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Recent News and Opinion
2014/8/20 - Neighborhood Gets Help from LISD and Police on Litter, Crime Problem
2014/8/20 - Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent
2014/8/17 - Sunday Evening Update - End of Summer Vacation Edition
2014/8/17 - Pictures of Local High Water
2014/8/17 - Lewisville to Spray for Mosquitoes Monday and Tuesday
2014/8/16 - Flower Mound Presbyterian Church Celebrates 160 Years with Homecoming
2014/8/8 - Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft
2014/8/6 - Lewisville Lake and Drought Update
2014/8/5 - Saturday, August 9th: Lewisville Police Day - PD Hosts Anniversar...
2014/8/5 - Kidnapping Suspects Arrested; Police Dog Finds Fugitive
2014/8/2 - Movie review: "Boyhood"
2014/7/22 - Lewisville Loses Appeal on Sex Offender Ordinance
2014/7/20 - Monday Morning Update
2014/7/20 - Take the Win in Iran
2014/7/19 - Combating Post-Traumatic Stress Event in Denton Saturday
2014/7/14 - Lewisville City Council Adopts Vision 2025 Plan
2014/7/6 - Photos from Lake Park on Independence Day
2014/7/6 - Updated: Council to Consider School Zones for LHS Campuses on Main...
2014/7/6 - Sunday Morning Update - Independence Day Weekend Edition
2014/7/5 - Local Groups Organizing Toiletry Drive for Unaccompanied Minor Imm...
2014/7/3 - Area Independence Day Celebrations and Fireworks
2014/6/30 - Movie Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction
2014/6/29 - Sunday Afternoon Update - Half-Way Through 2014 Edition
2014/6/25 - Updated: DCTA A-Train Tracks Damaged by Floods, Repaired Already
2014/6/24 - Police Arrest Serial Robber
Recent Reader Comments
2014/8/22 6:54 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (TexasMama)
2014/8/22 6:47 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (TexasMama)
2014/8/21 23:43 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (Anonymous)
2014/8/21 18:59 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (Anonymous)
2014/8/21 17:15 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (Anonymous)
2014/8/21 16:03 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (TexasMama)
2014/8/20 23:00 - Re: Lewisville Lake and Drought Update (Anonymous)
2014/8/20 14:17 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (Anonymous)
2014/8/20 14:08 - Re: Statement from City of Lewisville (Anonymous)
2014/8/20 11:34 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (jbcglc)
2014/8/20 9:23 - Statement from City of Lewisville (WhosPlayin)
2014/8/20 9:08 - Re: Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent (WhosPlayin)
2014/8/15 11:43 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (Anonymous)
2014/8/14 18:04 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (WhosPlayin)
2014/8/11 19:32 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (TexasMama)
2014/8/11 16:46 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (Anonymous)
2014/8/11 8:09 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (WhosPlayin)
2014/8/11 7:38 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (Anonymous)
2014/8/11 0:16 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (Anonymous)
2014/8/10 23:30 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (Anonymous)
2014/8/9 23:33 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (WhosPlayin)
2014/8/9 20:16 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (TexasMama)
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Various events and happenings in the Lewisville, Texas and Southern Denton County areas.
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Neighborhood Gets Help from LISD and Police on Litter, Crime Problem

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/8/20 23:50:00 (453 reads)

Open in new window
Resident Tom Boughton shows an area where hundreds of beer bottles and cans had collected on Lewisville ISD property since the summer began

By Steve Southwell

Littering and other crimes were getting on the nerves of some residents of the Hedrick Estates neighborhood just south of Hedrick Middle School. Frustrated with what they felt was an inability to get results after calling police, neighbors Tom Boughton and Cassie Kelly took to social media to report the problem and ask for help.

Boughton posted on the neighborhood social media website that every Saturday night, a wooded area behind his house on Marchant Place was getting littered with beer bottles, cans, and cases. Kelly posted on the City of Lewisville Facebook group, that she wanted to see if anyone would donate trash cans that she could place in the areas in the hopes that maybe if they couldn’t stop people drinking in the fields, they could at least maybe collect some of it in trash cans to make it easier to clean up.

The Lewisville Texan Journal contacted Kelly and Boughton, who graciously showed us the problem area and explained some of the issues they have had in the area.

Boughton, whose back yard backs up to the Hedrick property, showed us an area between some trees where litterers had left hundreds of beer bottles and cans, and their associated boxes. There was evidence of someone having set up a fire pit that still had some partially burned material in it. Cigarette boxes and cigar wrappers could also been seen. Boughton said that on Saturday nights around midnight, a group of Asian kids that he thought to be middle-school to high school aged, and maybe a couple years beyond that tend to show up at the site mostly on foot, but sometimes by car. Both neighbors said they suspected other unsavory activities going on, and other residents posted on Nextdoor that they had items stolen.

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Sunday Evening Update - End of Summer Vacation Edition

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/8/17 19:00:00 (313 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 windowWell, here we are - nearly at the end of the summer. The kids are getting ready to go back to school, and we’re ready to have them out of the house. We just got back from our summer vacation trip last weekend. Our family drove to Colorado and enjoyed a couple weeks of relaxation in a place where every direction you turn is picture postcard beautiful. Coming back from Colorado and opening up the car doors in Texas was like stepping into an oven. But hey - the rain this morning was a nice break, wasn’t it? Well - as long as you didn’t get flooded.

Yet, we love it here, and must get back to business. It has been a few weeks since the last update, so there are a lot of links to share, but more than a few that were already stale, so I removed them.

Governor Rick Perry has been indicted on charges of abuse of power and coercion. An indictment only means that the grand jury thinks the special prosecutor has enough evidence to bring a case to trial. The case centers around Perry’s threat to zero out funding for Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit - the office that handles investigations related to state government. The office had been investigating CPRIT - the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, making improper grants to companies with close ties to Rick Perry, and grants that had been made without the proper vetting. Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose office was also tasked with overseeing CPRIT, failed to do so, and in the process, many of his donors raked in cash from the fund. The District Attorney in charge of the unit - an elected official - had been busted for DWI, and Perry saw an opportunity to appoint his own successor to the office if she could resign. So Perry threatened to zero out funding unless she resigned; and when she didn’t - he did.

Bob Weir has a nice interview with Lewisville Police Chief Russell Kerbow, on the occasion of LPD’s 75th anniversary.

Lewisville’s legendary coach and athletic director Max Goldsmith passed away. Obituary - Website

City of Lewisville’s Horizon Newsletter

What a student-designed school looks like.

The City of Lewisville has a resident survey they would like you to take.

A city got tired of being gouged on gasoline prices, so it opened a city-owned gas station to give residents a break. Cue the backlash from butthurt gougers upset with the competition.

Imagine being 44 years old and suddenly discovering after a hospital visit that you are not the gender you thought you were.

Year of the Donut. Before you get all excited about that new Dunkin Donuts coming soon to Lewisville, just keep in mind that it’s owned by the man who ruined the Dallas Cowboys.

Denton County has a new website.

Dave Barry explains 50 shades of grey for those of us who have zero interest in reading it.

Researchers are looking for help collecting deadly “kissing bugs”.

The fertilizer company whose improper storage of explosive ammonium nitrate caused an explosion that killed people and destroyed everyone’s property has now put the blame on the City of West.

Greenest Colleges: University of North Texas - not just green, but Mean Green.

Breast cancer rates higher in Flower Mound. Question is why?

New York Times calls for marijuana legalization.

Rep Michael Burgess introduced a bill in Congress to protect living organ donors.

Greg Abbott gets big campaign donations from a hospital chairman, then using taxpayer dollars, intervenes in a lawsuit against the hospital by patients who were maimed by a drug-addicted, incompetent doctor. We pay this guy’s salary to represent the people, but it’s pretty clear who he really represents.

Rep. Ron Simmons (R, Carrollton) has written some information about Texas Department of Public Safety’s recent changes in collecting fingerprints when issuing drivers’ licenses.

Judgemental map of Dallas. For what it’s worth, we do have a judgemental map of Lewisville; it’s just that you’d chase us down with pitchforks and torches if we ever shared it. But if someone else ever makes one that we can truthfully claim some distance from, we’ll be happy to share it.

Councilman TJ Gilmore posted his summertime City Council Update.

Over in Little Elm ISD, the Board of Trustees recently flipped due to some awful demagoguery, and the new board is struggling - stepping over the line, and breaking state open meetings laws.

Former Lewisville ISD Athletic Director Randy Mayes, who retired this last year from LISD, is now coaching for Liberty Christian.

Next generation of Lewisville’s trash and recycling plan. (Just kidding...)

Jay Marks reviewed Lewisville’s newest barbecue restaurant, Big Jack’s Barbecue.

“[United Way of Denton County] reports that in 2012, Denton County received the lowest funding per capita [for mental health] of all Texas Counties at $11.11, which is 31.6% below the state average. In addition, the State of Texas ranks 50th in the U.S. in spending on mental health (per capita).“ - And we wonder why we have problems with crime and homelessness...

“As free-standing ERs’ business grows, so does backlash” - You know - all the outrageous expense of an emergency room visit, without that contractual arrangement with your insurer, without the need to accept Medicare or Medicaid, or indigents, and without actual hospital beds in case you need one. I’ll pass.

A chain of prescription-mill testosterone clinics called Low-T Center wanted to be the “title sponsor” of the Marcus High School stadium, and put out a news release - apparently before LISD administration knew about it. LISD had posted an item denying the sponsorship, but then removed that. But the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports LISD and Low-T have agreed to call it off. Time Magazine had a great article about the explosion of interest in testosterone supplements for men, and how the science is just not at a consensus about the benefits versus the risks.

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Pictures of Local High Water

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/8/17 11:40:00 (297 reads)

Parts of Lewisville experienced flash flooding Sunday morning after a storm parked over the city and dumped 3 - 4 inches of rain in some places.

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Lewisville to Spray for Mosquitoes Monday and Tuesday

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/8/17 9:10:00 (379 reads)

Open in new windowTexas Department of State Health Services this week confirmed the city's first positive West Nile Virus mosquito trap for 2014. The positive sample came from a trap collected Aug. 5 near Rachel's Court, behind the Renaissance Village Retirement Community on Edmonds Lane.

Open in new windowDue to the history of positive tests in the area, plus the high-risk senior population adjacent to the testing site, ground spraying will be conducted in a half-mile radius (See map) of the testing location. Spraying is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 18, and Tuesday, Aug. 19, starting at 10 p.m. each night. Spraying will be conducted by trucks from public streets. The insecticide being used is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and poses minimal risk to humans and the environment.

City crews are regularly walking through and visually inspecting creeks and drainage channels to look for potential mosquito breeding sites. The city has nearly a dozen workers in the Parks and Animal Services divisions who are state-certified to apply anti-larval dunks or localized pesticide to curb the mosquito population. Residents also are encouraged to report standing water on city-maintained property by calling Lewisville Animal Control at 972.219.3478.

The Texas Department of Health operates a toll-free WNV information line in both English and Spanish at 888.883.9997, and has expanded information posted on its Web site at Denton County Health Department also has information about West Nile virus online or at 940.349.2907.

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Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/8/8 11:40:00 (2600 reads)

Open in new windowFormer Lewisville Assistant Fire Chief Brian Freed, 42, was arrested Wednesday in Lewisville on a felony charge of theft of at least $6,210 from the Fill-the-Boot fundraiser that the department conducted on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association from April 28th to May 3rd of this year.

According to the probable cause affidavit, obtained by The Lewisville Texan Journal, Freed aroused the suspicion of Division Chief Mark Richards after texting him late at night on May 4th of this year stating that he had moved six five-gallon buckets containing bags of money from where they were being kept at Station 7 to Richards’ office at Central Station. At the time the money was moved, Freed had been placed on paid leave just two days earlier for what he told police was an addiction to hydrocodone and Ambien that he had bought over the internet.

Community Relations Director James Kunke explained that all public safety employees are subject to quarterly random drug testing, as well as testing upon hire, promotion, or reasonable suspicion. Employees who test positive for drugs may be terminated immediately, but employees who self-admit* a drug problem are referred to the city’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for treatment. Employees referred to EAP can retain their employment if they successfully complete treatment and comply with more frequent drug testing, but can be terminated immediately if they have another positive test.

On May 6th, Detective Bryan Gibbins with Lewisville Police Department investigated the situation and determined that two of the six bags of cash that had been collected were missing. Bags containing $4,284 from B shift, and $3,427 from A shift were found to be missing from the buckets.

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Lewisville Lake and Drought Update

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/8/6 11:00:03 (413 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowThanks to recent rainfall and cooler weather, Lewisville Lake now sits at 516.96 feet, which is a little over 5 feet low, or about 77% full. Overall, Dallas water reservoirs are 26.61% depleted. As of last Thursday, the Southern half of Denton County is still in extreme drought, while the Northern half has been moved down to severe drought.

The DFW area has received 1.08 inches of rainfall so far this month, compared to a normal value of .26 inches for the first 5 days in August. However, we are still quite a bit behind on rainfall. So far this calendar year, we have received 12.65 inches of rainfall, compared to the normal value of 22.46 inches, or a 9.81 inch deficit. Even with the drought last year, we had 17.35 inches by this point.

Given that we are almost in Mid-August, we think that chances are really good that we can make it through the rest of the year without further water restrictions in Lewisville, but conservation is still important. Lewisville is still in Stage 1 of its Emergency Water Management Plan, which means mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering.

Yes, there have been alligators sighted in Lewisville Lake - not for the first time. This has prompted the Game Warden to issue a warning. Please do not under any circumstances feed any of the alligators. We don’t need them associating humans with food. And you cannot shoot them either.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers got some flood training recently at the lake.

One man was stabbed, another drowned.

A story in the Houston Chronicle (locked by paywall) listed Lewisville Lake as tied in second place with Lake Travis for the highest number of boating-related fatalities in Texas since 2000. Lakes Lewisville and Travis each had 17 boating-related fatalities in that time period. with Lake Conroe being the highest with 22 fatalities.

LTJ would like to point out that there is nothing particularly dangerous about Lewisville Lake, compared to the others. Any ranking of lake safety ought to be normalized based on the lake's size and number of visitors/boaters. The number one factor in lake safety is whether visitors will take responsibility for their own safety by wearing life jackets and avoiding boating under the influence of alcohol.

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Kidnapping Suspects Arrested; Police Dog Finds Fugitive

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/8/5 21:35:02 (966 reads)

Open in new windowThe Lewisville Police Department shared the following information on recent crimes:

Open in new windowAggravated Kidnapping Suspects Arrested
On August 2, at approximately 8:30 p.m., a local police agency sent a message out to area agencies to be on the lookout for a stolen vehicle that had been stolen during an aggravated kidnapping. Officer Joe Fernandez thought he may have seen the vehicle at an apartment complex in the 200 block of East Southwest Parkway earlier in the shift. He relayed that information to other officers, who began checking that area for the vehicle. Officer Kevin Tice observed the vehicle travelling eastbound on Southwest Parkway and then turn into an apartment complex. Officers converged on the vehicle and detained three suspects.

Officers learned that the victim of the aggravated kidnapping had been lured to Lewisville via social media. He was met by three males who threatened him with a handgun and forced him into the backseat of his own car. The victim said that the suspects demanded money from him and assaulted him repeatedly. Eventually, the suspects took the victim to another city to try to get money from a relative of the victim. One suspect was detained in that city after robbing the victim’s relative. The other suspects fled the city until they were eventually located back in Lewisville. Lewisville officers arrested two suspects for aggravated kidnapping.

Editor's Note: LTJ's Arrest Blotter shows that the two suspects arrested are Perry Paul Gonzales, 19, and Ismair Santiago Tenorio, 20. Gonzales is held in lieu of $140,000 bond on charges of aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon, theft, and engaging in organized criminal activity. Tenorio is held in lieu of $115,000 bond on the same charges, and is also held on an ICE detainer. Later in the day on August 3rd, police arrested Yadira Tenorio-Santiago, 17 on the same charges. She is held in Lewisville jail in lieu of $75,000 bond on the same charges.

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Lewisville Loses Appeal on Sex Offender Ordinance

Local News, Notes and Events
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/7/22 23:30:00 (1308 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowIn a ruling released Tuesday, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court ruling from last year that had dismissed a lawsuit against the City of Lewisville over the constitutionality of a city ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders can live.

Aurelio Duarte was convicted in 2006 for online solicitation of a minor. After serving his sentence in prison, he came back to Lewisville in 2010 to live with his family. Due to the city’s sex offender residency restrictions, Duarte and his family were unable to find a suitable residence within the city. Lewisville’s ordinance makes it unlawful for a sex offender to live within 1,500 feet of public parks, playgrounds, private and public schools, public and semi-public swimming pools, rec centers, day care centers, and video arcades. Violating the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 per day fine. After trying in vain to find a residence where he and his family could purchase a home in Lewisville, Duarte and his family sued the City of Lewisville in federal district court in 2012.

The trial court last year dismissed Duarte’s family from the lawsuit, under the rationale that since the ordinance only applied to the offender, the family didn’t have standing to sue. The City of Lewisville had argued, and the trial court had agreed that Duarte had no standing because he hadn’t actually violated the law, and thus had not suffered “actual injury” from it. The City also had argued that Duarte didn’t have enough money to buy a house, and thus didn’t have an actual injury. Lastly, the City of Lewisville argued that the case was moot, since in the intervening time, the family had moved out of their motel room, to a residence in a nearby city.

Open in new window
Map showing 1,500 foot exclusion zones (red) around various parks, pools, schools, daycares, and other places where children congregate. The ordinance has effectively taken the whole City of Lewisville as off-limits. (Via City of Lewisville Map Service)
The appeals court reversed the trial court, and reinstated Duarte and his family as plaintiffs, remanding the case back to district court without judgement on the actual constitutionality of the ordinance. The appeals court ruled that the case is not moot, because Duarte is seeking both compensatory and nominal damages, and those still stand, even if injunctive relief would be moot at this point.

The ruling means that Duarte and his family can proceed with the lawsuit, and the trial court would consider the plaintiff’s assertion that the ordinance violates the US Constitution. The plaintiffs specifically claim that the ordinance violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment, as well as the Double Jeopardy clause of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and it constitutes an ex post facto law in violation of Article I, section 10 of the Constitution.

Plaintiff's attorney Richard Gladden said that the ruling marked the first time nationally that an appeals court has ruled that family members can sue in these cases. "That's a first nationally, although it doesn't seem to have ever been considered by another State or Federal Court," said Gladden.

Read the Appeals Court Decision...

Lewisville City Councilman TJ Gilmore said that the Council had been made aware of the decision by email today, and that City Attorney Liz Plaster would be consulting with the City’s outside counsel to discuss next steps. Gilmore said that any further discussion on the matter would take place in future closed sessions, but would not offer any further comment on the pending litigation.

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Lewisville City Council Adopts Vision 2025 Plan

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/7/14 20:50:00 (1438 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowThe Lewisville City Council in special session tonight approved the Vision 2025 Plan, in the works over the past year, and presented in April at the City Council Retreat.

We have written and passed along plenty of information about Vision 2025 over the past year, and will not re-hash it here, but you can read some of our previous stories regarding Vision 2025, or you can view the City Council Agenda for July 14th.

Vision 2025 is the city's long-range plan, based on citizen input, that maps out a vision for where the City of Lewisville will be in the year 2025 - just over 10 years from now. Many of the plan's big moves affect or reinforce other plans the city has, such as the planning for the I-35 Corridor Development.

Council needed to accept the Vision 2025 Plan because the I-35 Corridor Plan ties into the Vision 2025 Plan's "Identity Focal Points" big move, which identifies sections along I-35 to express Lewisville's aspirational and actual identity.

Councilmembers also heard a presentation from a consultant regarding the I-35 plan, and City Manager Donna Barron told the Council that very soon, staff would be presenting targeted portions of that plan to the Council for approval. The timeline for implementing some of the I-35 items has accelerated due to the ongoing construction, and the urgency for displaced businesses to relocate to some of the scarce remaining I-35 frontage parcels.

Mayor Ueckert suggested the Council prepare to meet more frequently in special sessions in the coming months so that they can move quickly when needed to get things done. Barron talked about the need to ensure that ordinances and regulations were in place to ensure that the remaining developable land would be developed in ways consistent with the plan.

We'll keep an eye on the Council and let you know what develops.

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Updated: Council to Consider School Zones for LHS Campuses on Main and FM 3040

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/7/6 10:40:00 (1265 reads)

Open in new windowMonday night, the Lewisville City Council will conduct a workshop regarding an ordinance to set two school zones for Lewisville High School campuses. The two areas to be considered are FM 3040 (Round Grove Road) in front of the Lewisville High School Ben Harmon 9th / 10th grade campus, and F.M. 1171 (Main Street) in front of Lewisville High School main campus. The council is considering the ordinance as the result of a petition received in April.

Because the roads are state highways, they are subject to TxDOT regulations regarding school zones. Those regulations allow only a 15 mph drop from the posted speed limit, so any school zone on FM 3040 would drop the speed from 50 to 35 mph, and on FM 1171, the posted speed limit is 40 mph, and could drop to 25 mph. TxDOT stipulates that school zones are only approved based on existing vehicle or pedestrian demand, and not projections. Now that the Harmon campus has operated for several years, that data regarding pedestrian traffic should exist. The presentation set up for City Council shows that there has been one injury accident to a child in front of LHS Main campus on 1171, and no accidents on FM 3040.

Local mother Martha Halter, who has one child who attended Harmon, and one who will attend that campus in a couple of years, supports the school zones and has been pushing for them since the Harmon campus opened. Halter says her husband was first on the scene one day when a car travelling down Duncan Lane - just West of Harmon struck a child who crossed mid-block in a 40 mph zone. “I don’t ever want to see a child in that situation again,” said Halter. “She was released with 16 different injuries listed on her release papers. She is incredibly lucky to be alive today. This accident occurred in a 40 mph zone. The cars in front of Harmon are going 50+ mph. When a student gets hit, it will be fatal.”

Both of the locations have sidewalks and controlled intersections with crosswalks, but the speed limit on FM 3040 in front of the Harmon campus is 50 mph, and the two lights are pretty far apart. The City of Lewisville and LISD reached an agreement in 2012 to install sidewalks and pedestrian crossing improvements totalling about $100,000.

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