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Storms Moving South
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Spring Cleanup 2014 (2014/4/12)
Spring Cleanup 2014
Recent News and Opinion
2014/4/22 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Tracy Scott Miller for LISD ...
2014/4/21 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Kristi Hassett for LISD Boar...
2014/4/19 - Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th, 18th, 19th
2014/4/18 - Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post
2014/4/17 - Video: Trustee Candidates at LTJ/Parents4LISD Student Voter Forum
2014/4/17 - Board Tours LISD Westside Aquatic Center
2014/4/13 - LTJ, Parents4LISD to Host Student Voter Forum April 15th
2014/4/13 - Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition
2014/4/11 - City-wide Spring Cleanup Set for Saturday, April 26th
2014/4/11 - Sheriff's Office Warns About Bogus Warrant Calls
2014/4/9 - Updated: FBI Announces Arrests in Child Sex Trafficking Cases
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Woman Wins Big on Price is Right 8,000th Episode
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Implements Year-Round Water Restrictions
2014/4/5 - Flower Mound to Use Social Media to Warn About Traffic Enforcement
2014/4/5 - Friends of the Library Host Book Sale Saturday and Sunday
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Buys Land Previously Proposed as Gas Drilling Site
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with Free Beer
2014/3/31 - Annual Charity Art Gala Scheduled for April 18th
2014/3/29 - Saturday Morning Update
2014/3/26 - Video: 35Express Project Holds Community Meeting in Lewisville
2014/3/24 - Old Town Resident Opens Little Free Library
2014/3/23 - LISD School Board Meeting Notes - March 17th, 2014
2014/3/18 - Economic Development Agreement Reached for Three Restaurants to Se...
2014/3/13 - Thursday Night Update
2014/3/8 - Dutch Oven Cookers Share Food, Fellowship, and Fun
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Power Conservation Requested for Monday Morning

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/3/2 20:15:46 (1664 reads)

Open in new windowConsumers asked to conserve electricity Monday morning

AUSTIN, TX, March 2, 2014, 7 p.m. – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of Texas, is asking electric consumers to limit their electric use as much as possible on Monday morning, March 3.

“The cold weather and accompanying wind that has spread across the region today is expected to result in high electric demand for tomorrow’s peak,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT director of System Operations. “Based on the level of generation supplies that we expect to be available, we are asking consumers throughout the ERCOT region to reduce their electricity use as much as possible Monday morning.”

Consumers can help ensure the system is able to continue serving current power needs by taking the following steps to reduce demand Monday morning:

- Keep your thermostat as low as is comfortable, preferably no higher than 68 degrees.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid running large appliances, such as washers, dryers and electric ovens.
- Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
- Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.

“We have asked all available generation units to be prepared for tomorrow morning’s demand, but we believe conservation by consumers also will be necessary to help maintain overall reliability during this extreme winter weather,” said Woodfin.

From a submitted report

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Sunday Afternoon Update - Texas Independence Day Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/3/2 13:37:15 (1826 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 windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowToday is Texas Independence Day. On March 2nd, 1836, Texas declared independence from Mexico. In honor of Texas Independence Day, we hoisted the Texas flag here at the house, cooked a pot of Texas Red last night, and drank a couple of Shiners. You might say we’re just a little proud of being born in Texas, but we thank our lucky Lone Star that Texas joined the United States of America. You can learn more about the brief history of Texas independence here.

Light Guv candidate Dan Patrick was being accused of having hired undocumented workers. If only something could take the attention off it. Oh yeah, how about after the court ruling this past week overturning Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage, Patrick tweeted "MARRIAGE= ONE MAN & ONE MAN. Enough of these activist judges. FAVORITE if you agree. I know the silent majority out there is with us!"

I’ve generally considered Texas Tribune to be a decent and reliable source of news in Texas, and from time to time we re-publish their stories. We have even at times considered going non-profit to follow their model. But they've been getting some criticism for taking money from big donors who have an interest in avoiding bad coverage. The criticisms there do cause me to reflect on our own operation and how we might avoid that kind of bias. Even if you take money completely out of the equation, it is easy to find yourself thinking twice before publishing something derogatory about a newsmaker who provides you with access and information.

We recently had a big conversation on the City of Lewisville Facebook group regarding license plate recognition systems, and specifically the storage of data in them. Councilman Neil Ferguson wrote a response, which we posted here. I wanted to share with you the article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the national database. I would just say that I’m wary about there being too much storage of that information, and the potential for abuse. The information collected definitely is useful in law enforcement; I don’t dispute that. It loses utility the longer you keep it. At some point, the usefulness crosses below a point where it outweighs the potential for abuse. I don’t know where that point is, but I hope that Lewisville Police Department and others will keep that in mind when determining how much data to keep.

This is some interesting drama: Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs bought a condo in Dallas for some reason, and is involved in a lawsuit because he refuses to return a $175,000 piece of art that was in the unit. He bought the unit as-is, and without an inspection, but is holding the art hostage over what he considers to be defects in the unit.

I am not sure if this is a first or not, but Denton County Commissioners actually voted to recommend the TCEQ say “NO” to a proposed special utility district near Aubrey.

The University of North Texas has hired auditors to look into revenue shortages and budgetary inaccuracies. Three top finance officials recently resigned.

One Ale of a Trail 5 mile trail run is Saturday, April 26th at LLELA. It’s the same day as the Keep Lewisville Beautiful Spring Cleanup. LTJ will have a cleanup team for the latter.

As you know, the Lewisville City Council as well as surrounding cities took steps to reduce the availability of e-cigarettes to minors. This NPR article discusses the rationale (or lack thereof) for banning their usage. For what it’s worth, I don’t feel there is enough evidence of harm from second-hand vapor to justify any bans. But property owners are free to do as they wish for their own establishments.

Here is something that gets me: We left-leaning folks genuinely believe in the process of science, and we think science should not only be taught in schools, but should shape public policy. We poke fun at idiots like Joe Barton, and the people who want to teach creationism as if it’s a scientific theory with equal footing as evolution. Yet, so many of our lefties also are willing to set aside discernment and jump on all sorts of bandwagons where the science is either non-existent, or has been totally ignored. A lot of folks are familiar with the Facebook page “I Fu**ing Love Science”, but do you know about “I fu**ing hate pseudoscience”? I recommend that everyone who professes to love science follow both - especially the latter.

Speaking of pseudoscience, this article blasts Whole Foods as America’s Temple of Pseudoscience.

Scientists found a crystal that has been dated to 4.4 billion years old - the oldest known rock ever found, and only 100 million years younger than the formation of the Earth itself

The Myth Behind Public School Failure: how good schools + bad math = the appearance of bad schools. Privatizers are more than willing to cash in on the mistake.

NPR has a very good graph of taxation and spending in the United States over four decades - showing you proportionately how much is spent on what over time, and where the pay-for is coming from.

Inequality in America is now worse than on the TV show Downton Abbey, says Brett Arends in his article for Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch.

If a gas well blows up in your neighborhood, you had better hope it was Chevron’s well, because then you might get a free pizza out of the ordeal.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson lives on a luxury estate in Denton County near Bartonville. He has joined a lawsuit against the Cross Timbers Water Supply Corp., which is building a water tower near his home. The lawsuit claims it will be an eyesore and hurt his property value, which is the main BS argument. What had gas drilling opponents fuming, and asserting hypocrisy was the suit’s assertion that the tower could be used to supply drilling operations, and that would result in a lot of truck traffic. Here is an open letter to Tillerson from a former oil company executive who now fights against the industry’s practice of “fracking” or hydraulic fracture stimulation.

FM 1171 from Shiloh Road in Flower Mound, all the way to I-35W will be widened from two lanes to a six-lane divided thoroughfare.

Being originally from Waco, I enjoy drinking Big Red. I especially like Big Red vanilla ice cream floats. Here is a list of 10 things you may not know about Big Red.

Lewisville ISD is not happy with progress on the new natatorium, which is behind schedule.

Here is a website about the study of passenger rail service between Texas and Oklahoma.

Ag Commish Todd Staples stopped in Lewisville the other day to spew some butthurt over the gay marriage ruling.

Brendan Hartman of Lewisville received a full-tuition scholarship to Centenary College of Louisiana.

Flower Mound will not have a city election this year because none of their candidates drew opponents. This could work to the disadvantage of Flower Mound candidates in the LISD races. Those candidates usually have an advantage because of Flower Mound’s high voter turnout.

A secret tunnel was found under a drug kingpin’s bathtub. I’ve always wanted a secret tunnel, but I’m not sure where it would lead to.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Excuse me if I’m appalled at the negative reaction to this sculpture by some folks who think Jesus wouldn’t be a ‘vagrant’.

The big international story right now comes out of Ukraine, where citizens ousted the Russian-affiliated leader, and Russian troops have now occupied Crimea. President Obama warned that there would be a price for Russia’s actions there. Here is a map that can help you understand the situation, and here is an article that explains some of the history behind Ukraine, Russia, and Crimea. It’s not a clear-cut situation of Russia invading because they just want it. Russia clearly has some interests to protect, but we should be concerned about the unilateral nature of their actions. I’m not sure their motives are entirely summed up by what they have stated. Nevertheless, the US has confronted them about it, and when two nuclear superpowers have words like, it concerns me greatly.

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North Texas Prepares for Winter Storm

Weather
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/3/1 22:17:58 (1697 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowAfter a beautiful sunny Saturday, temperatures are expected to drop quickly in the early hours Sunday morning, and frozen precipitation will fall on North Texas. North Texas is under a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY Sunday from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Here is the current National Weather Service Update:

Most of the region will likely see some freezing rain and/or sleet Sunday and Sunday evening. Accumulations are more likely north and northwest of a line from Killeen to Palestine. Total ice accumulations are expected to be less than a tenth of an inch. Total sleet accumulations are expected to be less than half an inch. Sleet accumulations closer to half an inch are more likely to occur within isolated afternoon thunderstorms. The highest accumulations within the region are expected in areas east and northeast of a Gainesville to Canton line. If higher accumulations are expected in this area, a winter storm warning may be needed.

The greatest impacts due to sleet and ice on Sunday will occur north of a Breckenridge to DFW to Emory line. Hazardous travel conditions are expected in this area. Many bridges, overpasses, and secondary roads will likely be icy and some main roads may also become icy. In addition, any sleet will also result in hazardous road conditions. South of this area but north of a Comanche to Palestine line, ice and sleet will likely cause bridges and overpasses to ice. Roadways will largely remain free of ice, but slick spots will likely still form on roadways. Travel could become hazardous. Across our far southern counties, some freezing rain or sleet may occur that could result in slick spots on bridges and overpasses. Roadways are expected to remain free of ice.

There is uncertainty about the extent of Sunday's winter weather and the potential impacts. Here is what we know as well as some unknowns that could alter the eventual impacts.

An arctic cold front will move through North and Central Texas on Sunday with temperatures falling rapidly behind the front. The front should move through the DFW metroplex before daybreak, through Waco before mid morning, and through Killeen and Temple before 11 AM.

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Drug Store Robber Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Probation

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/2/27 23:30:00 (1752 reads)

Open in new windowThe man who robbed pharmacies in Lewisville and Flower Mound at gunpoint last August could have received up to 20 years in prison, but instead was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication and probation. But the robber, Daniel Khan of Lewisville, who was just 22 years old at the time of the crime, will not be on the streets soon, and will have to adhere to some pretty strict terms of probation, or risk going to prison.

On August 13th, Khan robbed a CVS pharmacy in Lewisville - not for money, but for drugs. Again on August 25th, Khan held up a Walgreens in Flower Mound, demanding oxycodone and other drugs. A witness provided Flower Mound police with a license plate, and he was arrested at his home on Vista View in Lewisville. Chilling surveillance video from the Lewisville robbery showed a nervous Khan waving the handgun around.

We wanted to understand why the perpetrator of a crime that could have turned out so badly could end up with just probation in the case, so we reached out to attorney Richard Gladden, who practices criminal law in Denton. Gladden wasn’t involved in this case, but has some experience with cases of this nature.

Gladden reviewed the plea bargain agreements and the orders we obtained in the case, and explained that in exchange for a guilty plea, Judge Margaret Barnes ordered deferred adjudication in the case, which effectively sets a bargain that if Khan can meet the terms of a stringent probation for 10 years, the 2nd degree felony charges would be dropped, and Khan could avoid prison. The deal was likely offered due to him having little or no criminal history, and because his crime was related to a drug problem. The probation terms include participation in an SAFP (Substance Abuse Felony Punishment) program.

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Police Chief's Weekly Update and Warrant Roundup Information

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/2/24 18:19:23 (2047 reads)

Open in new windowThe Lewisville Police Department provided the following updates in the Chief's Weekly Update for the week of 2/17/2014 - 2/23/2014:

Bicycle Officers Make Drug Arrest
On Tuesday, February 18th, Officers Martinez and Clements were patrolling a parking lot in the 2100 block of South State Highway 121 (Business). The officers observed two people sitting in a parked car and approached the car on foot to investigate. Officer Martinez shined his flashlight in the car and observed a plastic baggie with what appeared to be “crack” cocaine in the lap of the driver. The officers removed the occupants and conducted a search. Officers completed a field test of the substance that they recovered from the plastic baggie on the driver’s lap. It tested positive for the presence of cocaine. The driver was arrested for manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group one (over 1 gram, but under 4 grams).

Fleeing Driver Arrested for DWI and Evading Detention
On Saturday, February 22nd, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Officer Montoya was monitoring northbound traffic on Interstate 35E. Officer Montoya, who was stopped off of the roadway, observed a vehicle approaching him from behind. It appeared as though the approaching vehicle was going to hit his car but it swerved away from Montoya’s patrol car as it passed. Officer Montoya checked the vehicle’s speed on radar at 73 in a 60 mph zone. Officer Montoya followed the vehicle and observed several driving factors that would indicate the driver was possibly intoxicated. The vehicle exited the highway at Fox Avenue and Officer Montoya attempted to stop the driver. The driver continued driving for some distance, ultimately stopping in the 400 block of High School Drive. The driver got out of the vehicle and refused to comply with the officer’s commands. He then fled on foot from the officer. Officer Montoya did not give chase as there were other people in the car. Officers set up a perimeter and searched for the fleeing driver. Sergeant Porter located the suspect and he was arrested after being identified by Officer Montoya. The driver had a suspended driver’s license and a warrant for another DWI. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and evading detention.

Burglary Suspect Identified by DNA
On April 12, 2011, a citizen reported a burglary of their home in the 1500 block of Juniper Lane. The victim called officers back the next day after discovering blood evidence in their home that had been previously overlooked. Criminal Investigations Section Sergeant Mike Wragg and Crime Scene Technician Veronica Simpson responded to the residence and collected the blood evidence. The evidence was then sent to the crime lab for analysis and entry into CODIS.

On January 14, 2014, the Lewisville Police Department received a confirmation that this burglary case had the same suspect as two offenses in Denton. During the third week of February, we received notice from the crime lab that a suspect has been identified. The case has been assigned to Detective Hinson who is currently working with investigators from the Denton Police Department to locate and apprehend the suspect.

Warrant Roundup
Beginning March 1st, 2014, the Lewisville Police Department will participate in the Great Texas Warrant Roundup. Over 250 police agencies will make an effort to arrest people with outstanding warrants for various offenses. If you've received a traffic ticket and not taken care of it, you may have a warrant out for your arrest, and you could be picked up at home or at work. Check this list to see if you have an active warrant for your arrest. If you do, then you need to contact the Lewisville Municipal Court as soon as possible to make arrangements to pay your fine.

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See the Dallas Stars Play for $10, and Help LHS PTSA Provide Scholarships

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/2/23 20:15:47 (1599 reads)

Want to see the Dallas Stars play for just $10 per ticket? Want to help provide scholarships for graduating seniors this year? The LHS PTSA has a deal for you. Please visit http://bit.ly/1aIoBSz to buy your tickets before Friday, February 28th, and they will mail them to you. Hope we see you there! Grab them quick before they run out.Open in new window

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By the Company You Keep

Blogs and Columns
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/2/21 8:40:00 (1660 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowBy Amy Long-Manuel

People are trying to be so careful not to use the racist word these days. Folks seem afraid to call someone a racist, even when the person goes above and beyond to prove deserving of the term.

I’m not afraid to call Ted Nugent a racist, a sexist, and a predator. Greg Abbott is a racist for choosing Ted Nugent to promote his candidacy for governor.

Here are a few Ted Nugent direct quotes:

"Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters have a president to destroy America," — Nov. 2012

“…I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.”— Jul. 2012

On Feminism:
"What's a feminist? Some fat pig who doesn't get it often enough?"— Jan. 2012

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License Plate Scanners Stir a Discussion

Blogs and Columns
Posted by RNeil on 2014/2/20 19:00:00 (1400 reads)

Open in new window
Lewisville Police squad car fitted with license plate cameras. (Photo by Steve Southwell)
Open in new window

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.

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Mayor Pro Tem Vaughn Delivers State of the City Address

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/2/19 20:40:00 (1240 reads)

Open in new window
Lewisville Mayor Pro Tem Leroy Vaughn delivers 2014 State of the City Address (Photo via City of Lewisville)
Tuesday, the leaders of Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Lewisville attended a Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce Lunch, and delivered "State of the City" addresses.

Lewisville Mayor Pro Tem Leroy Vaughn delivered this year's address once again, since Mayor Dean Ueckert was unable to attend.

Here is the full text of Vaughn's presentation:

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McDaniel Withdraws from Re-Election Bid for LISD Board

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/2/19 13:04:13 (1318 reads)

Open in new windowLewisville 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.

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