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Recent News and Opinion
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
2014/6/24 - Brewfest Photos
2014/6/23 - Monday Night Update - Welcome to Summer Edition
2014/6/21 - Lewisville Prepares for Once-a-Week Trash Pickup
2014/6/14 - Saturday Afternoon Update
2014/6/12 - Movie review: "The Fault in Our Stars" - 8/10
2014/6/10 - Lewisville Police Arrest Murder Suspect in Memphis Tennessee Home ...
2014/6/9 - Brave Combo Plays Free Concert Tuesday Night for Sounds of Lewisville
2014/6/8 - Sunday Night Update
2014/6/6 - Man Arrested on Child Porn Charges After Wife Alerts Police
2014/6/1 - Another Drowning on Lewisville Lake
2014/5/31 - 2014 NTDR Roller Derby Videos
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Various events and happenings in the Lewisville, Texas and Southern Denton County areas.
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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 (996 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.

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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 (1255 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 (1094 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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Updated: DCTA A-Train Tracks Damaged by Floods, Repaired Already

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/25 18:10:00 (539 reads)

Update 6/26/2014 - 8:40 a.m.:
DCTA Spokeswoman Kristina Brevard said that the necessary track repairs were completed last night, and that DCTA trains were running on schedule this morning. Brevard said that the speed restrictions had been lifted and they expect no service delays today.
Open in new window

Original:
This afternoon, flash flooding damaged a portion of Denton County Transit Authority's A-Train track as it runs along Railroad Street, just South of their maintenance and operations center.

DCTA is currently running a bus bridge to transport passengers from Hebron Station to Old Town Station. There is no word at this point how long it will take to restore the tracks. Workers were present and surveying the damage when we were on-site.

As you can see in the photos, flood waters washed over and under the tracks, carrying all of the ballast out into the ditch.

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The National Weather Service rainfall maps show that most of the Lewisville area got between 1 and 2 inches of rain in this afternoon's storm.

We will post more updates when we get them.

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Brewfest Photos

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/6/24 20:30:00 (334 reads)

Best Little Brewfest brought in breweries from across Texas and the United States to sample their products for about 4,000 attendees on Saturday, 6/21/2014. Gates were closed with 3,500 attending the Brewfest, and organizers estimate another 500 attended a car show associated with the event. The event was held in Old Town Lewisville by Cloud 9 Charities to raise money for local non-profits, and from the looks of the attendance, we would say it was successful. Attendees each received a tasting glass, and a card that entitled them to 12 samples of their choice from among all of the breweries represented. There was also a car show prior to the event. Two long air-conditioned tents were packed to the seams with vendors and thirsty attendees. Bands entertained the crowds.

We posted these photos from Best Little Brewfest in Texas on our Facebook page Sunday, but wanted to share them here too:

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Lewisville Prepares for Once-a-Week Trash Pickup

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/6/21 11:40:00 (569 reads)

Open in new windowWaste Management, Lewisville's contracted trash hauler, released a map this week of what the new trash pickup days will be for various parts of the city when the new once-a-week pickup goes in to effect. You can view the larger version of the map by clicking the image to the right.

In March, the Lewisville City Council renewed the contract with Waste Management, moving from our current twice-a-week pickup schedule to a once-a-week schedule using carts provided by Waste Management.

The new routes begin Monday, August 4th. Waste Management will deliver the new carts the week of July 21st and pick up the old recycling carts on the week of July 28th.

For more information, see our previous article, or visit the City of Lewisville Website.

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Lewisville Police Arrest Murder Suspect in Memphis Tennessee Home Invasion Case

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/10 17:10:00 (1438 reads)

Open in new window
DeAngelo Antwann Howard, 29 (LPD photo)
Open in new windowWhen a local hotel noticed a man staying there under two different names, they got suspicious and called police, who determined the man is a suspect in a home invasion murder.

Lewisville Police Department reported that on Monday, June 2nd, they were contacted by a local hotel regarding a suspicious person. LPD Detective Scott Kelly was told that an individual had been staying at the hotel using at least two different names. Detectives Kelly and Henley, along with Officer Gehrke responded to the location to investigate the incident.

At that time, the suspect was not located, but officers examined a photocopy of the Texas driver's license he used to check in, and determined that the license was forged.

On June 3rd, Detectives Kelly and Henley, along with Officer Carlos Flores, responded back to the hotel, making contact with the suspect, who lied about his identity, providing the name and identifying information of an individual who was possibly deceased.

Detectives were able to learn the suspect’s true identity and that he was from the same city in Tennessee where the deceased person had lived. The suspect is DeAngelo Antwann Howard, 29. The suspect was initially arrested for forgery and fail to identify.

Detective Henley contacted the Memphis, Tennessee Police Department to inquire about the deceased individual. Memphis P.D. confirmed that the name and identity used by the suspect came back to an individual who died from wounds sustained during a home invasion robbery. Henley then added a charge of identity theft to the list of charges facing the suspect. On June 5th, the homicide detective from Memphis P.D. obtained a murder warrant for the arrest of the suspect.

Howard is being held in Denton County Jail in lieu of bond amounts totaling $550,000.

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Man Arrested on Child Porn Charges After Wife Alerts Police

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/6 17:41:15 (962 reads)

Open in new windowLewisville Police reported that on April 5th, they were dispatched to contact a woman about some inappropriate pictures she had found on her husband's computer.

Officer George Nichols contacted the woman who advised that she was reviewing some information on the computer and that she ran across a folder that contained pictures of what she thought were females who are under the age of 18. The girls were in various stages of dress and undress. She showed Officer Nichols some of the pictures that she had reviewed, and voluntarily gave the computer to Officer Nichols who secured it in the property and evidence room at the Lewisville Police Department.

The report was then assigned to Detective Lee Noble for follow-up investigation. Detective Noble secured a search warrant for the computer and a forensic analysis was performed on it, which found approximately 21,000 pictures and videos of child pornography.

Detective Noble secured an arrest warrant for the man and he was arrested on May 27th, but is currently out of jail, having posted a $50,000 bond.

The Lewisville Texan Journal does not have the name of the suspect, but will update the story if more information is released.

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Another Drowning on Lewisville Lake

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/6/1 18:30:00 (1631 reads)

Open in new windowLewisville Fire Department responded to another drowning in Lewisville Lake Sunday. According to Fire Chief Tim Tittle, the 911 call was received about 3:30 for a man that had gone under in "Party Cove". Party Cove is a place where boats congregate between Westlake Park and the old Garza Little Elm dam.

Using sonar, LFD's Boat 9 found the body at about the one hour mark, and divers recovered it at 4:43.

The victim was described as a white male, but no name or age had been released. Tittle said the man was there with other people, and was not wearing a life jacket.

Update - 6/2/2014 - 1:19 a.m. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office has identified the drowned man as Michael Collins, 43, of The Colony.

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Primary Runoff Election Results

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/5/27 19:10:00 (454 reads)

Open in new windowEarly voting totals from the Texas Primary Runoff election have started to come in.

Here are the totals we know of so far:
- Statewide Democratic Totals
As of 8 p.m., with 7.63% of precincts reporting, David Alameel is handily defeating LaRouche candidate Kesha Rogers for the U.S. Senate nomination. Alameel has 72% of the early vote.

Kinky Friedman trails Jim Hogan with 44% of the vote in the race for Commissioner of Agriculture.

As of 11:05 p.m. with 93.5% of precincts reporting, David Alameel had defeated Kesha Rogers with 73% of the vote in the Senate race. Jim Hogan beat Kinky Friedman with 54% of the vote.

- Statewide Republican Totals
As of 8:09 p.m., with 10% of precincts reported, David Dewhurst seems to have lost his re-election bid to Senator Dan Patrick in the race for Lieutenant Governor. Patrick leads with 64%. Ken Paxton leads the race for Attorney General with 63% of the vote. Sid Miller is leading the Ag Commish race with 55% of the vote. Ryan Sitton leads Wayne Christian by 60% in the race for Railroad Commissioner. SBOE member Pat Hardy leads challenger Eric Mahroum with 57% of the vote.

As of 11:01 p.m., with 93.92% of precincts reporting, Dan Patrick had defeated David Dewhurst in the Lt. Governor race with 65% of the vote. Ken Paxton had defeated Dan Branch with 64% of the vote. Sid Miller defeated Tommy Merritt for Ag Commissioner with 53% of the vote. Ryan Sitton had defeated Wayne Christian with 57% of the vote.

- Denton County Races
As of 7 p.m., with early votes reported, Paul Johnson led the Denton County DA race with 58%. Harris Hughey led the JP 4 race with 51%, and Mike Oglesby led the JP 5 race with 67%.

As of 8:13 p.m, with 14 of 158 precincts reporting, Paul Johnson's lead over Alexander in the DA race has narrowed slightly to 57%. The other races are essentially unchanged.

After all precincts had reported:
Paul Johnson had kept his seat as District Attorney - earning 56% of the vote. J. Hand had pulled off a victory with 50.5% of the vote in the JP 4 race. Mike Oglesby had won the JP 5 race with 65.32%

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