FedEx Ground to open local distribution center
Facility will be located in Temple Industrial Park.
Legends Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu provides training for law enforcement, first-responders, kids and others.
8-week Birdcreek Drive closure starts Monday.
New Temple church to hold its first service Sunday.
THURSDAY JANUARY 13, 2022
Workers at the FedEx Ground distribution and sorting facility in Kokomo, Indiana, prepare for deliveries during the busy Christmas season. A 250,000-square-foot facility is opening in Temple by the end of 2022, according to FedEx Ground and Temple Economic Development Corporation officials.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
It’s official: FedEx Ground, a national package delivery service, will open a 250,000-square-foot distribution center in Temple.
The 52.9 acre property is located in the city’s Industrial Park between Northwest Dodgen Loop and Trino Road.
Dana Hardek, a spokesperson for FedEx Ground, said the facility is expected to be operational later this year.
“We’ve entered into a lease agreement for a distribution center, and the new facility will employ a mix of full-time and part-time team members,” Hardek said.
FedEx Ground’s investment in the Temple facility is expected to be at least $40 million.
Hardek did not say how many employees will work at the plant, but distribution centers of similar size in America typically require 180 to 200 employees.
“FedEx Ground will contract for package pickup and delivery with service provider businesses that hire locally for drivers, helpers, managers and other positions,” she said. “We continue to experience significant package volume due to e-commerce growth, and we are optimizing the capacity of our network to meet growing demand for our services.”
Harder said the northwest Temple location was selected because of its ease of access to major highways, proximity to customers’ distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees.
“We are pleased to announce FedEx’s decision to locate in Temple,” said Adrian Cannady, president and CEO of Temple Economic Development Corporation. “Temple offers quality access to key North American markets and has a strong workforce to support e-commerce growth.”
“FedEx’s distribution center will benefit our local community through jobs and deliveries, while the facility will also serve broader markets conveniently accessible from Central Texas,” he said.
Amanda Carlson, marketing and communications director for Temple EDC, said FedEx Ground will tap into Temple’s skilled workforce of more than 6,500 logistics and distribution employees.
“Legends has helped countless students acquire foundational skills, develop new techniques and confidently move forward in their martial arts journey.”
Five-year-old Hadlyn Moore, daughter of Legend’s owners Martha and Travis Moore, puts a hold on a pink-clad opponent during a recent Jiu-Jitsu match.
Most martial arts gyms offer classes to children and adults, but few provide free training for veterans and first responders.
Travis Moore, owner of Legends Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Downtown Temple for about a year, said he is grateful for U.S. service members, law enforcement and first responders, and providing free training is his way of saying “thank you.”
“We are so grateful to these people for their continuous, selfless sacrifice,” he said. “This is our way of giving back to the community.”
The veteran and first-responder classes are tremendously popular.
“Right now, we have about 50 people in our veterans class and around 30 in the first-responders group,” he said. “The first-responders class is predominately made up of police officers and firefighters from Temple, Belton and Killeen. We have a couple who come down from Waco.”
“It’s open to all first responders — law enforcement, fire fighters, doctors, nurses, emergency medical personnel,” he said. “The instructors for this class come from military backgrounds: Chris Orozco served in the Marines and David Giadoo is active-duty Army.”
Moore said he has been told by several members of law enforcement that they don’t get enough hands-on training at work.
“Cops aren’t allowed to use grappling-style choke holds, but we teach them how to control a situation without hurting themselves or others,” he said. “Whenever a police officer — or even a firefighter or ambulance crew — goes into a situation, they possibly could encounter someone with bad intentions. We teach methods of controlling those situations.”
Moore and the other Legends instructors also teach children’s adults and women’s only classes.
“Right now we have two classes for kids,” Moore said. “We have a class for 4- to 8-year-olds and a class for 9- to 13-year-olds. We are going to be adding another group for 3-year-olds.”
Moore said Legend’s adult classes are designed for everyone, regardless of age, gender, fitness level or background.
“Our coaches teach and prepare each student by providing a wide range of instruction to support students from all backgrounds,” he said. “Legends has helped countless students acquire foundational skills, develop new techniques and confidently move forward in their martial arts journey.”
Moore — a Killeen native who has lived in Temple the past 10 years — began his relationship with the 4th Street gym back in July 2016 as a partner in John’s Gym. About a year ago, the former MMA fighter bought out his partner and changed the name to Legends.
“I’m still very active in Jiu Jitsu fights,” he said. “I gave up MMA in 2013 after a brutal fight in Houston.”
Moore said he was in a five-round 170-pound class battle with an accomplished fighter. He had built an early lead and thought he had won the fight.
“The guy persevered and kept on coming,” Moore said. “I just exhausted myself. My eye was swollen shut — it was a real gut test. I won by decision and it was a huge accomplishment, but it was very hard.”
Today, Moore continues to compete in the Jiu-Jitsu arena and he trains several fighters.
“Last month I competed in a UFC Fight Pass event that was streamed,” he said. “I went to overtime, but lost. But, I won in Oregon in November.”
Moore isn’t the only person at Legends who actively fights. In fact, several staff members also compete.
“Jimmy Altman, Tim Cundiff and Tony Lawrence are all veterans and wonderful coaches,” he said. “Brian Dobson doesn’t have military experience, but he does a great job running our early morning classes.”
“These guys fight, teach and make Legends go.”
Moore’s wife, Martha, also has been a martial arts fighter, but she was injured in a bout after an opponent fell on her leg.
“Now she organizes classes and schedules,” he said.
Several Legends members also do time in the ring, including a Fort Hood mother of three who also works as a massage therapist.
“I was in the Army for 10 years, and I started taking Jiu-Jitsu in Germany because I was suffering from depression,” said Heather Sanchez, who splits time training between Legends and a gym in Copperas Cove. “When I moved to Texas, I found Travis. Now I’m fighting professionally.”
Sanchez lost her last Jiu-Jitsu fight to a more experienced San Antonio opponent, and she was scheduled to fight Dec. 23. But, a week before the bout, she tore a meniscus and is out for about six more weeks.
“I was training, and it sounded like cloth tearing — like a shirt being ripped,” Sanchez said. “I’m 37 but I’m not done. My goal is to be a MMA fighter and that’s what I’m going to do.
Travis Moore goes after an opponents ankle during a recent Jiu-Jitsu bout. Travis, a former MMA fight, was in Oregon last month to compete in a UFC Fight Pass event.
Martha Moore, in black and pink, locks her legs around another fighter’s torso during a Jiu-Jitsu fight. Martha sustained an injury on the mat and is taking a break from the sport.
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Birdcreek Drive closure to last 8 weeks
A portion of Birdcreek Drive — between Las Cienega Boulevard and Brooklawn Drive — will close to through traffic Monday as sewerage work in the area continues.
City staff will be installing a new sewer and manholes in the roadway during this 8-week closure.
Detour markers will direct traffic around the closure. Local traffic access will be maintained in the area, including access to the cul-de-sacs at El Capitan Drive and Daniels Drive.
Residents with questions about the project should call the city’s Engineering Department at (254) 298-5660.
Julie and James Wheeler are pastors at the new Believe Ministries Worship Center, a new church that will hold its first service Sunday. For now, services will be held at their Wyndham subdivision home in south Temple.
Believe church to hold inaugural service this Sunday in south Temple home
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Believe Ministries Workship Center may be starting small, but its pastors have have grand plans.
A small congregation is expected Sunday when the non-denominational church holds its first service at 422 Wyndham Hill Parkway, the home of its pastors.
“We have been at a small church in Belton for the past eight years,” said Senior Pastor James Wheeler. “We have felt like it was God’s calling for us to lead our own ministry.”
James said Believe Ministries is starting entirely from scratch. In other words, they aren’t bringing any members of their previous church with them in their new endeavor.
“We were sent out to do our own thing,” he explained. “We want to start fresh with a new congregation.”
Pastor Julie Wheeler, Jame’s wife, said the couple has invited several friends to the inaugural service. They also have publicized the new spiritual center on Facebook and other social media.
“We may start little, but we certainly hope to grow,” Julie said. “We will meet at our home in the beginning, but we hope to have our church building in the future.”
“We would also like to open a homeless shelter in conjunction with the church,” James added. “We envision a place where we can provide those in need with clothing and a hot meal, and a give them a warm place to sleep.”
In the future, the Wheelers hope the Bible-based church has a full praise-and-worship band, but they acknowledge that will be on down the road.
“I’ve been working on keyboard skills, and James is playing the guitar,” Julie said. “We are going to start with a karaoke version of our praise songs, but we do have some potential members who are musically inclined.”
“Our goal is to grow the kingdom of God,” James said. “There are so many people who have no hope or joy, and we want to share the news: You can reach what you want to reach through the Lord.”
Sunday’s service begins at 10:30 a.m., but the Wheelers suggest arriving a bit early.
“We’re going to have a coffee bar at 10,” Julie said.