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Recent News and Opinion
2014/10/22 - Updated: Lewisville Police Respond to Shooting at Round Grove and ...
2014/10/21 - KLB to Host Trinity Trash Bash Waterway Cleanup and Recycling Even...
2014/10/20 - Texas DSHS reports Texans Cleared from Ebola Monitoring
2014/10/19 - Sunday Night Update
2014/10/18 - Updated: Lewisville Loses Appeal on Sex Offender Ordinance
2014/10/18 - Early Voting Starts Monday for November 4th, 2014 Election
2014/10/17 - Updated: Lewisville Police Seek Help Finding Serial Attacker
2014/10/17 - Parents on Edge After Newspaper Misreports LISD Ebola Letter
2014/10/16 - So much news, so little time...
2014/10/15 - Crime Updates from Lewisville Police Department
2014/10/4 - Saturday Morning Update - Yom Kippur Edition
2014/9/30 - Ebola Case Confirmed in Texas Patient
2014/9/29 - Crime and Accident Updates from Lewisville and Flower Mound
2014/9/27 - Shooting Victim Dies from Injury
2014/9/26 - Lewisville Western Days 2014 - Music and Much More!
2014/9/24 - Updated: Man Shot on I-35 in Lewisville Tuesday Night; Police Catc...
2014/9/22 - Misheard Word Results in Viral Facebook Post; Man Falsely Accused ...
2014/9/22 - Lewisville Steps Back from Enforcement on Fence-Staining Ordinance
2014/9/21 - Where's My iPony?
2014/9/21 - Sunday Morning Update - Western Week Edition
2014/9/20 - FBI Seeks Public Help Identifying Bank Robber
2014/9/15 - Monday Morning Update - September 15th
2014/9/12 - Symphony Opens Season with Russian Pianist
2014/9/10 - Chief's Weekly Update: Police Investigate on Bank Robbery
2014/9/8 - Lewisville To Spray Again for Mosquitoes Monday and Tuesday Nights
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Saturday Morning Update - Yom Kippur Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/10/4 9:23:36 (832 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 windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowToday is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, or day of atonement.

Thursday's rain was great, wasn't it? The sky was so dark, and the wind was ferocious. It was brief, but it came down hard. Our readers reported receiving from .25 to 1.25 inches, but NWS rainfall totals showed around .5 inch average for our area. Lewisville Lake rose a little over an inch, putting us at 515.3 feet, which is almost 7 feet below conservation pool. We desperately need to catch up on rain over the Fall and Winter months.

The Lewisville High School Homecoming is next week. The Parade in Old Town Lewisville is set for Wednesday, October. 8th, and the football game is Friday, October 10th

Winston Edmondson writes about Facebook’s plans to launch a fleet of drones that will provide internet access.

Lewisville Fire Department open house is on October 11th.

Don’t forget about the Spirit of Old Town photo contest, which is on display until October 25th at Tierney’s.

The film "Race to Nowhere" identifies and challenges a ‘one-size-fits-all’ achievement culture in American schools and documents its impact on students.
Here is the trailer.

A very poor decision by a teacher’s aide to use a special-needs girl as rape bait unsurprisingly results in rape.

A pedestrian was struck by a van at Corporate and SH 121 Business.

Did you hear about the People’s Climate March? Probably not.

Calvin Tillman says Texas should reform eminent domain laws.

The southern states are now the epicenter of HIV/AIDS.

A report says that between 40 - 60% of US K-12 schools could actually profit from installing solar panels. I think a district like LISD could do well with them. An upfront investment with dirt-cheap money from the non-Robin-Hoodable bond funds could result in a big savings from the very limited maintenance and operations fund.

Fitch assigned LISD’s 2014A series bonds a ‘AAA’ rating.

Former Flower Mound Mayor Melissa Northern was fined $100 over campaign finance violations from 2012 and 2013.

You may have seen this article about the U.S. Forest Service implementing a policy requiring a permit for taking pictures. When I first read it, I have to admit that my blood pressure was elevated. But here are 7 things you should know about the policy, and here is an article that explains why it won’t apply to you. Here is the news release from the Forest Service explaining the policy and promising that they are going to uphold the first amendment.

An independent audit was performed on Governor Perry’s Texas Enterprise Fund. Dallas Morning News notes that almost a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer money were given out with incomplete, missing, or informal applications. Attorney General Greg Abbott, who should have been providing oversight, was not only absent, but worked actively to cover up the grants by directing that the records be withheld from the public.

Speaking of audits, a state audit is bad news for the University of North Texas, which had been improperly using state funds for employee benefits and salaries since the 1970s. The University may be on the hook for repaying almost $76 million.

Kindness - pass it on!

Cross Timbers Gazette has an article about changes in STAAR testing for 3rd - 8th grade students.

Lewisville-based incentives company Parago Inc, is being acquired for $290 million by Blackhawk Networks.

Lewisville’s football team recently beat Hebron for the first time.

Medical Center of Lewisville is building a new emergency room.

Awhile back we wrote about a neighborhood dealing with problems with crime and litter. Tom Boughton, the man we featured in the article, was nominated and a finalist for Nextdoor’s good neighbor award. The neighborhood does continue to deal with problems. One day when I went out to take some followup pictures, I found a bag of marijuana on the sidewalk, and ample evidence of its use within the playground area at Hedrick Estates park.

The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is an annual tradition to celebrate the birthday of the USMC on 10 November, 1775. This year in Denton County, the LCpl Jacob R. Lugo detachment of the Marine Corps League will hold its ball on November 15th at the Gateway Center at UNT. I wish I could go this year, but I'll be at my brother's wedding.

Apparently there is a tradition at Lewisville High School that has been in place for a number of years, where marching band students sing the Lord’s Prayer before the football games. A parent reported on Facebook (since deleted) that her child was told the students can no longer do that. Queue the huge argument where Christians pretend they are persecuted when all of society and its institutions are not allowed to institute religious acts, and where people blame society’s problems on a lack of prayer in the schools. You can also queue those on the other side whose opinions range from nasty attacks to “I’m a Christian too, but this isn’t appropriate for school.” Texas House District 63 candidate for State Representative Daniel Moran, who is an atheist weighed in with this column.

I reached out to LISD to get the story, and this is what they had to say:

“About a month ago, two parents emailed through the Let’s Talk section on the district¹s website and shared concerns about students reciting the Lord¹s Prayer prior to the LHS band¹s performance.

The district looked into these concerns and learned that reciting the Lord¹s Prayer has been a long-standing tradition that started prior to the current band director joining LHS. The district shared that reciting the Lord’s Prayer must be student-driven. If students would like to gather and pray or recite the Lord’s Prayer before their band performance, they may do so. Reciting the Lord’s Prayer can’t be mandatory.

I have no problems with this. The requirement that it be student-led is in conformance with prior court decisions. That ensures that there is no pressure from our taxpayer-funded teachers for students to join in if they are uncomfortable. And lest you think that only atheists and others worthy of contempt would object, you might want to read Matthew 6, where Jesus warns against public prayer as a show of false righteousness, and says that people should go off in private to pray. It’s the same place where Jesus gives the Lord’s Prayer as an example of how one might pray. Yet, as Christians, we effectively ignored the jist of what he was trying to say, and took to reciting it by rote as a public display.

Yes, it took a couple days for me to get the answer about the situation directly from the district, since this happened on Friday, and it took until Monday to get the answer. But these days, it’s no fun for people to wait. Instead, get on Facebook and start throwing bombs. Ruin someone’s reputation by accusing them of violating someone’s civil rights. Sadly, this has been too common lately on the City of Lewisville Facebook group, with people publicly complaining about situations they should first try to take care of directly. At other times, it's public shaming - even going so far as to post photos of drivers they feel have transgressed.

I’m just going to say it: We live in a very wussified society. Case #1: “How letting my kid play along outside led to a CPS investigation”. Case #2: Man stops his truck to talk to his kids, and a woman with a very active imagination reports “stranger danger” to the school and on social media, resulting in a police investigation and a news release by the school district. I have no problem with someone contacting the authorities when they have a suspicion of abuse or neglect. It’s required. Let them do their job. What is not required, and what shouldn’t happen is plastering these suspicions all over social media in a way that can cause hysteria and witch hunts. But some folks' attention-seeking is easily justified as long as it's about making the children's safety their "upmost" [sic] priority.

Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History is a course designed by the College Board for high school students that mirrors curriculum commonly taught in college. At the end of the course, students are able to take the AP exam, and if they pass, they get college credit. In our last update, we mentioned some controversy because conservatives think the AP curriculum leaves things out. Here is the College Board’s curriculum framework for AP U.S. History. Here’s a paragraph I wanted to share:

The curriculum framework that follows is just that — a framework for conveying the content and skills typically required for college credit and placement. In order for teachers to have flexibility in how they help students develop these skills and understandings, the framework is not a curriculum and thus does not consist of a list of the historical content (names, events, dates, etc.) that teachers will choose for classroom focus. Instead, the framework consists of four components, each described below. The result is a course that prepares students for college credit and placement while relieving the pressure on AP teachers to cover all possible details of U.S. history at a superficial level.

The curriculum framework does not focus on providing particular names, dates, or events, but does in some cases provide examples - only where teachers reviewing the framework thought that it might be helpful. This has apparently cause a lot of confusion at best, and purposeful demagoguery at worst. The framework document itself explains why Black Panthers are specifically listed as an example, and Martin Luther King, Jr. is not:

3. Gray boxes containing possible examples were inserted in the framework only where teachers reported uncertainty regarding what content they might choose to teach for a particular concept. These boxes indicate content that is relevant for a particular concept, but this content is illustrative —
not mandatory.

When the new framework was first reviewed by AP U.S. History teachers, they indicated that it would be useful to provide examples for teaching some of the concepts. For most concepts, AP U.S. History teachers know exactly what figures, events, and sources they will focus on, but for others, they asked that the framework provide suggestions. Gray boxes were inserted only for concepts for which teachers indicated a need for ideas. For example, AP teachers reviewing the concept outline clearly identified which concepts called for inclusion of Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, but they were uncertain what examples might be effective for the teaching of Concept 8.2.III.C (attacks on postwar liberalism). Therefore, the Committee inserted a gray box for that concept, suggesting the examples of Students for a Democratic Society and the Black Panthers. In no way does this signal that it is more important to teach the Black Panthers than Martin Luther King, Jr. Rather, this gray box signals that AP teachers were already confident in their inclusion of King and Parks elsewhere in the outline, but uncertain where they might choose to include the Students for a Democratic Society.

A fund has been set up to help Aide Fink’s family. She was shot and killed by her husband in Flower Mound last week.

Why yoga pants are incredibly dangerous to today’s youth

I-35 Traffic Near FM 407 to shift

A former United Methodist minister reveals some things about scripture that most pastors would not teach. I share this not so much to convince you of anything, but because I think it’s a good read, and that when one reads things that challenge beliefs, it can be helpful in refining those beliefs. For me, although I count myself as a believer, I no longer believe that scripture is the infallible, literal truth, because you just can’t explain away these types of conflicts without violating occam’s razor.

Governor Perry’s lawyers say his indictment should be dismissed because they do not think the special prosecutor's swear-in paperwork was completed. The prosecutor says he was sworn in, and his form is signed by the judge who appointed him. What does this say about Perry’s defense on the merits?

From Western Days - The Ghost Horse Dancers:

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Ebola Case Confirmed in Texas Patient

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/9/30 17:11:47 (1918 reads)

Open in new windowVia the Texas Department of State Health Services:

A Texas hospital patient has tested positive for Ebola, making the patient the first case diagnosed in the United States. The test was conducted at the state public health laboratory in Austin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the positive result.

The patient is an adult with a recent history of travel to West Africa. The patient developed symptoms days after returning to Texas from West Africa and was admitted into isolation on Sunday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is working with the CDC, the local health department and the hospital to investigate the case and work to prevent transmission of the disease. The hospital has implemented infection control measures to help ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease. Early symptoms of Ebola include sudden fever, fatigue and headache. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood, secretions or other bodily fluids or exposure to contaminated objects, such as needles. Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear.

The CDC recommends that individuals protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are ill with Ebola. DSHS also encourages health care providers to ask patients about recent travel and consider Ebola in patients with fever and a history of travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and some parts of Nigeria within 21 days of the onset of symptoms.

Related Links:
- US Centers for Disease Control - Ebola Information Page
- WFAA: Ebola Confirmed in Dallas Patient

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Crime and Accident Updates from Lewisville and Flower Mound

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/9/29 21:00:17 (2969 reads)

Open in new windowThe following updates are from the Lewisville and Flower Mound Police Departments, with additional information in some cases:

Lewisville Shooting Victim dies from injury
Verland Scott Johansen died from his wounds Friday, after being shot Tuesday night in what can only be described as a random encounter with a mad man.

Charlene Collins, LPD's crime victim liaison investigator, is working closely with the Johansen family to help them through this difficult time.

The alleged assailant, Stephen Bielicke, remains in Denton County Jail in lieu of $510,000 total bond, facing charges of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

At this point, donors have raised over $10,000 for the family of the victim.

Open in new windowFlower Mound Woman Murdered, Estranged Husband Charged
The Flower Mound Police Department has arrested and charged Daniel Fink 41, with the murder of his estranged wife Aide Fink, 50, of Flower Mound. Ms. Fink was found at her residence Thursday in the 3300 block of Heather Glen Drive with multiple gunshot wounds. Ms. Fink was treated at the scene and transported to a Medical Center of Lewisville where she passed away.

The three children, age 7 to 16. who were at the residence at the time of the incident, are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The Flower Mound Police Department has confirmed that Daniel Fink is currently employed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection section of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Flower Mound Police Department has also confirmed prior calls at the address concerning the Finks. However, no charges or criminal offenses were determined to have occurred regarding these calls.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner has ruled Fink's death a homicide.

Fatal Crash in Lewisville Pond
On September 24, 2014, at approximately 11:45 p.m., a citizen reported hearing a crash and seeing a car in a pond alongside 1800 Waters Ridge Drive. Officers and fire department personnel responded to the scene and located a Ford Focus in the pond. The driver, Bradimer Dejesus, 36, was found deceased in the vehicle. Officer Jeffrey Persinger’s investigation revealed the vehicle was travelling southbound on Waters Ridge and failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, drove over a rock embankment and into the pond. The body of the deceased was transported to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.

The Medical Examiner has ruled that the death was caused by drowning due to entrapment in the submerged car, and that the manner of death was an accident.

Open in new windowMan Convicted in 2012 Lewisville Murder
On November 18, 2012, Jacob Gutierrez, 26, was shot multiple times, and found lying in the front yard of his residence in the 1200 block of North Cowan Avenue. The suspect, fifty-eight year old Humberto Martinez-Benitez, was arrested in Carrollton a short time later. Detective Scott Kelly was the lead investigator for this case.

This case went to trial last week and Martinez-Benitez plead guilty before trial but opted to have a jury decide his punishment. The Denton County Jury sentenced him to 90 years in prison.

Flower Mound Streaker
On Friday, the Flower Mound Police Department received a report of a naked person walking in the 1900 block of Timber Creek Road, near Timber Creek Elementary School. The police immediately responded and made contact with the subject, who was immediately taken into custody without incident.

The subject, an 18-year-old white male Flower Mound resident, was arrested the previous day, September 25, for his involvement in a similar incident on the Marcus High School campus and bonded out of jail the same day. The subject has been transferred to a mental health facility for evaluation following today’s incident.

Bicyclist Injured in Crash - Fox Avenue
On Friday, September 26, 2014, at approximately 8:30 p.m., officers responded to the 700 block of Fox Avenue for a crash between a vehicle and a bicyclist. A 32 year-old male on a bicycle attempted to cross Fox Avenue southbound. A Ford F-250 was eastbound in the right lane and struck the bicyclist. The bicyclist was transported to Parkland Hospital by Lewisville paramedics. Officer Jeffrey Persinger reported the bicyclist failed to yield the right of way at an open intersection.

Auto/Pedestrian Crash - S.H. 121 Business
On Sunday, September 28, 2014, at approximately 7:30 p.m., a Ford Explorer struck a 48 year-old male after he walked into the road. The Ford Explorer was travelling northbound in the 1600 block of South State Highway 121 (Business) when the pedestrian attempted to cross the roadway westbound. The pedestrian was crossing the roadway in mid-block and not in a designated crosswalk. The driver of the Explorer immediately stopped, and emergency personnel were contacted. Lewisville Fire Department paramedics transported the pedestrian to Parkland Hospital. Officer Chang Chi reported the pedestrian failed to yield the right of way to the vehicle.

Parolee Impersonates a Police Officer
On Wednesday, September 24, a resident in the 600 block of Milton Street reported one of her neighbors had trespassed into her backyard and was messing with a window. The case was assigned to Detective Gibbins for follow-up investigation. During this same time frame, this same suspect was wearing a police jacket with a badge and telling his neighbors he was a Police Officer. His neighbors became concerned because they knew this subject was on parole and couldn’t be a police officer. A report was filed and assigned to Detective Fisher for follow-up investigation. Both Fisher and Gibbins were able to obtain the necessary probable cause to obtain warrants for both offenses. The warrants were obtained and the suspect has been arrested on both warrants.

Open in new windowPolice Identify Theft Suspect
On September 6th, a suspect stole approximately $15,000 to $20,000 worth of tools from a work trailer parked in a hotel parking lot in the 800 block of South I-35E.Hotel management provided a video of the offense and police identified a room the suspect had visited. The case was assigned to Detective Bryan Gibbins for follow-up investigation. During his investigation, Gibbins positively identified the suspect as Dustin Wayne Myers, 24, and obtained a warrant for his arrest.

On September 15, this same suspect stole a vehicle from the parking lot of a gas station in the 100 block of East Round Grove Road. This report was taken by Officer Steve Newkirk, who recognized the description of this suspect and believed it to be the same suspect. This case was assigned to Detective Ryan Maly for follow-up investigation. During his investigation, Maly positively identified the suspect as the same one involved in the offense investigated by Gibbins.

This suspect has been arrested for both offenses.

Ed. Note: We wonder what it was about the description that made Myers so recognizable...

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Shooting Victim Dies from Injury

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/9/27 0:38:59 (2686 reads)

Open in new windowThe Lewisville Police Department has shared that the victim in Tuesday's shooting in Lewisville - 65 year-old Verland Scott Johansen of Flower Mound (right), has passed away from his injuries Friday.

Police said that his assailant, Stephen Bielicke is now being held in Denton County Jail on a charge of murder. Bond is set at $500,000.

Donors have raised $5,600 so far to help Johansen's family.

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Lewisville Western Days 2014 - Music and Much More!

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/9/26 7:22:58 (2691 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 windowOpen in new windowOld Town Lewisville will be filled with staged gunfights, stick horse rodeo riders, world champion competitive eaters, gourmet chefs, Old West art, and the best of Texas country music during the 2014 Western Days festival on Sept. 26-27.

The festival is free with a ticket. Visitors to the festival website,, can print as many tickets as they need and present those tickets at the festival gates for free admission. Those entering the festival without a ticket (in paper form or presented on the screen of a phone or other electronic device) must pay $20 at the gate. Free tickets also are available through entertainment sponsor 99.5 The Wolf, and at most Lewisville municipal facilities.

Festival schedule is 7-11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, and 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27. Planned activities at the event, designed to showcase Lewisville’s rich history and tradition, include two live stages, the return of the Cattle Drive Parade through Old Town, gunfight re-enactments, Native American dancers, gourmet cooking demonstrations, car show, the 10th annual World Tamale Eating Championship presented by Market Street, children’s fishing area, a Stickhorse Rodeo for kids, and a special exhibit of rarely seen photos of Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker in the art gallery at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles Street.

There also will be more than 100 festival vendors offering a variety of wares, from hand-crafted treasures to top-quality retail products, throughout the two-day event.

Complimentary shuttles will be provided by DCTA every 10-20 minutes from Old Town Station, 617 E. Main Street, from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Complimentary shuttles also will run from Vista Ridge Village Shopping Center, 2325 S. Stemmons Freeway (corner of FM 3040 and MacArthur), from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.

For the first time, valet parking will be available (space-available basis) for $10 per vehicle. Valet drop-off and pick-up will be at the corner of Elm and Mill streets and will run from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday, and from 2 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Handicapped parking with valid permit or placard will be available at the corner of Herod and Church streets. To access handicap parking, enter from the north end of Herod Street.

Limited public parking also is available at several locations within walking distance of the festival:

Public parking lot, 127 S. Mill Street (Elm & Mill)
Public parking lot, on Kealy (behind CCA)
College Street Elementary, 360 W. College Street
Purnell Support Center, 136 W. Purnell
Central Elementary, 400 High School Drive

Texas country music will be well represented at the event, featuring headliners Robert Earl Keen, Kevin Fowler and Thompson Square.

Robert Earl Keen will be the featured act on Friday night, taking the Toyota of Lewisville Main Stage at 10 p.m. Three decades since the release of his debut album — with well over a dozen other records to his name, thousands of shows under his belt and still no end in sight to the road ahead — Keen remains as committed to and inspired by his muse: “and the party never ends!” From his humble beginnings on the Texas folk scene, he’s blazed a peer-, critic- and fan-lauded trail that’s earned him living-legend and pioneer status in the Americana music world.

Saturday headliners begin with Thompson Square, presented by Bud Light, at 8 p.m. Kevin Fowler, presented by Waste Management, will follow to close out the festival at 10 p.m.

Thompson Square – the husband and wife duo Keifer and Shawna Thompson – has released two albums, producing a combined eight chart singles on the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, with two singles reaching number one. They won the 2013 Academy of Country Music Award for Vocal Duo of the Year.

Kevin Fowler has earned his reputation as one of the most amped-up concert performers to emerge from the modern-day Texas country movement. He released his seventh studio album, How Country Are Ya, in March. He has charted four singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

The festival will include a myriad of other acts, performing on the Toyota of Lewisville Main Stage and the Direct Energy Stage, including Reckless Kelly, Cory Morrow, The Wind & The Wave, Luke Wade, and The King Bucks. Performing at the MCL Grand on Friday night will be Waddie Mitchell with special guest Pipp Gillette.

Children’s Activities
Lewisville Saddle Club will host the Stick Horse Rodeo for kids ages 1 through second grade, with medals awarded to the top three contenders in each of three age divisions. The rodeos will be held at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, with registration starting half an hour in advance.

Castle Hills Kid Korral playground will offer attractions for kids ages 3-12, including bounce houses, inflatable obstacle courses, mechanical bull and other mechanical rides. The Roller Roper attraction returns this year to offer children the opportunity to try their hand at roping a “steer.” Kids also will be able to ride a kid’s favorite, the Boogie Woogie Choo Choo; test their cowboy skills on a mechanical bull; or take a tamer ride on saddled ponies.

Lewisville Parks and Leisure Services will have Live Fishing Tank for kids, along with other activities.

Children's area wristbands will be available for $12, which allows unlimited trips through the Kid Korral and all the attractions inside. The wristband will be good both days of the 2014 festival.

Coming to Western Days for the fourth year, Castle Hills Culinary Corner will present a free series of four live cooking demonstrations conducted by North Texas gourmet chefs, organized by the World Master Chefs Society. Kicking off Saturday’s cooking at 11 a.m. is Chef Morris Salerno. At 1 p.m., chefs Dave Sokol and Michelle Brown will make traditional and chocolate pralines, along with Praline Ice Cream. At 3 p.m., chefs Michael Scott and Andre Bedouret will prepare Steak Diane. Closing out the day at Culinary Corner will be Chef Pete Nolasco at 5 p.m. with his Texas Chili.

Some of the top competitive eaters on the planet will compete in the 10th annual World Tamale Eating Championship presented by Market Street, starting at 1:15 p.m. on the steps of Lewisville City Hall. Registered contestants include #1 ranked and returning back-to-back champion Joey Chestnut. This 12-minute contest is a favored spectacle for Western Days attendees.

Old Town Preservation Society invites bakers to enter the OTPS Pie Baking Contest to compete for prizes and bragging rights (an Old West tradition). Entries should be dropped off at the City Hall steps prior to 10:30 a.m., when a panel of judges will sample the entries and declare the winners. Fruit and vegetable pies only; no milk- or cream-based recipes.

Lovers of suds and brew should plan some time at the Craft Beer Pavilion on the stage of Old Town Park Plaza. With a wide selection of local and regional Texas beers, there is sure to be something new on tap.

No Western festival would be complete without cowboys and gunfights, and Western Days 2014 has plenty of both. Gunfighter Showdowns will be held in Western Village at 8 p.m. Friday and 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Cowboys will be strolling the festival grounds both days.

Western Days will feature a Native American exhibition of song, dance and customs from Ghost Horse Singers and Dancers. Performances will be at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, and 1:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27. The audience will witness first-hand the rich Native American culture prior to European contact. The audience will get an opportunity to ask one-on-one questions to further their knowledge of the culture of this country’s first inhabitants.

Lewisville Morning Rotary Club and Memory Lane will present the Western Days Car Show on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., on Mill Street and Main Street. Dozens of vehicles, from classics to hot rods, will be on display competing for prizes from judges and admiration from spectators.

The Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Exhibit, “A Woman OF Two Worlds and a Man IN Two Worlds,” will be featured at the MCL Grand Art Gallery. The free exhibit opens Sept. 26 and will run through Nov. 8. The traveling exhibit of rarely seen photos of Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker, two important figures in U.S. frontier history, is arranged through The Texas Lakes Trail Region. The exhibit will feature additional items provided by noted collector and archivist Doug Harman.

Also opening during Western Days will be “The Western Way,” an exhibit of Western-themed art by members of Visual Art League of Lewisville. The exhibit will be on display in the North Wing Gallery of the MCL Grand from Sept. 26 through Nov. 8.

Lewisville’s Poet Laureate, J. Paul Holcomb, will be joined by former Texas Poets Laureate Alan Birkelbach (2005) and Karla K. Morton (2010), for live readings of their original works in the air-conditioned comfort of the MCL Grand.

A film festival, Old West on the Big Screen, will be held in the MCL Grand Black Box in conjunction with the Quanah & Cynthia Ann Parker Exhibit and will give audiences a feel for how Native Americans have been portrayed in popular cinema. Scheduled screenings include the John Wayne classic "The Searchers" at 8:10 p.m. Friday and 1:17 p.m. and 6:17 p.m. Saturday; and Dustin Hoffman's "Little Big Man" at 11:10 a.m., 4:10 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday.

Sponsors for Western Days 2014 include Waste Management, Toyota of Lewisville, 99.5 The Wolf, JPMorgan Chase, Resource One Credit Union, Ben E. Keith/Bud Light, Orthofix, Southern Comfort Mechanical Heating and Air, Direct Energy, Market Street, Vinson Process Controls, Apparel Group, Blue Lynx Media, Prime Controls, Castle Hills, IPeople, Hampton Inn and Suites, Cobra Brewing, Southwest Display, Gilley's Dallas, Vista Ridge Village Shopping Center, DCTA, Witherspoon Distillery and Star Local Media.

For the latest information on Western Days 2013, visit or call 972.219.3401.

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Updated: Man Shot on I-35 in Lewisville Tuesday Night; Police Catch Shooter

Local News, Notes and Events
 Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/9/24 6:50:00 (9631 reads)

This story has been updated several times. Please scroll down for the latest updates.

Open in new windowOriginal Story:
Details are scarce at this point, but we have learned that a man was shot Tuesday night around 10:30 p.m.

According to Lewisville Police Captain Dan Rochelle, police and fire rescue responded to what they first thought was a vehicle crash on northbound I-35, just south of the Main Street bridge.

The victim was being chased on the service road by the assailant, who was shooting at him. The victim lost control of the vehicle, entered the highway, and hit a center guardrail.

When first reached by paramedics, the victim was alert and talking. He was taken by ambulance to Medical Center of Lewisville, then airlifted to another hospital for treatment.

The suspect vehicle is described right now only as a small-looking SUV.

Police briefly shut down I-35 for their investigation. Rochelle said that police did find shell casings.

Rochelle did not have an update on the victim's condition, and was not providing information on the man's name, age, or city of residence at this point.

An online account of the incident by Facebook users who were listening to the police scanner said that the incident resulted from an altercation that occurred at S.H. 121 Business and Main Street, at the QT gas station, but LTJ has not confirmed that. Unfortunately, LTJ's scanner recording system malfunctioned, and did not record last night.

Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to contact the Department’s crime tip line at 972-219-TIPS (8477).

Update #1 - 11:15 a.m.:
NBC 5 has a story with a photo from the scene, but with the same information we have.

Open in new windowUpdate #2: 3:30 p.m.: Lewisville Police Department says they have a suspect in custody after last night's shooting. The suspect, identified as Stephen Bielicke, 53 of Lewisville, (mugshot at right) was arrested a short time after the shooting Tuesday night.

In a statement distributed at a press conference held Wednesday afternoon, Captain Dan Rochelle said that the victim, identified as Verland Scott Johansen, 65, of Flower Mound was on his way to work Tuesday night when he encountered Bilicke at a convenience store in the 800 block of East SH 121 Business. Witnesses said that Bielicke had been driving around to several convenience stores using store phones and payphones to call his ex-wife in McKinney and threaten her. Bielicke allegedly threatened to kill his ex-wife and other members of her family.

While at these stores, Bielicke allegedly was trying to create confrontations with strangers. Bielicke was witnessed screaming at Johansen, but police say they do not believe the two knew each other, or that Johansen did anything to gain Bielicke's attention.

About 45 minutes after the shooting, officers responded to a convenience store in the 100 block of east Corporate Dr., on a report of a man displaying a gun and threatening people. As the suspect left, a clerk obtained his license plate number and relayed the information to police.

Officer Duk Lee went to the address where the vehicle registration returned to in the 2300 block of San Jacinto Drive. Once there, Officer Lee observed a subject matching the store’s suspect description and contacted him. Bielicke was in his garage near his small SUV type vehicle. Bielicke admitted that he had a gun in the car but refused to allow officers to retrieve it.

Detective Brad Kenney was called in and after interviewing witnesses at the store obtained an arrest warrant for Bielicke as well as a search warrant. Officers did locate a semi-automatic firearm in the vehicle as well as ammunition that matched the shell casings found at the highway shooting.

Bielicke was initially arrested for Unlawful Carrying of Weapon on Alcohol Premises, but Detective Scott Kelly obtained a warrant for Bielicke for Aggravated Assault.

Bielecke is being held in Lewisville Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. Rochelle said Bielicke is not speaking with detectives.

The victim, Verland Scott Johansen, was flown to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, where he is in critical condition. Police say he was shot once in the head.

Update #3 - 4:42 p.m.:
Lewisville PD had previously released a transposed name for the victim, which we have corrected to read Verland Scott Johansen.

Update #4 - 5:45 p.m.:
The Lewisville Texan Journal has obtained the search warrant and probable cause affidavits in this case, and we have learned the following:

- Bielicke called his wife earlier in the night from the 7-11 store on the corner of Corporate and S.H. 121 Business. A man at the home said that Bielicke threatened to kill the man, Bielicke's wife, and their children. The man, who lives in McKinney, called police there who were also investigating.

- Immediately after leaving the 7-11 for the first time, Bielicke went to the QuikTrip at 801 E S.H. 121 Business - at the intersection of Main Street and S.H. 121 Business. At this location, Bielicke confronted Johansen, screaming at him: "You want to fu** with me, motherfu**er!" over and over.

- When Johansen left the location in his car, Bielicke followed him. First down Main Street, then after Johansen U-turned, and went West on SH 121 Business, Bielicke continued to follow.

- After Johansen turned North on I-35E service road, when the two passed Fox Avenue, Bielicke fired about 6 shots at Johansen's car.

- Johansen was struck once in the right side of his head, near his ear. The bullet fragmented and fractured his right temporal lobe.

- Police recovered 4 fresh Winchester .40 caliber S&W shell casings from the I-35 Service road.

- Police searched Bielicke's home and vehicle this morning at around 5:45 a.m.

- The weapon recovered from Bielicke's silver Hyundai was a black Glock model 27 (baby Glock) .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Police also recovered one empty 9-round capacity magazine, and two live (unfired) .40 caliber hollowpoint rounds matching the shell casings found at the scene. The shell-casings found at the scene also had primer strike marks matching those from the Glock 27. Police also seized an iPhone from Bielicke.

Original version has been updated to reflect the QuikTrip address, which had previously been stated as 1700 block.

Update 9/27/2014 - 12:30 a.m.:
Johansen has died from his injuries, and Bielicke is now charged with murder.

We will update this story with any additional information we receive.

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Misheard Word Results in Viral Facebook Post; Man Falsely Accused of Animal Abuse

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/9/22 22:50:00 (5179 reads)

Open in new windowI am not going to use anyone’s real name in this post. I’ll use initials for the accused, and you’ll soon know why.

A conversation overheard at an animal adoption event resulted in a woman in Sherman, Texas thinking that a man there (J.B.) was looking for a “bait dog” to use in hunting feral hogs. The woman apparently talked to J.B. and got his business card. She wrote an email explaining that “bait” dogs were intentionally being injured or crippled and staked out as bait to attract wild hogs, which hunters would then go after. The point of the email, in which she attached a photo of J.B.’s business card, was that shelters should beware of the guy and not let him adopt any dogs. Supposedly, J.B. was looking for Catahoulas, Aussies, or Black Mouth Curs.

Another woman who had received the email, posted it on her personal Facebook wall, along with the photo of the business card showing the J.B.’s name, phone number, and personal email address. Within four hours, it had been shared nearly 600 times, and presumably viewed by many thousands of people. One commenter on the post I saw mentioned something about breaking the guy’s kneecaps. Others were very quick to condemn, and said they’d be sharing the link.

There’s just one problem: As best we can tell, in hog hunting, there’s no such thing as “bait” dogs. Hog hunters who use dogs often use "bay" dogs though.

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Lewisville Steps Back from Enforcement on Fence-Staining Ordinance

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/9/22 20:28:55 (3028 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowLewisville residents have recently been receiving letters from the City of Lewisville, warning them that their unstained, unpainted wooden fences are in violation of a city ordinance. The letters say that if the residents do not paint or stain their fence, they can be receive a citation each day, and the city could hire someone to fix the problem, then bill the resident for the cost, plus an additional $250 administrative fee. Failure to pay, they said, would result in a lien being placed against the property. (Click the image on the right to enlarge)

No, the Lewisville didn’t suddenly become a homeowners association. Rather, in May of 2013, the Lewisville City Council adopted the International Property Maintenance Code - one of a series of I-codes the city had already adopted to address building standards. The IPMC is intended to standardize local codes regarding the maintenance of existing properties. Section 304.2 of the code requires that all exterior surfaces be painted or stained, except in limited conditions:

304.2 Protective treatment. All exterior surfaces, including but not limited to, doors, door and window frames, cornices, porches, trim, balconies, decks and fences, shall be maintained in good condition. Exterior wood surfaces, other than decay-resistant woods, shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatment. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted. ...

After some back-and-forth today, the city has said it has not issued any citations over fence-staining, and will not do so in the immediate future.

The purpose of adoption of the IPMC, which had been recommended by the Neighborhood Preservation Committee, was to raise the standards of how Lewisville’s neighborhoods look. Residents often complain the neighborhoods look run down, or that the city doesn’t do enough to make people maintain their properties.

We contacted Lewisville Director of Neighborhood Services Cleve Joiner today to ask about the city’s new enforcement over fences, and he had this to say:

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Where's My iPony?

Raging Moderate
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/9/21 22:50:22 (2452 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowWill Durst - Raging Moderate

Shake off the blues, put on your shoes, and tell grandma the news: the next generation iPhones are here. Cue the "woo- hoos." And guess what: they're huge. Or not. You choose. It's like iGoldilocks. There's a small, a medium and a large. And the best part- no bears.

The iPhone 6 is a little bigger than the previous models but the iPhone 6 Plus looks like they shrunk the Minipad. Or tiny iPad. Or whatever they call it. "Is that an iPhone 6 Plus in your pocket or are you just really really happy to see me?" All across America, Baby Boomers are raising 8 ounce glasses of prune juice in grateful toasts. They can finally see their buttons. These phablets are fabulous.

In other fruit computer news, the iWatch did not turn out to be the iWatch: it's the Apple Watch. Even though the company filed for trademark protection in about 100 markets for the right to call it the iWatch. Of course, the wrist- bound marvel doesn't become iAvailable until 2015. Or when iSwatch freezes over.

In response to the new releases, the Galaxy Android Samsung contingent (GAS) has ramped up their troll- like flame campaign to shame and defame Apple for belatedly matching the lame technology of their sacred superior smart phones. But in such a piercing stridency, one thinks- perhaps they doth protest too much. If whining were beer, these guys would be a frat party during Octoberfest. In Bavaria.

Can't figure out what it is about these modern communication devices that makes people so crazy. You never hear Lexus owners bashing Acura drivers for finally acquiring contrasting leather stitching on their reclining heated leather seats. Brioni doesn't claim that Kiton suits are seasons old knock- offs with materials drawn from substandard sheep. Wustof wouldn't dream of accusing Henckels of stealing their edge design. They might think it.

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Sunday Morning Update - Western Week Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/9/21 11:20:00 (2517 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 windowWestern Days is next weekend - Friday the 26th and Saturday, the 27th, and we are excited! Everything you need to know about Western Days is on the Lewisville Western Days website, and you can download your free tickets here. We highly recommend downloading and printing at your earliest convenience just in case there are problems with the website or with your printer on the day of the festival. The festival begins Friday night at 7 p.m. and goes until 11:30 p.m. Saturday, the festival opens at 10 a.m. and goes to 11:30 p.m.

Live music is the biggest draw for the festival. Friday night, the big act is Robert Earl Keen playing on the main stage at 10 p.m. Saturday night, it’s Thompson Square at 8 p.m. and Kevin Fowler at 10 p.m. But music acts are all day on two outdoor stages.

We’ll be posting more about Western Days this week, and we hope to see you there!

Fire Department Open House on October 11th.

LISD says kids with iPads should go ahead and install IOS 8.

LISD Board Meeting recap

Saturday, September 27th is medication disposal day. Take any unused or expired medications to the Lewisville High School main campus. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You may remember Parker County resident Steve Lipsky’s fight over his methane-contaminated water well. Scientists have confirmed the gas does come from gas drilling activity, but is probably from the Strawn formation and not the Barnett Shale. Our article from 2010 has a diagram that may make it more clear. Science Daily has more.

Café Herrera is one of the three restaurants scheduled to come to Old Town Lewisville in a new development across the street from the MCL Grand Theater, incentivized by the City of Lewisville. The problem is that their Denton location just got locked out for non-payment of rent. (See photo below) The restaurant just couldn’t seem to please customers, who gave it a very poor 2 star rating on Yelp. The Denton Record Chronicle has more on the restaurant’s troubles. We attempted to contact the company via email, but that bounced. We spoke with the manager of the Mockingbird Station location Sunday morning, but he didn’t have any information about whether the Lewisville location would still be opening. The Denton location was still locked out as of Saturday night.
Open in new window
Photo by Joseph Carr

Texas Family Musicals announced it will cease production of shows after November 15th, citing increasing costs of productions, declining ticket sales, and their “refusal to do anything but family friendly shows”.

Of the top 100 best places to live, Denton, TX is ranked #84.

Be on the lookout for the triatomine bug.

The Flower Mound Town Council approved plans for a business incubator.

Lewisville based American Messaging Services has teamed up with another firm to create mobile applications for secure and critical messaging for healthcare providers.

Here is video from the September 8th Lewisville City Council meeting. The workshop session discusses I-35 design through Lewisville.

This week’s installment of school administrators picking silly battles.

The Texas State Board of Education has approved a measure to declare that state curriculum overrides the Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum put out by the College Board. High School students take these classes to prepare them for exams that grant full college credit, and thus save thousands of dollars in college tuition. Burnt Orange Report has their take on the SBOE’s action, and its political motivations.

Local men’s roller derby team, The Denton County Outlaws are ranked 8th in the nation.

City of Lewisville Horizon Newsletter

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile disease continue to be a problem in Lewisville. One problem location has been literally right outside the back door of the Lewisville Texan Journal’s office on Edmonds Lane. We are next door to a retirement village where residents are more susceptible to West Nile due to their age.

North Texas Giving Day raised $26.3 million for non-profits in just 18 hours.

A woman describes her escape from the Quiverfull cult, that unfortunately caused her to lose her faith.

After surgery, a man received a surprise $117,000 medical bill from a doctor he didn’t even know. Unfortunately, this is pretty common. We all love to pile on the insurance companies over the cost of healthcare, but sometimes the problem is just flat-out greed on the part of providers. We all expect and pretty much desire that doctors be well-paid for their work, based on their education and dedication. But at some point, you have to draw a line and say that “No, you don’t get to earn $20,000 per hour for your work.” It’s yet another perfect example of why healthcare does not fit the free-market model, and simply cannot ever fit. Healthcare is not an optional service we can simply choose to avoid, and none of us who are not doctors are really qualified to second-guess what our providers tell us. We are not equipped, and in emergency situations do not have the ability to negotiate or shop around.

First Choice Emergency Room is asking the Lewisville City Council to consider a variance to allow them to have a taller sign. Their application states that their lease is up soon on their corporate headquarters in Lewisville, and they’ll consider the Council’s actions when deciding whether to stay or go. Here’s what First Choice said in response to our inquiry:

First Choice Emergency Room does have a pending application into the City requesting a variance for sign height. The request for the variance is a result of tall trees at the site which currently obscure visibility from the street. Our application simply asks for the approval to build a 50' pylon sign (current sign stands at 30') to be visible above the trees, and to ensure people seeking life-saving emergency care can readily locate the facility. The location of the facility is in Lewisville located at 1596 West Main Street; a nearby fast food chain also located on Main Street in Lewisville is an example of a sign that stands 50’ or higher. First Choice Emergency Room is a strong corporate supporter in the community and with our headquarters located in Lewisville, decisions to extend the lease will take into account support from the City.

While I don’t much care about whether the sign is 30 or 50 feet, and would be okay with granting a variance based on the situation, First Choice has a lot of nerve trying to pull this type of extortion. It’s bad enough that freestanding ERs like this increase the healthcare costs for all of us by billing insurance companies non-negotiated rates for service. While they do have nice facilities and see patients quickly, you need to know that you are going to end up paying a bunch more out-of-pocket if you use them. We recommend that you skip the freestanding ER and go to an urgent care clinic for things that are urgent, or the hospital emergency room if you have to. For a true medical emergency, call 911.

Houston fired 4 cops over a scheme where they were writing tickets and listing each other as witnesses in order to rack up overtime pay. 6000 tickets had to be dismissed.

Humberto Martinez-Benitez will face trial Monday for a 2012 murder in a Lewisville mobile home park.

The Dallas Morning News has a story that explains some claims that Senator Wendy Davis voted on projects while she was on Fort Worth City Council that indirectly benefitted her employer. Basically, the Council approved economic development agreements for companies, who in a couple of cases used Davis’s employer to handle the title insurance. Davis was paid a flat salary for her work. What is not entirely clear to me is whether one would know whether a certain title company had already been chosen for a deal at the point that the Council would vote on it - which certainly can take place a long time before closing a land sale. While Davis did have the City Attorney's opinion that there was no conflict, it certainly would have avoided the appearance for Davis to abstain on these if she knew her employer would indirectly benefit. I am disappointed in this, but much less so than with Greg Abbott.

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