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health, fitness special section inside this issue


©Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Volume 66 Issue 19

Council approves tax rate

Wylie, Texas

Covering Wylie and the surrounding area since 1948 Wednesday, September 18, 2013

C&S Media Publications

3 Sections, 22 Pages

Producers of “The Late Show with David Letterman” arranged for a local film crew to shoot footage in Wylie, including an interview with Jerry Shaffer, the coach who brought AHMO from the television screen to the hearts of Wylie.

By Judy Truesdell Staff Writer Members of Wylie City Council voted Sept. 10 to adopt a budget of $73,333,302 and fix the tax rate at $0.88390 per $100 of assessed property valuation for fiscal year 2013’14. City Finance Director Linda Bantz said the tax rate breaks down to $0.593314 to be used for operations and maintenance and $0.290586 to fund the general debt service. “This tax ordinance will generate levies of $14,339,364 for the General Fund and $7,022,957 for the I&S (interest and sinking, or debt service) Fund,” Bantz said. She also took care to explain to the council that, although the new rate represents a half-cent reduction to taxpayers from the previous year, there will be an increase in revenue due to new construction and an increase in property value. Specifically, the new budget will raise more revenue from property taxes than last year’s budget by an amount of $1.2M, a 5.76-percent increase from last year. The property tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year is $529,470, she said. The vote by council was unanimous.


Rodeo coming this Friday, Saturday The Wylie Championship Rodeo will be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, and continuing the following night. It’s sponsored by the Wylie Chamber of Commerce, and this is the 21st year for the event. Shuttles will be running from the Wylie High School parking lot (from 6:30 p.m. until the last person leaves, according to Wylie Chamber President Mike Agnew). The rodeo will be at the Wylie Rodeo Arena at the Birmingham Agricultural Complex on Hensley Road behind WHS. There will be a mechanical bull, bronco busting, mutton busting, bull riding, barrel races, kids’ calf scramble, calf roping, Kiddie Corral, pony rides, vendors, a western theme and fair food. Agnew said there are some exciting new vendors this year, in addition to the delicious rodeo chow and goods for sale that are always outstanding. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under and seniors, and children under 3 are free. A family pack costs $20 and comes with two adult tickets and two children’s tickets. Group rates are available. For more information, visit

“This is amazing. I’m thrilled, I’m honored – and if AHMO fits your school criteria – AHMO like it!” Tom Dreesen, Photo courtesy Virdie Montgomery


AHMO receives national attention By Judy Truesdell Staff Writer The Friday night lights were shining on the Pirates and all things AHMO

Sept. 13, but they weren’t the lights of Wylie Stadium or Jerry Shaffer Stadium. They were the lights of late-night television, as comedian Tom Dreesen appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” explaining his role in

the local legend of AHMO and giving Wylie High School and the community some national attention. According to Virdie Montgomery, WHS principal, the events that led to the television coverage began when

Anita Murack, WHS math teacher, connected some dots and realized she had grown up with Dreesen in Harvey, Ill., south of Chicago. See COMEDIAN page 10A

Remembering those who rush in …

Mayor Eric Hogue visits with, from left, Cory Eubanks, Gage Loveless, Christopher Galvan and Cedrick Gooch, members of Mutiny Elite Track & Field, at the Sept. 10 council meeting. Some of the athletes made it as far as nationals in summer competition.

Fallen Firefighters Tourney Friday By Judy Truesdell Staff Writer

Photo courtesy Craig Kelly, public information

Mutiny athletes win bounty of medals By Judy Truesdell Staff Writer Members of Mutiny Elite Track & Field and their coach, Kim Washington, visited Wylie City Council Sept. 10 and were recognized for their impressive showing in competition over the summer. Washington told the group that Mutiny is a club for youngsters ages 6 to 18 who want to run summer track. They are from Wylie and the surrounding area. She said

they competed in Corpus Christi July 25 28 at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Games of Texas and had a great showing, with many of the young athletes going on to state and national competition. Washington said the young competitors are coached by a staff of volunteers and that their participation has doubled since last year. “Kids practice four days a week and go to track meets in the hot sun,” she said. Athletes who qualified for state are, for girls age 8 and under, Elyssa “NeNe”

Brooks, long jump; Leah Oyewole, long jump; and Kendall Williams, long jump. For boys in the same age group, Bryce Dixon, long jump, 100 meters and 200 meters; Ashton Foster, 800 meters; Celdon Gooch, long jump (placed first in state), high jump (second in state), and 50 meters (placed eighth in state); and Elijah Prince, long jump. For girls 10 and under, Cierra “Lanie” Gooch, 800 meters (fourth in state), 1,600

The area in question is 293 acres located west and south of Pleasant Valley Road and south of Sachse Road/South Ballard Avenue. It is currently a patchwork of four properties zoned Neighborhood Services, Agricultural District and Planned Development. It will now be Planned DevelopmentSingle Family. Residents in the area have attended several council meetings to voice their oppo-

sition to the development, and over 15 of them spoke last Tuesday. A few speakers, representing the owners of the properties, expressed support for the project, noting that several other proposals had come to their attention over the years but they had not felt they were a good use of the land. Before the floor was opened to citizens,

See TRACK page 6A

Pleasant Valley zoning change approved By Judy Truesdell

How to reach us: 972-442-5515 phone 972-442-4318 fax

75 cents

Staff Writer All members of Wylie City Council except Councilman Bennie Jones voted Sept. 10 in favor of a zoning change that will enable developer Ron Haynes to create the Dominion of Pleasant Valley, a “master planned community” in Wylie.

See GREEN page 3A

The North Texas Fallen Firefighters Memorial Golf Tournament is slated for noon this Friday, Sept. 20, at the Woodbridge Golf Course, 7400 Country Club Dr., in Wylie. The event, which benefits families of fallen firefighters, is being held locally for the fourth time. It begins at noon with a shotgun start, and four-person best ball scramble will be the format. Events include holein-one, longest drive, straightest drive, closest to the pin and more. For online registration or to download golf and sponsor package information and offline registration forms, visit golf. and click on the appropriate link. On Sept. 11, Fire Chief Randy Corbin publicized the event on local television stations KDFW and WFAA, noting that the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation continues to assist families left behind after a firefighter is killed in the line of duty. Similar golf tournaments are being held all across the country. For more information on the tournament, contact WF-R Capt. Matt McCormick at matt.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

972-442-5515 | THE WYLIE NEWS


Community urged to help fight back

WHS classes are competing to see which group can post the most photos containing “AHMO,” taken in interesting places and/or with interesting or famous people. This shot, for instance, taken by Lt. Commander Rob Scott from the cockpit of an F-18 Growler as he flew over Japan, was posted on behalf of the sophomore class by Allee Dana. The contest led the school and its war cry to national prominence on Friday’s “Late Night With David Letterman.”

By Brooke Vincent News Intern To light luminaria candles, remember the people lost to cancer, and care for the ones fighting now, organizers of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life are looking for volunteers to help with the event scheduled for Friday, May 2, 2014. Relay for Life is an overnight event where teams of people walk around a stadium track for up to 24 hours. The funds are put toward cancer research and free information and services for cancer patients and their caregivers. Almost 14 million people have beaten cancer, thanks in part to the funds raised, and every person who walks, volunteers or sponsors is helping the cause. “Our goal is $100,000 this year,” Community Manager Audra Cozart said. “We Relay to celebrate survivors, take time to remember those that are battling with cancer or have lost their battle to cancer, and to take a stand to fight back against a disease that takes away too much.” A Relay for Life planning committee startup and social is planned for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. (The location is to be determined.) “The American Cancer Society stands on the legs of our volunteers,” Cozart said. “Almost all that we do is implemented by our volunteers starting with planning the Relay in their community to executing the free services we offer to cancer patients and their families. A Relay does not exist in a community if their own members do not plan it.” To participate in the fight against cancer, the community is called to start a new team, join as a team member, survivor or caregiver, or become a part of the committee to plan the event over the next nine months. “Teams camp out around the track to show that, because cancer doesn’t sleep, one night out of the year, people of Wylie, Sachse, and Murphy will not either,” Cozart said.

Courtesy photo

Comedian tells story of AHMO on ‘Letterman’


“We were scheduled to play the number-one ranked team in the state, and I was desperate for some motivation. [Dreesen’s joke] caught my attention.” ~Jerry Shaffer

continued from page 1A

It had been Dreesen who, appearing on “The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast” in the ’70s, had told a joke that contained the now-famous Wylie war cry. As Dreesen told Letterman Friday night, “The joke was that the part of town I grew up in was so rough, we had a word that wasn’t used in other parts of the country, spelled A.H.M.O., AHMO, which means, ‘I’m gonna (AHMO) kick your butt.’” Meanwhile, back in Wylie in 1977, the Wylie Pirates were about to play tough competitor Breckenridge, and things didn’t look good for a maroon victory. Shaffer caught the Dean Martin broadcast. “Coach Shaffer heard the joke and took it to the boys, hoping it would help give them motivation,” Montgomery said. It did. And it has for over 35 years. Back to the future … Murack reached out to Dreesen via Facebook, which led to Montgomery telling him the story of what AHMO has meant to

the community and providing him an video, produced by Syneca Milan and Chris Miriti for iPatch showing the history of the phrase. “I sent him some AHMO wristbands and shirts … and he was all over it,” Montgomery said. “He showed the video to Letterman, and he loved it and thought it was a great hoot too.” The Letterman staff thought it was such a “hoot” that they arranged for a local camera crew to come to Wylie Stadium for the WHS vs. West Mesquite game. The crew taped footage of the Pirates running out of the tunnel, AFJROTC members chanting, and other spirited displays of AHMO. Local station KTVT came to town Tuesday, interviewing Shaffer, Montgomery and Ronnie Cross, who had been quarterback of the Pirates at AHMO’s inception. That story aired during the 10 p.m. broadcast prior to the Letterman show, and newscasters Karen Borta and Doug Dunbar appeared to be enjoying the story and said things to each other such as, “AHMO guess Larry Mowry has a fore-

cast we might not like to hear.” In the KTVT interview, Shaffer reflected on the night AHMO was born. “We were scheduled to play the number-one ranked team in the state,” he said, “and I was desperate for some motivation. [Dreesen’s joke] caught my attention.” There was one second left in the game, and the Pirates were down by four. AHMO was chanted, Cross threw a touchdown pass to Roy Fuentes, and the Pirates won 12-10, going on to win the school’s only (so far) state championship. “When we went back to town, AHMO was all over everywhere,” Cross said. On the “Letterman broadcast, Dreesen took his seat on the infamous sofa and Letterman jumped right into the subject about which everyone in Wylie was no doubt anxious to hear. Dreesen told the story, cutting at random to the footage from the ’77 Dean Martin broadcast, the KTVT footage, and portions of the iPatch video. He misidentified Murack as Anita “Wylie” for which he apologized on Facebook later; Murack said it was an easy mistake to have made, since her maiden name was “Willey.” Dreesen had said he hoped to engage the Letterman audience in an AHMO chant, which didn’t happen; but he also said he plans to come to town in 2014, attend a football game, and perform his one-man show at the Eisemann Center in Richardson. (Dreesen was the opening act for Frank Sinatra for many years, and his show is a collection of anecdotes about that era.) Dreesen was also taped as part of the local broadcast, and he summed things up. “This is amazing. I’m thrilled, I’m honored – and if AHMO fits your school criteria – AHMO like it!” The Channel 11 video can be seen at http://dfw.cbslocal. com/2013/09/13/comediandescribes-origin-of-wylie-highschool-battle-cry/ . The interview (with local footage omitted) with Letterman is posted at com/watch?v=Nwpa0cEPkc0 .

09 18 ahmo gets national coverage  
09 18 ahmo gets national coverage