As always, there are a ton of events coming up in Lewisville and the surrounding cities. Here are some selected events that you may find interesting.
Art Exhibit: VAL’s “Toyland” runs through Dec. 27 Members of the Visual Art League of Lewisville will display their works during their “Toyland” exhibit, running through Dec. 27 at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles Street. Admission is free. The exhibit, available for viewing Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. and during public performance at MCL Grand, will donate pieces to the Ronald McDonald House at the end of the run.
Friday, December 5th, Lewisville Lake Symphony Joins Lewisville High Choirs for Christmas Performance The Lewisville Lake Symphony’s Christmas Concert, Holiday Images: Sounds of the Season, will feature The Main Street Singers and Cantori, Lewisville High School Choirs under the direction of Steve DeCrow.
DeCrow states that “the Lewisville High School choir program is 175 members strong, and regularly receive Sweepstakes Awards at UIL competitions. They have performed in New York, San Antonio, Disney World, and Washington DC, among other places. Members of the choir program will perform in Italy in 2016.”
The Christmas concert will be held at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 5, at Lakeland Baptist Church, 397 S. Stemmons Freeway in Lewisville. Tickets can be booked online at www.lewisvillesymphony.org and are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students. Information is available at 972-874-9087.
Saturday, December 6th: Lewisville Old Town Holiday Stroll & Parade The annual Old Town Holiday Stroll will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, in Old Town Lewisville, featuring a wide range of free family events from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The event is being jointly presented by City of Lewisville/Lewisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Main & Mill/Old Town Business Association, Huffines Auto Dealerships Lewisville and Resource One Credit Union.
Highlights will include Huffines Auto Dealerships Lewisville Christmas Parade at 2 p.m., followed by Holiday Stroll activities from 3:30 to 8 p.m. including community performances, photos with Santa, Santa Paws Village and “Lewisville Lights!” Old Town Christmas Tree Lighting. - More details...
Saturday, December 6th: Flower Mound Nighttime Holiday Parade Flower Mound will hold its first nighttime parade starting at 5:30 p.m. on December 6. The parade will travel down Spinks Road, from Shadow Ridge Middle School to Gerault Park, where a tree lighting ceremony will take place. The ceremony will include choir performances, pictures with Santa Claus, carriage rides, snow hill, petting zoo, vendors, kids' activities, and much more. Food trucks will also be on site. The Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony will start at 6 p.m. with the ceremony concluding at 9 p.m.
Weekends through Dec. 23 - Holiday Activities at The Shops of Highland Village The Living Christmas Card Quartet - Complete with custom-tailored Victorian costumes, The Living Christmas Card quartet offers a selection of classic and jazz-flavored custom holiday arrangements for your listening pleasure. They will perform Fridays 5 to 8 p.m., Saturdays 3 to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m. The Quartet will also perform on Dec. 22 and 23 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Strolling Holiday Entertainment - Jingles, toy soldiers, Jack Frost, Santa and Mrs. Claus are just a few of the interactive characters strolling the festive streets of The Shops at Highland Village. They will be on site Fridays 5 to 8 p.m., Saturdays 2 to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m. Before they head back to the North Pole, their final appearance is December 22 – 23 from 2 to 8 p.m.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides - Grab your favorite hot beverage from Nestle Toll House Café and then sit back and enjoy a free Horse Drawn Carriage ride through the festive streets of The Shops at Highland Village. Carriage rides are complimentary and available first come, first served; Carriage will not run during inclement weather. Fridays and Saturdays 5 to 8 p.m. and Sundays 3 to 6 p.m. Carriage rides will also be available Dec. 22 and 23 from 5 to 8 p.m.
All events are located at 1701 Shoal Creek on the corner of FM 2499 and FM 407 in Highland Village, Texas.
Monday, December 8th - Thursday, December 11th: LISD offers inexpensive flu shots If you have not received your annual flu shot, Lewisville ISD and Passport Health are providing community members three more opportunities to do so. Clinics will be held from 4-7 p.m. on the following dates and at the these locations:
· Monday, Dec. 8 at The Colony High School (Room A107) · Wednesday, Dec. 10 at Lewisville High School Harmon Campus (Library) · Thursday, Dec. 11 at Marcus High School (Room A105)
Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Humana and Cigna PPO insurance plans are accepted and cover the vaccination 100 percent. Please bring a copy of your insurance card and driver’s license. Through the Texas Vaccines for Children program, the cost for children under 19-years-old with no insurance is $5. Children on Medicaid are free of charge. For all others, the cost is $10 ($35 for flu mist). Payments must be made in cash or check (made out to North Texas Flu Shots). For more info...
No reservation is necessary. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For consent forms and more information, visit www.lisd.net/benefits.
Keep Lewisville Beautiful (KLB) is currently taking nominations for Holiday Yard of the Month. KLB will be judging residential yards in the following categories: Most Beautiful, Most Whimsical, Best of Season, Best Dressed Window, and Best Musical House. Nominations are being accepted from December 1st – December 15th. A photo submission is required for all nominations and will be put on the KLB website for all to enjoy.
KLB will also be conducting a public vote for Best Dressed Window at the City of Lewisville and Old Town Business Association’s Old Town Holiday Stroll on Dec 6th. Best Dressed Window displays will be unveiled at Holiday Stroll, with public voting for this category at KLB’s open house at the event.
DALLAS - Diego Rodriguez, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Dallas Division, Sarah Saldaña, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Larry Boyd, Chief of the Irving Police Department, announced today the addition of Yaser Abdel Said to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list and a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to his arrest. Said is a capital murder suspect wanted in connection with the homicide of his two teenaged daughters, Amina and Sarah.
On January 1, 2008, Said took his daughters Amina (18) and Sarah (17) for a ride in his taxi cab, under the guise of taking them to get something to eat. He drove them to Irving, Texas, where he allegedly shot both girls inside the taxi cab. They died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Based on an investigation by the Irving Police Department, on January 2, 2008, a Capital Murder-Multiple warrant was issued for Said’s arrest. On August 21, 2008, a federal Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.
Over the last seven years, this case has been featured nationally on “America’s Most Wanted” and profiled in local and national media stories. One year ago, a $20,000 reward was announced by the Dallas FBI; however, Said has remained at large and his whereabouts are unknown. Adding Said to the “FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list creates the national and international attention needed to bring this fugitive to justice.
In making today’s announcement, SAC Rodriguez asked the media and public to help solve this case. “Yaser Abdel Said is wanted for his alleged role in committing a terrible act of violence against his own daughters. We believe the combination of publicity, the significant reward offering, and the team of experienced investigators assembled by the Dallas Violent Crimes Task Force and Irving Police Department will lead to his arrest,” explained SAC Rodriguez. “This addition to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list illustrates the severity of his alleged crime and our commitment to seeking justice for Amina and Sarah.”
Said’s last confirmed sighting was in Irving, Texas, in 2008. He was born in Egypt in 1957 and is 57 years old. The fugitive is 6’2” tall, 180 pounds, and has a medium complexion. He has brown eyes and black hair. His physical features may vary in order to conceal his identity.
Said may seek shelter in Egyptian-affiliated communities in the United States or abroad. He is believed to have ties to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the New York City area, Virginia, Canada and Egypt. He frequents Denny's and IHOP restaurants; smokes Marlboro Lights 100s cigarettes; and loves dogs, especially tan- and black-colored German Shepherds. He may work as a taxi driver.
Said is considered armed and dangerous. He reportedly carries a weapon with him at all times and was known to keep a handgun in his taxi cab.
This time of year, many people like to help out those who are less fortunate - especially kids who may not have an especially blessed Christmas. Several organizations are collecting gifts for kids in the area:
Lewisville High School Angel Tree Lewisville High School’s student council runs an Angel Tree program where students of all ages and grades throughout Lewisville ISD who have been identified by their counselors as being in need are added to a list by code instead of by name. Donors choose a kid from the list, and contact the coordinator to “adopt” them. The donors then buy gifts to help meet the child’s needs - whether it be for clothing, toys, or in some cases gift cards for food. Donors wrap the gifts and put the code number on the tag, delivering it to Lewisville High School, where volunteers deliver the gifts to the students. For more information, or to adopt an angel, visit the web page.
Toys for Tots The United States Marine Corps Reserve has collected toys for needy children since 1947. Typically, the Marines partner with a social service agency that identifies needy families and children, and parents can select a given number of items per child from donated toys, that they then wrap and give to their children. You can donate by bringing a new non-gift-wrapped toy to any collection site.
In Lewisville, you can drop off your donations at the Witherspoon Distillery, 545 N. Cowan Avenue, Suite F. There are also upcoming events in the area, such as a toy drive at Freddy’s Steak Burgers in Highland Village on December 6th, and Core Chiropractic & Rehab in Flower Mound on December 13th.
Young Heroes of the Guard The Texas State Guard collects and distributes new toys to kids who are patients in children’s hospitals during the Christmas season. They are looking for donations of new non-gift-wrapped toys. In Lewisville, the Lewisville Public Library has a collection box. For more information, visit the toy drive website.
CCA Giving Tree / Christmas Toy Store Christian Community Action’s Christmas Toy Store allows parents to select from donated new non-gift-wrapped toys, which they can then provide to their kids. A CCA volunteer will be at a “Giving Tree” at the Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville at the upper level, next to the food court through December 23rd to collect donations.
Flower Mound Santa Cops Program In an effort to spread holiday cheer to Flower Mound families in need, the Flower Mound Police Department and Flower Mound Citizen's Police Academy Alumni Association are teaming up for the annual Santa Cops program.
Donations and gifts for the program will be accepted through December 12 and distributed prior to Christmas to deserving Flower Mound children who might not otherwise receive a gift from Santa. Those interested in referring a family for the Santa Cops program, must submit that information by December 5. These donations provide an opportunity for local police officers to make Christmas brighter for a child, while also strengthening the bond between Flower Mound families and first responders.
Residents who would like to make a donation in the form of a new, non-gift-wrapped toy, gift card, or check, can drop items off at one of more than 20 drop-off box locations, which are listed at http://www.flower-mound.com/santacops.
Did we leave someone out? If you know of other programs in the area that benefit children during the holidays, please email email@example.com with the details.
By now, you have heard the buzz words such as “HB5,” “TEKS,” “endorsements,” and “community and student engagement.”
Referencing the words above, consider the following – a new educational paradigm is rapidly developing. Elementary children are now exposed to new levels of rigorous learning. Middle school students are being introduced to the value of high school academic planning. High school students are now offered additional course choices to engage interest. Our sons and daughters will be graduating with diplomas reflecting a personal interest in their education.
Administrators and classroom educators are diligently working to stay one step ahead of the wave of change. Active school board trustees are recognizing the unprecedented pace now required to stay current on today’s educational issues. And of course, at the center of it all is the most important entity – the parent.
Why the parent and not the child? The Texas Education Code provides us with ten objectives for public education. Did you know that the first objective listed does not mention anything about academics, school finance, fine arts, or sports? In fact, the very first objective found in the Texas Education Code focuses on you – the parent.
TEC Sec. 4.001. (b) Objective 1 states; Parents will be full partners with educators in the education of their children.” That sentence is worth reading twice.
One of the services we provide here at the Lewisville Texan Journal a live public feed of police and fire department radio. There had been an online feed of the Lewisville Fire Department already, but up to the point we rolled this out, nothing for Lewisville Police. We wanted to make not only a live feed available, but recordings of traffic as well so that we could later piece together news if we didn't happen to be listening at the time it happened.
The stream that you can listen to here may contain radio traffic of a sensitive nature. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This service is provided as-is, as available, and may be discontinued at any time for any reason. NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND ARE EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE LEGALITY OF ANY DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THESE RECORDINGS. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Click the play button below to listen to the feed:
Archive instructions: Select a date from the column on the right, and click it. Dates are in the format DD-MM-YYYY. (Which is backasswards from normal American date formatting, but that's how the software works, and we can't change that.) Select an individual file to play, or scroll all the way down to the bottom, and select one of the hourly playlists to play all of the radio traffic from that hour. There are also playlists for the entire day, and just police traffic or just fire department traffic.
The Lewisville City Council Monday night approved an agreement with the University of North Texas that would provide city funding and support for the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area through September, 2015. The 1,903 acre property owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers is currently leased to UNT and Lewisville ISD until 2022 for conservation, education, research, and recreation purposes.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement, The University of North Texas will continue to provide the current services at LLELA, and will pay the salaries of the three full-time employees who currently work there. UNT will request the Corps add the City of Lewisville to the lease on the property. In return, Lewisville will provide staffing to operate the toll booth at the entrance to LLELA, and will provide up to $213,272 in funding in the 2014-15 fiscal year to be used for city-approved operational expenses.
Earlier this year, LLELA’s prior funding source ran out, and Lewisville became nervous about losing its programs, and access to the area’s amenities for its residents. LLELA had previously been funded as part of a lump-sum $1.5 million grant given to UNT in 2007 by the City of Lewisville and Denton County as mitigation funding required by USACE for the impacts of unrelated works projects the two entities had done over its land. But those funds ran out with the fiscal year, and it seemed that UNT would not be able to fund the continued operation.
The Lewisville Texan Journal has learned that the identity of the carjacker who was shot by police Wednesday in Lewisville is Davis Jay Thomas, 22, of Garland. This photo is from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, taken in June of last year when he was incarcerated.
Thomas's next-of-kin were notified of his death Wednesday evening.
Update 11/28/2014 - 9:42 p.m.: Prior History of Violent Interaction with Police "KILL ME DO IT, PLEASE DO, DO ME THE FAVOR" - This was a quote from Thomas from a September, 2012 police report of a traffic stop in Garland where Thomas had given police the impression he was reaching for a weapon, causing the officers to draw their guns on him. The traffic stop had begun after Thomas turned in front of a police officer at an intersection and accelerated past him at a high rate of speed on a residential street. Once stopped, Thomas presented the police with a false ID, and acted nervous, fiddling around and reaching for things. Thomas had left the vehicle in gear and running, and did not cooperate with officers who asked him to shut it down and hand them the keys. Instead, Thomas placed the keys on the dash.
When a backup officer arrived, Thomas was told to exit the vehicle, but instead grabbed the keys and attempted to restart it. The police officer reached through the window to try to cover the ignition, and the other officer tried to grab Thomas's arm, but Thomas leaned over and began kicking the first officer in the chest and arm. The first officer then drew his weapon on Thomas, whose hands were near the center console and not visible to him.
At this point is when Thomas screamed at the officer to kill him, and reached into his waistband as if to draw a weapon. The officers backed up, and as Thomas tried again to restart the car, the second officer deployed his taser at Thomas, but missed. Thomas continued to violently kick at the officers, and at one point, even tried to grab at the barrel of the officer's weapon in what officers said was an attempt to take it. Finally, the first officer was able to get his Taser deployed and struck Thomas with it. Officers had to use the Taser for three cycles to get control of Thomas.
When Thomas was searched in this incident, he was found to have a large knife in his pocket, and a black bandana tied onto a large padlock to be used as a weapon.
Thomas admitted that he had been using "speed" (amphetamine), and officers found three marijuana blunts in the car.
For this incident, Thomas was convicted of Attempting to Take a Weapon from an Officer (State Jail Felony), Assaulting a Public Servant, (3rd Degree Felony), Resisting Arrest (Class A Misdemeanor), and Failing to Identify / Giving False Info (Class B Misdemeanor).
He pleaded guilty was sentenced to one year incarceration on the weapon charge, six years confinement on the assault charge, and 60 and 45 days respectively on the misdemeanor charges.
Department of Public Safety records indicate that Thomas spent some time incarcerated, but we are still trying to decipher the court documents to determine how he was paroled, or otherwise released. What we do know at this point, was that on October 20th of this year, a motion was filed by the Dallas County District Attorney to revoke his probation.
Update 12/5/2014: Lewisville Police today released the name of the officer who shot Thomas on November 26th. The officer is nine-year veteran Officer Butch Steinle, who is also a member of the SWAT team. LPD says that per department policy, he was evaluated by a mental health professional and deemed fit to return to duty, so he has. They say the investigation is still ongoing.
As I sip my coffee this morning, and take a moment to reflect on what I'm thankful for this year, all the normal things come to mind. Of course, I'm thankful for supportive friends and family, a good job, good health, a roof over my head, and plenty to eat. I'm thankful to live in a place of relative calm, in a community where a lot of good people give of themselves day after day, going above and beyond to make this a better place to live. Everything I said in last year's Thanksgiving message still applies.
But sometimes it takes tragedy before you truly understand some of the things we have to be thankful for. We have all watched with some mixture of frustration, disgust, disappointment, and anger, the events unfold in Ferguson, Missouri over the past months and days.
We all understand that police have an inherently dangerous job, and that they sometimes have to use deadly force to protect themselves and the public. The controversy in Ferguson had many facets, including a terrible municipal court, a police department that wasn't very representative of the population, and some questionable decisions after the Brown shooting that served to escalate the situation. We won't even go into the other factors in the Ferguson situation, but there is plenty of blame to go around.
My point is that yesterday in Lewisville, we had a very dangerous criminal that police were pursuing, and it could have turned out much worse in so many ways. A man pulled a shotgun and tried to carjack people. He pointed the gun at Lewisville police and pulled the trigger. Our police returned fire and stopped the man from being a further danger. These things are what they train for, and what is expected of our police officers. They go to work each day knowing that the gun on their hip is more than a decoration, and that they may be called to make a split-second decision to use deadly force to protect a citizen or protect themselves.
Will Durst - Raging Moderate You got to love Thanksgiving. You do. It's the law. And be honest; doesn't a little tryptophan poisoning amongst family and friends sound pretty comforting right about now? What with Ebola infested ISIS members slithering across the border carrying photos of Bill Cosby ogling Kim Kardashian's butt?
Besides, this holiday isn't about greasing the wheels of capitalism with the fire hose of consumer debt like that other one just down the road. This one is about gluttony. Pure and simple. And the only attendant religiosity is praying the Cowboys lose.
So allow me to express my gratitude for the 4th Thursday of November: it's annual appearance being one of the little moments that makes life worth living. Right up until the 4th bottle of white Zin, when Aunt Hoogolah informs Uncle Bud how Grandpa characterized his turkey carving and all hell breaks loose. Nevertheless, here's a few more blessed things that prompt this middle- aged, round- headed, political comic to get down on his knees and thank the maker.