The Denton County Transportation Authority is collaborating with city partners to conduct a full-scale, mock disaster drill on Sunday, May 1 at 9 a.m. at Railroad Street and Bennett Lane. The exercise will simulate a DCTA A-train incident occurring in Lewisville with corresponding responses by city, medical, police, fire and DCTA contractors, resources and personnel. All organizations participating in the mock disaster drill include: DCTA, City of Lewisville, Medical Center of Lewisville, Lewisville Fire and Police departments, and the Flower Mound Fire department.
DCTA is required to conduct a full-scale mock disaster drill once every two years to meet Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations since the agency operates a commuter rail line. This exercise is designed to establish a learning environment for all participating organizations to practice emergency response plans, policies and procedures. Key objectives that will be evaluated during the mock disaster drill include:
· Operational Communications · Operational Coordination · Environmental Control · Public Health and Medical Services · On-scene Security and Protection
The Lewisville Police Department is currently conducting an investigation with other law enforcement agencies involving McGoys Marine, 1696 Business 121 in Lewisville, regarding theft.
Because of the high number of victims or potential victims, LPD has announced that it will hold a town hall meeting Saturday, May 14 to better communicate with and assist victims. The meeting is at City Hall, 151 W. Church St., at 10 a.m.
LPD's property crimes team is working with officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the District Attorney's office to conduct a question and answer session with all parties involved in any transactions at McGoy's - whether the person is a buyer or a seller.
The owner of McGoy's, Jesse Ray Keene, has been booked into Denton County Jail nine times on unrelated charges. He was last booked in the Denton County Jail on drunk driving charges on March 24. He remains in jail without bond.
Police said Keene was legally selling boats consigned to him but not compensating the sellers.
“Let’s say I went up there to consign the boat to Jesse. The boat for sale catches your eye and you go in. Jesse says, ‘Fantastic, Adam. Hey, I’m glad you’re here. Let me sell you the boat.’ You pay him $5,000 and Jesse gives you the proper documentation and the boat and the bill of sale. You’re off and running thinking you did everything by the book,” LPD Captain Michael Moore said. “By law, you’ve not done anything illegal. We’re not looking to press charges against you because you acted in good faith.”
Police don’t think anyone who consigned or bought a boat didn’t do so in good faith, Moore said. But, consigners were not told what happened to their boats, or if they had been sold or stolen.
“Jesse hasn’t been taking that $5,000 to the consigner and saying ‘Congratulations, we’ve sold the boat and here’s your money and I’ll take my consignment fee.’” Moore said. “One day, several months later, I decide to go check on my boat and it’s gone.”
There are other players than just the consignor, the buyer and Keene, Moore said.
Despite three days of early voting already having been crossed off the calendar, all five of the Lewisville ISD board candidates showed up Wednesday night for a candidate forum hosted at LISD’s Bolin Center in Lewisville. The forum, a little over an hour long, was co-hosted by The Lewisville Texan Journal, and the Cross Timbers Gazette.
Bob Weir and Patrick Kelly served as moderators for the Gazette and the Journal respectively. Lewisville ISD graciously allowed for the use of the room and provided audio and video assistance. Trustee Tracy Scott Miller served as timekeeper.
Between 50 and 75 people attended live, and the forum was video-recorded.
Candidates were each given two minutes to introduce themselves; then the moderators took turns asking questions. Each candidate had a minute to answer each question. At the end, each candidate had two minutes for a closing statement.
Candidates for Place 4 are Fairooz Adams and Katherine Sells. Candidates for Place 5 are Will Ferson, Jenny Proznik, and Allison Lassahn.
The Lewisville Texan Journal thanks all of the candidates, Lewisville ISD, the Cross Timbers Gazette, Patrick Kelly, Bob Weir, and Tracy Scott Miller for their assistance.
FLOWER MOUND— Avanti Senior Living is hosting two chic welcome events for the public to get a sneak peek and learn more about Flower Mound’s newest senior living community, Avanti Senior Living at Flower Mound. Avanti team members are excited to reveal plans, answer questions and gather insight from the public on what they would like to see from the community. At these special introductory events, attendees will be able to learn more about Avanti’s vision and what the senior living community will do for area seniors and their families. Attendees will also get a preview of interior design selections, and will have the opportunity to join Avanti’s A List. The events are free and open to the public, and will be held on April 27 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and April 28 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Twelve Stones – The Pines of Flower Mound (1221 Flower Mound Road). To RSVP and reserve a spot, please email email@example.com or call 469-294-1080. Light bites and wine will be served.
“Avanti Senior Living at Flower Mound will open this fall, and we cannot wait to begin welcoming new residents,” said Lori Alford, COO of Avanti Senior Living. “We have elevated industry standards by focusing on personalization and choice, as opposed to making residents conform to a one-size-fits-all model. We continuously seek to empower residents so they can live the life they want to live in a community that is evocative of a posh, resort-style hotel. We’ll have pictures to help showcase the community’s layout, and we will also provide visitors with a distinct impression of the community’s overall feel and design.”
The community will provide 50 assisted living and 40 memory care suites, a state-of-the-art wellness center with ballet barre and fitness equipment, a theatre area and a full-service salon and spa offering relaxation therapy, aromatherapy, hair styling, manicures and pedicures. The 77,000-square-foot community will also offer a fully-functional art studio with an abundance of natural light and a stone wall on which the residents can display their artwork. The community and resident suites will boast plush carpets, wood flooring, plentiful windows, walk-in closets, oversized showers, stone countertops, upgraded finishes, expansive countertops and storage space as well as other signature features.
NOTE: This post will continue to be updated throughout the night as more information is received.
At the invitation of Lewisville Emergency Manager Josh Roberts, Steve Southwell has joined the city’s emergency management team, to report tonight's storms.
Prit Patel, Economic Development Coordinator, normally works in the city’s economic development department, but tonight, she’s augmenting the EMC team. She has a background in emergency management, and sometimes gets called on to help out.
Right to left: Josh Roberts, Prit Patel, Eric Hutmacher (Photo by Steve Southwell)
Patel is concerned that latest reports put the storm hitting North Texas around 10:30 p.m. This slow progression of the storm worries her, because the longer it takes to pass over an area, the more it could dump.
Roberts has Tweetdeck up, and is watching weather-related tweets. He and Patel are working on tonight's social media strategy. Patel will watch for significant reports and log them.
"A lot of times NWS info is generalized. We try to keep our stuff really specific to Lewisville," Roberts said. "We can sound the sirens from the encoder here. Dispatch can do it from there as well."
Roberts explains siren criteria. Lewisville will raise the alarms at hail of 1.25” or greater, for tornado warnings, or for wind of 70 mph or greater as a "tool to warn people outdoors to go indoors and find out why." But, the gGuidelines are not hard and fast trigger points, he said, "it will always be and should always be a human decision."
There are multiple ways to receive warning, including: NOAA radio, social media and Everbridge sign-up.
The Lewisville team is also using a new tool in beta testing, the CASA Radar, which stands for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere. CASA, a federal pilot, provides radar returns on information closer to the ground. Right now. D/FW area is only location in the U.S. using it.
(Screenshot of NWS radar)
8:08 p.m. The gang gets a call. It’s sprinkling outside and they need to move their cars out from under the covered area so city vehicles can get under it.
8:35 p.m. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center reduced our outlook from moderate to enhanced within the past hour or so. Now it’s just 50 mph gusts.
8:40 p.m. Hutmacher was watching Pete Delkus on Facebook Live, and brought it to Roberts. Delkus says he “guarantees the storm sirens in your community will go off tonight.” Roberts thinks that’s irresponsible.
8:51 - Denton County Skywarn just activated. These are volunteer Ham radio operators trained to spot severe weather. They will soon receive reporting criteria and proceed to the western parts of the county to stand as lookouts, spotting weather situations and reporting back over the radio. The National Weather Service monitors the channel, as well as various EOCs here in Denton County.
9:19 - A severe thunderstorm warning was just issued for Denton County until 10:15 p.m.
9:28 - The gust front ahead of the storm has 45 mph winds.
9:34 - Storm is just getting into Denton County now. Gust front just crossed the county line on the west side. A spotter is reporting a possible lowering near Coral City, north of Texas Motor Speedway. Big thunder can be heard now in the EOC. Roberts explains the well-defined gust front in front of the storm (which can be seen on radar) means it’s less likely to have circulation in the main storm. Also, there’s not a discrete cell out in front of it, he said.
9:36 - 54 mph wind reported at Denton Airport, according to an NWS employee on NWS chat. Spotters reporting winds in excess of 50 mph in Krum.
9:38 p.m.- The line of storms is approximately along I-35W right now.
9:47 p.m. - Gust greater than 30 mph logged at Central Fire Station. The wind is howling and the sky looks mean.
9:57 p.m. - Pea- to dime-size hail has been spotted at the intersection of U.S. 377 and 380. Power outage has also been reported near Texas Motor Speedway. To see power outages near you, visit http://www.tnmp.com/customers/outages/map.htm. The team is now scanning Twitter for reports of flooding in Lewisville.
10:04 p.m. - Fox 4 reports of roof and wind damage in the town of Whitesboro in far western Grayson County. This would have been part of the Cooke County storm rotation as it crossed over county lines. Officials are still watching this rotation. Power flashes have been reported at Interstate 75 along Highway 82 in Sherman and south to Howe. The weather station says it appears to be rain-wrapped.
10:06 p.m. Spotters have reported pea-sized hail at FM 407 and FM 2499.
10:07 p.m. - Skywarn has reported pea-sized hail south of Lewisville. "It's a lot of nothing," Roberts said. “We’ll still get some rain, but honestly, I think that’s all it’s going to be. Thunder and lightning.”
10:12 p.m. - The hail at FM 2499 and FM 407 has stopped. When that report had come in, Roberts had looked at radar and NWS chat, and didn’t think much of it.
10:17 p.m. - Thunderstorm warning is expired for Denton County. Skywarn net control is talking about securing spotters for the night.
10:18 p.m. The net is secured. Officials believe the worst of the storm has passed.
Students representing 12 local Rotary clubs will compete in the Rotary District 5790 annual speech contest. The contest will be held in the Annex of Christian Community Action, 200 South Mill St. in Lewisville. The contest will run from 9:30 am to noon on Saturday, April 28.
Speeches will be limited to five minutes each. This week's speakers are students who have won their local club contest held earlier this year. The winner on Saturday will go on to compete in the district-wide competition and will compete for scholarship prizes.
Speakers this week represent Rotary clubs from Arlington, Breckenridge, Denton, Fort Worth East, Fort Worth South, Fort Worth Stockyards, Grapevine, Iowa Park, Lewisville Morning - The Colony, Lewisville Morning- Hebron, Lewisville Noon, and Metroport.
The Four Way Test is repeated at all 34,000 Rotary Club meetings worldwide.
The former location of Special Abilities of North Texas, which has moved to a new location, will be the site for Kyle's Place, a shelter for homeless teenagers. The building will be totally restructured and remodeled to be suitable to provide the needed services.(Top photo by Dan Eakin, bottom rendering by Bates Martin Architects - as submitted to the Lewisville City Council)
Journey to Dream has been helping teenagers who are homeless and/or are struggling with destructive behavior since 2004.
This summer, the local non-profit will go a step further. Journey to Dream plans to open a shelter for homeless teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18.
The shelter, to be known as Kyle's Place, will be the only shelter in Denton County for unaccompanied homeless teenagers.
Kim Hinkle, Journey to Dream co-founder and executive director, said the shelter is being named for Kyle, “an inspiring student whom we tragically lost in 2012.”
Journey to Dream closed this week on the purchase of property at 1960 Archer Way in Northwest Lewisville.
Hinkle said the building, which formerly housed Special Abilities of North Texas, will be remodeled in order to provide services for many of the young people in the Lewisville area who have been designated as homeless at Lewisville middle schools and high schools.
The new facility, when opened, will have 16 beds, and will have a full staff on duty 24 hours a day to see that those who stay there have good food to eat, acceptable clothing and whatever counseling they may need. Tutoring and job training will also be offered.
Hinkle said between 400 and 500 teenagers in Denton County are classified as homeless every year. “That doesn't mean that they are sleeping under bridges, at the bus station or behind a store, although some have,” she said. “Many of them, as many as 80 percent, are what we call 'sofa surfers,' which means they sleep on sofas in homes where an individual or a family has invited them to sleep.”
While Journey to Dream will not be able to provide shelter for all of the homeless teens in the county, the leaders of the organization are expecting more than 100 homeless teens to spend some time in the shelter over a year's time.
The Lewisville City Council put its stamp of approval on the teen shelter at a regular meeting last week. The council okayed a zoning change, a Special Use Permit and variances to allow Journey to Dream have the building and property restructured in a way which will be suitable for the services to be offered.
In 2004, Hinkle and her friend Kari Rusco started Journey to Dream. They both had husbands or ex-husbands who had problems with substance abuse, and daughters who were affected by destructive behavior.
Hinkle said there were other organizations in the area that work with younger children who were homeless or who were facing behavioral problems, but she said she had noticed “a void” in the need for providing the services to teenagers.
Lewisville joins North Central Texas PWERT to help during disasters The City of Lewisville is joining the North Central Texas Public Works Emergency Response Team (PWERT) in an effort to help neighboring municipalities during disasters and receive help in return if ever needed. Lewisville joins 40 other member cities in providing access to its public works manpower and equipment during an emergency.
“We are excited to welcome the City of Lewisville as the newest member city to help this region continue to improve its effectiveness in providing service to the citizens who live in this great region,” said Mistie Gardner, North Central Texas PWERT co-chair.
North Central Texas PWERT first deployed following the April 2012 tornado outbreak in Lancaster and has since grown to a more robust capacity better able to meet regional needs. Following last December’s tornado outbreak, the North Central Texas PWERT mutual aid mechanism provided more than 500 personnel shifts and more than 800 equipment shifts in support of impacted cities.
“Disasters, by definition, overwhelm local resources,” said Lewisville Emergency Management Coordinator Joshua Roberts. “Signing this mutual aid agreement helps us to leverage the good will and resources of our neighboring jurisdictions, and it also streamlines our help to them in their time of need.”
This mutual public service aid agreement is comparable to traditional mutual aid agreements used by fire departments. Once a city joins, when public works resources are requested by a participating city, it will only take one call to get those needed resources identified, located and sent to a site. Those resources can include barricades, heavy equipment, trucks, trailers, generators, pumps, light stands, and personnel.
“During disaster response it's all about teamwork,” said Roberts. “Together we are stronger than any one of us alone."
Tax-free weekend for emergency supplies Texans can purchase certain supplies tax-free during the Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, April 23-25.
There’s no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, including batteries, fuel containers, and flashlights priced at less than $75;
Also included are hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300, andportable generators priced less than $3,000. Non-qualifying purchases include batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles; camping stoves and camping supplies; and chainsaws.
A list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Texas Comptroller’s website: http://comptroller.texas.gov/
Speed limit and parking changes coming to some Lewisville streets Lewisville City Council has approved a plan to lower the speed limit on certain sections of north Mill Street, Church Street and Charles Street. The Council also approved a plan to prohibit parking on a section of east Purnell Street. These changes are being made to improve safety in the affected areas, and will go into effect on May 2.
Approved changes: The section of Mill Street from Tennie Drive to Oakridge Boulevard is in a residential area in the northern portion of the city by Lewisville Lake. The speed limit on this two-lane roadway is currently 40 miles per hour. It will be reduced to 25 miles per hour.
Church Street is a two-lane, one-way street that passes in front of City Hall. The current speed limit of 30 miles per hour was set when the roadway was reconstructed in 1999-2000. The new speed limit will be 25 miles per hour.
All of Charles Street currently is posted at 35 miles per hour with the exception of one section in a residential neighborhood. The speed limit on this two-way street will change to 25 miles per hour for the entire length north of Main Street. That is the portion of road in front of the MCL Grand Theater and adjacent to City Hall. The section of Charles Street south of Main Street to I-35E will remain 35 miles per hour.
Parking on Purnell Street is already prohibited in three sections. Based on resident and business concerns and a City survey, parking will be prohibited on Purnell Street from Kealy Avenue to 230 feet east of Kealy on the north side of Purnell; and from Kealy Avenue to 220 feet east of Hembry Street on the south side of Purnell.
City accepting applications for next Poet Laureate The City of Lewisville is accepting applications for its next Poet Laureate. The two-year term of the current Poet Laureate, J. Paul Holcomb, ends Sept. 1. The person selected for this position will serve as the City’s literary ambassador for a two-year term commencing in September. Selectee will receive a $500 annual stipend. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25.
Duties of the Lewisville Poet Laureate include representing the City of Lewisville and the poetic arts through participation in poetry events such as readings, seminars and interviews.
The Poet Laureate will create and present original poetry at as many as four public events per year. These events may vary from year-to-year, but could include readings at scheduled City events and in local schools. Duties also include accepting invitations to present his/her poetry at community events or with community groups, conducting interviews with the media, and submitting works for publication on the City website and other outlets.
The Poet Laureate will act as an advocate and resource for poetry and literary events in Lewisville.
To qualify, the selected poet must live or work in Lewisville and be at least 18 years of age. They must demonstrate a commitment to poetry through prior publication and submission of a body of work of no less than 20 poems, and/or a performance record such as spoken word, poetry slams, film, video, new media or other performance-related venues.
The poet must embrace a willingness to engage the community in a discourse about poetry, to present his or her work to the public and Lewisville K-12 students, and allow selected poems to be published on the City website, to be duplicated as posters for distribution at events or in the schools, to be framed for installation in City Hall, and for use in visual art installations.
Applications can be mailed or delivered to Jim Wear at the MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles Street, Lewisville, TX 75057, by 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 25.
For application info, contact Jim Wear: 972-219-8444
DCTA to hold public meeting in Lewisville on April 23 The Denton County Transportation Authority will hold a public meeting on Saturday, April 23, at 1 p.m. at Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main Street.
The agency will share its annual program of projects, provide updates on the Highland Village bus service, and get resident feedback on the Denton and Lewisville Comprehensive Operational Analysis. That COA identifies changes to existing bus services intended to maintain the strongest areas of existing service, strengthen the weaker areas, fill existing service gaps, and ensure all significant transit markets are well served.
The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed transit projects funded by the Federal Transit Administration through the Urbanized Area Formula Program. This opportunity for comment meets the federal requirement for public participation.
Everyone is welcome to attend the open house meetings. Persons with hearing or sight interpretive service needs are asked to contact DCTA at least two business days in advance of the meeting at 972-221-4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Meeting for 35Express Project set for April 28 AGL Constructors will hold a community meeting on Thursday, April 28, starting at 6:30 p.m., in the Lecture Hall of Lewisville High School, 1098 W. Main Street.
The 35Express project hosts a series of community meetings to provide an update on the $1.4 billion expansion of I-35E. The meetings, held twice a year, are an opportunity for the public to get up-to-speed on the work that has been completed on the project and learn about upcoming construction. This meeting will focus on the middle segment of the 30-mile construction corridor, which covers Lewisville, Highland Village, Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek.
Interested persons who cannot make the meeting in person, can do so virtually by visiting 35express.org/upcoming_meetings.php
For Texas students, standardized testing is nothing new. Educational Testing Systems (ETS) took over from Pearson this year as the new vendor for the state tests. Pearson had held the contract since the inception of state testing in the 1980s.
One often expects hiccups during transition between old and new, i.e. Verizon to Frontier. There have been a wide variety of new issues with the testing this year. Hopefully some are due to the change in vendor and will be easily resolved. However, some indicate a potential problem with the very fabric of the scoring rubric causing some to once again, question the validity of the tests and the accuracy of the results.
The problems that have emerged all around the state this year are: missing shipments, late shipments, incorrect shipments, incorrect student information precoded on answer documents, missing student data scores, data scores from students in other districts, 14,000 students unable to complete online testing. Also problematic was inaccurate scoring of the short answer questions on English I and II.
These issues have caused districts across the state to expend additional staff time and resources to wade through the problems and take the proper corrective action. A primary concern of the data file and scoring issues is how student and district accountability will be affected.