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2016/5/5 - Trigger man Stanley gets 75 years for Myles murder
2016/5/5 - Parent group calls for moratorium on STAAR tests
2016/5/5 - Residents hold 12-hour vigil at city hall for National Day of Prayer
2016/5/5 - Lewisville Area Chamber endorses police and fire district proposit...
2016/5/4 - Property tax appraisals delivered, home values up again
2016/5/2 - City Council passes resolution defending and supporting Lewisvill...
2016/5/2 - Early voting ends Tuesday in LISD, city elections
2016/5/2 - Positive West Nile test prompts Lewisville mosquito spraying for T...
2016/4/30 - Team effort required for emergency management during severe storms
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
2016/4/28 - Updated: Police investigate McGoys Marine for theft, announce town...
2016/4/27 - Video: Lewisville ISD candidates use forum to talk about issues, q...
2016/4/27 - Avanti Senior Living at Flower Mound to host welcome events with s...
2016/4/26 - Lewisville's emergency management team watches storms
2016/4/25 - Students to compete in Rotary speech contest
2016/4/25 - Journey to Dream to open shelter for homeless teens
2016/4/24 - Briefs for 4/24/2016
2016/4/23 - STAAR: All for the love of testing
2016/4/23 - Police department promotions, changes due to expected growth
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Trigger man Stanley gets 75 years for Myles murder

Blogs and Columns
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/5/5 22:12:31 (301 reads)

Open in new windowHis accomplice got life in prison without parole on a capital murder rap, but the man who actually pulled the trigger was found guilty of a lesser charge of murder, and sentenced to 75 years.

By STEVE SOUTHWELL

Monday, a Denton County jury sentenced Demico Stanley, 23, to 75 years in prison, after finding him guilty of murdering Richard Myles last year in Lewisville.

In November, Stanley’s accomplice Adrian Quigley, 23 of The Colony, was found guilty of capital murder in the same crime, receiving an automatic life sentence.

Both men had been charged with capital murder.

Denton County Assistant District Attorney Michael Graves told The Lewisville Texan Journal that the capital murder charge was due to the murder being combined with a robbery.

“We had additional witnesses on Quigley that were able to better prove the robbery part,” said Graves. “The murder part was never in question.”

“In Adrian Quigley’s trial, we had a person he had called the day before, and he was asking that person to go rob Richard [Myles], but that person said ‘no,’ and so that lent a lot more credence that this was a plan all along to rob [Myles].”

“Demico [Stanley] was just kind of along for the ride, and he was the gunman,” Graves explained. “We thought all along that it was just a robbery gone bad.”

Graves said that they were just unable to prove to this jury that there was a robbery as well.

“We respect the jury’s verdict. We realized we had an uphill battle with his case on the additional burden of proving robbery. We’re very glad they gave him 75 years; he’s a very violent man.”

Stanley did not testify in his own defense. He had given a statement to Lewisville Police that he had shot Myles in self-defense, but the jury didn’t buy that.

The shooting happened April 7, 2015. The two had gone to the Lewisville apartment of Richard Lee Myles, ostensibly to sell him a half pound of marijuana.

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Art Review - "Just Bury It"

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/4/30 4:14:10 (194 reads)

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By Melody Vaughan
By DAVID BEARDEN
makemarks@gmail.com

You rarely hear anyone exclaim their love for construction projects. Especially highway projects. Especially in their community. We tend to focus on the negative symptoms: increases in travel time, familiar commuter routes in constant flux, and heightened stress of those already short on time. Some remain selfish in their view of community improvement and expansion.

While many construction projects run far past proposed deadlines, and it seems the benefits will never come, it is not completely impossible to see through the present mess. That is the task of those with vision, challenged with allocating funds for expansion and beautification.

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Lithograph by Melody Vaughan
The collaborative action of planning, debating, changing, and approving ideas and plans requires a spectrum of input, a wide swath of opinion and expertise. The public is left to judge the manifestation of citywide projects with cultural concerns, personal squabble, neighborhood image, and a laundry list of filters by which to judge success.

Artists, on the other hand, as both a varied and specific demographic of the population, see the process differently. Not to say they don’t also share similar concerns, but with an added sensitivity for aesthetic context.

This is the case with Melody Vaughan, artist and printmaker from Nashville, TN. Melody is currently a Teaching Fellow and Masters of Fine Arts candidate at The University of North Texas in Denton. Her MFA exhibit, “Just Bury It,” is currently on display at the MCL Grand Theater Art Gallery through April 30.

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TEA Responds to Lewisville ISD on STAAR test issue

Blogs and Columns
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2016/4/29 17:10:00 (2578 reads)

Open in new windowBy Steve Southwell

As reported in The Lewisville Texan Journal last week
, Lewisville ISD's board of trustees recently approved an expense of up to $48,250 to re-score STAAR exam short-answers. The district had discovered a disproportionate number of student STAAR EOC results came back with zero scores even though the same students had scored well on other written portions of the test.

When the district sent a sample of 162 student exams back for rescoring, 13 percent of them came back with improved scores.

Lewisville ISD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers sent a strongly-worded letter to the Texas Education Agency requesting that TEA allow districts to view student answers and the questions they were given. The district also requested that TEA pay for the rescoring.

Late Friday afternoon, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath responded to Lewisville ISD and other concerned districts with the following letter, which does not address TEA paying for any rescoring, and denies the district's request to be provided with the student answers and questions:

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SUBJECT: Response to District Inquiries Regarding the 2015 STAAR EOC English I and English II Tests

The purpose of this email is to provide districts with a response to inquiries regarding the scoring of students’ short-answer written responses on the December 2015 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) end-of-course (EOC) English I and English II tests.

The December 2015 STAAR Constructed Response Scoring document at this link, provides districts with answers to some recently asked questions including information on the rescoring process and the training of constructed response scorers.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will not be able to provide districts with electronic images of students’ short-answer written responses. A contractual agreement with an author for one of the passages and plans to reuse at least one of the passages on a future test form will not permit a statewide release. However, TEA is providing an opportunity for the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee(s) to view students’ English I and/or English II short-answer written responses. Images of students’ short-answer responses, associated scoring guides, and rubrics, along with copies of the passages used by students when completing the test(s), will be made available for viewing, per the procedures below.

District personnel who wish to view students’ responses should call TEA’s Student Assessment Division to schedule an appointment in Austin. Appointments may be scheduled between Monday, May 2, 2016, and Thursday, May 26, 2016. For information about appointments, as well as security protocols, contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536.

Rescore requests that are received by May 10, 2016, for students who are planning to graduate in spring 2016, and who did not pass the December 2015 English I or English II assessments, will be prioritized. ETS will report the results of December 2015 rescore requests for these students by May 20, 2016. All other rescore requests will be reported in July.

Contact Information

For questions concerning information in this email, please contact the Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536 or by email at student.assessment@tea.texas.gov.

Sincerely,

Mike Morath
Commissioner of Education


The letter does give LISD and other districts some small hope, in that they can send a person to Austin to view student answers and the reading passage in question, which could allow some reduction in expense by helping the district more accurately choose which students' answers to rescore.

We have reached out to Lewisville ISD for comment, but were unable to reach them prior to press time.

We will update this post as we learn more about what this response means for the district.

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STAAR: All for the love of testing

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/4/23 8:20:00 (1985 reads)

Open in new windowBy Kristi Hassett
Guest columnist
kristi@khadvising.com

For Texas students, standardized testing is nothing new. Educational Testing Systems (ETS) took over from Pearson this year as the new vendor for the state tests. Pearson had held the contract since the inception of state testing in the 1980s.

One often expects hiccups during transition between old and new, i.e. Verizon to Frontier. There have been a wide variety of new issues with the testing this year. Hopefully some are due to the change in vendor and will be easily resolved. However, some indicate a potential problem with the very fabric of the scoring rubric causing some to once again, question the validity of the tests and the accuracy of the results.

The problems that have emerged all around the state this year are: missing shipments, late shipments, incorrect shipments, incorrect student information precoded on answer documents, missing student data scores, data scores from students in other districts, 14,000 students unable to complete online testing. Also problematic was inaccurate scoring of the short answer questions on English I and II.

These issues have caused districts across the state to expend additional staff time and resources to wade through the problems and take the proper corrective action. A primary concern of the data file and scoring issues is how student and district accountability will be affected.

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Senior Health Fair loaded with fun, prizes and information

Blogs and Columns
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/4/15 10:30:00 (543 reads)

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Rose-Mary Rumbley, noted Dallas speaker, historian and humorist, provides a crowd of more than 100 senior citizens with laughter and lessons on the history of food in Texas at the close of the Senior Health Fair Friday. (Photo by Dan Eakin)
By Dan Eakin

The annual Senior Health Fair, held Friday at the Lewisville Senior Activity Center and the Memorial Park Recreation Center, was a fun-filled success.

The event began with a Fun Walk around the park, and ended at noon with more than 100 senior citizens packing into the senior center cafeteria to hear Rose-Mary Rumbley, a well-known public speaker, historian and humorist.

Bob Monaghan, Lewisville Parks and Leisure Services director, introduced Rumbley. He said lake levels are continuing to stay above normal, and that Lake Park has been closed since June because of flooding and high lake levels.

“The lakes are continuing to do what they are supposed to do, preventing downstream flooding,” he said.

Rumbley, a lifelong Dallas resident who attended what is now The University of North Texas said she could remember when Lake Dallas, which is what Lewisville Lake was originally named, dried up in the 1940s and 1950s.

Rumbley then turned her as-always humorous speech into a discussion about the history of foods in Texas, and about the numerous food festivals that are held in cities and counties all over the state.

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MCL Grand, Lewisville Public Library present National Poetry Month event

Blogs and Columns
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/4/13 12:00:00 (235 reads)

Staff reports

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater and the Lewisville Public Library will hold a free public reception for Lewisville’s first Poet Laureate and two Lewisville ISD student poets.

This event will take place 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 27 at the MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles Street, and will feature readings and recitations from J. Paul Holcomb, Madison Heggins and Destinee Aguirre. 

Holcomb, who has served as Poet Laureate since August 2014, has written original pieces of poetry for the city to commemorate special occasions. His most recent poem, “Lewisville Rocks,” was presented to city leaders on Jan. 25. He has published more than 230 original works in multiple journals and anthologies nationwide and in England during his career.

As the LTJ reported on March 5, Madison Heggins gained statewide recognition earlier this year when she won the 2016 Poetry Out Loud competition in Austin. Destinee Aguirre was a top-10 finalist in the same Poetry Out Loud competition. Aguirre is a sophomore at LHS Killough Campus. Aguirre and
Heggins will be acknowledged for their achievements at the MCL Grand event. 

Other poets will also read their work aloud. Staff from the Lewisville Public Library will attend to check out books to those who are inspired to read more poetry and issue new library cards to those who have not yet signed up.

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Print Edition - 03/26/2016

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/3/26 6:10:00 (164 reads)

Open in new windowHere is the March 26, 2016 print edition of The Lewisville Texan Journal:



You can find free copies at any of these locations.

Want home delivery of The Lewisville Texan Journal every Saturday? You can get it for just $5 per month!

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Review: Tyrant

Blogs and Columns
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/3/24 10:00:00 (423 reads)

By ADAM SCHRADER
Interim Editor


I recently wrote a couple stories on Lewisville native Anne Winters for The Dallas Morning News and The Lewisville Texan Journal but had still never actually seen any of her filmography until this weekend. When I asked her what I should watch as an introduction to her career, she told me that it HAD to start with season one of FX’s drama Tyrant.

I binge watched the entire series in the course of two days and looked online to learn more about it. I didn’t intend to. I just couldn’t stop.

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This promotional photo of the Tyrant family was also shown in one of the show's episodes as a family photo. (Photo submitted by Anne Winters)


Generally, reviews for and articles about Tyrant have been split. Some have written about how showrunners should have cast a Middle Eastern man instead of British actor Adam Rayner for the role of the main character. Variety said the show’s second season ultimately didn’t win it the title of the “most improved series” for its second season, pointing out the shows flaws. Entertainment Weekly called it “stellar” and only lamented that it doesn’t feature Winters more and that writers have given her the “Meg Griffin” treatment. However, Winters told me to expect bigger things from her character this season.

People have even argued the politics and foreign policies of the show. Though reviews are relatively split, media agrees that Tyrant has improved since its first season.

However, reviews have not often said how Tyrant is a refreshing take on the stereotypical Hollywood fantasy genre featuring white people in British accents in a power conflict. In fact, Tyrant, though still filled with mayhem and eye candy, is a more realistic and somehow mature version of Game of Thrones without wizards and nudity. The only purely “fantastical” thing about it is the fictional Middle Eastern nation called Abbudin.

Tyrant follows a Pasadena, Calif. family and the unexpected roles they play in the political movements of a turbulent Abbudin. The family is led by Barry Al-Fayeed, a pediatrician and Abbudin expatriate, and his wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan)—an American woman he met in medical school after fleeing his home as a teenager. The Al Fayeed’s have two teenage children, Sammy (Noah Silver) and Emma (Winters).

Barry Al-Fayeed, born Bassam Al-Fayeed, is the younger son of the powerful Al-Fayeed family that has ruled the country for decades.

In the pilot, Barry’s father, Khalid Al-Fayeed (Nasser Faris), leads the country with the help of Barry’s brother, Jamal (Ashraf Barhom). The American family flies to Abbudin for the wedding of Jamal’s son Ahmed (Cameron Gharaee) to Nusrat Al-Fayeed (Sibylla Deen), the daughter of the man who runs the state controlled media. Barry is apprehensive and struggles with the thought of returning to the home he abandoned 20 years ago.

Khalid dies during the wedding celebrations, which puts Jamal, a man of much weaker constitution than his younger brother, in charge of the country. Barry, knowing Jamal’s true nature and out of love for his family and country, delays their return to the United States in an effort to help counsel his brother.

The show poses an interesting and unique question: can a westernized Abbudin national introduce an effective democracy in a bullet-ridden Middle Eastern nation?

Gunfire, war crimes, power struggles, betrayal, paranoia and a caliphate group reminiscent of the Islamic State pull the country apart. Barry, the Ned Stark before Ned Stark got killed, tries to keep the country together.

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Municipal Courts are working to better serve indigent defendants

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/3/18 7:30:44 (359 reads)

Open in new windowBy BRIAN HOLMAN

Often, the first and only encounter with the judicial system for most people is with a municipal court.

About 90 percent of defendants represent themselves and are still required to follow the rules of criminal procedure and evidence. So, most municipal court judges spend a lot of time explaining procedures and options to them.

Here are some insights into the municipal court system.

The vast majority of our cases are criminal in nature and often called “minor offenses”, like traffic tickets. However, traffic violations are the leading cause of death of those under the age of 30. They are “minor offenses” until they are not.

Municipal court cases are referred to as “fine-only” offenses. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear in Tate v. Short that criminal defendants punished for a fine-only offense cannot be sentenced to jail initially to “lay out” their fines.

Municipal court judges must always remember that the punishment is a fine, not jail time—though jail time is a possibility if a defendant refuses to pay a fine or perform community service when capable.

Also, a ticket is not a bill issued to a debtor. Defendants have the right to a trial and must be found guilty before any money is ever owed.

Few cities in America evoke more controversial feelings and emotions than Ferguson, Missouri. The Ferguson incidents shocked our sensibilities and helped accelerate a transformation in American society.

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Easy Street Family Café easily earns high grade for its French Dip

Blogs and Columns
Posted by AdamSchrader on 2016/3/15 0:00:00 (202 reads)

By ADAM SCHRADER
Interim Editor

Recently, Steve Southwell and I dashed around town taking pictures for Saturday’s edition. We broke our journey for lunch at Old Town’s landmark Easy Street Family Café, 190 W. Main St.—caddy corner to the MCL Grand. I had never been before, despite living in North Texas for 21 years of my life.

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The French Dip (Photo by Adam Schrader)


I started off unimpressed at the simple presentation of the atmosphere and food but left satisfied and surprised by the restaurant’s complexity.

After some debate, I settled for the French Dip. While I’m not a connoisseur of the sandwich, I’ve been known to order them at La Madeleine. I also ordered French fries and a Coke, which arrived as a glass of ice and a can. The meal and drink cost $10.23 after taxes and before tip.

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