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Recent News and Opinion
2014/11/25 - Updated: Lewisville Police Report Several Armed Robberies Over the...
2014/11/23 - Matthew Grimm to Perform in Lewisville on Sunday, November 30th
2014/11/23 - Sunday Morning Update - Friendsgiving Edition
2014/11/23 - 3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Irving
2014/11/22 - Recycling Rates, Participation Improve with Lewisville's New ...
2014/11/22 - State Unveils New Healthy Texas Women Website
2014/11/22 - Energy Grid Operator ERCOT Offers Mobile Energy Saver App
2014/11/22 - Upcoming Events Around Lewisville and the Surrounding Area
2014/11/18 - Woman Mugged at Gunpoint Sunday Night at Lewisville Grocery Store
2014/11/16 - Lewisville Prepares for Winter Weather with New Equipment
2014/11/14 - Lewisville to Host Pro Watercross Tour at Lake Park in Summer 2015
2014/11/12 - Car Crashes into Lewisville Home
2014/11/12 - Holiday Stroll Planned in Old Town Lewisville on December 6th
2014/11/11 - Thanks to Veterans
2014/11/10 - LISD Superintendent Dr. Waddell Announces January Retirement
2014/11/9 - Happy Birthday, Marines!
2014/11/8 - Lewisville PD Launches Mobile App and Texting to Receive Tips
2014/11/8 - FBI Seeks Public Help Finding "L.A. Bandit" Serial Bank ...
2014/11/7 - City Council Meeting Video - 11/3/2014
2014/11/7 - Free Yoga for Cancer Patients at Medical Center of Lewisville
2014/11/7 - Upcoming Events Around Lewisville and the Surrounding Area
2014/11/6 - State Health Department: Ebola Monitoring to End
2014/11/6 - Winter is Coming!
2014/11/5 - Q&A with Lewisville PD on Gangs
2014/11/5 - Election Results for November 4th, 2014
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Updated: Lewisville Police Report Several Armed Robberies Over the Weekend

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/11/25 1:00:00 (1553 reads)

Open in new windowLewisville Police reported that they responded to several armed robberies over the past weekend, at least two of which they said were similar. Arrests were made of suspects who committed robberies in both Lewisville and Flower Mound. The following information comes from the police department and a review of radio traffic recordings.

Saturday, 4:23 p.m. - Cigarettes 4 Less - 1640 S. Highway 121 Business
The clerk said that a man entered the store and selected merchandise, attempting to pay with a credit card. The clerk asked for identification from the man, but the name on the ID did not match the name on the credit card. The man agreed to leave his identification with the clerk while he went to get the credit card owner. Approximately ten minutes later, the man returned and displayed a small black handgun, asking for all of the money in the register and the clerk’s cell phone. The robber fled with the cell phone and an undisclosed amount of money. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate him. Police continue to investigate this offense. The robber was described as skinny white man in glasses, about 20 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

Open in new windowOpen in new window
Update - 11/26/2014:
Two suspects are charged in this crime, after being caught in a robbery in Flower Mound on the same day. David Michael Miller, 17, of Lewisville and Kanon Morgan Van Guilder of Flower Mound are charged with robbery and credit card abuse, and both remain in Denton County Jail. Miller's bond is set at $29,000 on all charges, and Van Guilder's bond is set at $20,000 for the Flower Mound robbery, and not yet set in the Lewisville robbery.

Denton Record Chronicle has more on this story.


Saturday, 9:11 p.m. - Oak Forest Apartments - 1531 S. 121 Business
A woman stated that she was approached by two men as she parked her vehicle in the apartment complex parking lot. She stated that one of the men displayed a black handgun and demanded her purse and cell phone. The victim complied and the robbers fled the area on foot. The victim stated both men were black, and between 5 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet, 10 inches tall, possibly wearing hooded sweatshirts. Responding officers checked the area with a canine, who initially led them to several upstairs units in the complex. After making contact with occupants in those units, police were unable to locate anyone matching the description. The victim’s purse was later recovered along I-35 East in Dallas.

Sunday, 4:00 a.m. - La Quinta Inn - 1657 S. I-35 E - Near Corporate and Southwest Parkway
Officer Fernandez observed an occupied vehicle in the parking lot of the Sun Suites hotel on Corporate Drive. The male occupants said they had just been robbed. They told police that as they were leaving their hotel at the La Quinta, they were approached by a black man about 5 feet 10 inches wearing dark colored sweats and a hooded sweatshirt. They said the robber displayed a handgun and demanded their wallets and cell phones. One victim complied by giving the robber his belongings. The suspect then fled down an exterior hallway and out of sight. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the robber. Radio traffic indicates the victims may have been under the influence of a substance at the time, and were at the location to connect with a “woman” they met online.

Other
The Lewisville Texan Journal did hear radio traffic related to another incident, but does not have enough information to share at this time. We'll update the story if we learn more about any of these crimes.

Anyone with information about any of these robberies is urged to contact Lewisville Police at 972.219.8477 or through any of the other methods available.

There was also an armed robbery in Flower Mound on Saturday afternoon. Police there have two suspects in custody. (See update above)

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Matthew Grimm to Perform in Lewisville on Sunday, November 30th

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/11/23 13:40:00 (166 reads)

Open in new windowSinger-songwriter and musical storyteller extraordinaire Matthew Grimm will be performing a house concert in Lewisville on Sunday, November 30th. Grimm is the former lead singer of The Hangdogs, a roots rock band from New York City. He has recorded three albums since the band broke up in 2004, and released “Songs in the Key of Your Face” in 2013, which Ken Judkins reviewed here for The Lewisville Texan Journal. These days, Grimm writes and travels around with his guitar. Grimm came to Lewisville last year around this time, and put on a great show.

What: Matthew Grimm House Concert
When: Sunday, 11/30/2014 - 7 p.m.
Who: Any music lover may attend*
Cost: Suggested $20 per person
Bring: Lawn chair, your beverage of choice (alcohol is okay), and a dish or snack to share if you want.
Where: Location is a non-smoking private residence in Lewisville. Details provided upon RSVP.
RSVP: Please contact Ken by email at kjudkins@verizon.net or by phone at 214-766-2614

Grimm will have CDs available for purchase.

* Grimm’s songs sometimes contain profanity or frankly address topics that may be of a political or adult nature. This show is not recommended for young children, sensitive ears, or conservative Republicans.

Here are a few examples of some of Grimm’s songs:

Real Americans

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Sunday Morning Update - Friendsgiving Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/11/23 12:30:00 (228 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOnce again, it's been a couple weeks since we posted an update with links. They've piled up lately.

On Thursday, we will celebrate Thanksgiving, but in the days before, celebrate Friendsgiving. We appreciate all of our friends here at LTJ; especially those who have taken the time to chip in a few bucks. It's that time of year when a whole bunch of bills come due for hosting, domain names, and so forth, so we really appreciate that you've helped us just about hit our goal.

I've been busy lately reading up on Texas local government laws and election laws, trying to get some background before Lewisville's Charter Review committee gets under way in January. I'll be on that committee. I don't really have a change agenda in mind, and am not 100% sold on anything at this point, but I am concerned about how our city government continues to operate in a unified way once Castle Hills is annexed, and the remainder of growth happens on the east side of town. Single member council districts are an option, if we want, but they do carry their own problems, so I'm trying to think outside the box and figure out a way that every area of the city can have proportional representation, and decisions can continue to be made for the benefit of the city as a whole. I have spent some time studying the way other cities do things, and I've probably picked up more in the way of what not to do. We have it pretty good here, and I hope to keep it that way.

I am interested in any input anyone has on this, one way or the other.

Lewisville is the rated as the 15th most-connected city in the United States, and the 77th fastest-growing city.

Speaking of growth, 4,000 apartments will be coming to Castle Hills.

Lewisville’s Blue Ribbon Bond Committee has been meeting frequently to consider the city’s backlog of capital projects, and how they can be funded. The city's remaining bond authority is expired, so with all this growth coming on, we can either allow our infrastructure to deteriorate more while we save our pennies up to do these projects years from now, or we can float bonds and enjoy the improvements and increases in property value sooner. Another plus with bonds is that in a growth situation, you are letting the new residents share in the cost of the infrastructure you are having to build to accommodate them.

Here is the latest 35Express update newsletter.

Speaking of I-35, here is Lewisville’s I-35 Corridor plan. It's about 30mb. Here is a shorter presentation.

The Denton Record Chronicle has an article about the plaza under construction in Old Town. The City Council just voted to name the whole thing The Wayne Ferguson Plaza. On Facebook, however, the Dirt Pile thinks it should be called Dirt Pile Park.

Here is a nice article about Verland “Scott” Johansen, who was shot and killed in Lewisville in September for no good reason.

Richardson ISD has a separate 9th grade campus for their high school, but is thinking about undoing that and moving the ninth graders back into the high school.

Denton is getting sued over its voter-passed ban on hydraulic fracturing. The suit is expected, but we will have to see what the courts say about Denton’s right to ban the practice.

Calendars for LISD for 2015/16 school year.

Lewisville firefighters recently rescued a dog stuck in a drain.

Flower Mound basketball player Lauren Cox is the #1 recruit in the nation.

Here’s an interesting article about Oncor wanting to install batteries in the power grid.

Burnt Orange Report has a nice little graph showing how Texans really voted in the general election earlier this month.

Some people just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the difference between fact and fantasy, science and quackery.

Chronic Pot Smoking Associated With Reduced Gray Matter, But Increased Connections

Lewisville resident Patrick Booth is participating in the World Race, visiting 11 countries in 11 months. The World Race is a mission trip where participants abandon their worldly possessions and go out to help others. We wish Patrick safe travels, and will check in on him from time to time.

Creepy new musical instrument: the Yaybahar

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicted over the 2010 Big Branch coal mine disaster.

LISD Superintendent Dr. Steve Waddell went to the National Connected Superintendents Summit at the White House.

Speaking of Dr. Waddell, the Denton Record Chronicle has a nice story about his upcoming retirement, and LISDs search for a new superintendent.

For the first time, a prosecutor will go to jail for wrongly convicting an innocent man.

Vista Ridge Mall is not in great financial shape, according to this Dallas Morning News article. Along with Collin Creek Mall in Plano, it could end up going back to the lenders. Collin Creek is in worse shape than Vista Ridge though, according to the article.

A Lewisville company was awarded $23.6 million in a patent infringement case against Apple. What do you think? Innovators who deserve to be compensated, or patent trolls cashing in on obvious ideas that were not worthy of patents to begin with?

Income inequality is getting worse. The United States is going into a new gilded age. To be clear, nobody is calling for an equal distribution of income, but what is bad for the economy and bad for America is a system where hard work and innovation is not rewarded to the same extent as being born rich, or being a Wall Street parasite. Upward mobility is limited, and we are becoming a plutocracy. The best illustration I can think of is the old joke: “A CEO, a manager, and a union worker are sitting at a table, and there is a box of a dozen Twinkies. The CEO immediately grabs 11 of the Twinkies, and tells the manager: ‘You better watch out for that union guy; he wants half of your Twinkie!’”

Idiocy. US Rep Michael Burgess (R, Lewisville) would like the EPA to hear more from paid representatives of polluters, and less from actual peer-reviewed scientists.

The Lewisville High School student council is once again sponsoring its Adopt-an-Angel program. Needy students from schools throughout LISD are identified by counselors, and each student has a few things they need or want - like clothing and a toy or two. You can adopt one of these students and wrap up a gift for them to return to LHS by 12/10 for delivery to the students on 12/11. You can view the list of students and their wish lists, and choose one to adopt here.

Lewisville ISD would like residents to fill out a survey to help it figure out what should be in an LISD graduate profile. This profile will define the most important skills, attitudes and habits of mind that students will have when they graduate from LISD schools.

The City of Lewisville has just updated the Western Days Facebook page with a plethora of performance videos, and is continuing to add more.

Veterans who have to wait more than 30 days for care at a VA facility can now get Choice Cards that may allow them to receive care from private providers at VA expense.

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3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Irving

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/11/23 10:19:59 (89 reads)

According to the US Geological Survey, a 3.3 magnitude earthquake shook Irving Saturday night at about 9:15 p.m. The quake was at a depth of about 1.8 miles below the surface.

Commenters on The Lewisville Texan Journal's Facebook page, and those of other news sources said that some Lewisville residents could feel it.

The USGS "Did you Feel It?" web page for this event shows responses from as far away as Fort Worth, Decatur, and McKinney, as well as several responses from Lewisville.

Many have suggested that the drastic increase in the frequency of earthquakes in North Texas could be related to gas drilling and wastewater disposal activity. Though we have no way to tie a specific quake to that activity, we do note that we looked up the nearest gas well to the epicenter of this quake, and the bore hole is approximately 1.8 miles away, while the lateral runs in the opposite direction away from the epicenter.

There was 2.3 magnitude earthquake in Irving earlier this month.

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Recycling Rates, Participation Improve with Lewisville's New Trash Plan

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/11/22 12:34:52 (233 reads)

Open in new windowSince service changes were implemented in August that included once-a-week garbage collection and larger wheeled recycling carts, the recycling participation rate among Lewisville residences has increased 18 percent and the diversion rate, which compares tonnage recycled to total waste stream tonnage, has nearly doubled.

In late July, Waste Management delivered 96-gallon carts for trash and 96-gallon carts with a yellow lid for recycling in front of each residence. All services were moved to once-a-week, and collection routes were changed to improve efficiency. Trash, recycling, bulky waste and yard waste now are all collected on the same day for each residential route.

One goal of the changes was to increase participation in curbside recycling, and early results show that has happened. The monthly average participation for the first six months of this year was 56 percent; in October, it was 66 percent. The diversion rate in July was 11 percent of all waste, compared to 19 percent in October.

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State Unveils New Healthy Texas Women Website

Miscellaneous
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/11/22 12:14:19 (100 reads)

Open in new windowAUSTIN – State Senator Jane Nelson, Representative Jim Keffer and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek, M.D., earlier this month unveiled Healthy Texas Women, a new one-stop hub created to help women connect with family planning programs and other state services.

"Texas supports many health care programs and services for women, and this new website brings all those services in one place," Janek said. "We're incredibly grateful for the support Senator Nelson, Representative Keffer and other state leaders have devoted to this project."

The new site, www.healthytexaswomen.com, is available in English and Spanish. Visitors to Healthy Texas Women can “pick, submit and connect” to find information on available options for everything from general health care to breast and cervical cancer screening, pregnancy testing to prenatal care, and smoking cessation to mental health treatment.

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Energy Grid Operator ERCOT Offers Mobile Energy Saver App

Miscellaneous
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/11/22 11:59:49 (128 reads)

Open in new windowThe Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reminds consumers that access to real-time electric grid and market conditions is as close as most mobile devices.

The free ERCOT Energy Saver mobile app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, was updated recently to improve access to information about electricity demand, generation and available reserves, updated in five-minute intervals.

“We appreciate the growing interest in the electric grid that handles about 90 percent of the electricity used in Texas, and we are pleased to continue improving this mobile app and other communication tools to help keep consumers informed,” said ERCOT Corporate Communications Director Theresa Gage.

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Upcoming Events Around Lewisville and the Surrounding Area

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/11/22 11:39:03 (286 reads)

Open in new windowAs always, there are a ton of events coming up in Lewisville and the surrounding cities. Here are some selected events that you may find interesting.

Thanksgiving Closures:
The City of Lewisville offices are closed Thursday and Friday.
The Town of Flower Mound offices are closed Thursday and Friday.
(Emergency services are always open)
Lewisville ISD is closed all week.
Denton County Transportation Authority: No service Thursday, modified service Friday.
Denton County Offices are closed Thursday and Friday
Mental Floss has a list of retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving.

Art Exhibit: VAL’s “Toyland” runs through Dec. 27
Members of the Visual Art League of Lewisville will display their works during their “Toyland” exhibit, running through Dec. 27 at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles Street. Admission is free. The exhibit, available for viewing Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. and during public performance at MCL Grand, will donate pieces to the Ronald McDonald House at the end of the run.

Thursday, November 27th: Community Thanksgiving Dinner
First United Methodist Church in Lewisville is hosting its 10th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner in the Community Room at FUMC - 907 W Main Street; Lewisville. For more information call 972-436-2533 or visit http://www.firstlewisville.org/ .

Saturday, November 29th and Sunday November 30th - LakeCities Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker” with Lewisville Lake Symphony
This show is a perennial crowd-pleaser often sells out. It will be performed November 29th and 30th at Marcus High School (5707 Morriss Rd, Flower Mound, TX 75028) For tickets and Info...

Monday, December 1st: Texas Tribune: A Conversation With Reps. Myra Crownover, Tan Parker and Ron Simmons
The Texas Tribune will have a conversation with state Reps. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, and Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, at Texas Woman's University in Denton. Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith will moderate this preview of the 84th legislative session, followed by an audience Q&A. Lunch will be served at 11:30, and the conversation is from noon to 1 p.m. Location is Texas Woman's University, Hubbard Hall - Banquet Room; 303 Administration Drive; Denton, TX 76204. Free parking is available. For more information and to RSVP...

Tuesday, December 2nd: Our Village Glows
Our Village Glows, a festive community event organized by the Highland Village Women’s Club, is a 14-year tradition and features the lighting of a 60-foot Christmas tree. The celebration features activities for the entire family including horse-drawn carriage rides, face painting, cookie decorating, ornament making, and a visit from Santa Claus, all while choirs from Highland Village schools serenade guests. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Shops of Highland Village.

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Woman Mugged at Gunpoint Sunday Night at Lewisville Grocery Store

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/11/18 0:30:00 (6472 reads)

Open in new windowLewisville Police reported that a woman was mugged Sunday night at gunpoint:

On November 16, 2014, at approximately 8:35 p.m., a 34 year-old female was robbed as she returned to her vehicle in the parking lot of a grocery store in the 1000 block of West Main Street. The victim stated a suspect approached her, displayed a gun and demanded all of her money. The victim stated the suspect then ran to a silver vehicle and fled the area. The victim immediately called 911 and call-takers relayed the suspect information to officers in the area.

Officers Jose Montoya and John Reid were in the area on another call. The officers saw a vehicle that matched the description of the one used in the robbery. The officers noticed the driver also matched the description provided by the victim. They stopped the vehicle in the 700 block of Old Orchard and contacted the occupants of the vehicle.

The victim was able to identify the person who robbed her in the parking lot. Officers arrested a 17 year-old for Aggravated Robbery. The 20 year-old driver of the car was also arrested for Aggravated Robbery and Driving While Intoxicated. Both defendants were transported to the Lewisville City Jail and booked for their offenses.


Open in new windowOpen in new windowThe suspects are Lai Ram Thang (17) - top right and Sui Lian Thang (20) - bottom right. Sui Lian's rap sheet shows at least 8 prior arrests in Denton County since 2012. He is currently held in Lewisville City Jail in lieu of $30,000 bond on charges of aggravated robbery and DWI with open container. Lai Ram had a bond amount of $10,000 as of Sunday night, and is no longer shown in custody with Lewisville or the Denton County Sheriff at this time.

Update 11/21/2014:
- Sui Lian Thang is still held in Denton County Jail, but his bond has been increased to $34,004. He is also being held on a charge related to striking an unattended vehicle in August.

In addition to the above, his prior arrests include three for public intoxication, one for trespassing, one for harassment of a public servant, three for evading arrest, and one for possession of marijuana.

Under the Texas Penal Code, his current charge of Aggravated Robbery is a first degree felony punishable by prison time of 5 years to life, and a $10,000 fine.

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Lewisville Prepares for Winter Weather with New Equipment

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/11/16 22:10:00 (621 reads)

Open in new window
Edmonds Lane at Valley View during Icepocalypse 2013 - Several inches of ice built up on the roads during that several-days-long event. (Photo by Steve Southwell)
By Steve Southwell

New plows and sand spreaders enhance the city's ice removal capabilities, but the city stands by its position that state roads are TxDOT responsibility.

Last year, in Early December, North Texas suffered several days of ice and snow that we called “Icepocalypse 2013” that made roads treacherous and in some cases impassable. LISD dismissed classes, and the City of Lewisville cancelled its Old Town Holiday Stroll event. Over a period from Thursday, December 5th, 2013 - Monday, December 9th, 2013, Lewisville first responders dealt with 10 major vehicle crashes, 72 minor vehicle crashes, 131 disabled vehicles, and 138 traffic hazards.

Roads were covered with ice that was only sanded, and not plowed off, so slush formed and refroze each night. The City did have one snow plow attachment which it ran on one of its trucks, but that unfortunately could not get to each of the city’s thoroughfares.


Lewisville's Snow and Ice Removal Equipment
2013: (Icepocalypse)
1 snow plow
6 sand spreaders

2014: (Current)
3 snow plows
7 sand spreaders


2014: (Soon)
5 snow plows
7 sand spreaders
The economic impact of that event is hard to estimate, but many Lewisville residents stayed home from work due to the roads, and in order to deal with kids who could not go to school. The lost productivity from that event as well as the economic damages due to wrecks and injuries likely eclipse any savings from foregoing the purchase of snow removal equipment for the City.

Lewisville Public Works Manager David Stocks says that the city recently replaced three of the city’s old sand spreaders with new ones, and added one small spreader to make a total of 7 sand spreaders.

“We also added snow plow attachments to 4 truck orders that were scheduled for replacement,” said Stocks, noting that two of the attachments were for dump trucks and two were for smaller service trucks. “Two of those trucks have arrived and are in service, and the remaining two are expected within a few weeks,” Stocks added.

Both the snow plow attachments and sand spreaders are able to be installed on vehicles that are used throughout the year for other public works usage. Stocks said that once an ice storm or snow is forecast, the plows are attached and the spreaders are loaded into the trucks. Public Services Director Carole Bassinger says that the City of Lewisville stockpiles sand at all times.

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