response
When Hurricane Harvey struck, Plano responded. We'll hear creative ways Plano residents stepped up to help, go behind the scenes at Allen, TX based Trusted World, where donations are sorted and shipped to Houston. We talk to a Plano church that's the hub for a nationwide recovery effort and ask Plano's emergency management team for tips on weathering a disaster. Plus, an exclusive tour of the Interurban's Car 360 from Motorman Jack, and a taste test of a throwback frozen confection -- available only in Plano.
Aug 23, 2017
Episode 23 | Late Night Plano
Plano night life - no, it's not an oxymoron! Brixton, Scruffy Duffies, Brick Road Theatre, Hyena's Comedy Club and even the Texas Pool- we catch the Friday night vibe. From 80's hair band Metal Shop; to a Patsy Cline tribute performance by Julie Johnson; as well as American Idol finalist Josh Wright - music makes the scene in this episode. Plano Firefighter Marco Banuelas is our featured character, giving us a glimpse behind the scenes, and plenty of entertainment. Chiborken, anyone?
Jul 17, 2017
Episode 22 | Steve Stoler
Steve Stoler has seen Plano from both sides now - as a TV news reporter covering the Collin County beat for two decades, and now as the city's media spokesperson. And Steve's got stories - from the breaking national news he witnessed firsthand, to his longtime friendship with Plano's own "Doctor Doolittle." Hear his behind-the-scenes tales, as well as a cheeky nod to Ron Burgundy in this episode.
Jun 17, 2017
Episode 21 Sleepless Nghts
Hear from those who have dared the many sleepless nights to create a TEDxPlano experience, all for the love of "ideas worth spreading." Do you have what it takes to deliver a TEDx Talk, or organize a TEDx event? Find out, as we go behind the scenes at TEDxPlano, the annual event that draws hundreds of devotees from across North Texas.
Apr 23, 2017
Episode 20 Apartments
Feelings are running high over Plano's upcoming May 6 election. At the center of the fury: homeowners up in arms over high-density apartments built or approved in Plano in recent years. They fear too many apartments will drag down schools, snarl traffic and affect our quality of life. We look at the question of apartments - good or bad for Plano? And we separate fact from fiction.
Apr 17, 2017
Episode 19 Play Ball, Plano | Bill Van Horn
It's the start of Spring softball and baseball season in Plano. All across our city ball fields are packed with excited parents, hopeful players and a team of umpires ready to get the games underway. In this Plano Podcast Extra, we meet umpire Bill Van Horn who has spent his life devoted to the love of the game.
Mar 27, 2017
Episode 18 Mabrie and Marshall Jackson
Mabrie Griffith Jackson and Marshall Jackson weren't born in Plano, but they got here as soon as they could. Mabrie and Marshall know Plano. They opened up to us about Plano politics, Plano football, the Thunderbird Roller Rink, and all that came with growing up here in the 1970's. Get the inside story on their relationship and why they're excited about the future. Spoiler alert, that future probably includes more episodes of Marshall TV.
Feb 13, 2017
Episode 17 Plano Valentine | Officer Arthur G. Parker, Jr.
We’re sending a Plano Podcast Valentine to one of our Plano’s most beloved characters: Officer Arthur G. Parker, Jr, widely known as "OP", around town. Parker, who has been with the Plano Police Department for 31 years, was the department’s Officer of the Year for 2015, making him the first school resource officer in department history to receive that award. He’s also the only Officer in Plano we’re aware of that has their own Facebook Fan page. If you haven’t met OP yet - or heard him play his harmonica, or watched him dance, or listened to him rap - you won’t want to miss this episode.
Feb 7, 2017
Episode 16 Interviewing the Interviewer | Nick Bridwell | Podcast Extra
After Nick Bridwell of Plano Magazine interviewed us for a story, we turned the tables and interviewed him. Listen in on the conversation, in this bite-sized Plano Podcast Extra.
Feb 3, 2017
Episode 15 First Up | Plano Early Risers
Does the early bird REALLY get the worm? Does "early to rise" truly make you healthy, wealthy and wise? For some answers, we dragged ourselves out of bed before the crack of dawn to talk to some Plano early risers. By the time the rest of us are awake, they've been up for hours. Find out what they've been doing and how it affects their careers, bodies and minds.
Dec 15, 2016
Episode 14 Art and Wine Walk in Downtown Plano
The Downtown Plano Art and Wine Walk in December. Yes, it was the coldest night Plano had seen in 2016, but there was wine, art, shopping and music. So naturally we had to go. Catch the vibe from the Downtown Plano Art & Wine Walk and hear from brave crowd members (and one not-so-timid youngster) willing to answer a few questions live on our mic. It was a historic night for our city, listen to find out why.
Dec 5, 2016
Episode 13 Plano Heroin Shutdown | 20 Years Revisited
It’s been 20 years since Plano, Texas was gripped in a heroin crisis. Go behind the headlines to hear the story from the remarkable team who worked to save lives and shut down a major drug operation in the city. The painful lessons remain relevant for the nation and local community today.
Nov 15, 2016
Episode 12 Plano Panto | Holidays Get Hilarious
In Plano, the holidays get hilarious with Theatre Britain's annual panto production. This episode opens the curtain to a raucous family holiday treat. The Plano theater company’s production has all the traditional elements – a fractured fairy tale that features the dame who's actually a guy, a ghostly cameo, and lots of audience participation. We go behind the scenes to hear from the director and meet some of the actors, plus, an extensive wrap-up with performing arts critic Mark Lowry of TheaterJones, who weighs in on growing diversity of theater and arts productions in Plano.
Oct 21, 2016
Episode 11 Storytellers | Haunted Plano
Haunted Plano is a glimpse into Plano's history, full of stories with a ghostly flavor. Not for the faint of heart, hear the tales of the past including the Zodiac Rider, the Muncey Massacre and Ellen Henry- a woman from Hunter Farrell's past.
Oct 6, 2016
Episode 10 Webb Traffic | Duncan Webb
Traffic. It's what's up in Plano and all of Collin County, TX. Are we destined for California-style gridlock? Collin County Commissioner Duncan Webb shares his vision and challenges on the plan to ease gridlock as we take a journey together into the year 2040. We wrap with a special Route 380 road trip to meet with Mayor John-Mark Caldwell and City Manager Derek Borg of Princeton, TX. Our conversation is where the rubber meets the road.
Sep 15, 2016
Episode 9 Top Achievers | Lawrence Mann
Plano's own Lawrence Mann shares his remarkable story that led to a lifetime dedicated to giving youth the skills for success- well beyond the basketball court. Through his Top Achievers Program and Foundation, work as a Plano ISD At-Risk Specialist, and his Man-Up/Young Women Incorporated programs his impact is far-reaching and deeply felt by his students. Meet Coach Mann, two of his three sons, and hear the tale of an extraordinary leader, character and mentor who has never taken his eye off the ball.
Aug 26, 2016
Episode 8 | Storytellers | Dog Days
Meet the three selected winners from our Storytellers / Writers call for entry. One student, one published author, and one blogger are featured, each reading their unique interpretation of Dog Days. A creative breath of cool air on a hot summer day, from some of the best Plano independent voices.
Jul 5, 2016
Episode 7 Mayor Harry LaRosiliere | City Or Suburb
Is Plano a suburb of Dallas, or a city in its own right? Dallas Morning News columnist says that Plano remains Dallas' little brother, but Mayor Harry LaRosiliere counters with his own vision of "Plano 3.0." We look at the word "suburb," and all of its baggage, and how the question gets at the heart of how Plano defines itself going forward.
Jun 16, 2016
Episode 6 Aces Of Suits
With the advent of "business casual," fewer and fewer men are wearing tailored suits in Plano. But we found a few who continue to rock the suit with style. Find out how the trend toward casual has changed the way men shop in Plano, and meet our Aces of Suits.
May 8, 2016
Episode 2 David Downs | Arts In Plano Extra
Nobody's better equipped to talk about the future of the arts in Plano than David Downs. He's a member of Plano City Council, and an accomplished photographer. David talks about the vision for the downtown arts district in Plano and how fostering a "creative class" within the community makes Plano a more attractive destination for employers.
May 1, 2016
Episode 5 Diane Reeve | Standing Strong
As the owner of a Plano karate studio, Diana Reeve likes to say that she teaches courage for a living. She called on every ounce of her own courage when she learned that her longtime boyfriend had knowingly given her HIV — along with dozens of other women. Reeve shares her incredible tale of banding together with other women, taking the boyfriend to court, and winning.
May 1, 2016
Episode 4 Macy Hedrick | Plano Grown
How do you know you’re from Plano? Oklahoma State University student Macy Hedrick proposed “20 Signs You Grew Up in Plano” in an essay that’s gone viral. The Plano native shares those signs, along with her observations on growing up in Plano, the transition from Plano ISD to higher education, and why she misses the Purple Cow.
May 1, 2016
Episode 3 Skypony | Arts In Plano Extra
The unlikeliest places can become spaces for artists to flourish. Just ask Douglas and Kiki Winters, owners of Skypony Studios. They’re directors of an artists’ village in Valley View Center, an aging mall that was virtually abandoned, until the Winters helped bring in artists’ galleries and studios. They share their vision for bringing art to Plano and parts north of 635.
May 1, 2016
Episode 1 Ten20 Gallery | Arts In Plano
Some guys get together to go hunting, or fishing, or to play poker, but these three guys got together to open an art gallery -- or, "art cave" as they like to call it. Meet the instigators behind the newly-opened Ten20 Gallery in downtown Plano: Jorg Fercher, Jeff Bergus, and Ken Wesley. Find out how Ten20 Gallery has become a hub that's bringing art and artists from all over North Texas into the downtown neighborhood.