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2014/4/19 - Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th, 18th, 19th
2014/4/18 - Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post
2014/4/17 - Video: Trustee Candidates at LTJ/Parents4LISD Student Voter Forum
2014/4/17 - Board Tours LISD Westside Aquatic Center
2014/4/13 - LTJ, Parents4LISD to Host Student Voter Forum April 15th
2014/4/13 - Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition
2014/4/11 - City-wide Spring Cleanup Set for Saturday, April 26th
2014/4/11 - Sheriff's Office Warns About Bogus Warrant Calls
2014/4/9 - Updated: FBI Announces Arrests in Child Sex Trafficking Cases
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Woman Wins Big on Price is Right 8,000th Episode
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Implements Year-Round Water Restrictions
2014/4/5 - Flower Mound to Use Social Media to Warn About Traffic Enforcement
2014/4/5 - Friends of the Library Host Book Sale Saturday and Sunday
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Buys Land Previously Proposed as Gas Drilling Site
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with Free Beer
2014/3/31 - Annual Charity Art Gala Scheduled for April 18th
2014/3/29 - Saturday Morning Update
2014/3/26 - Video: 35Express Project Holds Community Meeting in Lewisville
2014/3/24 - Old Town Resident Opens Little Free Library
2014/3/23 - LISD School Board Meeting Notes - March 17th, 2014
2014/3/18 - Economic Development Agreement Reached for Three Restaurants to Se...
2014/3/13 - Thursday Night Update
2014/3/8 - Dutch Oven Cookers Share Food, Fellowship, and Fun
2014/3/4 - Election Results - March 4th, 2014 Primary Election
2014/3/4 - Council Renews Waste Management Contract, Goes to Once-a-Week Garb...
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Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th, 18th, 19th

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/4/19 8:08:00 (54 reads)

The Lewisville City Council held its annual Council Retreat this year on April 17th, 18th, and 19th at The Lakes of Castle Hills Golf Club. This retreat is led by Assistant City Manager Donna Barron, and is focused on the Vision 2025 Plan that has been in the works for the past year. We'll post videos here as we get them completed.

Documents backing up the presentation are here.

Thursday Night
Intro to Castle Hills
Intro to Vision 2025

Big Move #1: The Green Centerpiece

Stay tuned for the rest

Stay tuned for the rest

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Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/4/18 16:35:09 (185 reads)

Open in new windowBy Steve Southwell

The Lewisville City Council has scrapped a plan that would have used an outside search firm to identify candidates for the City Manager position and instead has offered the position to current Assistant City Manager Donna Barron. Monday night the Council is expected to vote on the appointment, but we expect that it is just a formality at this point.

Current City Manager Claude King announced earlier this year that he was planning to retire at the end of April. At that meeting the City Council directed King to put out a request for bids for executive search firms who could help the city locate qualified candidates for the position. The City received eight bids with fees ranging from $14,000 - $19,000 for the search, plus expenses in the $5,000 - $7,500 range.

Barron has worked for the City of Lewisville since 1990, and has served in the Assistant City Manager role since 1996 when she was promoted from her role as Human Resources Director by then City Manager Chuck Owens. Although Barron’s 24 years of service to the City makes her eligible for retirement, the 54 year old says she still plans to work until she is at least age 60.

Barron will be the first woman to serve in Lewisville’s City Manager role. The Lewisville City Council is all male, but of the four positions the City Council directly hires, three are held by women: City Secretary Julie Heinze, City Attorney Liz Plaster, and now City Manager Donna Barron. “I don’t think I’ve ever been treated differently because I’m a female,” said Barron. “I’ve had the same opportunities as everyone else. I’m truly blessed,” she added.

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Video: Trustee Candidates at LTJ/Parents4LISD Student Voter Forum

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/4/17 23:11:19 (106 reads)

Open in new windowThe Lewisville Texan Journal and Parents4LISD co-hosted a candidate forum for LISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday, specifically formatted for students of voting age.

Students from Lewisville High School and Flower Mound High School asked some surprisingly good questions of the candidates.

Video by Seth Southwell - 9th Grade, LHS Ben Harmon Campus

The Lewisville Texan Journal thanks all of the students who participated in the forum, as well as all of the candidates who spent their time with us for two hours. Also huge thanks go to Parents4LISD for doing most of the work on this, and to First United Methodist Church in Lewisville for the use of their facility.

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Board Tours LISD Westside Aquatic Center

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/4/17 22:30:00 (344 reads)

Open in new windowBy Steve Southwell

Members of the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees got a preview Monday night of the new Westside Aquatic Center, which has been recently completed at a cost of about $20 million. The facility is located on FM 3040 / Round Grove Road, just behind the Lewisville High School Ben Harmon Campus.

The state-of-the-art, three-story facility will be used for swimming and diving teams from Lewisville High School, Flower Mound High School, and Marcus High School. The building has 1,200 seats, and can accommodate 800 swimmers for a competition. There are locker rooms for both students and members of the public who want to swim during open times. A row of North-facing windows at the top of the building let in natural light without afternoon glare and heating. There is a concession stand on the second level.

The building has two pools. A smaller warm-up pool on the East side of the building is kept at 88 degrees. The much-larger main pool is kept at 79 degrees, and is certified for competition by USA Swimming. With eight 50-meter lanes, this pool has two moveable bulkhead platforms that span the width of the pool, and partition it into sections that can accommodate different events, such as lap swimming, water polo, or diving. One of the platforms, at 8 feet wide, is thought to be the largest in North America. The deep end of the pool is on the West side, and has two low diving boards, and two high diving boards. Agitators on that side of the pool keep the water surface disturbed so that divers can see where the surface of the water is.

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LTJ, Parents4LISD to Host Student Voter Forum April 15th

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/4/13 19:00:00 (2046 reads)

Open in new windowIn a large school district like Lewisville ISD, we have as many as several thousand high school students who are 18 years old, and eligible to vote. Since students are much closer to what goes on in our schools, we think they may have some relevant questions for the candidates who seek to serve on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees.

The Lewisville Texan Journal, along with the parent group Parents4LISD will host a candidate forum on April 15th, 2014, featuring questions written by students who are eligible voters. The two-hour forum will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 907 W. Main St., in Lewisville. All of the candidates for Place 6 and Place 7 on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees have been invited.

What: Lewisville ISD Board Candidate Forum, with questions provided by students in the district who are eligible to vote.
Where: First United Methodist Church, 907 W. Main St., Lewisville, TX [Map]
When: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Who: The public is invited. Parents and voting-age students are especially encouraged to attend.

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Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/4/13 10:50:00 (413 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowIt's Sunday, April 13th, and we are two days away from the April 15th deadline to file federal income taxes. Although we've already filed our federal taxes, we've been procrastinating from doing our business property tax renditions, which are also due Tuesday. Honestly, I don't know why I procrastinate. It's not that hard, but maybe just a bit tedious. I guess I might just run up to the office later and work on that.

Once again, we've gone too long without an update, so a few of the links I had been saving to share ended up so stale that I removed them. Here's what we have for today:

Technology was an issue at one of the recent LISD candidate debates. We want to remind everyone that The Lewisville Texan Journal and Parents4LISD will be co-hosting a candidate forum for voting-age students on Tuesday of this week.

Teacher engagement was another issue. Gallup has some background information about teacher engagement, and how that compares to other professions. Not only does general K-12 engagement exceed most other professions, but at 45% engagement, LISD’s teachers far exceed the national K-12 engagement of 28-35% (based on experience levels), and LISD teacher engagement also far exceeds the national average of all occupations, which is 30%. Despite the narrative that somehow our teachers are not engaged, and that it somehow relates to strategic design or 1:X or something else that our district leadership is doing or not doing, the numbers plainly show that LISD is different. Now, any organization of any size is going to have some that are actively disengaged, and if you listen to any of them, these folks are going to paint a picture that “everybody” is just like them.

KERA had a radio story about a Lewisville student: “Class Of '17: Ricky Rijos Is On The Road To Getting His Learner's Permit”

The Texas Tribune is hosting a symposium on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education on May 5th. It’s free and open to the public.

You may have heard about the new study regarding gas drilling, that challenged the results and methodology of the Texas Department of State Health Services cancer cluster study in Flower Mound from a couple years ago. Here’s the full text of the new study. Yes, I’ve skimmed it, and plan to revisit it when I have some time. Flower Mound has responded, and so has the TDSHS, which intends to update their study based on new data, giving results with both 95% and 99% confidence.

I will tell you that my initial take on the state’s study was that it was weak. I can’t seem to find my initial analysis of the DSHS study, but if memory serves me, the level of confidence they chose - 99% meant that even though they found a given disease was twice as likely to occur in their study area, it would have had to be around 10 x more likely to occur before they could definitively say it was a cluster. I also thought the study area was too large. Of course, the existence of a cluster, if proven, doesn’t imply causality. For all we know, there could have been certain construction materials used in the homes in these neighborhoods that are off-gassing and causing problems. I just can’t say that this type of study is capable of proving or disproving much of anything with regards to causality. Back in 2010, I posted my thoughts on what may be causing health issues.

The Dallas Observer had a good article about Animation Celebration (nee BronyFest) that happened in Lewisville a couple weeks ago. We have a lot of good photos on this, and you can see them on our Facebook page. It's cool that Lewisville has an event like this.

The University of North Texas Dallas College of Law will enroll its inaugual class this fall. The school aims to train lawyers who want to be lawyers for the “right” reasons.

Lewisville resident Danielle Lane attended the Clinton Global Initiative University, and intends to be active in promoting marriage equality in Texas.

Neighbors Go has a summary of the 35 Express community meeting that we videotaped a couple weeks back.

TxDOT’s land purchases for the I-35E expansion are part of a federal grand jury investigation right now. While we can’t say whether or not there was any wrongdoing, we can tell you first hand that TxDOT has been less than transparent on the land deals, withholding public information about how it arrived at the values it paid, and has apparently vastly overpaid for the land it has acquired, allowing land speculators and one county official to cash in. TxDOT needs to be more realistic in its values, and not be afraid to take people to court if they need to. We all know that governments have the power of eminent domain, and we all want them to use it sparingly and fairly, but there comes a time when you just have to do what's right for the public - speculators be damned, because their profits are not our concern.

Greg Abbott has been in hiding after coming out against equal pay for women, and also for citing Charles Murray in his education plan. Murray has made a lot of controversial comments about the inferiority of women. SPLC lists Murray as a White Nationalist. Here's a quote from SPLC:

Charles Murray, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has become one of the most influential social scientists in America, using racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor. According to Murray, disadvantaged groups are disadvantaged because, on average, they cannot compete with white men, who are intellectually, psychologically and morally superior. Murray advocates the total elimination of the welfare state, affirmative action and the Department of Education, arguing that public policy cannot overcome the innate deficiencies that cause unequal social and educational outcomes.

Pooping on bluebonnets. Don’t do it! Speaking of wildflowers, volunteers will be pulling up the invasive “bastard cabbage” species on The Flower Mound on Saturday, April 19th from 8 - noon.

Lewisville Police have been testing security at local schools, sending undercover officers to try to get in, and seeing whether they can do it.

“Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal.”

You have have heard of the accidental shooting of a Marine at Camp Lejeune. The Marine killed was Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf, of Crowley. Signs point to a negligent discharge from another Marine.

Fina Mart on Old Orchard was fined $12,856 by the TCEQ over violations of state rules governing underground storage tanks.

Lets be honest here. There is only one reason why election officials would restrict access to restrooms for voters. Republicans these days can only win elections when they can suppress the turnout. They do this by reducing polling places in poor and minority neighborhoods, and making it as damned inconvenient to vote as possible. If this is what you have to do to win elections, maybe that should be a clue that your ideas just suck, and you should go back to what conservatism used to be instead of making it a haven for anti-intellectual, anti-minority, anti-poor, anti-woman, and anti-progress cranks.

Girls Chase Boys - by the exceptionally talented and beautiful Ingrid Michaelson

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City-wide Spring Cleanup Set for Saturday, April 26th

Keep Lewisville Beautiful
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/4/11 23:10:00 (2221 reads)

Open in new window
LHS JROTC Students dug up and pulled out a number of partially buried or submerged shopping carts in an area near Timber Creek at last year's Fall cleanup, the Trinity Trash Bash. (Photo by Marcelo Maristan)
Keep Lewisville Beautiful announced that it would hold its 28th annual Spring Cleanup event on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 from 8 a.m. to Noon.

Volunteers meet at the Lewisville Residential Convenience Center at 330 W. Jones Street and receive assignments for places within the city that need litter cleanup. Keep Lewisville Beautiful provides gloves, trash bags, litter grabbers, and safety vests, and the volunteers go out to clean up litter and bring it back to the on-site rollaway dumpsters.

After the cleanup, participants bring the trash back, and get a free lunch, T-shirt, and goody bag for participating.

Parents, this is a great event for kids, and there are tons of families who participate each year. It is a great way to teach kids the importance of not littering, and a great way to instill the values of community service and respect for the environment we all live in.

This is also a great event for team-building for your company or civic organization. We always have a friendly competition to see which group can pick up the most trash.

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Sheriff's Office Warns About Bogus Warrant Calls

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/4/11 7:00:51 (441 reads)

Open in new windowThe Denton County Sheriff's office wants to warn residents about a phone scam that they first heard about in February, and that is going on again.

On February 4, 2014, The Sheriff’s Office received two separate calls about a possible fraud being perpetrated on citizens. The male caller identifies himself as Lt. Martin, badge number 706, and tells the person targeted that there is a warrant for them or someone close to them. He gives an invalid case number, and instructs the victim to do a cash transfer to cover "warrant application fees", the cost of a "Failure to Appear" charge and the "court costs and administration fees".

The caller is NOT actually with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. In different incidents, the caller has stated there was a warrant for the daughter of the person being called, and at one point, he stated the warrant was for the person he was calling.

Please do not transfer any money to someone claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office, and please file a report if someone like this contacts you.

If you have any information about this crime, please contact Sgt. Larry Kish at 940-349-1665, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-388-TIPS.

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Updated: FBI Announces Arrests in Child Sex Trafficking Cases

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/4/9 6:20:00 (2486 reads)

Open in new windowFive juveniles between the ages of 16 and 17 have been recovered, and 25 others have been arrested on charges related to sex trafficking throughout the Metroplex. The joint operation between the FBI and 18 other law enforcement agencies included the Denton County Sheriff's Office and the Lewisville Police Department.

Lewisville Police Captain Jay Powell said that on Thursday and Friday of last week, there were some operations in Lewisville. Powell said it was his understanding that there were 11 arrests in Lewisville on Thursday, and about 4 on Friday, also in Lewisville. However, the Lewisville Police Department served in a supporting role in the operation, with Denton County Sheriff's Office taking the lead on the arrests, and taking all of the suspects to the Denton County Jail. "It is always nice to see multiple agencies working together toward some goal," added Powell.

"During this operation, Sheriff’s deputies arrested 9 people for Attempted Prostitution, 6 for Attempted Solicitation of Prostitution, and 3 others for misdemeanor and Felony Drug charges," stated a press release from the Denton County Sheriff's office. The release said that one of the arrested was a registered sex offender.

Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Sandi Brackeen said that none of those arrested were juveniles, and that she was not aware of any federal charges being filed yet.

FBI Public Affairs Specialist Katherine Chaumont confirmed that all arrests were conducted by local agencies, but that the task force was a collaboration between the FBI and the other agencies, all sharing investigations. Chaumont said that the arrests began on Thursday and went through Monday morning. Although some media outlets reported this as a prostitution ring, Chaumont clarified that there was no indication that the cases were related to each other in that way.

Although the operation came about as the NCAA Final Four was under way, Chaumont said that this is an ongoing operation, and that there was no indication that any of the johns arrested were here in town for the NCAA events.

None of the agencies we contacted would share much information on the arrests or the crimes, but Chaumont did add a few pieces of information:

- All of the juveniles recovered in the cases were female, between the ages of 16 and 17. All of them were offered services such as food, clothing, shelter, or social services.
- Some of the cases involved internet solicitation, and some were in-person.
- None of the arrests were federal arrests.
- The "preferential" offenders knowingly solicited specifically for children to have sex with.

According to Brackeen, none of the 5 children were found in Denton County. Four were in Dallas and one was in Fort Worth.

Below is the full FBI press release:

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Lewisville Woman Wins Big on Price is Right 8,000th Episode

Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/4/7 23:28:28 (2205 reads)

Open in new windowFor two long months, Lewisville resident Jami Lasky has had to keep her silence about appearing on long-running gameshow The Price is Right. All she could do was tell friends and family to watch the show when it aired today.

What a secret she was keeping: Lasky won prizes totalling $41,614. First, she won a trip on-stage with host Drew Carey by coming the closest to guessing the price of a television (within $5), then she correctly guessed the two out of six grocery items were the same price, winning a $10,848 outdoor kitchen. At the end of the game's first half, Lasky spun the big wheel with another contestant already standing on $0.95. (The object of this one is to spin closest to $1 in two spins without going over.) Incredibly, Lasky spun $1.00 on the first spin, winning a $1000 prize.

At the end of the show, in the Showcase Showdown, Lasky came closest to guessing the value of her showcase: $3,500 cash, a trip to Maui, Hawaii for 6 nights, and a Brand New Car: a Kia Rio LS. The total value of that showcase was $28,936.

If you recognize the last name, it could be because Lasky is married to Chief Rick Lasky, former Lewisville Fire Chief. The Laskys' daughter Emily was on the state championship-winning 2013 Lewisville High School Softball Team.

Congratulations to the Lasky's on the big win.

You can watch the episode online here.

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