• Artist Justin Mack (left), creator of Murphy’s “City of Flowers” logo, visits with town Councilwoman Gail Walker Stansell, Mayor Rick Ramsey, Councilwoman Karen Watson and Police Chief Justin Jacobs (from left) as the new decals are placed on town vehicles for the first time Aug. 22.
    Artist Justin Mack (left), creator of Murphy’s “City of Flowers” logo, visits with town Councilwoman Gail Walker Stansell, Mayor Rick Ramsey, Councilwoman Karen Watson and Police Chief Justin Jacobs (from left) as the new decals are placed on town vehicles for the first time Aug. 22.
  • WIC staff from the Cherokee County Health Department show off the certificates they received for their winning work of art: Valerie Morrow, breastfeeding peer counselor; Jessica Hensley, WIC Nutritionist II; Karen Freyre, WIC director; and Debbie McDonald, WIC clerk (from left).
    WIC staff from the Cherokee County Health Department show off the certificates they received for their winning work of art: Valerie Morrow, breastfeeding peer counselor; Jessica Hensley, WIC Nutritionist II; Karen Freyre, WIC director; and Debbie McDonald, WIC clerk (from left).

SCOUTING AROUND: Murphy sticks flower brand on vehicles

    More flowers are showing up around Murphy as decals with the town’s new logo are being planted on city vehicles, including police and fire vehicles.
    The logo, promoting Murphy as “The City of Flowers,” was something Mayor Rick Ramsey thought of as he was running for office. He wanted Murphy to have an identity to make it stand out among other towns.
    “It’s our brand,” Ramsey said. “The logo was always considered to become the brand of Murphy.”
    When he was growing up, no one outside of the area knew where Murphy was. Today people do, thanks in part to Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel. Ramsey said he is grateful the casino is providing jobs for local residents and promoting Murphy with advertisements in major locations, like at professional sports venues.
    “It gives us a launching point for the Town of Murphy and its businesses,” he said. “Regardless, we needed to brand ourselves. We just want that brand out there as far as we can get it.”
    Councilwomen Gail Walker Stansell and Karen Watson handled the job of coming up with the theme or slogan for Murphy as well as the ongoing project to build the theme.
    “I was so glad they volunteered to lead this effort,” Ramsey said.
    Stansell said “a light bulb came on” as they thought of what people say about Murphy on social media.
    “Many people spoke of how pretty the flowers were here in town,” she said. “That just seemed like a logical thing.”
    The town hires Hillside Nursery at $1,000 a month to plant and maintain flowers in the downtown pocket parks, on a section of the RiverWalk and in the hanging baskets on flower and light posts throughout downtown. Stansell said the town works on this beautification to make it attractive and increase tourism.
    “I’m so glad people notice the hard work,” she said.
    Stansell said the town plans to add more hanging baskets each year. This year, five were added along Hiwassee Street at a cost of about $20,000.
    To keep the theme going over the winter, Stansell said the town is working on special project, but the details are not ready to be revealed just yet.

WIC Department wins breastfeeding awards
    Cherokee County Health Department’s Women, Infants & Children Department won the regional award and was the grand prize winner for the state for their entry in the state’s challenge to create art
out of old breast pump parts.
    The challenge was done in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, which was celebrated the first week of August to promote breastfeeding and improve the health of babies. Art
had to incorporate the week’s theme, “Foundation of Life.”
    Led by the talents of breastfeeding peer counselor Valerie Morrow and WIC director Karen Freyre, the local staff created a construction paper flower garden with pumps turned into watering cans. Jessica Hensley, WIC nutritionist, said the art demonstrated the use of breastmilk and the pumps to provide nourishment as the “Foundation of Life” for growth, as water provides the same for plants.
    “We were shocked,” Hensley said, adding that there were about 50 entries. “We have a very creative breastfeeding peer counselor.”
    The staff is working on a safe place to display the art in the office, as it is fragile.
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.