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2015/11/29 - Power outage East of I-35 in south Lewisville
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LISD board implores Governor Abbott to appoint experienced Ed. Commissioner

Lewisville ISD Notes
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/11/11 1:00:00 (1540 reads)

Open in new windowBy Steve Southwell

The Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees passed a unanimous resolution Monday night imploring Texas Governor Greg Abbott to choose an experienced educator to replace State Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. Williams has announced he is stepping down from the post on January 1 of 2016. The commissioner of education oversees the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which creates the rules and policies that govern the state’s independent school districts. TEA has a $21 billion annual budget which primarily funds the state’s portion of the per-pupil revenue in the school districts, and for charter schools.

Williams had been appointed to the post by Governor Rick Perry in 2012 after serving on the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator. Williams was a lawyer by training, serving as a federal prosecutor before being appointed an assistant secretary for education under the US Department of Education by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Williams was tapped to replace Commissioner Robert Scott, also a lawyer by training. Scott had worked at TEA for 18 years, working his way up, eventually being appointed to the top spot by Rick Perry in 2007. Scott was credited with inspiring a bit of revolt when he made comments in January of 2012 critical of the overemphasis on standardized testing. Grassroots citizen groups like Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment organized and tipped the scales, leading to the passage of House Bill 5 in 2013, undoing a lot of the state’s high stakes testing, and de-emphasizing the STAAR testing regime.

The LISD board resolution makes the case that Texas law requires school principals and superintendents to have advanced degrees and relevant classroom experience to serve in those positions. But the Texas Education Code only requires a commissioner of education to be a U.S. Citizen. The resolution points out that Texas commissioners of insurance and agriculture are required under Texas law to have five years experience in the field.

The trustees call for Governor Abbott to appoint someone to the role who has at least a master’s degree in education, and extensive experience in education leadership. “The 5.2 million children currently in Texas public schools need a commissioner who is qualified upon appointment to avoid months or years of training on the complexities of public schools,” reads one of the recitals in the resolution. “There are more requirements in statute to be a juror than there are [to be] Commissioner of Education,” said LISD Trustee Kristi Hassett, who worked with LISD director of legal services Jeff Crownover to draft the resolution.

Board President Trisha Sheffield said that LISD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers had originated the idea, and worked with Hassett and Crownover to prepare it to bring it to the board. LISD will send the signed resolution to Governor Abbott, but Sheffield hopes the impact will be multiplied by other locally-elected boards across the state. She said they had sent the resolution to the Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards leadership, as well as superintendents and school boards of other local districts for consideration. “I have heard from Coppell, Aledo, and Pine Tree and know it will be on their November agendas,” said Sheffield. “Paint Rock approved one, as well,” she added. “We are hoping several others will approve something similar so that the message sent to Governor Abbott is clear.”

You can read the full text of the board resolution here.

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Fox Avenue bridge hit by dump truck expected to reopen Tuesday

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/11/10 20:20:00 (1916 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowBy Steve Southwell

Update 11/13/2015:
AGL expects to be able to do some repair work on the bridge over this weekend, which will require the closure of the southbound I-35E exit ramp to Fox Avenue and both lanes of the southbound frontage road. As of Friday afternoon, AGL expected the eastbound lane of the bridge to remain open throughout the repairs. The bridge is expected to open for full traffic again on Tuesday at 6 a.m. after the repairs cure.

During the closure, off-duty police will be on-hand to assist with traffic control. The following detours will be in place:

- Westbound Fox Avenue traffic will travel north on the frontage road to FM 1171/Main Street, cross over I-35E to the southbound frontage road and continue to Fox Avenue.

- Southbound I-35E traffic to Fox Avenue will take the exit ramp to FM 1171/Main Street and continue on the southbound frontage road to Fox Avenue.

- Southbound I-35E frontage road traffic will be detoured around the bridge using the access road (Fox Avenue Access Loop) to the Fox Avenue intersection.

Update 11/11/2015 - 3:50 p.m.:
Via the 35Express project public affairs:
The eastbound lane of the Fox Avenue bridge has been reopened. The westbound lane remains closed indefinitely as structural engineers examine the damage to determine the required repairs.

The southbound exit ramp to Fox Avenue and both lanes of the southbound frontage road at Fox Avenue are open as well.

The following detour will be in place while the westbound lane of the bridge is closed:

Westbound Fox Avenue traffic will travel north on the frontage road to FM 1171/Main Street, cross over I-35E to the southbound frontage road and continue to Fox Avenue.

Original Story
Fox Avenue bridge over I-35E as well as the I-35E southbound service road and Fox Avenue exit were closed tonight following a crash that happened around 5:30 p.m. A dump truck being driven by a contractor for the I-35E expansion project had its dump bed raise up as it passed under the bridge, striking it. Main lanes of traffic were still flowing, albeit slowly, beneath the bridge. AGL Constructors, the contractor in charge of the project, closed off the bridge to traffic across it so that it can be assessed by a structural engineer. Lewisville police were on scene for traffic control. We could not discern any visible damage to the bridge, as we photographed the north-facing side.

The collision completely pulled the dump bed off of the truck. The dump bed was on the side of the road, and the truck, which was still drivable, was parked at a nearby gas station. The truck’s dump bed hydraulic cylinder was still extended, as can be seen in the photograph.

The driver, who asked not to be photographed or identified, works for Lemus Trucking. He was not hurt in the accident. He said that he had put his bed down, and felt it go down, but that it had somehow risen up. He told The Lewisville Texan Journal that the lever was still in the down position.

Fox Avenue bridge had already been reduced from four lanes to two lanes earlier this year when AGL demolished the southern half of the bridge to build a new, longer bridge to accommodate the increased width of the highway when I-35E is expanded beneath it. When the southern half of the bridge is completed, traffic will be rerouted to that with one lane in each direction until the northern half of the bridge can be likewise demolished and rebuilt.

AGL expects the bridge to remain closed for about 24 hours. During the bridge closure caused by this accident, AGL is urging eastbound motorists on Fox to take the I-35 service road to SH 121 business, and U-Turn there to the northbound frontage road and back to Fox Avenue. Westbound Fox Avenue traffic is detoured along the northbound frontage road to FM 1171 / Main Street, to cross the main street bridge and come southbound on the service road back to Fox Avenue.

This is the second major closure to affect Fox Avenue in a little over a week. Last Monday, a suspected drunk driver struck a power pole near Fox and Centennial, closing that street and knocking out power to the neighborhood for most of the day.

The Lewisville Texan Journal will update this story if we learn of a change in status for the bridge.

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Keep Lewisville Beautiful hosts Trinity Trash Bash on November 14

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/11/10 8:37:53 (453 reads)

Open in new window
LHS JROTC Students dug up and pulled out a number of partially buried or submerged shopping carts in an area near Timber Creek during 2013's Trinity Trash Bash. (Photo by Marcelo Maristan)
Submitted Report

Hoping to raise awareness and appreciation of the Trinity River, Lewisville Lake, and their respective shorelines, Keep Lewisville Beautiful (KLB), the City of Lewisville, LLELA, and Kayak Power are teaming up to host KLB’s 23rd annual Trinity Trash Bash (TTB) waterway clean up. As part of a regional effort, KLB’s Trinity Trash Bash will be held on Saturday, November 14 from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Lake Park Catfish Picnic Area. Multiple volunteer opportunities are available, including shoreline clean ups, creek clean ups, and a guided kayak cleanup of the Trinity River. A free educational expo and Texas Arbor Day celebration will also be held onsite. For more information or to register your group...

KLB is currently looking for both volunteers and sponsors for this event. All individuals and groups are welcome to join in the effort to help make a difference in our community. All ages and communities are welcome. Groups will be assigned locations and supplies to clean on the day of the event. All tools will be provided by KLB. Shirts, door prizes, and goodie bags will be given away to volunteers after the cleanup on a first come first served basis. Trophy prizes for groups who collect the most trash, and weirdest item will be awarded. Please wear long sleeves, pants, and sturdy tennis or hiking shoes.

Current event sponsors and donors include: The City of Lewisville, Waste Management, Bahama Buck’s, Texas New Mexico Power Company, Dale Downing CPA, The Trinity River Environmental Education Society, Bass Pro Shop, Trinity River Kayak Company, Kayak Power, with more being added every day!

In 2014, over 400 KLB volunteers showed outstanding community spirit by removing 6.6 TONS of trash out of Lewisville creeks, streams, shoreline, canals, and Lewisville Lake.

All ages are welcome; cleanup sites are determined by group size and ages to ensure a fun and safe event! To register for this event, please contact the KLB office at 972-538-5949 or email Participants can also register online.

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Cinderella "Stuns"

Blogs and Columns
Posted by Pmoulard87 on 2015/11/9 19:05:40 (624 reads)

By Philip MoulardOpen in new window

There you are, a very excited four year old child sitting in the audience, waiting as patiently as possible and wondering about the upcoming performance. Your eyes are wide in anticipation, fixated on the dark stage in front of you. The lights dim and the Lewisville High School Orchestra plays the first notes to the Overture. The music changes and the lights dim even further. The entire auditorium is now completely dark. Suddenly the stage is illuminated and the scene opens with a regal gentleman perched atop boxes. The man begins to sing. He is then joined by many people dressed in strange clothes who approach the stage from the audience. You look around and witness the lines of them singing and dancing right in front of you. You are so overcome with wonder and joy, all you can do is smile.

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Lewisville finishes football season with 37-17 loss to Plano

Posted by MikeIbanez on 2015/11/7 13:09:01 (541 reads)

Open in new window
Lewisville senior QB Aubreion Bobb (15) holds up an “L” for Lewisville after throwing a touchdown pass against Hebron earlier this season
(Photo by Anthony Mazur)
By Mike Ibanez

MURPHY -- On a Friday in which most attention was given to late-season playoff races involving shiny new schools in emerging DFW suburbs, two bastions of high school football excellence slugged it out one more time with little more than pride on the line.

Lewisville closed out its 2015 campaign with a 37-17 loss to Plano. The two schools have fielded football teams for over 100 years, combined for nine state championships, and ultimately ceded talented personnel to newer schools as their respective districts have expanded.

The loss dropped Lewisville to 4-6 overall, matching last season’s record. The Farmers (3-5 in District 6-6A), who were playing for a postseason berth a week ago, closed the season on a three-game losing streak. Plano improved to 4-6 overall, 2-6 in district play.

The play of Plano running back Brandon Stephens even hearkened back to a previous era, when huge rushing totals dominated over flashy passing statistics. The option has given way to the wildcat formation, ironically, and the senior running back rushed for 212 yards on the night. Most of the Stanford commit’s yardage was gained from the wildcat, where he lined up behind center and took direct snaps before navigating upfield.

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Water tower to get revamp

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/11/7 1:40:00 (1210 reads)

Open in new window
Elevated tank #3, as viewed from The Flower Mound through a zoom lens (LTJ Photo)

By Ken Judkins

Lewisville’s largest water storage tank will be getting a new makeover. Over the next several months, the city water tower located near the intersection of Valley and 3040, formally known as Elevated Tank No. 3, will undergo a major repainting project.

The J.R. Stelzer Company from Lincoln, Nebraska was selected from a pool of eight companies that bid on the endeavor. The project was awarded to the company at the October 5 meeting of the Lewisville City Council.

This project will consist of a complete inspection of the 2.5 million gallon water tower both inside and out, along with any needed repairs. This will be followed by a complete repainting of both the interior and exterior of the tank. The Lewisville city logo will also be repainted on the outside of the tank as a part of the project.

The contractor was given notice to proceed on the project the first week in November. The contract was awarded for a total of $1,562,212.05.

According to Assistant City Manager Steve Bacchus, no other similar projects are scheduled in Lewisville for at least the next two years.

Scheduled completion for the project is July 2016.

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Print Edition - 11/07/2015

Print Editions of LTJ
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/11/7 1:30:00 (335 reads)

Open in new windowHere is the November 7 edition of The Lewisville Texan Journal:

You can find free copies at any of these locations.

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Voters approve Lewisville Bond Propositions

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/11/7 0:50:00 (341 reads)

Open in new window
Voters wait in line on election day at the Lewisville Municipal Annex (Photo by Winston Edmondson)

By Steve Southwell

Lewisville voters approved all four of the city’s bond propositions Tuesday. Propositions 1, 2, and 3 passed easily, but proposition 4 passed by the thinnest of margins. There were 3,645 voters in the election, held along with the Texas constitutional proposition election.

Proposition 1, which provides $71.6 million for streets, thoroughfares, sidewalks, and bridges passed with 70.44% of the vote.

Proposition 2, providing $39.9 million for parks and recreation facilities, including a new multi-generational recreation center passed with 61.02% of the vote. The recreation center will include both of the current buildings housing the Senior Activity Center and the recreation center.

Proposition 3, which provides $10.5 million for improvements and construction on public safety facilities passed with 78.82% of the vote. The money will fund a second-floor addition to the police department building for administration, and the relocation of Fire Station #3 from Corporate and SH 121 to the Edmonds/ FM 3040 area. This will also fund the completion of the emergency operations center build-out of the City Hall basement. Currently the EOC is at Central Fire Station.

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Updated: Quigley guilty of capital murder

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/11/6 20:40:00 (2615 reads)

Open in new windowBy Steve Southwell
(Updated 11/7/2015)

One of the two men arrested for the murder of Richard Lee Myles in a Lewisville apartment complex this April was convicted Friday for capital murder. Adrian Quigley, 23, of The Colony was sentenced to an automatic life sentence. The trial lasted five days, but it took the jury just two and a half hours to find Quigley guilty.

The shooting, which occurred on April 7, this year is believed to have resulted from a drug deal turned into a robbery. Quigley, and another man - Demico Stanley, were allegedly at the victim’s apartment ostensibly to sell him a half pound of marijuana, but ended up shooting him multiple times in the chest and abdomen, and fleeing with both the drugs and his money.

In our story on this from April, we noted that Quigley told police that Stanley was the trigger man, and that he had shot Myles when Myles reached below the kitchen sink to access money to pay for the sale.

Denton County felony prosecutor Michael Graves said that he believes Stanley was the shooter, and that Quigley did not have a gun on him that day, and may not have even known that Stanley would shoot Myles. But Graves said prosecutors did believe that the two were there specifically to rob Myles. Myles’ safe was found open and empty, and witnesses saw Quigley leave with a green lunch bag that Myles was known to carry his money and weed in.

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Lake and River Update

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/11/5 8:13:01 (974 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowBy Steve Southwell

As of 6:45 this morning, Lewisville Lake was at 523.23 feet elevation, or 1.23 feet above full conservation pool. Recent rains have added about a foot to the lake's level. The US Army Corps of Engineers opened the flood gates mid-day Monday, and as of last check, were releasing about 2,742 cubic feet per second (CFS). The flood pool is 11% full.

Fishing and camping areas at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) just south of the dam were flooded once again. Some trails were also affected.

The US Geological Survey shows the Elm Fork Trinity River near the SH 121 Business bridge to be flowing at 3,230 CFS. Normal flow this time of year is about 200 CFS. The river's gauge shows the level about 14 feet higher than Monday.

Further downstream, the Elm Fork near Carrollton Dam is at 7.06 feet, which is action stage. Flood stage begins at 8 feet, but it is currently expected to crest at 7.10 feet.

Most of North Texas, including Denton County, is under a flash flood watch through midnight tonight, due to saturated soils and locally heavy rains forecast for today. The National Weather Service predicts average rainfall of 1-2" for most of Denton County.

The Corps is likely keeping a close eye on the storms, as well as the inflows to the Elm Fork, and would close Lewisville flood gates if that discharge contributed to any flooding downstream. They do try to drain any water in excess of the 522 foot conservation level, so that the lake has available capacity to take on runoff from upstream rains, and prevent flooding downstream.

As always, The Lewisville Texan Journal recommends using caution near rivers, streams, and low-lying during the flash flood watch. Be prepared to get to higher ground should a flood warning be issued. Never try to cross moving water in a vehicle, as it only takes a small amount to sweep a car off a roadway.

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