Lewisville Lake Armadillos Dutch oven cooking group stand in front of the feast they prepared in LL Woods Park on Saturday, March 1st, 2014(Photo by Steve Southwell)
By Steve Southwell
The Lewisville Lake Armadillos meet the first Saturday of each month in a local park to share their enthusiasm for Dutch oven cooking. At these “DOGs” (Dutch oven gatherings), they not only learn recipes and techniques from one another, but they share the resulting feast smorgasbord style when the food is done, like a big happy, extended family. At their invitation, I joined them on a beautiful day last Saturday to see and taste for myself.
For the uninitiated, a Dutch oven is a round cast-iron pot with feet, and a heavy cast-iron lid with a raised rim. To cook in them, you typically place the pot on a layer of burning coals or charcoal briquets, then place briquets on top of the lid. The heavy iron conducts heat evenly, and bakes the contents, melding the flavors nicely. Until Saturday, my only experience with them had been at the occasional Cub Scout camp-out, where the leaders had used them in the campfire to cook peach cobbler. What I didn’t realize was how versatile the cookers are, and how seriously some devotees take the art (or shall I say “science”) of cooking in them.
Lewisville resident Steven Sick along with his wife Stacy, organized the Lewisville Lake Armadillos as a local chapter of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society. Although Steven Sick and his wife were not at the March cookout that I attended, their family was well represented. Deborah Sick was there cooking up a wonderful cabbage dish, and Craig Sick was making several interesting things, most notably “Hot Dogs Jubilee” - a simple mixture of cherry pie filling and cut up frankfurters. I got the sense there is a bit of competition for concocting things that are a bit out of the ordinary.
Selected Statewide and U.S. Offices In the race for U.S. Senate, John Cornyn handily beat Tea Party challenger Steve Stockman. On the Democratic side, David Alameel faces a runoff with LaRouche candidate Kesha Rogers, after getting 47% of the vote.
In the Governor's race, favorites Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis will face each other in November.
In the Lt. Governor's race, it will be a runoff between Dan Patrick with 41.5% and David Dewhurst with 28.3% of the vote. The winner will face Democrat Leticia Van De Putte in November.
In U.S. House District 26, Republican incumbent Michael Burgess easily wins his primary with 83%. There is no Democratic challenger this year.
In U.S. House District 24, Kenny Marchant was unopposed, and faces Democrat Patrick McGehearty in November
Republicans Ken Paxton and Dan Branch will face one another in the runoff for Attorney General, and the winner will face Democrat Sam Houston in the general election.
In the race for Comptroller, Hegar, with 50% might narrowly win without a runoff, or may face Hilderbran (26%).
Wayne Christian will face Ryan Sitton in the Republican runoff for Texas Railroad Commission. Steve Brown won his race on the Democratic side for RRC.
Incumbents won all of their races for Texas Supreme Court
Denton County State Reps: - District 63 incumbent Tan Parker was unopposed and will face Democrat Daniel Moran in November - District 64 incumbent Myra Crownover beat challenger Read King with 55% and will face Democrat Emy Lyons in November - District 65 incumbent Ron Simmons was unopposed and will face Democrat Alex Mendoza in November - District 106 incumbent Pat Fallon was unopposed and will face Democrat Lisa Osterhold in November
County Judge Mary Horn has beat off two challengers, and will avoid a runoff with 54% of the vote. There is no Democratic challenger.
In the race for District Attorney, incumbent Paul Johnson received 43% of the vote, and will face a runoff with challenger Karen Alexander. There is no Democratic challenger.
In the race for County Criminal Court 5, Coby Waddill beats Vic Rivera with 63% of the vote.
Justice of the Peace pct. 3 Becky Kerbow (Lewisville) was unopposed and faces no Democratic challenger in November
In JP Precinct 4, it will be a runoff between Republicans J Hand with 39% and Harris Hughey with 27%.
In JP Precinct 5, it will be a runoff between Republicans Cynthia Mitchell with 23% and Mike Oglesby with 19%
In JP Precinct 6, Gary Blanscet beat Tom Washington with 53%.
Former Lewisville police officer and current precinct 1 Constable Jesse Flores was upset by former Deputy, Johnny Hammons, who had 65% of the vote. More background on that race here.
Republican Party County Chair Dianne Edmondson beat challenger Labib Basta of Lewisville with over 99% of the vote. Democratic Party Chair Phyllis Wolper was unopposed and retains her seat.
Elsewhere: State Rep Lon Burnam narrowly lost his primary (by 111 votes) to Domingo Garcia-backed candidate Ramon Romero.
State Senator John Carona has been defeated by challenger Don Huffines, with 50.6% of the vote.
U.S. Rep Ralph Hall in District 4 will face a runoff with John Ratcliffe after only garnering 45.4%
Primary runoff elections are May 27th, with early voting May 19th-23rd.
The change in service results in a $1.11 per month decrease in customers' bills, whereas continuing with the same level of twice-weekly trash pickups would have cost an additional $0.85 per month. The $1.96 difference would have added $23.52 per year to each bill, or a cost of about 45 cents each for the 52 extra pickups. Waste Management will issue 96 gallon trash and recycling carts. The carts are 50% larger than the city's current recycling carts. Part of the goal is to encourage more recycling and less trash to extend the life of the landfill.
The Council also added mandatory recycling for apartments, which will be required to take on recycling dumpsters, and pay an additional cost of $1.18 per unit.
Other service options, such as bulky waste pickup and dump privileges remain the same under the new plan.
Texas’ March 4th Democratic and Republican Primary elections are less than a month away, and early voting starts on Feburary 18th. We will be posting information about what is on the ballot and where and when to vote. We invite readers to post their civil and well-reasoned arguments in the comments below, about the candidates and parties they favor.
About Primaries in Texas Primary elections are elections to determine who each political party’s nominees will be for the general election in November, 2014. The winning nominee from each party will face each other in November, Voting in a party primary affiliates the voter with that party for the full two-year cycle. Although voters in Texas do not register in parties, voters cannot vote in another party’s primary or sign a nomination petition for a candidate who is a member of another party or running as an independent. You may switch parties any time you like, but you may not vote in another party’s primary runoff once you have voted in your original party’s primary for that year. Voting in a primary election does not obligate you to vote for the same candidate in the general election. For this reason, voters in Texas often will cross over and vote in another party’s primary in order to affect the outcome. In our area, most elections are decided in the Republican primaries, so many Democrats will choose to vote in the Republican primary in order to choose the better candidate. In 2008, Republicans crossed over to the Democratic primary, since Texas had a huge say in the Democratic presidential race. The Libertarian party chooses candidates by convention, and independent candidates pay a filing fee and must collect signatures in order to get on the ballot.
About Voting in Texas Voters must be have been registered 30 days prior to the election, and must provide an appropriate form of photo identification such as a Texas Drivers License, Texas ID, Military ID, or Passport that is no more than 60 days expired. If you received a current voter card in the mail, it will list your precinct, which you will need to know if you choose to wait until election day to vote. Denton County voters can check their registration and precinct information online here.
Consumers 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.
The 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.
The 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.
Lewisville Police Department provided the following information in the Police Chief's Weekly Update:
Resident Catches Burglars On Wednesday, February 12th, a resident in the 1100 block of Meriwood Drive arrived at his residence and found two suspects inside. They appeared to be in the process of burglarizing his home. The suspects fled the home and police were called. Before officers arrived, the resident located a third suspect hiding in a bedroom closet. The resident held that suspect until police arrived. Upon their arrival, officers arrested the suspect for burglary of a habitation.
Detectives Gibbins and Fisher were assigned to investigate the offense. The victim recognized the suspects as clients at his place of business. That afternoon, the detectives made contact with two additional suspects that were also arrested for burglary of a habitation. Most of the stolen property has been recovered and released to the victim. Detectives continue to investigate the crime.
Stolen Vehicle Recovered after Pursuit During the early morning hours on Thursday, February 13th, a resident in the 1100 block of Elmwood heard someone breaking into his van. The suspects fled when the owner turned on the lights inside of his residence. Officers were contacted and they began checking the area for the suspects. Officer Slavens noticed a van and a car driving in the neighborhood. Officer Slavens relayed this information to Officer Stilwell, who was also in the area.
Officer Stilwell located and attempted to stop the van; however, the driver of the van refused to stop and a short pursuit ensued. Officer Stilwell discontinued the pursuit and soon found the van abandoned in the neighborhood. Officers determined that this van had been stolen. It is believed that the occupants were likely responsible for trying to steal the other van on Elmwood. Officers were not able to locate the suspects after they fled. This case remains under investigation.
Lewisville ISD shared information about an incident that happened at LHS Harmon 9th and 10th grade campus Tuesday:
The Lewisville High School Harmon (LHS Harmon) 9th- and 10th-grade campus was put on precautionary lockdown around 1:30 p.m. this afternoon following a threat that was texted to a student. The student immediately notified the campus principal who activated the lockdown. The campus' School Resource Officer was on scene and within 15 minutes, the source of the threat was identified and it was determined to be a hoax. The suspect has been taken in to Lewisville Police Department custody and classes have resumed a normal school schedule. Student safety is of the highest priority. We commend LHS Harmon students and staff for their efforts to keep the building a secure learning environment.
The photo at right was collected from Twitter. (Our redaction)