Lewisville Police squad car fitted with license plate cameras.(Photo by Steve Southwell)
by R Neil Ferguson
A current discussion via the City of Lewisville’s Facebook page centers around the question of license plate data retention from police car plate scanners. Current retention is 731 days (just shy of two years). The LTJ Editor, Steve Southwell, had posted this comment to the Facebook page: “Tell me what a reasonable time period is. 2 years is not. 14 days should be plenty for police to determine whether a crime has been committed. Really, what use would it be to know that 6 months ago, the car involved in a crime was seen driving down Main Street, along with thousands of others? I wouldn't be in favor of keeping that 99.8% of data for innocent folks sitting around waiting to be hacked into. If they want to store "hits" longer than the minimum, I could live with that.”
I intend to answer that question. I will begin with some real and some likely scenarios.
A particular car is used in a string of crimes over many months: rape, robbery, gang activity, car theft ring, name something. This is not an uncommon scenario. Prior police reports have a general description, but you only have to watch TV news to see how those can vary. Some people aren't even sure if it was blue, black or dark green, much less the make, model and year. But a general description is logged in hopes that a future match may occur. This has always been part of good, old-fashioned police work.
However, none of the information is sufficiently adequate to immediately identify the specific vehicle at the time of each crime. A newly-committed crime, this one within the last two weeks, does include a license plate. There is reason to believe the MO matches that of previous crimes, but that is not sufficient evidence for a charge.
Lewisville ISD Place 6 Trustee Mike McDaniel withdrew from his bid for re-election Tuesday, LTJ has confirmed.
McDaniel is currently serving his third term. He served on the School Board from 1998 - 2004, and was elected again in 2011.
McDaniel explained that his daughter, who is training to become a teacher, is currently doing her student-teaching in Frisco ISD, and she would like to come home after graduation and work in Lewisville ISD.
Because of state nepotism laws, McDaniel says that even if he were to quit today, it would be two years before his daughter can apply with the district. If he were to win another term, it would be at least five years.
"We would love to have her closer to home," explained McDaniel.
So, at least for the moment, Kristi Hassett will be running unopposed for the place 6 seat, unless another candidate files before the filing period closes.
Lewisville Police Department provided the following information in the Police Chief's Weekly Update:
Resident Catches Burglars On Wednesday, February 12th, a resident in the 1100 block of Meriwood Drive arrived at his residence and found two suspects inside. They appeared to be in the process of burglarizing his home. The suspects fled the home and police were called. Before officers arrived, the resident located a third suspect hiding in a bedroom closet. The resident held that suspect until police arrived. Upon their arrival, officers arrested the suspect for burglary of a habitation.
Detectives Gibbins and Fisher were assigned to investigate the offense. The victim recognized the suspects as clients at his place of business. That afternoon, the detectives made contact with two additional suspects that were also arrested for burglary of a habitation. Most of the stolen property has been recovered and released to the victim. Detectives continue to investigate the crime.
Stolen Vehicle Recovered after Pursuit During the early morning hours on Thursday, February 13th, a resident in the 1100 block of Elmwood heard someone breaking into his van. The suspects fled when the owner turned on the lights inside of his residence. Officers were contacted and they began checking the area for the suspects. Officer Slavens noticed a van and a car driving in the neighborhood. Officer Slavens relayed this information to Officer Stilwell, who was also in the area.
Officer Stilwell located and attempted to stop the van; however, the driver of the van refused to stop and a short pursuit ensued. Officer Stilwell discontinued the pursuit and soon found the van abandoned in the neighborhood. Officers determined that this van had been stolen. It is believed that the occupants were likely responsible for trying to steal the other van on Elmwood. Officers were not able to locate the suspects after they fled. This case remains under investigation.
Lewisville ISD shared information about an incident that happened at LHS Harmon 9th and 10th grade campus Tuesday:
The Lewisville High School Harmon (LHS Harmon) 9th- and 10th-grade campus was put on precautionary lockdown around 1:30 p.m. this afternoon following a threat that was texted to a student. The student immediately notified the campus principal who activated the lockdown. The campus' School Resource Officer was on scene and within 15 minutes, the source of the threat was identified and it was determined to be a hoax. The suspect has been taken in to Lewisville Police Department custody and classes have resumed a normal school schedule. Student safety is of the highest priority. We commend LHS Harmon students and staff for their efforts to keep the building a secure learning environment.
The photo at right was collected from Twitter. (Our redaction)
Grand prize winning cellist Emily Chung will be featured in concert Friday(Submitted Photo)
In their upcoming concert, the Lewisville Lake Symphony will feature the super-talented winner of their recent Vernell Gregg Young Artists Competition. Cellist Emily Chung won out over twelve finalists to be named the grand prize winner. Ms. Chung receives a $1,000 scholarship and is awarded the opportunity to perform with the all-professional Lewisville Lake Symphony. She will play the Concerto No. 1 in A minor by Saint-Saens, known for its lyrical beauty and its demanding technical displays.
The concert takes place at the MCL Grand in Old Town Lewisville on Friday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. There is plenty of parking around the Grand; most is on the City Hall side of the arts complex.
Tickets can be booked online at www.lewisvillesymphony.org and are $25 for Adults, $20 for Seniors and $10 for Students. For additional program details see the symphony’s website.
The program will also include “The Hebrides Overture”, also known as “Fingal’s Cave”, a colorful work by Felix Mendelssohn who was immediately inspired to write the piece after a visit to the Hebrides Islands off the coast of Scotland. “Prelude to Act III of La Traviata” by Verdi and Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin” will complete the program.
Is the United States inevitably on the path to Hillaryland?
The big debate is on as it becomes clear that despite GOPers' and Fox News' continued clamor about Benghazi, Clinton is riding high in polls that match her up against Democrats and Republicans. According to a McClatchy-Marist poll, the former Secretary of State would today handily beat all of her potential Republican challengers, with Rep. Paul Ryan giving her the toughest run (52 percent to 44 percent). Among Democrats, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll gives her a six to one lead over potential party competitors.
So this means you can throw away your new crystal ball? Not quite. If doing well in early polls and looking like a front-runner was a certainty then we would have had President Edwin Muskie, President John Connally, President Rudi Guiliani - and President Hillary Clinton. Amid growing Democratic consensus about Hillary and a circular firing squad in the GOP, Republicans are going after her.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been hammering former President Bill Clinton's "predatory behavior" with Monica Lewinsky, and saying while it isn't Hillary's fault, "it's sometimes hard to separate one from the other" -- an argument bound to insult many women voters. Some conservative talkers now gleefully echo Paul. Republican National Committee chairman Rance Priebus says "everything is on the table" to use against Hillary Clinton, including a "truckload" of negative material.
Here’s a move that I just can’t understand: The Dallas City Council put its water supply at risk by allowing the Seaway Pipeline, which will carry heavy tar sands oil, to pass through a piece of property that Dallas Water Utilities owns, and has water pipelines on. Don’t worry though: They got paid $1,600. All better now. I’m sure that any accident with the oil pipeline won’t cost any more than that. Dallas Water Utilities supplies treated and untreated water to the City of Lewisville.
This is an interesting article about Attorney General Greg Abbott prosecuting voter fraud. It seems some right-wing types were zealous about special taxing districts, and decided to claim voter registrations at a hotel so that they could legally vote themselves onto the directors of a road utility district that had been put together by developers and was in use to fund infrastructure for a business area.
Ted Nugent is a dirtbag draft-dodger, racist, and misogynist who in the past has made statements about affairs with underage girls. But Greg Abbott is traveling with him, and the two will be in Denton today. If you want to know someone’s values, pay less attention to the words they say, and more attention to what they do. Abbott talks a game about family values, and going after predators, but he’s hanging out with one today - showing that politics is really more important to him.
Kraig Parker will be performing at Sounds of Lewisville this June 3rd. Here's some video of Kraig from last year:
By Jason Stanford Sandy Kress, the controversial testing lobbyist, is leading a new raid on school taxes. This month he registered to lobby for Amplify, the company that wants to replace textbooks with tablet computers, positioning him to grab some of the hundreds of millions of dollars Education Sec. Arne Duncan is offering to create pre-K tests. Despite a nationwide backlash against high-stakes testing, your tax dollars are now going to developing standardized tests for 4-year-olds, and Kress is ready to cash in.
Kress was the architect of No Child Left Behind who then lobbyied for Pearson Education while simultaneously serving on several state advisory boards. Kress became so unpopular amid an anti-testing rebellion in Texas that the legislature made it illegal for him or any other testing lobbyist to make campaign contributions. Even registered sex offenders can give politicians money in Texas.
But now the Obama administration is pushing a new and (pardon the pun) untested theory that we can use student scores to measure teacher effectiveness. To compete for Race to the Top funds, states have to figure out how to use standardized test scores to measure the effectiveness of teachers, something education historian Diane Ravitch has called "junk science".
There are basic problems with using student scores to judge teachers. The tests don't measure classroom learning, school funding is unequal. Stress caused by high-stakes testing impairs thinking. Using test scores to judge teachers encourages teaching to the test. But for Duncan, the real problem was that there is no way to determine the effectiveness of a kindergarten teacher if that's the first year students take standardized tests.