Resident Tom Boughton shows an area where hundreds of beer bottles and cans had collected on Lewisville ISD property since the summer began
By Steve Southwell
Littering and other crimes were getting on the nerves of some residents of the Hedrick Estates neighborhood just south of Hedrick Middle School. Frustrated with what they felt was an inability to get results after calling police, neighbors Tom Boughton and Cassie Kelly took to social media to report the problem and ask for help.
Boughton posted on the neighborhood social media website Nextdoor.com that every Saturday night, a wooded area behind his house on Marchant Place was getting littered with beer bottles, cans, and cases. Kelly posted on the City of Lewisville Facebook group, that she wanted to see if anyone would donate trash cans that she could place in the areas in the hopes that maybe if they couldn’t stop people drinking in the fields, they could at least maybe collect some of it in trash cans to make it easier to clean up.
The Lewisville Texan Journal contacted Kelly and Boughton, who graciously showed us the problem area and explained some of the issues they have had in the area.
Boughton, whose back yard backs up to the Hedrick property, showed us an area between some trees where litterers had left hundreds of beer bottles and cans, and their associated boxes. There was evidence of someone having set up a fire pit that still had some partially burned material in it. Cigarette boxes and cigar wrappers could also been seen. Boughton said that on Saturday nights around midnight, a group of Asian kids that he thought to be middle-school to high school aged, and maybe a couple years beyond that tend to show up at the site mostly on foot, but sometimes by car. Both neighbors said they suspected other unsavory activities going on, and other residents posted on Nextdoor that they had items stolen.
Most people know the power of words and yet still use them in devastating ways to destroy reputations, futures, and families. This has been done to Brian Freed by reports in this publication.
While this letter is not about me, I need to tell why I feel qualified to speak out. I have known Brian Freed since he was my student at Hedrick Middle School a number of years ago. I taught in the Lewisville Independent School District for over twenty years, spending time as department chairman at three middle schools and being recognized as Teacher of the Year for the district in 1991-92. I have been appointed to and served on four Denton County Grand Juries as well as serving on various civic boards and committees. I have taught adult Bible study on both Sundays and Tuesdays at First Baptist Church of Lewisville for many years also. I include this information only as evidence that most people consider me to be a reliable citizen.
I have recently been disturbed by words used as character assassination against my former student and friend, Brian Freed. I have known him from his years as a boy to those as a man to be a person of integrity. In his student years, he was admired by both students and teachers. On one occasion, the teachers were asked to choose a student to be a representative from Hedrick Middle School to an event for American Airlines; Brian was the unanimous choice.
I have continued to watch Brian Freed's growth as he has become a young man and now I am also acquainted with his wife and each of their three children. I have seen these parents involved in every aspect of their children's lives, seeking to rear them to also be kind, contributing young people.
Well, here we are - nearly at the end of the summer. The kids are getting ready to go back to school, and we’re ready to have them out of the house. We just got back from our summer vacation trip last weekend. Our family drove to Colorado and enjoyed a couple weeks of relaxation in a place where every direction you turn is picture postcard beautiful. Coming back from Colorado and opening up the car doors in Texas was like stepping into an oven. But hey - the rain this morning was a nice break, wasn’t it? Well - as long as you didn’t get flooded.
Yet, we love it here, and must get back to business. It has been a few weeks since the last update, so there are a lot of links to share, but more than a few that were already stale, so I removed them.
Governor Rick Perry has been indicted on charges of abuse of power and coercion. An indictment only means that the grand jury thinks the special prosecutor has enough evidence to bring a case to trial. The case centers around Perry’s threat to zero out funding for Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit - the office that handles investigations related to state government. The office had been investigating CPRIT - the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, making improper grants to companies with close ties to Rick Perry, and grants that had been made without the proper vetting. Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose office was also tasked with overseeing CPRIT, failed to do so, and in the process, many of his donors raked in cash from the fund. The District Attorney in charge of the unit - an elected official - had been busted for DWI, and Perry saw an opportunity to appoint his own successor to the office if she could resign. So Perry threatened to zero out funding unless she resigned; and when she didn’t - he did.
Judgemental map of Dallas. For what it’s worth, we do have a judgemental map of Lewisville; it’s just that you’d chase us down with pitchforks and torches if we ever shared it. But if someone else ever makes one that we can truthfully claim some distance from, we’ll be happy to share it.
“As free-standing ERs’ business grows, so does backlash” - You know - all the outrageous expense of an emergency room visit, without that contractual arrangement with your insurer, without the need to accept Medicare or Medicaid, or indigents, and without actual hospital beds in case you need one. I’ll pass.
Texas Department of State Health Services this week confirmed the city's first positive West Nile Virus mosquito trap for 2014. The positive sample came from a trap collected Aug. 5 near Rachel's Court, behind the Renaissance Village Retirement Community on Edmonds Lane.
Due to the history of positive tests in the area, plus the high-risk senior population adjacent to the testing site, ground spraying will be conducted in a half-mile radius (See map) of the testing location. Spraying is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 18, and Tuesday, Aug. 19, starting at 10 p.m. each night. Spraying will be conducted by trucks from public streets. The insecticide being used is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and poses minimal risk to humans and the environment.
City crews are regularly walking through and visually inspecting creeks and drainage channels to look for potential mosquito breeding sites. The city has nearly a dozen workers in the Parks and Animal Services divisions who are state-certified to apply anti-larval dunks or localized pesticide to curb the mosquito population. Residents also are encouraged to report standing water on city-maintained property by calling Lewisville Animal Control at 972.219.3478.
The Texas Department of Health operates a toll-free WNV information line in both English and Spanish at 888.883.9997, and has expanded information posted on its Web site at tdh.state.tx.us. Denton County Health Department also has information about West Nile virus online or at 940.349.2907.
Celebrate Homecoming at Flower Mound Presbyterian Church
On August 24, historic Flower Mound Presbyterian Church, Denton County’s oldest Presbyterian Church, is celebrating 160 years along with the 100th birthday of our oldest member, Miss Oleta Simmons Greer. Ms. Greer’s family were some of the earliest residents of Flower Mound. Simmons Road is named for her family. A special Homecoming Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM, that will include a “Blessing of the Backpacks” for all school children. This will be followed by a potluck at 11:30. The entree will be provided and all are welcome!
Homecoming celebrates the history of the church and Flower Mound and recognizes those who attended the original Donald School. The church was founded in 1854 by Reverend Matthew B. Donald. The school was founded in 1877 and named for the Donald family who were among the first families to settle in the Flower Mound area and helped to develop the community. The church is located at 1501 Flower Mound Road in Flower Mound, TX. Sunday School starts at 9:30, followed by Worship Service at 10:30. Church members and former attendees of the Donald School are invited to share their memories and stories during the service. All children are invited to participate in the blessing to start their school year off on a good note. See www.fmpcweb.org or call 972-539-7184 for more information.
Former Lewisville Assistant Fire Chief Brian Freed, 42, was arrested Wednesday in Lewisville on a felony charge of theft of at least $6,210 from the Fill-the-Boot fundraiser that the department conducted on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association from April 28th to May 3rd of this year.
According to the probable cause affidavit, obtained by The Lewisville Texan Journal, Freed aroused the suspicion of Division Chief Mark Richards after texting him late at night on May 4th of this year stating that he had moved six five-gallon buckets containing bags of money from where they were being kept at Station 7 to Richards’ office at Central Station. At the time the money was moved, Freed had been placed on paid leave just two days earlier for what he told police was an addiction to hydrocodone and Ambien that he had bought over the internet.
Community Relations Director James Kunke explained that all public safety employees are subject to quarterly random drug testing, as well as testing upon hire, promotion, or reasonable suspicion. Employees who test positive for drugs may be terminated immediately, but employees who self-admit* a drug problem are referred to the city’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for treatment. Employees referred to EAP can retain their employment if they successfully complete treatment and comply with more frequent drug testing, but can be terminated immediately if they have another positive test.
On May 6th, Detective Bryan Gibbins with Lewisville Police Department investigated the situation and determined that two of the six bags of cash that had been collected were missing. Bags containing $4,284 from B shift, and $3,427 from A shift were found to be missing from the buckets.
Thanks to recent rainfall and cooler weather, Lewisville Lake now sits at 516.96 feet, which is a little over 5 feet low, or about 77% full. Overall, Dallas water reservoirs are 26.61% depleted. As of last Thursday, the Southern half of Denton County is still in extreme drought, while the Northern half has been moved down to severe drought.
The DFW area has received 1.08 inches of rainfall so far this month, compared to a normal value of .26 inches for the first 5 days in August. However, we are still quite a bit behind on rainfall. So far this calendar year, we have received 12.65 inches of rainfall, compared to the normal value of 22.46 inches, or a 9.81 inch deficit. Even with the drought last year, we had 17.35 inches by this point.
Given that we are almost in Mid-August, we think that chances are really good that we can make it through the rest of the year without further water restrictions in Lewisville, but conservation is still important. Lewisville is still in Stage 1 of its Emergency Water Management Plan, which means mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering.
LTJ would like to point out that there is nothing particularly dangerous about Lewisville Lake, compared to the others. Any ranking of lake safety ought to be normalized based on the lake's size and number of visitors/boaters. The number one factor in lake safety is whether visitors will take responsibility for their own safety by wearing life jackets and avoiding boating under the influence of alcohol.
The Lewisville Police Department is celebrating 75 years of dedicated service to the community. At Monday night's Lewisville City Council meeting, Mayor Dean Ueckert recognized the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Lewisville Police Department on August 9th, 1939, proclaiming August 9th, 2014 as "Lewisville Police Day".
LPD invites residents to join them for an Open House this Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lewisville Police Department. Hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be provided. In addition to building tours, there will be a variety of displays in the south Police Department parking lot off of Main Street.
Lewisville Police Department is located at 1187 W. Main St. The best parking for the event would be behind the Library, accessible from Civic Circle.
The Lewisville Police Department shared the following information on recent crimes:
Aggravated Kidnapping Suspects Arrested On August 2, at approximately 8:30 p.m., a local police agency sent a message out to area agencies to be on the lookout for a stolen vehicle that had been stolen during an aggravated kidnapping. Officer Joe Fernandez thought he may have seen the vehicle at an apartment complex in the 200 block of East Southwest Parkway earlier in the shift. He relayed that information to other officers, who began checking that area for the vehicle. Officer Kevin Tice observed the vehicle travelling eastbound on Southwest Parkway and then turn into an apartment complex. Officers converged on the vehicle and detained three suspects.
Officers learned that the victim of the aggravated kidnapping had been lured to Lewisville via social media. He was met by three males who threatened him with a handgun and forced him into the backseat of his own car. The victim said that the suspects demanded money from him and assaulted him repeatedly. Eventually, the suspects took the victim to another city to try to get money from a relative of the victim. One suspect was detained in that city after robbing the victim’s relative. The other suspects fled the city until they were eventually located back in Lewisville. Lewisville officers arrested two suspects for aggravated kidnapping.
Editor's Note:LTJ's Arrest Blotter shows that the two suspects arrested are Perry Paul Gonzales, 19, and Ismair Santiago Tenorio, 20. Gonzales is held in lieu of $140,000 bond on charges of aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon, theft, and engaging in organized criminal activity. Tenorio is held in lieu of $115,000 bond on the same charges, and is also held on an ICE detainer. Later in the day on August 3rd, police arrested Yadira Tenorio-Santiago, 17 on the same charges. She is held in Lewisville jail in lieu of $75,000 bond on the same charges.