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Bielicke found guilty of murder

Blogs and Columns
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/2/2 12:00:00 (272 reads)

Open in new windowBy ADAM SCHRADER

A Denton County jury has delivered a first degree murder verdict with a 65-year prison sentence to Lewisville resident Stephen Bielicke. He was responsible for the shooting death of Flower Mound resident Verland Johansen, who was 65. The men did not know each other.

Lewisville police responded around 10:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2014 to calls of a drive-by shooting in the 200 block of South Stemmons Freeway.

Johansen, who was unarmed, was driving northbound on the service road while Bielicke shot at him. He was hit, lost control of his car and hit a highway guardrail. Bielicke fled the scene.

Johansen was taken to Medical Center of Lewisville. He was later flown by CareFlite to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. He died there.

The altercation began earlier in the night.

Bielicke had visited convenience stores to call and threaten his ex-wife.

Johansen was inside the QuikTrip near SH 121 and Main St. when Bielicke walked in and started a confrontation. Johansen left, but Bielicke followed while shooting at him.

Bielicke stopped twice at the 7-Eleven store at Corporate Dr. and SH 121 Business, once before the shooting, and once afterward. On the second visit he yelled at a woman in the store, and showed his pistol.

An employee took down his license plate number as he left the scene.

Officers ran the information and found Bielicke at his home. After receiving search warrants, police found the gun and shell casings matching those found on the highway and the gun.

The Denton County District Attorney's office credited assistant district attorneys Paul Hiemke and Rick Daniel, investigator Joe Erwin and the Lewisville Police Department for the successful prosecution.

Steve Southwell contributed to this report. Mugshot photo via Denton County Sheriff's Office

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Farmers lose to Flower Mound, but may still snag playoff spot

Blogs and Columns
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/1/28 16:43:45 (511 reads)


Lewisville Boys Basketball hoped move towards snagging a playoff spot Tuesday in a close game against Flower Mound. Unfortunately, Farmers fans left disappointed after the team suffered through a game-changing final three minutes.

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Lewisville’s Trenton Sandifer (33) looks to catch a rebound in the game against Flower Mound. (Photo by Anthony Mazur)

Lewisville Head Coach Gary Collier said the team now won’t be able to tell if it will make the playoffs until the end of the season.

“We just got to keep playing every game, one game at a time,” Collier said. “All wins are big. We need every win from here on out.”

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Lewisville liquor stores compared

Blogs and Columns
Posted by Pmoulard87 on 2016/1/23 16:34:27 (1093 reads)

By Philip Moulard

Usually we have the honor of enjoying great local food at Lewisville restaurants and writing reviews in an effort to make valid recommendations for your local dining experiences. Today we tackle the local adult beverage store scene and provide comparisons for local shoppers.
We recently visited six Lewisville liquor stores to contrast prices and layouts. We chose three different brands of four spirits: whiskey, rum, gin, vodka and domestic beer. Of course, we made sure to include locally owned Nue vodka, and Witherspoon spirits in our store comparison. All spirits were the 750 ml. products, and the beer were in 12 packs of 12 oz. bottles.

Disclaimer: All price data was collected on January, 8 2016. Current prices may differ from prices posted.

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Castle Spirits - 150, 2540 King Arthur Blvd
Located in the Castle Hills Village’s Shopping center, Castle Spirits is one of the more upscale liquor stores in Lewisville. Hardwood floors, beautiful archways and very personal service are what you should expect in this higher-end store. Prices on average reflect that sophistication, albeit less than you would expect.

Whiskey -
Jack Daniels- $28.99
Fireball- $19.59
Witherspoon Bourbon- $49.99
Witherspoon River Rum- Not in stock
Captain Morgan Spiced Rum- $18.99
Bacardi Gold- $18.99
Beefeater- $26.99
New Amsterdam- $18.99
Nue- $16.99
Greygoose- $35.99
Taaka- $9.29
Bud Light- $14.99
Coors Light- $15.99
Shiner Bock- $16.99

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Lewisville Diner Favorites

Blogs and Columns
Posted by Pmoulard87 on 2016/1/4 20:27:25 (960 reads)

By Philip Moulard
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While Lewisville may be a larger city of 100,000 people, there is no denying its small town feel. It is not uncommon to run into an acquaintance while shopping at one of our grocery stores. Luckily for us, Lewisville is only a small town in the figurative sense and is home to a handful of restaurants willing to make you that chicken-fried steak just like your grandmother used to make. After having the pleasure to dine in these establishments, here is my list of the top five that Lewisville has to offer.

5. Korner Cafe, 921 W. Main Street
Driving westbound on Main Street, it would be difficult to ignore Korner Cafe’s eye catching sign and off-kilter architecture. Once inside however, its simple booth layouts and visible kitchen area channels the metropolitan diners of decades gone by. The nostalgic touches also carry into Korner Cafe’s menu which includes breakfast staples ranging from French toast to eggs Benedict. As eclectic as Korner Cafe’s menu is, the results are a bit reserved. The menu is vast and their approach is more focused on the visual preparation, however there are a few standout gems including their salmon Benedict and the slow-cooked beef sirloin tips. Also, it is hard to not be impressed by many of the dishes when you consider the prices. The 101 Omelettes may be very simple, consisting of just eggs and cheese, but priced at $4.99, it is hard to beat. If you are looking for a comfortable diner atmosphere, incredibly competitive prices, and a menu that could satisfy most any craving, Korner Cafe is easy to recommend.

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How to thrive in the workplace in 2016

Blogs and Columns
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/1/2 7:36:57 (627 reads)

Open in new windowBy Martha Germann
CEO, Mindful Games Institute -

Now that 2015 is just a year you used to know, what are you hoping for 2016?

When imagining the coming New Year at your job and the work environment, it may seem hard not to be anxious or worried, especially if you listen to the pundits on the news. Or you may be resigned to the fact that 2016 will be pretty close to what 2015 was like.

But with the New Year comes the opportunity to relook at what can be possible and choose to thrive instead of just survive.

Here are five ways that you can begin to thrive at work in 2016:

1. Create meaningful goals for yourself

There was a year when the performance goals I was given was a total shift from the enjoyable projects I was working on the year before. In essence, they were not goals that I would have created for myself or was excited about doing and at first glance, my year look filled with drudgery.

Many of you may feel you are in this same spot. But don’t get stuck in that mindset.

We thrive when we feel like we are contributing to something meaningful. When we are doing something that has meaning to us, we are more engaged, creative and productive.

What had me shift my experience from one of surviving to thriving was creating my own personal goal that was meaningful for me that my given performance goals would be a contribution.

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My Year In Review

Blogs and Columns
Posted by Pmoulard87 on 2015/12/26 15:46:14 (616 reads)

By Philip Moulard

This year has been life changing for me. It seems like yesterday I was sitting at my desk at my data-entry job, opening up Blogger for the first time and writing my first food review. Little did I know at the time those words would take me to festivals, restaurants, symphonies, ballets, and art galleries, and lead to me meeting plenty of amazing people. We are at the final days of the year and I cannot help but reminisce about the places and events that truly left an impression on me. So here are my personal favorite events and places I encountered this year.

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Most Memorable Concert: Lynyrd Skynyrd at Western Days
Growing up in southern Louisiana, the music I heard was eclectic. While the many zydeco bands heard at festivals still linger in my head as an adult, perhaps the fondest memories I have are the long road trips to my grandparents house listening to classic rock radio. It was ritualistic that as we drove down those scenic Louisiana roads, passing up many plantations and old cotton mills, we would hear iconic rock from the '60s and '70s. While I still hold an appreciation to all those artists, the one band that stuck with me the most was Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now, I cannot say that I am the biggest fan of their discography, but driving past False River Lake and hearing “That Smell” and the joy that my parents and I had as we sung it together is a memory that I will take with me to my grave. As a result, there was nothing more awe inspiring for me this year, than getting on that stage platform and being a few feet from Lynyrd Skynyrd as they played “Give Me Three Steps” and looking out onto an ocean of fans who likely all shared memories as personal as mine.

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Veteran Finds Water Photography Therapeutic For Her PTSD

Blogs and Columns
Posted by Pmoulard87 on 2015/12/23 0:44:33 (429 reads)

By Philip Moulard

Ernest Hemingway once said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Local Lewisville photographic artist Corrinda Raine is a living testament to Mr. Hemingway’s words.
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Born in Fountain Valley, California in 1978, Raine started her journey early. She joined the United States Coast Guard at age 18, and spent the following 16 years of her life as an operations specialist. During her time in the service, she unfortunately experienced many traumatic events.
As a result, Raine was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She tried conventional methods of therapy, all to no avail. In 2012, Raine made the decision to relocate to Texas so her children could be near family who also lived in the state. It was around this time Raine started to explore the work of water photographic artists such as Howard Schatz and Elena Kalis. These artists inspired her to begin to create her own art.

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Movie Review: Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine

Blogs and Columns
Posted by DougLane on 2015/12/18 21:30:00 (395 reads)

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Open in new window
Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine (February 2015)
Directed by Michele Josue
Review: 8/10

Open in new window By Doug Lane

Being that we’re about a week from Christmas, you might be asking yourself why I’m deciding to review a documentary that came out in February? Aside from the obvious ‘you-probably-haven’t-seen-it’ answer, I feel that “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” harshly reminds us to remember how truly lucky we are to live day-to-day, surrounded by people we love. Matt Shepard was a friend to a lot of people, and unfortunately for them, he resides only in memories.

In case you are not aware, Matthew Shepard was a 22 year old who was brutally beaten to death by two homophobic assailants in Laramie, Wyoming. His death caused uproar in the LGBT community in the late 1990s. The world mourned Matt’s unnecessary loss, but also elevated him to martyr status, using his death as a catalyst for promoting and establishing equality in the United States. As time went on and Matt’s tragic end was heard all around the country, Matt as a human ceded to Matt as a symbol. Certainly, the change that came from his death was great, but Matt Shepard was more than just a death; he had a full 22 years of life before his end that is rich with memories from friends and family.

Director Michele Josue, who personally knew Matt from their time at boarding school together, attempts to disconnect Matt from his symbolic linking and paint a fuller picture. She states at the film’s beginning that the even though it’s been many years since Matt died, “I miss my friend, and I'm not ready to let him go. And that's why I'm making this film: because if the world knows our Matt, the real Matt, I know it won't be able to let him go either.” And indeed, she does a decent job separating the ‘real’ Matt from the ‘symbol’ Matt during the first half of the film, recounting the ups-and-downs of this man learning the world, his place in it, and what the future held in store for him.

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US Army Corps of Engineers provides information on Lewisville Dam

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/12/17 0:08:23 (534 reads)

We are still working on a story including information provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers about Lewisville Dam during a press conference on Wednesday. We wanted to at least get this press release posted in the mean time:

Open in new windowThe US Army Corps of Engineers fired back at a recent article by the Dallas Morning News, which they said in a Facebook post Monday was "inaccurate". Over the weekend, The Dallas Morning News published an article entitled “The Dam Called Trouble,” by special contributor George Getschow, a lecturer for the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. The piece explained some of the known deficiencies at the dam, such as seepage and embankment instability, but also painted a bleak picture of the consequences, should the dam fail.

Here was the Corps' written response Tuesday:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to operate DFW reservoirs as designed

FORT WORTH, Texas - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District flood risk management reservoirs are operating as designed and intended, and we are confident that they will continue to do so. That includes the Lewisville Lake Dam.

"Life safety is our main priority within the Army Corps of Engineers," said Col. Calvin Hudson II, commander, Fort Worth District. "Our Dam Safety Program seeks to ensure that Corps-managed and operated dams present minimized risks to life, property, and the environment. Dams are designed and built to reduce flood risk, but they cannot eliminate all risk."

While Lewisville Dam has some known dam safety issues, it is not at risk of failure. All Army Corps of Engineers dams have gone through an assessment, through the Corps' Dam Safety Program, and the Corps has identified short term fixes (called Interim Risk Reduction Measures) and long term fixes (through a Dam Safety Modification Study). The Fort Worth District has communicated this information to the public and to stakeholders through news releases, briefings, and public meetings on a continual basis.

This study at the Lewisville Dam will provide a solution to known seepage with potential for piping issues that were first identified by the Corps during the assessment in July 2005. We need to address these issues for the best possible solutions for rehabilitation. Lewisville is a well-designed and constructed dam, and it has been performing as designed. We're taking the necessary actions to make sure it continues in that mode.

Earlier this year, during the flood event in the May/June timeframe, many dams were put on a heightened monitoring status. At Lewisville Lake, the district's hourly surveillance team spotted a 161-foot-long slide on the upstream face of the embankment.

A $6.4 million contract has been awarded to repair the slide. The work is scheduled to begin on Jan. 4 and is scheduled for completion in May 2016.

"The reconstructed embankment will be protected by stone riprap on the upstream side and Bermuda grass sod on the downstream side," said Project Manager Mike Kingston. "As part of this effort, removal and replacement of a portion of the asphalt roadway and subgrade layers along the embankment crest will be required."

The six Upper Trinity River Basin Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex flood risk management reservoirs - Benbrook, Grapevine, Joe Pool, Lavon, Lewisville, and Ray Roberts Lakes--continue to capture flood water and then allow discharge of the water when safe to do so. Recent rain events over and since the Thanksgiving time period have resulted in the six lakes holding water in their flood pools. As of today the percentage of flood pool occupied is 59 percent for Benbrook and Joe Pool Lakes, 60 percent for Grapevine Lake, 80 percent for Lavon Lake, 69 percent for Lewisville Lake and 71 percent for Ray Roberts Lake.

These high pool levels have caused some damages to roads, recreational facilities and associated maintenance to the electrical and plumbing operations. High pool levels may also cause serious environmental impacts at many of the lakes.

The district's other 19 flood risk management reservoirs on the Red River, Brazos River, Colorado River, Trinity River and Guadalupe River Basins continue to operate as designed.

For additional information about our lake operations, please call the Fort Worth District's Public Affairs Office at 817-886-1306.

We did visit with the Corps of Engineers Wednesday, touring the affected area. We hope to have a story posted soon with some additional information from that.

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Food Reviews: Smashburger

Blogs and Columns
Posted by Pmoulard87 on 2015/12/8 14:50:00 (1104 reads)

By Philip Moulard
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At 10 a.m. on Friday, December 4, Smashburger opened the doors to its new Lewisville location on Main Street. Smashburger makes the second new chain restaurant to open in Lewisville in just two weeks. While everyone was excited to welcome the Tex-Mex restaurant Mattito’s with open arms, the thought of a new burger joint brought an entirely different level of excitement.

Where once mighty drive-through giants like McDonald’s and Burger King were the clear choice for anyone wanting a burger, within the past 10 years, a change has occurred and the more reserved fast-casual chains have taken the giants’ place. Fast-casual eateries offer a bit more relaxed atmosphere and comparable price while delivering a superior product to their fast-food cousins. This change in the industry has caused the old tried and true drive-through restaurants to step up their game. During the height of this change, fast-food veteran and renowned doctor of food science, Tom Ryan, decided to make a restaurant of his own, Smashburger. Having invented fast food staples as the McGriddles, Stuffed Crust Pizza, and Quiznos’s beef dip sauce, Ryan is no stranger to experimenting with flavors. Smashburger however, takes a much more organic approach to developing flavors than what Ryan is noted for by exchanging processed fast-food additives for fresh vegetables and meat while maintaining a dedication to perfecting flavors.

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