Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a teenage girl was contacted by a stranger in the 500 block of West Corporate, who offered her a ride. The suspect exited his vehicle and attempted to grab her after she refused. She was able to escape and run home, and was not harmed.
The victim describes him as a Hispanic male, with a mustache, thin build, in his thirties. He was wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt. She further described his boots as being black with the words "Heavy Duty" on the sides of the boots, low by the inside arch. He was driving a dark colored four door car.
Anyone who witnessed this offense or has information that would benefit the investigation is encouraged to call the Lewisville Police Department at (972) 219-3620 or the TIPS line at (972) 219-TIPS (8477). Anyone with a cell phone may also send an anonymous tip by texting “TipLPD” and their message to 847411.
Wednesday, January 28th, filing begins in city council and school board elections for Lewisville and Lewisville ISD. The elections will be held on May 9th. For the city election, any runoff would be held on June 20th. School board elections do not have runoffs. Candidates in both city and school district races will have until 5 p.m. on February 27th to file for election or re-election.
City of Lewisville In the City of Lewisville, the offices of Mayor and Place 2 are up for election. Those seats are currently held by Mayor Dean Ueckert, and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem R. Neil Ferguson.
Ueckert served on the Lewisville City Council from 1998 to 2009, when he was first elected Mayor. He has served two three-year terms. As of last Tuesday, Ueckert said that his plan was to run for re-election.
Councilman Rudy Durham has filed to run for Mayor. Durham has served in Place 5 since 1994.
Ferguson was elected to Place 2 in 2011 to fill the remaining term of David Thornhill, who died unexpectedly with a year remaining in his term. Ferguson was re-elected for a full three-year term in 2012, and has filed for re-election.
Mayoral election years can sometimes result in additional vacancies on the City Council. If a sitting councilman chooses to run for Mayor, then that councilman's seat will be added to the May election as well. Durham's filing means that his place 5 seat will be open.
Legally, a candidate must be a qualified voter who has resided in the city for at least one year. In reality, a good bit more is necessary in order to have a chance of getting elected, and to do a good job in office.
Members of the City Council are paid $50 for each meeting attended, typically twice per month, plus an annual retreat and an annual budget workshop, plus special meetings. Lewisville City Council seats are all at-large, meaning that all council members represent the entire city, and all voters vote on each place. A candidate must receive a majority of votes for the position to win the race. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, then the top two candidates in a given place will go to a runoff election, and voters will choose the winner.
Lewisville ISD For Lewisville ISD's Board of Trustees, places 1 and 2 will be on the ballot.
Place 1 is currently held by Kathy Duke. Duke served two three-year terms from 2004-2010, and then was elected to a third non-consecutive term in 2012. She currently serves as the board's vice president. Duke lives in Highland Village. We have not yet heard whether Duke intends to run for re-election.
Place 2 is currently held by Trisha Sheffield. Sheffield was first elected in 2012, and is serving as LISD Board President, even though it is her first term. She lives in Castle Hills. Sheffield says that she will run for re-election.
School board members are not paid for their service, and typically put in a good bit of extra time each year in training and conferences.
LISD Board seats are at-large, meaning that all of the qualified voters of the city are eligible to vote on each seat up for election each year. Elections are won by plurality, meaning the candidate receiving the most votes wins the seat, without the need for runoff elections.
Having followed the Lewisville City Council and city elections for years, it has become clear to me that it helps the discussion to lay out some framework on what types of qualifications make a good council member. As candidates announce their campaigns, we can examine them in light of these qualifications rather than the more squishy criteria of who we like, and who is most popular.
So here's my current list of what I consider to be qualifications:
• Has high intellectual capacity, and able to look beyond the superficial and quickly understand the nuance and complexity of the issues that face government.
• Has lived in the City of Lewisville a sufficient length of time to understand the demographics, the trends, the history, and the shared values of our citizens. Definitely not less than 5 years, but preferably more than 10.
• Has an up-to-date voter registration and a good history of voting in all elections, especially local ones, which evidence a long-term concern for local issues.
• Has consistently followed City Council actions, attended meetings, workshops, budget hearings, and retreats. Given that all of the meetings are open to the public, a candidate should have actively attended meetings-- not only to stay up-to-date on the issues frequently discussed, but to show a dedication and availability that will be required once they get on Council.
• Has demonstrated leadership by serving on one or more of the City's boards or commissions.
• Has demonstrated commitment to the City by volunteering for, or supporting one or more of the City's non-profit or civic groups.
• Is more dedicated to the City of Lewisville than to a political party or ideology. Partisan politics have ruined Washington and Austin. They cloud judgement and make it hard to work together for pragmatic solutions.
• Is not using the office for personal achievement or gain, or as a stepping stone to higher office. Time and time again we see politicians who see municipal service as nothing more than a platform for grandstanding and demagoguery. These people waste city resources and create strife, then run for higher office, leaving others to deal with the consequences and cleanup.
• Understands the relationship between city services, property values and quality of life.
• Demonstrates compassion for mankind by charity.
• Lives to a high standard of ethics in all that they do.
• Pays their taxes. The biggest part of the City Council's role is to set the budget and corresponding tax rate each year. It is hypocrisy for a council member not to be current on their city taxes.
• Puts the health and safety of the citizens above all else.
• Capable of listening to multiple points of view, and ensuring that all concerns are heard and addressed.
• Dedicated to seeking truthful information-- not just the information that may support their particular view on something.
• Doesn't have character flaws or a severe or untreated mental illness that would interfere with or distract from accomplishing the City's business.
• The candidate should not have an axe to grind. In other words, he or she should not be running because of a strong feeling or passion about one issue, or because the council ticked you off about something. The person MUST be able to put single issues behind them and focus on all the other issues that will come before them without having their judgment clouded by holding grudges over votes on the issue they feel strongest about. (Borrowed from Ken, below)
• Has the ability to understand the differences between local, state, and federal government issues, and work within the scope and constraints imposed on local government from above. (Borrowed from BC - via Facebook)
• Must be honest and truthful, and hold truthfulness as a strong personal value. Liars have no business in a position of public trust. Honesty is paramount.
The following items are included on this week's Lewisville Police Chief's update:
Attempted Burglary of a Building On Saturday the 24th just before 4:00 a.m., Patrol officers were dispatched to an alarm call at a convenience store in the 900 block of Valley Ridge. Suspects had backed a pick-up truck into the store and attempted to steal the ATM by pulling it out with a chain. They were unsuccessful and fled prior to officers’ arrival. The pick-up truck was discovered abandoned by officers in an apartment complex next door. The truck appears to be stolen, but we have been unable to locate the registered owner.
Driver Arrested for Possession of Hashish On Friday, the 23rd at approximately 9:30 p.m., Officers O’Hare and Gilleland observed a parked, unattended vehicle at the convenience store in the 1000 block of West Round Grove. The vehicle’s engine was running yet no one was around. The officers waited for the driver to return and contacted him about the violation. As the driver, a 22-year-old, was retrieving a document from inside the vehicle, the officers observed drug paraphernalia in the console. Officer Menz and canine “Immo” responded to assist in the search of the vehicle. Canine “Immo” alerted to the vehicle. Officers located approximately 27 grams of hashish in the vehicle. Officers arrested the suspect for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group Two (four grams or more, but less than 400 grams).
Traffic Stop Leads to Narcotics and Weapons Arrest Officer Limon Stopped a pick-up truck on Saturday evening the 24th because the driver was not wearing his seatbelt. The 19-year-old driver also was unable to display a driver's license. He was arrested on these charges. During an inventory of the vehicle prior to it being towed, officers discovered six pistols. They also found marijuana and bongs as well as 31 grams of cocaine. The suspect was also charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon, Possession of Marijuana Under 2 Ounces, and Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group one Over 4 grams.
FLOWER MOUND - The Flower Mound Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a male suspect responsible for a string of vehicle burglaries in and around Flower Mound. The suspect has been targeting vehicles parked around fitness centers. Law enforcement officials believe the suspect watches for female customers to park their car and if they enter the gym with no purse, their vehicle then becomes a target. The individual will break a car window looking for a purse or other valuable goods. If he obtains credit cards, he uses them immediately after the burglaries before the credit card accounts can be closed.
Since September 2014, this individual is believed to have committed burglaries at fitness centers in Flower Mound, Highland Village, Southlake, and Colleyville.
The attached photograph was taken from security video at a retail outlet immediately after one of the burglaries. If anyone recognizes this individual please call the Flower Mound Police Department’s Tip Line at 972.874.3307. Callers may remain anonymous.
Known as “rib eye in the sky”, Sandhill cranes are great tasting and low in fat. They are great on the grill, but be careful not to over cook. My favorite two ways to cook them: Coffee-crusted Sandhill crane fillets, and bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers stuffed with grilled Sandhill crane fillets and cheese. There is still a short amount of time left to hunt them, with the season ending west of I-35 on February 1st.
A Texas hunting license with migratory game bird stamp and a free federal Sandhill crane hunting permit are required in order to hunt them. For more information on the regulations, see the Texas Parks and Wildlife 2014-15 Outdoor Annual. Sandhill Cranes may be taken with lead shot. However, Wildlife Management Areas and Federal Wildlife Refuges have special regulations requiring nontoxic shot for all game bird hunting, including Sandhill Cranes.
Larry Warnack is a long-time Lewisville resident who loves to hunt, fish, and cook. You can keep up with Larry on his Facebook group,Restaurant and Recipe Share.
We apologize for the delay in publishing this story, which was begun in December, and languished due to the holidays and other committments. We thought it better to publish later than never at all.
By Steve Southwell
On December 18th, Lewisville ISD Trustees sat down for a lunch with state representatives Tan Parker and Ron Simmons to share their thoughts about things the legislature can do to help the district accomplish its mission more effectively and efficiently. The primary focus of the meeting, and what seemed to sink in the most with Parker and Simmons, was the problem of unfunded mandates from the State of Texas. Trustee Tracy Scott Miller summed it up best with his comment to the representatives: “Unlike the legislature, when we decide we want to do something, we have to fund it.”
District officials explained that the legislature passes bills requiring Texas’ school districts to undertake various initiatives, and do various things, but then does not provide any additional funding to do it. Even as the district’s budget has taken an $84 million hit from reductions in state funding in education since 2011, LISD estimates that unfunded mandates from the state cost it about $104 million per year. LISD’s general fund budget for 2014/15 is $427 million. Of that, the State of Texas is expected to pay about $119 million. In 2006, the legislature passed “property tax reform” which cut school districts’ taxing authority by a third, and proposed to fill the gap with new state funds paid in part by a business income tax. In 2010, the legislature failed to fund Texas school districts fully, which resulted in several rounds of faculty reductions and larger class sizes.
Dr. Steve Waddell, Former LISD Superintendent who attended the meeting as his last order of business before departing, told the representatives that it was all about fiscal responsibility. “Can you be fiscally responsible when you don’t provide the funds for something you say you are going to do?” he asked. Simmons and Parker both were interested to see the list of unfunded mandates, which district officials were happy to provide on the spot.
Board President Tricia Sheffield wanted to make it clear that it was more about local control, and that Lewisville ISD did not object to all of the mandates. “Not all of them are bad,” she said. The position of the Board of Trustees is that unless the state provides funding for a mandate, then the locally elected school boards should have the discretion to decide whether or not to implement them, and if so, what the most efficient and effective method would be.
Anne Marie Harvey died on January 14th, 2015 due to complications from breast cancer. She was 53.
Mrs. Harvey was born on January 21, 1961 in Denton, Texas to her parents, Rowland and Sienna Harvey. She graduated from Lewisville High School in 1979 and North Texas State University with a degree in Computer Science in 1984 and worked for years as a software engineer. She married Frank Vaughan in 1981. Anne and Frank lived around North Texas, spending free time sailing, traveling, reading, restoring an old house and raising their two children. In 2008, Mrs. Harvey graduated from the University of North Texas (formerly NTSU) with a Masters in Speech Language Pathology. Following her graduation, Mrs. Harvey went to work for Lewisville Independent School District, spending 7 years at Liberty Elementary School as a speech language pathologist.
Mrs. Harvey is survived by her parents, Rowland Harvey and Sienna Hares, her husband, Frank Vaughan, and her children, Hannah and Noah Vaughan. She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Rowland and Hattie Harvey.
A memorial will take place on Saturday, January 24 at 2:00 p.m. at Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church in Carrollton. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Lewisville Education Foundation grant in Anne Harvey's name.
Lewisville ISD’s Board of Trustees invite all parents and the LISD community to four different forums to share their thoughts regarding desired qualities in LISD’s new superintendent. All forums will be led by executive search firm Ray and Associates and are listed below.
Community Input Forum Dates and Locations
English Only Forums –
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 10:15-11 a.m. Career Center East (2553 Farm to Market Road 544, Lewisville)
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Bolin Administrative Center (1565 W. Main Street, Lewisville)
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2:15-3 p.m. Bolin Administrative Center (1565 W. Main Street, Lewisville)
Thursday, Jan. 29, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Career Center East (2553 Farm to Market Road 544, Lewisville)
Rubbish fire in Coppell, as seen from SH 121 (Photo by Stephanie Acosta)
Saturday at around 5:27 p.m., Lewisville Fire Department responded to a fire that was initially reported to be the Creekside Mobile Home Park, but turned out to be a nearby open dump in the City of Coppell. It was reported that an abandoned shed and various rubbish, including tires was burning in the area just south of Denton Creek, on the west side of SH 121.
Engines and brush trucks from Lewisville, as well as apparatus from Coppell and Flower Mound responded. They were able to get several streams of water on the fire under control by 6:08 p.m. The immediate area around the fire didn't have fire hydrants, so apparatus had to bring their own water, and switch out as each vehicle ran out. Flower Mound sent a tender truck (water tank) to assist.
Firefighters stuck around until at least 7:30 p.m - long after the fire was knocked down, hitting hot spots around the debris. There were no reported injuries.