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2016/5/4 - Property tax appraisals delivered, home values up again
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2016/5/2 - Early voting ends Tuesday in LISD, city elections
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2016/4/30 - Art Review - "Just Bury It"
2016/4/29 - TEA Responds to Lewisville ISD on STAAR test issue
2016/4/29 - Lewisville police ask residents to report non-working street lights
2016/4/28 - Ozone Season Brings Heightened Air Quality Awareness
2016/4/28 - North Texas Blvd bridge demolition this weekend
2016/4/28 - DCTA to conduct mock disaster drill with Lewisville
2016/4/28 - Visual Art League update
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2016/4/23 - Pets of the week
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2016/4/23 - Paws in the Park adoption event Saturday, Apr. 23
2016/4/23 - Lake Park won't be open for Memorial Day weekend
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Denton County Opens New Jail Facility

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/1/9 7:46:42 (1322 reads)

Open in new windowDENTON - This Wednesday, Sheriff Will Travis, Sheriff’s Office Officials, Judge Mary Horn, County Commissioners, and State Representatives cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new 364 bed building at Denton County Jail. The ceremony was followed by tours of the new facility that allowed citizens to see how the new facility will operate.

The ceremony marks the culmination of ten years planning and work on the part of the Sheriff’s Office. The building will supply an additional 192 beds to the Denton County Jail Facility as well as additional medical facilities and special needs housing. Further renovation projects for older buildings are planned for the future.

On hand were Representatives Tan Parker and Myra Crownover, Judge Mary Horn, Commissioner’s Court members, Hugh Coleman, Bobbie Mitchell, and Andy Eads. Representatives from the offices of Representative Ron Simmons, Congressman Michael Burgess, and Senator Jane Nelson also attended and presented flags.

Sheriff Travis said, “I want to thank everyone who worked so hard on this project, not only on the building of the facility, but on the planning and coordination as well. Without them, this would not have been possible.”

From a submitted report. Photo courtesy Denton County Sheriff's Office

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Cartoon - Charlie Hebdo

Miscellaneous
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/1/7 15:22:14 (3837 reads)

Open in new window

Cartoon by David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star


The Lewisville Texan Journal supports freedom of expression, and believes that violence is never the proper response to speech that one finds offensive. We believe that satire and ridicule play an important part in political expression, and the free exchange of ideas. We have been known to write some doozies from time to time as well. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those murdered in the terrorist attack in Paris against the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine.

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Drive-In Theater in the Works for Lewisville

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/1/6 23:40:00 (32038 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowBy Steve Southwell

The Lewisville City Council Monday night unanimously approved a special use permit for a drive-in theater to be located on the eastern side of town. Coyote Drive-In opened a successful drive-in theater in Fort Worth in 2013, and is expanding to this side of the Metroplex with a five-screen, 35 acre complex on the southeast corner of Holford’s Prairie and Midway Road. (For those not familiar with the location, it’s close to SH 121 Business and Fish Hatchery Road.)

Drive-in theaters were popular in the 1950s and 60s when they were at their peak, but have seen a revival in recent years, in part due to nostalgia of older patrons, as well as novelty for younger patrons. The concept, for those unfamiliar, is that you drive your car in, and park on one of several rows of embankments around the screen. Visitors will be given an FM radio frequency to tune their car radios to for the audio to the specific movie shown. Movies are projected on a huge outdoor screen, and viewers watch the movie through their car’s windshield. Visitors don’t have to remain in their cars though; Coyote allows viewers to bring lawn chairs and sit in front of their vehicles. Viewers without cars may choose to rent a speaker and sit on the lawn area in front of the screen.

The facility’s five Selby movie screens will each show separate double-features every night, with showtimes staggered, but beginning 15 minutes after sundown. A 10,000 square foot restaurant will offer fast casual dining options, and will be open each night two hours before showtime. Amenities include a central open-air pavilion with seating. There will be a kids play area, and beer garden. TVs and live music will entertain visitors before the features begin.

Coyote Drive-In says it is “reinventing the nostalgic drive-in theater with advanced technology and upscale amenities for a lively, family oriented entertainment venue.” Currently planned pricing is $8 per person, ages 11 and up, and $6 per child, ages 4-10. Children 3 and under are free. Admission includes a double-feature. Outside food and beverages (including alcohol) are not allowed. Beer and wine will be available for purchase in the restaurant.

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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 (1979 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 (12171 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

Open in new windowUpdate 2/17/2015:
The Lewisville City Council received an update Monday night from AGL about the status of the FM 407 interchange construction, which will be delayed from the earlier planned dates.

Here are the current estimated dates:
- April, 2015: 407 bridge will be shut down for traffic. Western side of the 407 bridge will be demolished, while I-35 traffic continues to flow in both directions beneath the eastern side of the bridge.

- April - June, 2015: Crews will remove the western embankment for the bridge, and bring the southbound service road straight through. Until the service road is completed, traffic will flow freely around the current intersection without the current red light. The new southbound main lane bridge will be completed over the future 407 underpass.

- June - October, 2015: After the new southbound main lane bridge is completed, all I-35E traffic (north and southbound) will be diverted to it. The current main lanes on the eastern side will be demolished, as will the other half of the FM 407 bridge.

- October - December, 2015: Crews will begin constructing the new 407 underpass beneath I-35E. At this time, temporary pavement will allow one lane in each direction, allowing FM 407 to flow beneath I-35E.

- Early - Mid 2016: By this time, I-35E northbound main lane bridge should be completed, and traffic moved to it, such that I-35E is flowing in its final configuration over FM 407. FM 407 traffic will be moved to the north side beneath the bridge and continue to flow one lane in each direction while construction is begun on the future eastbound lanes of 407.

- Summer, 2016: Interchange construction complete!



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 (2081 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 (2452 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 (2685 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 (1454 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 (1839 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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