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Opinion: Lewisville Lake gas rights leasing bad for residents

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/2/2 8:40:00 (679 reads)

By STEVE SOUTHWELL
Publisher
steve@LewisvilleTexan.com


Last week, I wrote about how the federal Bureau of Land Management intends to lease some of the land under Lewisville Lake for natural gas development.

We were fortunate to have a reader bring this to our attention so that we could share it with you while the public protest period is still active. Two prior public comment periods went without anyone from our area weighing in because the notice given by BLM was by all but legal standards insufficient.

The BLM thinks that posting quarterly notices deep within the website of its New Mexico office constitutes informing the public. We think this situation perfectly underscores the need for local media, and why Texas law requires so many government proposals to be posted in local newspapers. Had BLM sent notice to The Lewisville Texan Journal, as a local news source, it would have received ample public comment.

Lewisville Lake is vital water supply for hundreds of thousands of people. Caution is advised for natural gas development, and any other industrial activity in the watershed. Operators must use best practices and regulators must carry a big stick. I wish I could say I trusted the Texas Railroad Commission (the state’s oil and gas regulators) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to wield the regulatory stick when warranted.

Nevertheless, the drilling won’t take place on Corps property. Railroad commission logs from nearby wells show that the horizontal drilling is around 9,000 feet below ground level. The maximum depth of Lewisville Lake is 67 feet. I’m more worried about contamination of underground aquifers which the drilling will pass through than lake contamination. The Corps of Engineers excludes hydraulic fracturing within 3,000 feet of the dam. With the proposed lease being miles from the dam, I’m not worried about any effects on it.

The reason this particular lease ought to be postponed or canceled has more to do with economics.

BLM is narrowing the prospective pool of bidders by leasing only the northeastern side of this arm of the lake, rather than leasing a similar amount of land that would stretch from shore to shore. It is setting up for a sweet deal for a single operator to bid the minimum and walk away with public minerals on the cheap.

Had BLM proposed leasing the land stretching from shore to shore, operators with existing pad sites on both sides of the lake could bid against each other for the opportunity to develop it. Too often, the taxpayers foot the bills for privatized profit and socialized risk.

If we are going to lease the land for drilling, we should at least have a better chance of getting more revenue from it.

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Upcoming Events Around Lewisville and the Surrounding Area

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by Pmoulard87 on 2016/2/1 1:10:00 (288 reads)

Open in new windowThere are many arts, recreation and leisure, and educational opportunities coming up in Lewisville and the surrounding cities. Listed below is a selection.


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Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In February - "Master Class" - Greater Lewisville Community Theatre
The Greater Lewisville Community Theatre production of Master Class will run three weekends, February 12 - 28 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Directed by M. Shane Hurst, This Tony-Award-winning play by four-time Tony-Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, is as close to opera as real-life diva Maria Callas’ life was. As her career winds down, we see her as a glamorous, commanding, and surprisingly drop-dead funny teacher holding a voice master class at Julliard. Alternately dismayed and impressed by the students she sees, she retreats into recollections about the glories of her own life and career – her youth as an ugly duckling, her fierce hatred of her rivals, the unforgiving press that savaged her early performances, her triumphs at La Scala, and her affair with Aristotle Onassis. It culminates with a stirring monologue about sacrifice made in the name of art. RATED PG-13. GLCT is located at 160 W. Main St. in Lewisville. The entrance and parking are in the rear off of Elm Street. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for 65 & over or 18 & under. Call for reservations (recommended) at 972-221-SHOW (7469). Additional information is available at GLCT.org.


Friday Feb. 5 - 14 - LISD High School Art Exhibition
A juried exhibition of high school art work will be on display Feb. 5 through Feb. 14 at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N Charles St. Student works of visual art from all five of the district’s high schools will be on display. Adonis Carcamo, owner of Pomegranate Underground art gallery in Lewisville will jury the competition. An opening reception and awards presentation is Feb. 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. The exhibition is free, and open to the public.


Saturday, Feb.6 and Sunday. Feb.7 - Levisville Premier Gun Show
The Premier Gun Shows at Lewisville with over 400 tables of guns, knives, ammo, and shooting supplies. The public is invited to buy, sell, or trade. Hours are Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. General admission - $8 CASH only, Weekend Passes - $12 CASH only, Children under 12 - Free, uniformed police officers - Free. Event takes place at the Premier Event Center, Lakeland Plaza, 1165 S. Stemmons Frwy. For more information see: http://tiny.cc/lewisvilleguns



Monday, Feb. 8 - LISD School Board Meeting

Monthly school board meetings take place at the Bolin Administrative Center located at 1565 W. Main St. Closed sessions are from 6 - 7 p.m. and open sessions begin at 7 p.m. All meetings can be watched from a live stream at http://lisd.net/Page/276


Saturday, Feb. 13 - Household Hazardous Waste Collection
From 9 a.m. - noon, bring household hazardous waste like chemicals and pesticides, used oil and leftover paint, batteries and old electronic items to the Lewisville Residential Convenience Center, 330 W. Jones St., for recycling or proper disposal. Must be a Lewisville resident. More info: http://tiny.cc/HHW


Saturday, Feb. 27- Denton County SKYWARN Spotter Training Class
Come out to the Denton Public Safety Training Center, Denton, Texas. 9 a.m. - noon for the basic storm spotter training class and 1 - 4:30 p.m. for the advanced class. For information see http://goo.gl/doaHhi



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Sunday, Feb. 28 - Lewisville Lake Symphony Presents: “ Prokofief's "Peter and the Wolf"
Enjoy an afternoon of ballet and symphony music at Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf presented by the Lewisville Lake Symphony. The show will include performances by the LakeCities Ballet Theatre, narration by Chip Waggoner of Fox 4, an Instrument Petting Zoo, and a workshop to craft your own instrument. The show will be held at Frederick P. Herring Recreation Center, 191 Civic Circle Drive, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for Adults (18+), children $5 and a special family rate for $25. To purchase tickets in advance and for more information visit LewisvilleSymphony.org or call 972.874.9087.


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Tuesday, Mar.1 - Flower Mound Preparatory & Philharmonic Orchestras Spring Concert
The Flower Mound Preparatory & Philharmonic Orchestra's will be performing their Spring Concert on Tuesday, March 1 2016 at the Trietsch Ministry Center located at 6101 Morriss Road
Flower Mound, TX 75028. The concert is free of charge and will begin at 7:30 p.m.


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Briefs

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/1/31 21:30:00 (463 reads)

LEWISVILLE
Local Ham Radio club to give free lessons
Lewisville Ham Radio Association is offering a five-week course to Lewisville residents who want to learn about Ham radio and prepare for the technician’s license.
Bob Burkett will teach the first class at 7 p.m., Feb1 at the Central Fire Station, 188 N. Valley Parkway. Classes will be held each Monday night until the test on March 5. The classes are free but the exam costs $15. The text book The AARL Ham Radio License Manual, Technician level is optional. Bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Students who pass the exam will be licensed as technicians and will receive a one-year membership in the Lewisville Ham Radio Association.
Sign up for the class by visiting w5lvc.org, calling 972-839-9652 or emailing
mathisfun.bob@gmail.com.
Adam Schrader

GLCT announces winter production opening
The Greater Lewisville Community Theatre recently announced Master Class, its winter production, will run at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays from Feb. 12-28 at 160 W. Main St. in Old Town Lewisville.
GLCT veteran M. Shane Hurst will direct the play.
Tickets for Master Class are $18 for adults, and $16 for seniors ages 65 and older or children 18 and younger. Call 972-221-7469 for reservations. For more information, visit glct.org.
Adam Schrader

AARP offers income tax assistance at the library
Trained AARP volunteers will provide free income tax assistance at the Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main Street, starting Monday, Feb. 1. Assistance will be available from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through April 13 in the library’s computer lab.
This program is offered to people age 50 and older. AARP is unable to assist in returns containing rental properties and farming or business expenses. To make an appointment, call the Lewisville Senior Center at 972-219-5050. Appointments can be made one week in advance. Walk-ins are welcome, but might be required to wait for an open slot.
For more information, visit library.cityoflewisville.com.
Submitted Report

LISD
Kristi Hassett named to TAMSA Board of Directors
Lewisville ISD Board Trustee Kristi Hassett was recently voted to the Board of Directors of Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment.

Hassett has been a member of TAMSA since the 2013 legislative session. Hassett, a graduate of Marcus High School, is passionate about the Speak Up for Texas Public Schools initiative. She has testified on the topic in front of the Texas Senate Education Committee and House of Representatives Public Education Committee.

According to a news release, “TAMSA started in 2011 as a statewide, grass roots organization of concerned parents that supports a more reasoned approach to student testing. Its mission is to improve public education in Texas through the use of meaningful and effective student assessments that allow for more productive classroom instruction and more efficient use of public funds.”
Adam Schrader

Latham to retire, Proznik has filed for her seat
Frisco resident Jenny Proznik announced Monday that she filed to run for Place 5 on the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees. Brenda Latham announced she will not seek re-election for the seat last Friday.

“I do want to thank all those who have not only supported me in past campaigns, but those who have prayed for, encouraged and mentored me as a Trustee,” Latham said in a press release.

Latham said that her successor should address the cost, loss of class time and logistics of Lewisville High School’s three campuses and push for establishing a college, career readiness campus in LISD.

“Dual language for non-English speaking students is just not acceptable,” she said. “These students deserve better.”

Proznik serves as the Legislative Liaison on the LISD Council of PTAs and LISD Parent Liaison to the Frisco Mayor’s Youth Council. She was on the Arbor Creek Middle School board from 2009-2015 and president of the Hebron PTSA from 2013-2015. Proznik holds a Journalism and Public Relations degree from The University of Oklahoma. She is a 2014 PTA Lifetime Award winner.

Todd DeDecker, of Highland Village, will serve as the treasure for the campaign. For more information about Proznik’s campaign, visit facebook/com/ProznikForLISD or twitter.com/proznikforlisd.
Adam Schrader

LISD students compete in district meet
Over half of the Lewisville High School swimmers that competed in last weekend’s district meet at the Westside Aquatic Center qualified for next weekend’s regional competition.

Ethan McGee shared boys swimmer of the meet honors with Steven Cheng and Connor Owens of Flower Mound. McGee finished first in both freestyle sprint events and anchored the Farmers second-place 200-meter freestyle relay.

Meanwhile, Kara Eisenmann finished first in the 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly. She shared girls swimmer of the meet honors with Marcus’ Lauren Savoy and Hebron’s MacKenzie Garcia-Hynds.

Brian Fisher (2nd-diving), John Moore (6th-100 backstroke), Sydney Boyer (5th-100 backstroke; 6th-200 freestyle), Ellis Ko (2nd-100 breaststroke), Kayla Wofford (1st-diving) and Allison Oropeza (4th-diving) qualified for the Feb. 5-6 regional meet, which will also take place in Lewisville.
Mike Ibanez

FLOWER MOUND
Town Council approves measures to keep Fortune 500 company
Last Thursday, Flower Mound town council members approved measures to allow Stryker Communications to expand from approximately 115,000 square-feet to a new location with more than 200,000 square-feet.

Had the council not approved the measures, Stryker would have looked to relocate to another community, according to a press release. The company plans to consolidate offices in Charleston, S.C. and Coppell with the new site.

Stryker Communications is a division of Fortune 500 company Stryker Corporation. The medical supply company uses its Flower Mound location for sales and marketing, research and development. The company opened in the Lakeside Business District in 2005 with more than 200 employees. The expansion would allow the company to employ more than 400 local employees, according to the release.
Adam Schrader

FMHS to present 'Guys and Dolls'
Flower Mound High School students will present Guys and Dolls at 7 p.m. Feb 4-6 and at 2:30 p.m. Feb 7 in the school’s Jack and Donna Clark Auditorium, 411 Peters Colony Road.
The Broadway musical celebrates the glory days of 1940's Times Square New York City.
For tickets, visit bit.ly/1ZW1LKF.
Adam Schrader

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Weightlifters bring home state medals

Sports
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/1/31 21:06:18 (302 reads)

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Pictured are left to right: Diane McLeod, Willie McLendon and Jason Jacobs. (Photo by Mike Ibanez)
By MIKE IBANEZ
sports@LewisvilleTexan.com


Willie McLendon is developing weightlifting champions in a non-descript strip mall on the corner of I-35 and Business 121 in Lewisville.

McLendon, the owner of the Crossfit 3040 business in Lakeland Plaza, recently took a handful of athletes he trains to the Texas State Weightlifting Championships in San Antonio— and returned with a combined two gold medals, two silver medals and six new state records.

All medals were earned in the USA Weightlifting Masters Division, which consists of competitive weightlifters greater than 35 years old.

Sanctioned events include two lifting disciplines, the snatch and clean and jerk. The snatch involves lifting weight directly overhead while the clean and jerk involves powerlifting the weight to a standing position before pressing it overhead.

McLendon finished first in the men’s 105 kilogram weight class (ages 35-39) and set a new state record for that class in the snatch (244 pounds), clean and jerk (308 pounds) and overall total.

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5 North Texans head to world derby games

Sports
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/1/31 20:40:00 (1076 reads)

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Dr. Feelgood speeds away from the pack after scoring points for TXMRD. (Photo by Roy Moore, Control Images)


By JENNIFER SOUTHWELL
jennifer@LewisvilleTexan.com


Five North Texans will represent Texas at the second Men’s Roller Derby World Cup tournament July 21-24 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Teams from 22 countries will compete for the championship title in the biannual tournament.

According to derbycentral.net, 15 countries competed in the inaugural tournament in March 2014 in England. Team USA dominated that tournament, collectively outscoring opponents 1,655 to 251. TJ “TIP” Binkley, 31, was on the original Team USA roster.

“I'm very excited to skate with all the new and old names on this roster. There are 11 of the original 2014 team on this roster,” he said. “I can't wait to take the track with this talented group of guys.”

Men’s Roller Derby Association revealed the 2016 Men’s Team USA roster on Jan. 18, after 120 skaters competed in two days of grueling tryouts in Iowa and Florida. The charter consists of 20 skaters and two alternates.

Binkley is a member of Texas Men’s Roller Derby, a local men’s league, with Kyle Divers, Brannon Smith, Bryan O’Neill and Joel Herrera. Binkley, Divers, Smith and O’Neill will skate for Team USA. Herrera will take the track for Team Mexico.

Brannon “Dr. Feelgood” Smith, 24, said that tryouts was a three-tier elimination system and consisted of skill proficiency drills, endurance and scrimmages.

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City council filing begins

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/1/30 8:10:00 (762 reads)

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Brandon Jones (left) is running for council Place 4, and Brent Daniels (right) is running for re-election in Place 5. (Submitted photos)
By Steve Southwell
steve@LewisvilleTexan.com


As of Friday night, two candidates had filed for spots on the ballot in the May 7 Lewisville City Council election.

Brandon Jones, 41, filed for Place 4, the seat currently held by Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Greg Tierney, who has not yet filed for re-election. Jones is a senior internal auditor for the Dallas ISD, and has 18 years of experience in the accounting field. Jones married his wife Sherrelle last year.

Jones has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Dillard University in New Orleans. He has lived in Lewisville for a little over five years. During that time he has taken an interest in civic activities.

“I started by attending City Council meetings and workshops,” he said. “This activity led to appointments to serve on a number of advisory boards to the Council.”

Jones currently is serving his second term on the Planning and Zoning Commission, Capital Improvements Advisory Board, Brownfields Advisory Board, Transportation Board, and the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 2.

Jones completed the Lewisville Citizens’ Police Academy last fall. He is currently a member of the inaugural class of Lewisville Citizens University, a program that teaches the structure and functions of city government.

“I believe that Vision 2025 plan is a crucial element to managing our growth and ensuring that the city has great attractions to bring in visitors to shop, play and spend their dollars in our city,” said Jones.

Brent Daniels, 54, has filed for re-election to Place 5. He was voted in last year in a special election to fill the seat given up by Rudy Durham when he successfully ran for Mayor. Durham only had one year remaining in his council term, so Daniels must run again for a regular three-year term.

Daniels owns the Bahama Bucks franchise in Lewisville. Before that, he worked in the hotel business for Harvey and Bristol hotels. He was a food and beverage director, human resources director and a general manager of several hotels.

Daniels was born and raised in Amarillo, and has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas Tech University. He has been married to his wife Tracy for 31 years, and has lived in Lewisville for 27 years.

Prior to his time on Council, Daniels served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Traffic Board, and Brownfields Advisory Committee for three years. He is a board member for Keep Lewisville Beautiful. Daniels graduated from Leadership Lewisville in 2013. He served as Growth Committee Chairman on the Vision 2025 Committee from 2013-2014.

“It is important that [the Vision 2025 plan] continues to be a living document,” he said. “This plan is so vital is because it is based on our residents’ wishes. Thousands of ideas, people and man hours made this plan a reality.

"It is now the responsibility of the city council and staff to implement and follow through with it.”

The filing period is open until Feb. 19. Candidates must be qualified voters living in the City of Lewisville for at least one year prior to the election date. Anyone owing back taxes or employed by the city is ineligible to run.

Citizens interested in running for a seat can find more information on the city’s website at cityoflewisville.com.

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Print Edition - 01/30/2016

Print Editions of LTJ
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/1/30 7:45:37 (269 reads)

Open in new windowHere is the Jan. 30, 2016 print edition of The Lewisville Texan Journal:



You can find free copies at any of these locations.

Want home delivery of The Lewisville Texan Journal every Saturday? You can get it for just $5 per month!

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BLM to lease drilling rights under Lewisville Lake

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/1/29 23:20:00 (20108 reads)

Editor’s Note: The author of this story serves as Chairman of the City of Lewisville Oil and Gas Advisory Board. That body has no regulatory authority over specific gas well permits. No portion of the property shown in the article is within the city limits of Lewisville.

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Section in red is being opened up for natural gas development. (Map via the Center for Biological Diversity)
By STEVE SOUTHWELL
steve@LewisvilleTexan.com


The Bureau of Land Management will sell a 10-year mineral rights lease for a section of Lake Lewisville at a live auction in Santa Fe, New Mexico on April 20.

The winner will get the rights to extract natural gas locked in the Barnett Shale beneath a 258.9-acre collection of parcels underlying the western arm of Lewisville Lake in the Hickory Creek branch.

The minimum bid is $2 per acre, and BLM charges an annual rental rate of $1.50 per acre for the first five years of the lease, and $2 per acre after that. The lease will remain in effect as long as there is at least one producing well. If gas is produced, the operator would pay a 12.5 percent royalty to be split between the federal government and the State of Texas.

Bidders must be qualified oil and gas operators who have the intent and ability to develop the natural gas resources that the government owns there. An environmental group may not place a bid just to keep the property from being developed.

The auction process began in June 2014 when Fort Worth-based Norwood Land Services contacted the New Mexico office of BLM. That office is responsible for mineral rights on federal lands in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Norwood nominated the tracts at the time, hoping for a sale last April. BLM spokesperson Donna Hummel told The Lewisville Texan Journal that the bureau first worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which administers the surface use of the tracts. Hummel said the Corps gave approval for the leasing, subject to certain conditions.

The Corps does not allow any surface occupancy on its property for drilling, and requires that any drill pads be at least 1,000 feet from the water’s edge when the lake is at its full 522-foot conservation pool. A drill site may not be located below the 532-foot spillway elevation. The operator must also comply with stipulations meant to protect wetlands and riparian areas, threatened and endangered species, and cultural resources. The Corps has a standing rule that does not allow any surface occupancy within 3,000 feet of critical facilities such as the dam and spillway. The tract for sale is not affected since it is approximately three to four miles northwest of the dam.

BLM held a two-week public comment period in early September. Officials generally use those comments when crafting environmental assessments. The next step was a 30-day public review of the environmental assessment. That process ended in November. Lease notice was issued Jan. 20, kicking off a 30-day protest period that ends Feb. 19. The public has until then to protest the sale by submitting written comments to BLM.

Hummel said that when the 30-day period is over, the bureau will begin reading the protests and preparing a response. That response could be to either resolve the problem by adding stipulations to the lease, to defer the sale until after the bureau can further analyze it, or to delete the parcel from the sale based on a problem that cannot be resolved satisfactorily.

That process is not always straightforward.

Wendy Park, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said a section of the sale notice provides those instructions.

“The process is arcane and obscure,” she said, "You can only file a protest by U.S. Mail or fax."

According to the Finding of No Significant Impact, there were no public comments submitted during the two-week period for any of the 44 parcels for auction across four states. During the 30-day review of the environmental assessment, only one comment letter was received. The Center for Biological Diversity submitted comments generally opposing further lease sales.

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Hound Mound opens to people, dogs

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/1/29 4:30:00 (561 reads)

By ADAM SCHRADER
INTERIM EDITOR


About 100 people and pooches headed to Heritage Park East, 1202 Garden Ridge Blvd., on Friday for the ribbon cutting of Flower Mound’s first dog park: The Hound Mound.

“It’s been on residents’ lists of wants for 10 years or more,” said Town Council Member Bryan Webb. “Town council worked hard for three and a half years to select a location for it and everything else.”

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Suspect used cab to travel between Flower Mound robberies

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/1/28 17:30:00 (845 reads)

By ADAM SCHRADER
Interim Editor


Andy Dean Yarbrough, 32, used a cab service to travel between two Flower Mound stores he is suspected of robbing: Walgreen’s, 4201 Cross Timbers Road and Caps Gas Station, 2801 Justin Road.

The two robberies occurred at 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 16.

Yarbrough did not display a weapon, but gestured under his jacket as if he had a weapon concealed at Caps Gas Station. Nobody was injured.

Flower Mound police arrested Yarbrough and charged him with two counts of robbery. He is currently in the Denton County Jail. He was also charged with unrelated charges because of a Lewisville incident.

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