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Updated: 10 Earthquakes Reported in North Texas

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by Runfellow on 2015/1/6 16:50:00 (1156 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowBy Brandon Cooper and Steve Southwell
Update: Wednesday, 10:51 a.m.:
Another quake in Irving. This one a 2.7 magnitude at 9:57 a.m.

Update: Wednesday, 10:23 a.m.:
A 2.6 magnitude quake shook Irving again at 8:34 a.m.

Update: Wednesday, 5:45 a.m.:
Overnight, USGS added two more earthquakes to the list, including a 3.1 magnitude quake this morning at 12:59 a.m. Records were also revised to note a 2.3 magnitude quake yesterday morning at 7:37 a.m., making a total of nine quakes for the area in the last 24 hours. Here's the full sequence of what we have so far:

Tuesday:
7:37 a.m.: Irving - 2.3
3:10 p.m.: Irving - 3.5
6:52 p.m.: Irving - 3.6
8:11 p.m.: Irving - 2.9
8:12 p.m.: Irving - 2.7
9:54 p.m.: Farmers Branch - 1.7
10:05 p.m.: Irving - 2.4
11:02 p.m.: Irving - 1.6

Wednesday:
12:59 a.m.: Irving - 3.1

Update: 11:36 p.m.: While we were writing the last update, a 7th earthquake happened. We didn't feel it at the time, but USGS has just reported it.

Update: 11:00 p.m.: There have been 6 quakes today, all clustered around the same area in Irving. Magnitudes range from 1.7 to 3.6. Earthquakes under 2.5 magnitude are usually not felt, but are detected by seismograph. Four of the quakes were over 2.5. Earthquake magnitudes are on a logarithmic scale, with each point difference meaning a 10 times bigger movement on a seismogram. The strongest quake so far (3.6) was 79 times bigger than the smallest (1.7) but released 708 times more energy.

Update 7:00 p.m.: Around 6:53 p.m., residents on Facebook and other social media platforms reported feeling the effects of another quake. We will continue to update on any new developments via this page or via The Lewisville Texan Journal on Facebook.

Open in new windowOriginal story:
At approximately 3:10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, residents in Lewisville and Carrollton began reporting feeling what could possibly be reported as an earthquake. Residents can report if they felt the quake to the USGS here.

Residents have previously reported feeling the tremors of quakes in 2011, 2012, and as recently as November of 2014. Environmental activists have speculated that there may be a connection between the recent quakes and natural gas drilling activity, but industry representatives have long denied it. As we reported in 2012:
Quote:

Since the question will arise, here's a map via the Texas Railroad Commission showing the epicenter in relation to the nearest gas wells. There IS at least one injection well nearby, marked on this (now updated) map below. The well, operated by Chesapeake Operating, Inc. is drilled to about 14,000 feet total depth, or 2.7 miles deep, and is located just South of the DFW Airport.
Open in new window

We are not at this time assuming that the quake had anything to do with gas wells or injection wells, since we don't yet have any sort of volume data on those wells, or have a full layout of where they are. We just know that there has been a correlation with quakes in North Texas and injection wells, and that people will want to know where the nearest injection wells are. This one appears to be about 5 miles away from the first quake. Another injection well, also operated by Chesapeake, is located near the North entrance of DFW Airport.

Injection wells are used to dispose of salt water that is produced as an unwanted byproduct of natural gas wells. Typically, they are drilled into formations below those containing natural gas, and many thousands of feet below water tables. The concern some have is that the volume of water could push rock formations and trigger quakes along faults.


We will continue to update this story as we receive more information. For live updates, please be sure to follow The Lewisville Texan Journal on Facebook.

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Updated: FM 407 Bridge Demolition to Begin Soon

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/1/6 0:10:00 (8422 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowThe Lewisville City Council received an update Monday night in workshop session on the status of the FM 407 interchange with I-35E. Project spokeswoman Kimberly Sims said that the current FM 407 bridge over I-35 would be demolished sometime between mid-February and early March. The configuration at that interchange will be switched around so that I-35E main lanes will go over FM 407, which will become an underpass instead of a bridge. The new Southbound lanes of I-35 are being constructed on the west side of the current highway. Once the FM 407 bridge is demolished, crews can complete the southbound overpass.

The FM 407 underpass will be located south of where the current bridge sits, straightening out FM 407 to make it a straighter shot from east to west.

By mid to late 2015, AGL says they will have two lanes of FM 407 open under I-35. In the mean time, for about 6-8 months, traffic will be detoured. Eastbound FM 407 motorists will use Summit Avenue south to get to Valley Ridge Blvd and access I-35 from there. They can continue on the northbound service road to access eastbound FM 407. Westbound traffic on FM 407 can take Mill Street south to Valley Ridge to access I-35 E or Summit Avenue, which will get them back on FM 407.

Both ends of 407 will still have access to I-35 during the closure.

After the southbound lanes are complete over their new overpass, northbound traffic will be shifted to share the new bridge while the regular northbound lanes and bridge are constructed. The current schedule has that bridge being complete in spring of 2016 and the entire FM 407/ I-35E interchange completed with all lanes open in summer of 2016.

You can learn more about the I-35 E expansion project on the 35Express website.

Update 1/6/2015 - 2 p.m.:
We have been advised that the presentation document we used to compile this article had outdated information about the length of the FM 407 closure. We have updated the article to note that FM 407 will be completely closed across I-35 for 6-8 months, rather than reopening 2 lanes in the spring

The Lewisville Texan Journal will post updates as we learn more about the schedule.

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Five New Year's Wishes for Lewisville in 2015

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/1/1 14:27:57 (1006 reads)

Open in new window
By Steve Southwell

Happy New Year! As we reflect on the year that just passed, and spend time in reflection thinking about what we will make of 2015, we thought it would be nice to share some wishes for our community in 2015.

Open in new window#1: Less violence
In 2014, Lewisville suffered numerous shootings and robberies at gunpoint. One man was a victim of senseless random shooting on I-35 that took his life. We had a man who popped out from under a bridge and assaulted women. We had a very dangerous shooting incident in front of an apartment complex, and just down the street, a police chase ended with an attempted carjacking, and the suspect shot by police after shooting at them. A quick look at our police blotter on any given week shows numerous instances of family violence, and those are just the cases reported. We know that much more goes unreported.

Violence happens everywhere, and Lewisville is not immune. This does not define who we are as a community, but it represents a risk to each of us who live here. We don’t really have answers to this complex problem, but finding ways to reduce the violence in our community would be our highest wish for Lewisville in 2015.



Open in new window#2: Finishing the Plaza
The Old Town Park Plaza / Ferguson Plaza project has been a long time in the making for Lewisville, and it’s beyond time to wrap it up and get it completed and opened to the public. Delays have been a source of frustration and loss for businesses in Old Town Lewisville. The park will be a beautiful place to relax and have a picnic lunch or let the kids play in the water on a hot summer day. It will host all types of outdoor events and festivals, and just be a pretty place to hang out. The contractor said they would have the park done by April 1st, 2015, but we hope that is not just an April Fools joke. There has been good movement on this lately, so we truly hope it's done before then.

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Drunk Driving Rampage in Mobile Home Park Results in a Dozen Vehicles Damaged

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/12/29 19:43:37 (1743 reads)

Open in new window
Carlos Martinez was visiting a friend at Village North when the rampage happened, and his car was hit. As of Monday night, he didn’t know whether his insurance would cover the damage. (Photo by Carlos Martinez.)

Open in new window
The rampage took out at least one street sign. (Photo by Jayme Tacker)
By Steve Southwell

We are still awaiting further detail from Lewisville PD, but we have learned that police arrested 19-year-old Juan Jesus Salas Saucedo Sunday night on multiple charges after a drunk driving rampage that damaged a dozen vehicles. Salas Saucedo was charged with driving while intoxicated, open container, vehicle theft, and striking 11 different vehicles, including one that was occupied and 10 that were unoccupied. He is held in Lewisville Jail in lieu of $42,500 combined bond. Police responded to numerous calls around 6:44 p.m. Sunday night after callers reported a reckless or intoxicated driver inside the park at the 1200 block of North Cowan at the Village North Mobile Home Park.

Once police were able to get the driver stopped, other units then arrived at the scene to find numerous residents flagging them down to report that their vehicles had been struck. At least one of the vehicles caught fire, causing a fire engine to be dispatched. Police said Salas Saucedo told them he had recently stolen the vehicle.

Captain Dan Rochelle of the Lewisville Police Department said that the man was heavily intoxicated, and told the officers he was upset with a man over a girl, so he stole the man’s Dodge Caravan while the other man was watching TV. Theft of between $1,500 and $20,000 is a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in jail.

You can listen to Lewisville police radio recordings of this incident here.

We will update this story when we receive more information. Were you a witness to this incident? Email us your story or photos to editor@lewisvilletexan.com

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Woman Reports Stolen Marijuana; Officer Helps Man with Hotel

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/12/29 16:59:49 (1801 reads)

The Lewisville Police Department released the Chief's Weekly Update:

Open in new window

Resident Reports Burglary; Arrested for Possession
On December 27, 2014, at approximately 12:30 a.m., a resident who resides in the 800 block of Union Station Parkway called police to report a burglary at her apartment. Officer Tim Stebbins arrived to conduct an investigation and immediately noticed a strong odor of fresh marijuana inside the apartment. After being questioned by Officer Stebbins, the resident stated the burglars took approximately six ounces of marijuana from the apartment. The resident allowed officers to search her belongings, and they discovered approximately four grams of cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, and approximately $7500. The resident, a 25-year-old female, was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance and transported to the Lewisville City Jail.

School Resource Officer Lends a Helping Hand
An out-of-state, displaced man who had been living in a hotel was recently unable to pay his hotel bill for the week. Upon hearing of the man’s problems, Officer Jay Alexander used his personal credit card to pay for the man’s room. This information was relayed to Chief Russ Kerbow in a letter that the man wrote to thank Alexander for, in his words, his “unbelievable act of kindness.” He further stated that Alexander was a huge asset to the community for helping him in his greatest moments of despair.


Related:
- Lewisville Police Blotter - arrests in the past week

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About: Corrections, Retractions, and Deletions

Miscellaneous
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/12/27 22:30:00 (698 reads)

Open in new window
Here at The Lewisville Texan Journal, we endeavor to publish the truth, as nearly as we can get to it. We realize that often when there is breaking news, it can be hard to get to the truth, with multiple and sometimes conflicting or incomplete accounts of what happened. In general, when reporting news, we try to avoid speculation and judgments, but we do our best to always make sure it’s clear in our stories when we have information that is a matter of fact, versus speculation or estimation on ours or someone else’s part. In other cases, regrettably, some news-makers either withhold the truth, or may try to mislead us; we do our best to avoid that by vetting our sources.

Nevertheless, we know that from time to time, we can just get the information wrong - whether a source gave it to us wrong, or we heard wrong, or even if everyone involved may have thought something was one way, only to find out later that it was not what it appeared to be. It also happens from time to time that the words chosen to describe a story may lack clarity or carry implications beyond the supporting information. This is the nature of news, and the nature of imperfect human beings retelling stories of what happened.

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City Answers Questions on Ferguson Plaza

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/12/27 12:53:55 (1037 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new window
Top: Workers move a tree in place for planting along Church Street. Bottom: The future boardwalk area still has masonry work going on to get the wall capped. Boards have yet to be laid. According to the updated schedule that J.C. Commercial provided in response to the city's default letter, the Boardwalk was supposed to be finished December 12th. (LTJ Photos)
A couple of weeks ago, we posted an article about the city's contractor J.C. Commercial being declared in default over not being completed with the Ferguson Plaza project in Old Town Lewisville. That project was originally scheduled to be completed April 30th of this year, but approved delays put the scheduled completion date at the end of July. The City declared the contractor to be in default in November, and put them on notice to get the project done. This has resulted in a flurry of activity on the site, including work on Saturdays and even on Christmas Eve - when we took the photos at right.

At the time of our original article, we asked J.C. Commercial for comment, but we have still yet to hear back from them. We did send some followup questions to the City of Lewisville, and we received these responses earlier this week from James Kunke, the city's Community Relations and Tourism Director:

Lewisville Texan Journal: Realistically, does the city have a prediction or preference for the completion date?

City of Lewisville: The City prefers the earliest possible completion date.

LTJ: Did the schedule that JC Commercial sent seem realistic to the city? We noted in the article that critical path items seemed to be placed consecutive when they should be concurrent.

COL: JC Commercial’s schedule is an improvement, but it still needs work before the City can properly evaluate it.

LTJ: I was unable to find anything about this project in this year's budget. But I'm sort of wondering if it would be easy to get a summary of the original budget, total spend so far (I used the check register, but that's probably not all-inclusive), and anticipated final spend. It's not clear to me what all the change orders are costing.

COL: The total Capital Improvements Project is $9,785,530 (including design, previous land acquisitions and construction). Total spent as of November 17, 2014, is $8,349,948. We anticipate that all CIP funds for the Park Plaza will be expended. Change Order cost as of November 17, 2014, is $306,471.85.

LTJ: What is Design Workshop's current role in all of this?

COL: [Design Workshop] is the architect of record and provides construction services to assure aspects of design are followed and ultimate outcome of project meets the design parameters approved by City Council.

LTJ: Does the city have any response to JCC's assertion that you owe them for the mistake on the runnel forms and pour?

COL: The City disagrees with JC Commercial’s assertion.

LTJ: Did the city really drag its feet in response to RFIs and Submittals, or did Design Workshop?

COL: No.

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About The Lewisville Texan Journal

Miscellaneous
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/12/26 19:00:00 (5919 reads)

The Lewisville Texan Journal is published by SagePost, Inc., Lewisville, TX.

Here are links to some various information our readers might find helpful about The Lewisville Texan Journal:

- Editors and Writers
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- Posting Rules
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DSHS Urges Hantavirus Precautions Following Golden Crescent Case

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/12/22 20:44:20 (868 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowFrom a submitted report

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reminding people to protect themselves from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare but sometimes fatal illness, after a resident of the Golden Crescent region along the central Texas coast was diagnosed with HPS.

Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people by stirring up nesting materials or contaminated dust, allowing the virus to be breathed in by humans. Cases have been linked to cleaning out buildings where rodents live and working in dusty environments like ranches and oilfields.

DSHS recommends the following precautions:

- Seal openings that may allow rats and mice to enter homes and workplaces.
- Remove brush, woodpiles, trash and other items that may attract rats and mice.
- Tightly close garbage cans, pet food containers and other food sources.
- Wear protective gloves when handling dead mice and rats or cleaning up nesting areas, urine or droppings.
- Before cleaning up nests or droppings indoors, open windows and doors to ventilate the area for at least 30 minutes.
- Do not stir up nests by sweeping or vacuuming. Dampen areas with dead rodents, nests, urine and droppings before cleanup with a 1:10 bleach solution or other disinfectant.
- If dust will be stirred up, DSHS recommends using goggles and a HEPA or N-95 mask.

Early symptoms of hantavirus infection include fatigue, fever and muscle aches that may be accompanied by headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Later symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. If hantavirus is suspected, people should contact their health care provider immediately and mention any potential exposure to rodents, their nests or their waste.

There have been five HPS cases reported in Texas in 2014. A total of 43 HPS cases have been confirmed in Texas since 1993, the first year the disease was detected. Of those, 14 were fatal.

Readers can learn more about hantavirus at the Centers for Disease Control website.

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Updated: Teacher's Aide Arrested in Lewisville for Sex with 16-year-old

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/12/22 17:40:00 (5193 reads)

Open in new windowBy Steve Southwell

Just in from the Lewisville Police Department:

On December 16, 2014 the Lewisville Police Department was contacted by administrators of the Lewisville Independent School district and advised that there was information that a district employee may have had inappropriate contact with a student.

On the same day, A Crimes Against Children Detective interviewed the suspect, Krista Young a 35 year-old Little Elm resident. Ms. Young was a paraprofessional at the Purnell Center in Lewisville. Young admitted to the Detective that she had engaged in sexual intercourse with a 16 year-old male student on several occasions in the last couple of months.

Detectives prepared a warrant and Ms. Young turned herself in to the Lewisville Jail on December 19th. Young was arraigned and transferred to the Denton County Sheriff’s Jail on the 21st. Her bond was set at $10,000.

The child’s parents have been in contact with Detectives and the School District.

Karen Permetti, PIO for Lewisville ISD has informed us that Young was terminated from the district on December 16th. Additionally, all parents who have students served at Purnell were contacted on the same day.

Improper Relationship with Educator/Student is a Felony in the 2nd degree punishable by two to twenty years and a $10,000 fine.


Permetti explained that The Purnell Center is the LISD Special Education headquarters, and the campus provides services for special education students. Some of the students attend that campus all day, and some attend the campus just for specific services. Permetti said that an assistant principal at the school notified the district administration that he suspected something inappropriate was going on.

The district investigated and determined that there was a reason to be concerned that criminal activity was occurring. At that point, LPD Captain Dan Rochelle says LISD contacted police on the morning of December 16th, and LPD immediately sent a detective to talk with them.

Rochelle said that he believes it came to the district's attention as being related to text messages between Young and the student. Permetti did confirm that text messages were involved, and explained that a teacher at the school had concerns about what they thought was a log of text messages between them. That teacher went to the assistant principal at the campus, who took the issue up the chain to the administration.

After conversations with the student and the parent, the administration realized the messages implied criminal behavior between Young and the student. Permetti said they contacted police and terminated Young immediately, escorting her from the campus.

Permetti said that all parents of students attending that campus or having contact with Young had been notified on the 16th.

Young had worked for LISD for a year and a half, according to Permetti. Prior to that, she says Young was a long-term substitute in Little Elm ISD, and prior to that had worked in Palestine ISD.

Update 12/22/2014 - 6:30 p.m.
The Lewisville Texan Journal has obtained the affidavit that led to Young’s arrest, and we have learned more about this story.

According to the affidavit, It wasn’t just one teacher who had concerns about Young and the 16 year old victim. Three teachers shared their concerns in writing with Principal Corey Bell. The concerns shared with Bell on the morning of December 15th were that Young may have had inappropriate contact with the student. Bell questioned Young about the texts that morning, and she at first denied it, but then told a story about texting him to help him find his lost phone. The principal met with the student and asked him about the texts, at which point the student became visibly distraught and showed signs of hurting himself.

Bell called the student’s father to explain the incident and share concerns with the father, as well as to insure that the father would be home when the student got home. The father told Bell that he had looked through his son’s phone just the night before, and noticed a month’s worth of text messages from Young, some of which were sexual in nature. The father at this point had not known who Young was, and the son told his father that Young was his girlfriend.

The affidavit goes on to state that the next day (December 16th), Bell met with Young again, and brought in Special Education Director Dr. Paula Walker, and Jeff Crownover, an HR administrator. They confronted Young together, and she admitted to them that she had sexual intercourse with the student at his home. LISD Executive Director of HR Brenda West contacted police at this point.

Lewisville police Detective Rick Crociata responded to the LISD HR department conference room at 9:45 a.m. where these administrators were still talking to Young.

Crociata said in his statement that he interviewed Young after telling her that the conversation was voluntary, and that she could stop. After crying for a bit, he says that Young began to tell him the details of their relationship.

Young’s statement to police was that she knew the relationship was illegal, and that he was too young. She allegedly told police that the two liked to play video games online together, and that the student initially propositioned her during one of the sessions. The two allegedly used an online anonymous video chat service called Omegle to have conversations of a sexual nature. Crociata said that Young told him there was nudity during these calls.

Young allegedly told police that she first had sex with the student at his house on November 13th after school, and that the two began meeting every day at his house, having sex more than 10 times. She allegedly told the detective that she had specifically looked up the law about the age of consent, and had told the child they needed to be careful. The affidavit says Young also admitted to having a relationship with another student from Palestine High School after he graduated. Police say she voluntarily handed over her cell phone and iPod, and was then escorted out of the building by LISD staff.

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