MUCH NEEDED DRY WEATHER EXPECTED FOR MCKINNEY

MUCH NEEDED DRY WEATHER EXPECTED FOR MCKINNEY

After heavy rains caused flooding throughout the McKinney area last week, weather forecasters are predicting some much-needed dry weather for the area through Thursday. This will allow those affected by flooding to cleanup and dry out before the next rain system moves in over the weekend.

Heavy Rains

Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico combined with Tropical Storm Patricia caused significant rainfall in parts of the area. Some areas of the state received between four and eight inches of rain while others received more than a foot. Corsicana was the hardest hit in the area with 20 inches of rain falling last week. With dry weather predicted, rivers that are still overflowing should recede, although some may continue to rise into midweek as smaller tributaries drain into larger rivers.

Saturated Ground

Forecasters say that the rain predicted for the upcoming weekend could also be heavy and may lead to more flooding concerns. There is still much speculation about the amount of rain expected. However, because the ground is already saturated from last week’s heavy rains, just a few inches of rain in the next week could result in additional flooding in some areas of Texas.

Protecting Your HVAC System

Heavy rain and flooding can cause significant damage to your HVAC system, especially outdoor units. In addition to rain and flooding, hail is also a major problem in Texas. However, there are things you can do to protect your system from damage even in severe weather. One suggestion is to place protective covers over your HVAC unit as hail and other debris are the most common causes of damage. Most outdoor systems are designed to withstand some damage, but not severe flooding or large hail. If your home is in an area prone to flooding, you may want to elevate your outdoor unit to keep it safe from rising waters.

Other Areas of the Home

If you find you have water in your basement after heavy rains, especially if your HVAC unit is located there, you may want to consider installing a sump pump to remove excess water. There are several types of sump pumps available and many offer an automatic on/off option that activates when water rises to a certain level. Another way to protect your entire home is to keep debris out of your yard. Remove tree limbs and other debris that may develop in your yard after smaller storms to avoid damage during more severe storms. When high winds are predicted, it is also advisable to remove potted plants, patio furniture and other outdoor items to keep them from blowing during a storm.

AAA Air is here to answer all your HVAC questions. We can review your system and help you add protections that will keep your system safe in even the most severe storm. Contact us today by telephone or online to learn how we can help you with all your HVAC needs before the next severe storm strikes.

Source:
AccuWeather

HOPE’S DOOR KICKS OFF FUND-RAISING GALA CAMPAIGN

HOPE’S DOOR KICKS OFF FUND-RAISING GALA CAMPAIGN

Hope’s Door, a domestic violence prevention agency, kicked off their fund-raising campaign, announcing a gala to be held on November 7, 2015. The event, entitled “An Evening of Hope,” is themed as a “Night in Morocco” at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park. The evening will include a VIP reception and lounge experience, silent and live auction, cocktails and dinner with a Moroccan flair followed by a live music.

Chairpersons Touched by Domestic Violence

This year, the event is co-chaired by Michelle Rivera and Amanda Award with honorary chairpersons Mioshi and Chris Johnson. Ms. Johnson is the co-founder of a non-profit agency, Pretty Smart Girls, and her husband is a former NFL player whose sister was murdered in a domestic violence incident. The Johnson’s have raised his sister’s two children along with their own and have been outspoken advocates against domestic violence. Tania and Glenn Beck were named recipients of the Heroes of Hope Award for their commitment to preventing domestic violence as Mr. Beck witnessed domestic violence during his own childhood.

Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which evolved from the “Day of Unity” in 1981 with the intent to connect advocates across the country who were working to end violence against women and children. The focus of Domestic Awareness month is to mourn those who have died as a result of domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived and connect the different agencies that fight to end domestic violence around the world. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds in the United States. Throughout the country, 72 percent of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner and 20 percent of the victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but a family member or friend who attempted to intervene.

About Hope’s Door

Hope’s Door was established in 1986 as a crisis hotline. The agency housed domestic violence victims in local hotels until they were able to open a 21-bed emergency shelter in Plano. Today, the mission of Hope’s Door is to offer intervention and prevention services to families who are affected by domestic violence, whether it is through education, intervention or assistance. Each year, Hope’s Door responds to almost 2,000 crisis hotline calls, shelters more than 400 women and children as well as over 50 families in transitional housing. They have provided legal assistance and counseling to more than 1,300 domestic violence supporters.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at h@hasevents.com. There are also sponsorships available and there is also an After Party which will feature a hookah lounge, music and more. AAA Air, your premier HVAC service company, hopes to see an end to domestic violence, not only in Texas, but around the world. The work done by Hope’s Door and other agencies is making a difference for victims of domestic abuse throughout the area. For more information on AAA Air and the services they offer, give them a call today or find them online.

Source:
Star Local Media

MCKINNEY PARKING GARAGE MEETS CRITICISM

MCKINNEY PARKING GARAGE MEETS CRITICISM

A parking garage proposed for the downtown historic area of McKinney has met with criticism from residents and business owners. The new garage is planned for an existing lot between Louisiana and Virginia Streets, just over a block from the old courthouse that has been the anchor of the downtown square for years.

Bond Package

On November 3, residents are being asked to vote on a bond package to complete $160 million worth of projects in the city. One of those projects is a $10 million five-story parking garage that includes a basement. City leaders say that the façade of the building will mimic storefronts in the historic area. Despite those assurances, some in the city are concerned that the garage will be an eyesore that will not compliment the downtown area. For this reason, there are many signs cropping up throughout town urging townspeople to vote “no” on Proposition 5, which will be on the ballot in November.

Historic Center

McKinney’s historic center consists of unique boutiques, bars and cafes that are surrounded by older homes. A rendering of the parking garage showed an exterior with awnings, small windows and finishes that resemble brick and stone, much like buildings that already exist in McKinney’s square. At its highest point the garage will only be slightly higher than a nearby office building and hotel. The location was chosen after many months of public deliberation. City leaders say that if the proposition fails, they will delay plans for a parking garage for the foreseeable future.

Parking Issues

Public and private lots near the city center provide only 2,576 parking spaces and a 2014 study found that peak occupancy in the downtown area was around 52 percent. Parking becomes a problem closer to the courthouse and more than half the parking is more than two blocks from the square. Often, the spaces near the courthouse are full or mostly full, although large parking lots a few blocks away remain empty. For this reason, many business owners believe that better lighting and signage would be a better option than a new parking garage. Other business owners say that customers often complain about the lack of parking in the downtown area, feeling that the new parking garage would increase foot traffic and business in the downtown area.

The city reviewed two other locations before choosing the current proposed placement of the garage. One site would have been much more expensive because the city would have to purchase the land and the other location had traffic access problems. AAA Air is a proud member of the McKinney community. If you are considering replacement of your HVAC system, contact us today to see how we can help. We can provide an overview of your system and recommend steps that will keep your system operating smoothly both in the winter and the summer. Give us a call or visit us online to learn how we can keep your HVAC system running efficiently.

Sources:
NBC DFW
McKinney Courier Gazette

MCKINNEY FIRE DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS TO CHECK SMOKE ALARMS

MCKINNEY FIRE DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS TO CHECK SMOKE ALARMS

The McKinney Fire Department is joining forces with the National Fire Protection Association and a local Domino’s Pizza franchise to remind local residents about the importance of working smoke detectors. The fire company said that smoke detectors should be placed in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas and on each level of the home.

Seconds Count

Stacie Durham, spokesperson for the McKinney Fire Department, says that seconds count when a home catches on fire. She said that half of the deaths due to fire are between the hours of 11 PM and 7 AM when the majority of people are sleeping. A smoke alarm alerts residents to a fire even when they are asleep, allowing them enough time to escape. The fire department also suggests interconnecting smoke detectors so that when one sounds, they all sound and says that alarms should be tested at least once each month. Batteries need to be replaced in smoke detectors and Durham recommends replacing the batteries each time residents set their clocks ahead or back for Daylight Savings Time. Everyone in the home should learn the sound of the alarm so that when it does sound, they know to escape. Even small children can be taught what the alarm sounds like, shown how to escape and where to meet family members.

Pizza and Smoke Detectors

During the week of October 4 through the 10, random delivery orders from local Domino’s Pizza stores were selected to be delivered via fire truck. When the trucks arrived, fire fighters checked to be sure the home had working smoke detectors. If they did, their pizza was free. The goal of the promotion was to prevent fire deaths as three out of five deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is an invisible threat as it is a colorless, odorless gas produced by appliances that burn fuel, such as furnaces, water heaters or fireplaces. The gas can build up in homes when a furnace or other fuel burning appliance malfunctions or is improperly vented. Homes with fuel burning appliances should have a carbon monoxide detector installed to warn residents if the levels of the deadly gas rise to unsafe levels.

Carbon monoxide interferes with the normal oxygen intake in the body. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning sometimes mimic symptoms of the flu, including dizziness, nausea and a feeling of disorientation. Unlike the flu, however, when the person leaves the home, the symptoms may improve, only to return when they return to the area with high levels of carbon dioxide.

When checking smoke detectors, it is also important to check carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are in working order if your home has any fuel burning appliances. If you suspect carbon monoxide in your home, contact AAA Air for a service call immediately. They can test your home for the deadly gas and make any repairs necessary to make your home safe again.

Source:
McKinney Texas

SAN MARCOS CLEANING UP AFTER HISTORIC FLOODS

SAN MARCOS CLEANING UP AFTER HISTORIC FLOODS

For the third time in two years, San Marcos residents are cleaning up after what has been labeled “historic flooding.” Two years ago, the area was hard hit by flooding only to suffer significant flooding again Memorial Day weekend of 2015. Over the Halloween weekend, flood waters again invaded homes inform Wimberley to San Marcos to Onion Creek.

Surveying Damage

Many residents who say they have still not recovered from the flooding on Memorial Day. However, on Saturday, many faced as much as a half-inch of mud in their homes. More than 600 people had to be evacuated during the flooding but there were no deaths reported. One person reported missing was found safe over the weekend.

Flood Dangers

Floods are the second most deadly types of natural disaster, second only to tornadoes in lost lives and property. However, in, Texas, people are more likely to be killed by flooding during storms than by a tornado. Texas has led the country in deaths by flooding, with three out of four of those deaths occurring when drivers try to escape cars overtaken by floodwaters. In the United States, floods cause almost $9 billion annually and, in 2011, 113 people died as a result of floods.

Protecting Your Property

The best way to protect yourself and your family during weather that may cause flooding is to evacuate the area when a flood warning is announced. It is critical to do so before bad weather arrives, however, as flood waters can rise rapidly, trapping people in rising waters with no opportunity for escape. In addition, there are things you can do that will protect your property from significant damage during flooding. Keep all important documents in a safe-deposit box that is easily transported should you need to evacuate.

Raise your furnace, water heater and electric panel to higher levels or place them in the attic if your home is prone to flooding. Install check valves in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing the drains up into your home. You may also seal showers, tubs or basins using corks or stoppers to prevent water from entering your home through the drains. Seal walls and basements with waterproofing compounds. Use barriers such as sand bags or other methods to create berms and flood walls surrounding your home.

Although these measures may only be temporary measures during extreme flooding, they can provide you with additional protection when the area around your home floods. AAA Air can review your HVAC system to determine if it is protected from flooding. If it is determined you need to move your furnace, water heater or air conditioning unit to another location to avoid flood damage, AAA Air can provide knowledgeable, courteous and licensed technicians who will perform the necessary changes and have your system back up and running in no time. Protect your greatest investment – your home – with a system review by AAA Air.

Source:
Time Warner Cable News

TWO VETERAN TRIBUTES PLANNED FOR MCKINNEY

TWO VETERAN TRIBUTES PLANNED FOR MCKINNEY

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, officials and dignitaries will commemorate those who have served our country at the Veterans Day Tribute. The ceremony will be held at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 11 AM. In addition, a sundown ceremony will be held on November 11, 2015 at Veteran’s Memorial Park to honor those who have been lost serving the country.

Veteran’s Day Tribute

The Veteran’s Day Tribute scheduled for November 7 will include a “missing man” formation flyover as well as patriotic song performances by the McKinney North High School Choir. Guest speakers will include United States Congressman Sam Johnson, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller and retired Major John “Lucky” Luckadoo of the United States Army Air Forces and the United States Air Force. Representative Johnson is a decorated war hero who served 29 years in the United States Air Force. He flew combat missions in both Korea and Vietnam. While serving in Vietnam, Representative Johnson endured almost seven years as a prisoner in Hanoi, 42 months of which were in solitary confinement. Major Luckadoo was one of the original pilots in the 100th Bomb Group, known as the Bloody Hundredth, in World War II. He earned his nickname, “Lucky,” after surviving a Nazi attack that shot down 12 of the 18 planes that left on the mission. The fuselage of his plane had so many bullet holes, he developed frostbite from the freezing air as he struggled to return to England with the five other planes that survive the attack.

Veteran’s Day Ceremony

The Veteran’s Day Ceremony promises to be a solemn occasion as those lost in battle are remembered. During the ceremony, names displayed on the Wall of Honor in Veterans Memorial Park will be read. The Wall of Honor lists the names of all Collin County residents who died in the line of duty and the park honors all veterans. At 5:26 PM, an assembly bugle call will sound and the entire ceremony should last 45 minutes.

Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Memorial Park in McKinney is located in Van Tuyl Plaza at Craig Ranch. In addition to the Wall of Honor, there is a lighted American flag flying 24 hours each day over the wall and a fountain at the base of the flagpole symbolically waters the Shumard Red Oak trees. Each of the trees represents a branch of the Armed Services. There is also a ribbon-like walkway that extends from one end of the park to the other. The park was dedicated on Veteran’s Day 2011.

AAA Air thanks the men and women who fight for our freedom, both here in this country and on foreign lands. We know that their sacrifice is what makes our country great and keeps us free for generations. If you are in need of HVAC service or would like to have a thorough review of your system, contact us at AAA Air today, either by phone or online, to schedule your no obligation appointment. We are here to serve you and your needs.

Source:
mckinneytexas.org

BOBCATS RETURN TO MCKINNEY

BOBCATS RETURN TO MCKINNEY

During the fall, bobcats return to the McKinney area to prey and their most recent hunting grounds have been in the western area of the city. This is because, as the weather cools, bobcats work to stake their territory.

Education is Key
According to Bonnie Bradshaw, who leads 911 Wildlife, an organization that educates people on how to handle the invasion of an urban area by a predator, there has never been a documented case of a bobcat attacking a human being in the history of the country. Bobcats prey on small animals, birds and rodents. They find their way into areas inhabited by humans through storm drains that empty into local creeks. To avoid summer heat, bobcats often hide under decks and sheds, but as the weather cools, they begin to appear in yards and woods.

Fertile Hunting Grounds
Because food is often plentiful in suburbs, larger offspring often are found with their mother in the fall. The area surrounding McKinney is home to a large number of bobcats, according to experts. Officials are unsure how many bobcats are in the area, but Texas Parks and Wildlife has placed radio collars on approximately 15 of them in order to determine how far their territory reaches.

Small Pets in Danger
Although bobcats pose little threat to humans, small pets may become prey for one of the wild cats. Experts say that if a bobcat is sighted, it is not recommended that people take photos of them. When bobcats venture into open areas, they are often shot or captured so the flash of a camera may cause them to feel the need to demonstrate their desire to be the alpha animal. At one time, parks employees trapped the bobcats, but this actually increased their numbers.

House Damage
Wildlife, including bobcats, may cause problems with your HVAC system as well. Animals can infiltrate air ducts, creating holes that can allow air to escape your home. In addition, wildlife can sometimes crawl into an outside condenser in an effort to keep warm. When the fan is turned back on, not only can the animal be injured severely, it can cause damage to your unit as well. Even worse, if a wild animal gets into your HVAC system and dies, the smell can permeate your entire home. The odor can be very difficult to eliminate and may require replacement of a significant amount of your ductwork or your outdoor unit.

Protect your HVAC system by cleaning the area around your condenser daily and using pet repellant made of scents that animals try to avoid. If a wild animal has damaged your duct work or HVAC system, contact AAA Air in order to get your system back up and running as quickly as possible. They can identify the problem and provide the steps you need to follow to repair the damage caused by the wild animals. Keep your HVAC system operating efficiently and smoothly by contacting AAA Air today.

Source:
Star Local Media

CITY OF MCKINNEY OFFERS HOUSING REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTION LOANS

CITY OF MCKINNEY OFFERS HOUSING REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTION LOANS

The City of McKinney offers a Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Loan Program that is funded by the HOME Investment Partnership Program and the Community Development Block Grant in order to provide home repairs for low- and moderate-income homeowners. More than 60 families are able to make emergency repairs, small repairs and perform minor home rehabilitation projects. There is a $50,000 limit, although the city does offer a Home Reconstruction program for major repairs that may cost more than $50,000.

Eligibility for Loans

In order to be eligible for the low-interest loans, homeowners must meet income requirements. A household of one person cannot earn more than $39,450 per year and the income levels go up depending on the number of people living in the household. A family of four must not make more than $56,300 while a family of eight must not make more than $74,350. Income of all family members, except minors under 18, must be included in the income determination. Title in the home must be in the applicants name and they must have lived in the residence for at least one year. Mortgage payments must be current and the owner must agree to remain in the home for at least five years. Property taxes and other debts owed to the city must also be current.

Property Eligibility

In order for the property to be eligible, it must be owner-occupied and a single family dwelling. The property must have adequate homeowner’s insurance. However, if insurance as been denied due to the condition of the dwelling, the applicant may provide proof of the denial along with a homeowner’s quote from a licensed insurance agency at the time of application. The homeowner must agree to provide proof of insurance no less than one month after the work is completed. The City of McKinney must be listed as an additional mortgagee on the insurance policy. Mobile homes are not eligible for the program.

Types of Projects

The loans can be used for basic rehabilitation projects, such as bringing a structure into acceptable living condition or correction of health and safety code violations. The loan can also be used for disabled access, such as installation of ramps, widening doors or lowering of sinks and countertops. HVAC repairs may be performed using loan proceeds, although the purchase of window units is not permitted. The applicant must also agree to remove all unvented space heaters. Emergency repairs for items that may threaten the health or safety of those living in the household , such as loss of heat during cold weather, may qualify for immediate repairs up to $5,000 as long as all other qualifications are met.

If your HVAC system has failed or is not working properly, you may qualify for this program through the City of McKinney. Contact AAA Air to learn more about how this program can help you complete the necessary repairs to your HVAC system so that you are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Visit us online or by phone today to learn what options you may have to bring your heating and air conditioning back online.

Source:
McKinneyTexas.org

HISTORIC MILLS IN MCKINNEY ARE NOW STARTUP EPICENTERS

HISTORIC MILLS IN MCKINNEY ARE NOW STARTUP EPICENTERS

On the eastern side of McKinney, Texas, sits the historic Cotton Mill and Flour Mill, two locations that were once the economic center of the town. Hard times fell on both locations, however, with the Cotton Mill closing its doors in 1969 and the Flour Mill also being closed for many years. All of that is changing as both buildings have undergone extensive renovation, providing a location for startup businesses who are thriving in the rustic locations.

Innovation and Imagination

Where once stood powerful machines bringing economic benefit to the area, innovation and imagination are driving business to the eastern side of McKinney. Several new-age businesses have made their home in the two historic buildings while events planned at the locations are drawing large numbers of people into the area.

Space McKinney

One innovative use of the Flour Mill is Space McKinney, which brings together small business owners, freelancers and more inside the building. The organization uses an open office concept designed to bring people together to promote growth through networking opportunities. The group offers networking events, the availability of wi-fi, start-up coaching and even all-you-can-drink coffee and tea. The group offers those who may have an at-home business or work as freelancers an office space, complete with a desk, for meetings and other events where they need to present a professional image.

Start-Up Businesses

In addition to event spaces at the two locations, many businesses have been launched at either the Flour or Cotton Mill. Many companies use the spaces as office space with some executives claiming that the locations provide a more professional look than meeting someone at a local coffee shop. Several companies have grown dramatically since locating in the historic factories.

Extensive Renovations

Both the Cotton and Flour Mill have undergone extensive renovations in an effort to promote economic development in the area. The Cotton Mill now offers an Event Hall as well as several unique event spaces such as the Indigo/Dye Room and the Bridal Suite. The Indigo/Dye Room is an outdoor space that is perfect for wedding receptions, located in the ruins of the original dye room used by the mill. Each room available for lease is rustic and can be decorated in a style that best meets the needs of any organization or individual. These renovations have taken a considerable amount of time, manpower and talent as everything from the electrical system to the HVAC systems had to be overhauled and updated.

If you are considering a major renovation at your home or business, AAA Air can help you with all your HVAC needs. There is no job too big or too small and we can provide you with advice, recommendations and review your existing system to be sure what you have after your renovation is exactly what you need. Contact us today by phone or online to discuss your HVAC needs with AAA Air today.

Sources:
McKinney Courier Gazette

TEXAS WOMEN PROVIDE WORLDLY SPICES AROUND THE COUNTRY

TEXAS WOMEN PROVIDE WORLDLY SPICES AROUND THE COUNTRY

One of the vendors at the International Food Festival in Plano, Texas in early October was Spice Madam, the brainchild of two Texas women with a love of food and a taste for the adventurous. Megana Moya and Kim Simithraaratchy want to ignite a sense of adventure along with a sense of appreciation for worldwide cultures throughout the country.

Subscription Spice Company

The two women have created a subscription spice company that ships various spices that are customarily used in other countries to subscribers around the country. Each month, the women ship four or five unique spices along with information about their country of origin. Each box is themed to a country which means the women do a lot of research and taste testing before putting each package together. Each month, they test recipes using the spices and, once they feel comfortable cooking them, they film and release online videos that are available as soon as the boxes for that month are shipped.

Special Seafood Box

Spice Madam has teamed up with one of the top seafood restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Seafood Mister, to create a specialty seafood box. The box includes TJ’s Fish Sand, which is one of the signature seasonings used at the restaurant, TJ’s Blackening Seasoning and a range of spices chosen by Spice Madam to complement a variety of seafood. This indicates the growth the company has had over the past year, developing partnerships and relationships around the world to bring unique spices to cooks around the United States.

Adventurous Travelers and Eaters

Simithraaratchy and Moya both say that they are adventurous travelers and eaters who are not formally trained in culinary arts. They say that half the fun of creating the boxes is the research and learning that goes into each one. Their goal is to make it easier for home cooks to experience new flavors and cultures. Although neither woman is classically trained, they both say they grew up in households where home-cooking was the norm and whose families used aromatic spices in their dishes. In an effort to give back to the community, five percent of each box sold goes to Cafe Momentum, a training facility that transforms the lives of young people. The organization equips at-risk youth with life skills, education and employment opportunities through a restaurant training program. The organization provides post-release internships for juvenile offenders who will then receive training in the culinary arts as well as mentoring and support.

Spice Madam is a Texas company that is growing rapidly, reaching people across the country with their aromatic and unique spice packages. At AAA Air, we are proud of Texas companies that are growing their businesses as we are. If you are in need of HVAC service or would like to have an overview of your system, contact us today to learn how we can help. Make your home comfortable for family and friends who join you for that unique meal created with Spice Madam recipes and spices.

Source:
Star Local Media