A close-knit Christmas: Denton mother of 14 shares story of love and loss

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Katricia Tucker pulls down a funeral program resting on the family Christmas tree.

It’s the Tuesday before the holiday, and the festooned tree dominates her small living room. She gazes at her mother’s face pictured on the pamphlet — a reminder of a woman who lived to keep her large family together until her death on Sept. 1.

“In loving memory of Kelcy Evan Jones,” the program reads. Inside, her entire list of grandchildren is too long to fit in the obituary. There’s Moses, Christaisha, Jessica, Micah, Christopher, Christina, Kelcy, Maurice, Derrick, Draylon, Lakavriana, Kentricia, Key’ntarius, Kenyon and still more who fall under a “host of other grandchildren.”

Kelcy Jones

It was Jones’ dying wish to keep them all together, and Tucker has been doing her best to carry that out. The 14 kids named in the program currently live with Tucker in a three-bedroom mobile home in east Denton. Three of them are Tucker’s biological children, while the other 11 are her sister’s.

Tucker said she and her mother starting caring for those 11 when her sister started getting into trouble with the law in Brazos County. They were a team until her mother’s health problems took hold.

Now, through Tucker’s never-ending search for a bigger and better home, she takes refuge in the fact that they’re all together on Christmas.

“I’m going to rock with them until the wheels fall off,” she said. “Because I love these kids and I see them as mine, and they don’t deserve what they’re going through. They don’t deserve this at all.”

Tucker and her family grew up in the Bryan-College Station area. The 36-year-old had been helping her mother care for her sister’s kids since she was a teenager. They have several different fathers, she said. Most of the kids, whose ages range from 5 to 21, attend school in Denton. Two work part-time jobs, and three have been diagnosed with a disability, including a 5-year-old with cerebral palsy.

Tucker said she’s on her own right now, making her way with disability checks and adoption subsidies. It’s been a long and arduous journey to their home in Denton, where she’s lived for about three years.

Around 2008, as Jones continued to take on more of her grandchildren, she moved from Texas to Moorehead, Minnesota. There, she discovered better housing opportunities for her and the kids.

Tucker moved to the same area with her children and their father about six months later.

“I’m a momma’s girl, so she knew I was coming,” Tucker said, adding that she made sure to move close by.

For about six years, Tucker lived there with her children and their father, making sure they were within arm’s reach of her mother and her sister’s children. But the cold started to bother her mother’s arthritis, Tucker said, and Jones moved in with family friends in Ardmore, Oklahoma, for about a year.

Tucker said her mother’s health issues landed her in a hospital in Oklahoma, where doctors noticed blood clots in her head. She eventually contracted pneumonia as her health continued to deteriorate. Several months later, around 2014, Tucker and Jones decided to rejoin other family members in the Bryan-College Station area with all 14 kids.

“I said, ‘If you’re going back, I’m going back with you,'” Tucker said. “Because I saw things changing with her body.”

Tucker and her ailing mother took the kids to Texas, and Tucker immediately ran into financial issues when she arrived. She said the moving company had charged her double the required amount and took all the remaining money in her account.

“[The company] ripped me off and threatened to keep all of our stuff,” she said. “Our whole life was on there [the truck].”

She and the kids ended up staying in a homeless shelter in Conroe for the night. But they continued on their course to rejoin family members near Houston, where they faced more trouble finding a home for all the children.

She heard Denton was a reasonable place to settle down with “good schools and not a lot of crime.” Her mother found a place in the Ashli Oaks mobile home park on McKinney Street, where Tucker soon joined her. There, Tucker met her friend Keila Hernandez.

Hernandez recalled the moment she found out about all 14 kids.

“I asked her, ‘Did you say you had four kids?’ And she said, ‘No, one-four.’ … She was cooking for everybody that day. And she even invited me to dinner. And that broke my heart.”

Hernandez occasionally gives some of the kids a ride to the dentist’s office in Lewisville where she works in the marketing department. She said their polite demeanor caught her by surprise.

“They share everything and they know how to take care of each other,” Hernandez said. “I always ask [Tucker],’How do you do this? I only have two kids. Can you help me with two?'”

After Tucker moved into her current home at the Denton Falls mobile home park, which is directly adjacent to Ashli Oaks, she admitted her mother to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Jones’ health continued to declined until she died of congestive heart failure, among other complications, Tucker said.

Right now, Tucker said it’s nearly impossible for her to find another place to live. She’s currently paying rent month-to-month, and she knows she can’t do that forever.

“I will say no one could ever know how hard it is, you know, when you go apply for assistance, or when you go look for a house and you’re being asked, ‘How many kids do you have ?’ What do you say when you have this many?” she said.

Tucker said she doesn’t get much help from other family members. She has to rely on the older kids to help her pick up the slack.

For one of teenagers in the bunch, 17-year-old Jessica Tucker, being close to her siblings has been a way of life. At this point, she’s used to playing a motherly role for the younger kids.

“Sometimes, when [my mom] doesn’t feel like cooking, I cook. And I wake them up to go catch the bus and stuff,” she said.

Jessica’s days are full with school and a part-time job at McDonald’s. She’s thinking about college— possibly the University of Texas at Austin. But if that doesn’t work out, she wants to stay near her siblings.

She said she doesn’t recall living away from them for an extended period of time.

“Sometimes you do want space, but I miss them after a while,” she said.

Tucker has officially adopted 7-year-old Draylon. She’s still trying to grapple with the legal steps that go into adopting the other 10 kids.

Tucker said she fears having any of the children taken away. She’s just tired of hiding it from people. It was her mother’s dream, she said, to remain one unit. And while space is scarce, they know they have each other to lean on.

On Tuesday, as Tucker examined her mother’s funeral program, her eyes shifted to the Christmas tree, which represents much more for her bundled family.

“My mother had this tree for a very long time, and it just gives us a good feeling and a good memory,” she said.

JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.

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Dallas cheese lovers melt over this nicely appointed new shop in Lewisville

Pretty cheese platters are on the menu.

Dallas diners who feel there is never enough cheese have a new destination: an artisan cheese and provisions shop called The Salty Cow, newly opened in Lewisville.

The Salty Cow specializes in locally sourced gourmet cheeses; meats such as prosciutto, jamón serrano, salami and pâté; and provisions such as dried fruits, spreads, oils, crackers, coffees, and teas.

Also on the menu: gourmet popcorn from Hico Popcorn Works in flavors such as toffee, chipotle ranch, and dill pickle; and sweets from Wiseman House Chocolates, also located in Hico.

The Salty Cow is located at 2540 King Arthur Blvd. in Lewisville, one of the newest small local businesses to open at the in the Castle Hills Village Shops, located within the master-planned Castle Hills community.

In addition to selling cheeses and other items individually, they also offer varied cheese and charcuterie boards, with tailored platters and gift baskets for every occasion. The "Best of Texas" platter, for example, features four cheeses and two meats including Bosque Blue cheese, sheep gouda, and jalapeno cheddar from the Veldhuizen Family Farm in Dublin, Texas.

The Salty Cow has partnered with TKO Libations, a new craft brewery at the Castle Hills Village Shops, to offer a beer and cheese pairing menu specifically for TKO customers. Guests visiting TKO Libations can hop across the Plaza for a fromager d’affinois to complement TKO’s IPA, breakfast stout, and tart blonde beers.

The shop will also offer fun and tasty cheese courses in the future as well as host private events.

The concept was created by husband-and-wife Jennifer Gentry and Harold Gonzalez, who lamented the lack of specialty cheese shops in that area.

Originally from New York, the couple are now Castle Hills residents and are excited to offer their products and expertise to neighbors and those from outside the community.

"This was the perfect place for our home and our shop," Jennifer says in a release. "Also, there are a LOT of people here who love cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate!"

Castle Hills Village Shops is a neighborhood dining and events destination offering culinary variety, local flavor, conveniences and seasonal events to the Castle Hills community and beyond.

In addition to The Salty Cow and TKO Libations, retailers include pizzeria PI.E 3.14 Everyday Eatery, taqueria T.B.D. Kitchen, susheria Kanzi Sushi & Hibachi, Z’s Wok, and Sophia’s Kitchen, specializing in coffee, tea, and pastries.

Castle Hills is a 2,800-acre master-planned community near SH 121 and Josey Lane in Lewisville with single-family homes, golf villas, townhomes, condos, and estate homes, priced from the $170s to $2.5 million and up. Castle Hills is also home to Discovery at The Realm, an urban-inspired collection of apartment homes within a walkable community, including programming, activities and amenities.

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Searched For And Found An Apartment In Lewisville TX

I needed to find a new apartment to move into because my lease was almost up. I didn’t really get along with my landlord and wanted to find another apartment to rent. I started searching to see what was for rent in Lewisville TX.

I asked a friend of mine if they saw any apartments for rent in the area. They said no, but they noticed there was a new feature on the Facebook app. She said it was called the Marketplace and I could find rentals on there. I immediately opened up Facebook and looked to see what was for rent. I never realized there were apartments listed for rent on Facebook. I browsed around and looked at some of the pictures and the cost of the rent. Everything there seemed a little too much so I knew I would have to look elsewhere.

I went online and searched for apartments for rent in Lewisville TX. I found several websites this way and they had apartment listings on them. I looked over those websites and found several apartments. I sorted the search by price and found the perfect apartment. It was the right price and it was also closer to my job. I contacted the landlord on the website and got a phone call back shortly after that. I was able to go look at the apartment the next day and I got the rental agreement signed and the deposit put down on it.

I was able to move into this apartment the following week. I love living in this apartment. It is just as perfect as I thought it would be. The landlord has been great and much better than the one I had at the other apartment I lived in.

Owners hope 8-foot tall Ten Commandments inside Lewisville’s Vista Ridge mall inspires shoppers

ICA Properties

The new owner of Vista Ridge Mall has lots of ideas to make the shopping center attractive to families and even for people who don’t care about shopping.

Odessa businessman John Bushman wants to turn the mall into a community space where people can find some "peace and love" in the Ten Commandments, hear some local musicians perform live and take in a giant wave of a 30-foot-by-60-foot American flag outside.

All of Bushman’s other businesses — hotels in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, other shopping centers and a Chickn4U restaurant in Odessa — display the Ten Commandments engraved on 800-lb stone tablets.

There was no question that the Ten Commandments would also become part of the common space in the newly renamed Music City Mall at Vista Ridge, Bushman said in an interview Thursday. Last month, Bushman’s ICA Properties paid $17.3 million in cash for the Lewisville mall and said it plans to spend another $3 million to $4 million on improvements.

"We’re not trying to overwhelm anyone or make a statement we just believe in the Lord’s love," Bushman said. "That’s the sole reason. We hope when someone sees it, it will touch their heart and give them new hope that day."

There was an issue with the floor of the mall’s second level being able to support a monument with all Ten Commandments.

"We’re putting the two greatest commandments about loving the Lord and your neighbor on the second level because they weigh about a third of the 800-lb. Ten Commandments," Bushman said.

The 8-foot-tall, 5-foot-wide Ten Commandments will be in a visible location too, but on the first level where the floor can handle it, he said.

"In times of turbulence in the world," Bushman said, "we’re sharing peace and the Lord’s love. We all need more of that."

He wants Vista Ridge to be a "wholesome family place" and he said, this time of year that includes Santa who will arrive at the mall on Saturday with free family photos to the first 100 customers. The mall has new Christmas decorations.

Faith-based marketing has been around in American business for a long time. Several large companies profess Christianity as part of the corporate culture and values. Among them are Dallas-based Interstate Batteries Corp., Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby and Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A.

Bushman agreed it’s unusual for a mall to display religious messages. But he thinks it will work in the big city as well as it does in West Texas.

Richard Morton, the mall’s new general manager, said there are changes coming outside the mall too. Six new entrance signs with the new name will be more visible from the highways and a huge 30-foot by 60-foot American flag will be waving from a flagpole.

There’s been some pushback on social media about the Music City Mall’s strategy. It’s worked at the mall Bushman has owned in Odessa for 20 years, Morton said.

Odessa, like Lewisville, is a great place to raise children, Morton said. "Can we be successful in Lewisville doing some of the same things? I think the answer is yes. Anytime a mall can be more open and friendly to shoppers and the community, I don’t see how you can fail."

School groups will be a big part of their free entertainment. There will be music daily even if it’s coming from two new self-playing baby grand pianos. A couple of movable stages are coming. An empty store space will be dedicated to local school art displays or performances.

Twenty, 65-inch TVs are being installed in the common areas for the non-shoppers to watch the big games.

Morton thinks the mall will draw families not only in Lewisville, but also in Coppell and Farmers Branch.

Not everyone is so sure inviting in music is a way to fix the shopping center.

Ginger Slavens, 34, of Lewisville, said she would rather see the mall become more like Frisco’s Stonebriar Centre with its updated and trendy tenants, or bring in new technology that integrates social media into the shopping experience.

"Lewisville has a chance to make a statement, and they are going to turn it into the Grand Ole Opry," Slavens said. "And that is exactly the crowd that they are going to attract. Odessa is not like Lewisville in any way."

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Lewisville calendar of events: Nov. 5-11

Dallas Events Calendar

Nov. 5

2 to 4 p.m.

Kayak tour

LLELA, 201 E. Jones St.

Drift under willows, float past reeds and cattails, and see what wildlife is encountered. All skill levels are welcome. LLELA instructors will give an introduction to kayaking and water safety basics. Ages 7 and up are welcome and all equipment is provided.

Registration is required online at bit.ly/CoLRegistration.

Nov. 6

10:30 a.m.

Preschool time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for preschoolers ages 3 to 6 years old. Classes will be held at 10:30 a.m. Mondays and at 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays. Activities will include stories, songs, finger plays and movement. The theme for the day is reinforced through a take-home activity. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

11:15 a.m.

Mother Goose Time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For infants, ages 0-15 months. The lap-sit class is designed to encourage one-on-one interaction between adult and child. The class is offered at 11:15 a.m. Mondays and 1:30 p.m. Thursdays. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

4 to 8 p.m.

Teen tabletop games

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For teens in grades 6-12. Unwind after school by playing tabletop games (board, card and dice games) with other teens. The library will provide the games, a mix of old favorites and new classics. No registration is required.

6 to 8:30 p.m.

GED classes for adults

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Free Adult Secondary Education (aka GED) classes for adults will be offered at the Lewisville Library starting September 2017. The classes are designed to prepare eligible adults who lack a high school diploma to take the GED high school equivalency exam. The GED classes will be provided by Denton ISD Adult Education and Literacy, and funded by the Texas Workforce Commission. Space is limited. Registration is required. To register, call Denton ISD at 972-350-3481.

7 p.m.

City council meeting

Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church St.

The Lewisville City Council will have a regular meeting on Monday.

Nov. 7

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Art exhibit

MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles St.

Draw The Message Paint The Heart art exhibition by Yoonsoo Nam will be on display in the main art gallery through Nov. 25.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Art exhibit

MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles St.

The Cross Timbers Artist Guild exhibit will be on display through Nov. 27 in the North Corridor Gallery.

The exhibit will feature works from the guild artists. The artists live and/or work in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Double Oak, Copper Canyon, Argyle and Bartonville.

10:30 to 1 p.m.

ESL classes for adults

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Free English as a Second Language classes for adults are now being offered at the Lewisville Public Library Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classes are provided by Denton ISD Adult Education and Literacy and funded by the Texas Workforce Commission. Registration is required. Call Denton ISD at 972-350-3481.

10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

Toddler time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for toddlers ages 15 to 36 months at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and at 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. Thursdays. Classes are designed for walkers, each weekly theme is reinforced through an age-appropriate take-home activity. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

1:30 p.m.

Bilingual Mother Goose Time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For infants, ages 0-15 months. The dual-language lap-sit class is designed to encourage one-on-one interaction between adult and child. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Fall coding camp

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For children in grades fourth and fifth. The four-class “camp” session will teach students the basics of Scratch, a programming language developed at the MIT Media Lab. In the first two classes, students will be introduced to the basics of Scratch. The final two classes will be for individual and collaborative exploration, discover, and practice and for asking questions and receiving feedback from both the instructor and student peers.

Registration is required and opens Oct. 24.

6 p.m.

Leche y galletas

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Families can drop in for a short story time in Spanish followed by a period of family reading enjoyed with cookies and milk. A free ticket is required to attend. Tickets are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes prior to the program.

6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Novels at Night book club

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For readers of popular fiction, bestsellers and award winners. Members read one preselected book per month. This month’s selection is “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren. Pick up a copy of the book at the meetings or stop by the upstairs reference desk to ask for a copy. A limited number of copies are provided. Join at any time.

Nov. 8

10:30 a.m.

Spanish toddler time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for toddlers ages 15 to 36 months. Designed for walkers, the Spanish-language story time focuses on early literacy skills through stories, songs, movement and finger plays. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

11:15 a.m.

Spanish preschool time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for preschoolers ages 3 to 6 years old. Share stories, songs, finger plays, movement designed especially for Spanish-speaking families. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

1:30 p.m.

Spanish Mother Goose time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For infants, ages 0-15 months. The Spanish-language lap-sit class is designed to encourage one-on-one interaction between adult and child. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

2:30 to 4 p.m.

Microsoft Excel basics

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Designed for students with limited to no experience with Microsoft Excel. In the hands-on introductory class, learn how to navigate Excel, understand columns and rows, cell navigation, entering text, write a basic formula, add and rename worksheets and more. Registration is required by calling 972-219-3779.

4:30 p.m.

Teen volunteer program orientation

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For teens ages 14-18. Learn about the inner workings of the youth services department from program preparation to collection maintenance and work alongside library staff. Teen volunteers must attend a teen volunteer orientation before being eligible to volunteer. Registration for the orientation is required to attend. To register or for information call 972-219-3577.

6 p.m.

Yoga in the Plaza

Wayne Ferguson Plaza, 150 W. Church St.

Blue Anjou Yoga Studios is holding a weekly “Yoga in the Plaza” event, every Wednesday. The weekly classes are free and open to all yoga levels. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat or blanket, towel and water.

For information visit blueanjou.com or call Lisa Nicholson at 469-645-8555 or email lisa@blueanjou.com.

7 to 8:30 p.m.

Come write in

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

National Novel Writing Month participants can stay on track with their writing all month at Lewisville Public Library. Boost word count with writing sprints, word challenges and other creative games. No registration is required.

Nov. 9

4 to 5 p.m.

S.T.E.A.M. class

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W Main St.

Prime Explorations for children ages 6-8 is held weekly. S.T.E.A.M. classes incorporate age-appropriate science, technology, engineering, arts and math activities. Space is limited. A free ticket is required to attend. Tickets are distributed from the youth services desk on a first-come, first-served basis beginning 30 minutes before the class start time.

6:30 to 8 p.m.

Crochet corner

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W Main St.

Join experienced crocheter Michele Harlass and learn how to make basic crochet stitches and apply stitches to make different projects. Come together to share ideas, get inspiration or show off work. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own yarn and needles. A limited amount of supplies will be provided. No registration is required. Open to adults.

Nov. 10

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Veteran’s Day luncheon

Senior Activity Center, 1950-A S. Valley Parkway

Join the senior center in honoring veterans. The luncheon is free for veterans and $3 for non-veterans.

7 p.m.

Acoustic jam session

MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles St.

The Visual Art League of Lewisville hosts free weekly acoustic jam sessions every Friday. All acoustic instruments and levels are welcome. All music genres are welcome.

For information visit visualartleague.org.

7 p.m.

Seussical performance

MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles St.

Christian Youth Theater (CYT) will perform five productions of “Seussical.” Show times are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $13 for a standard ticket, $14 at the door and $12 per person for groups of 10 or more. Visit CYTDallas.org to purchase tickets.

Nov. 11

7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Bird walk

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Center, 201 E. Jones St.

Bird watchers of all levels are welcome to join expert birders every second Saturday as they guide visitors to prime birding locations along LLELA’s nature trails. The walk is open to bird lovers ages 10 and up.

Registration is not required. There is no fee for the event; however, there is a $5 per vehicle entry fee payable at the gate by cash or check only.

9 a.m. to noon

Household hazardous waste collection

Residential Convenience Center, 330 W. Jones St.

Lewisville operates a household hazardous waste (HHW) collection center that provides residents with a convenient, safe and environmentally sound way to get rid of waste materials that should not be put into the landfill. It is open the second Saturday of each month for Lewisville residents.

For information call 972-219-3504.

11:15 a.m.

Family story time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

A story time for all ages to share stories, songs, finger plays and movement reinforcing early literacy skills. Ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

2 to 4 p.m.

Free math tutoring

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For students in grades first through 12. Free math tutoring is provided by Intellichoice. For information visit intellichoice.org/sign-up. All spots filled passed on scores form a diagnostic test administered by Intellichoice.

2 to 3 p.m.

Women in the Air Force

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Kimberly Johnson, director of special collections at TWU libraries, will be lecturing about Women Airforce Service Pilots. TWU is the national archives holder for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

2:30 to 4 p.m.

Intermediate Microsoft Excel

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Designed for students with some experience using Microsoft Excel, and who have mastered the skills covered in the Microsoft Excel basics class. The intermediate class will teach how to write formulas, error check formulas, insert charts, freeze panes, format number and data types, add a filter and more. Registration is required by calling 972-219-3779.

7 to 9 p.m.

Stars on the Prairie

LLELA, 201 E. Jones St.

Join LLELA for an evening viewing the wonders of the night sky from LLELA’s prairie restoration. Constellations both familiar and unusual, satellites and sometimes planets and the moon are features of the ever-changing night sky. The hike is open to ages 5 and up.

The fee for the event is $10. Registration is required at bit.ly/CoLRegistration. Search activity code 800001.

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North Texas teams compete at Battle of the Badges

Police and fire department softball teams from around North Texas came together to battle it out, and after nearly 12 hours one came out on top.

On Oct. 21, the Lewisville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association hosted the 15th Battle of the Badges at Lone Star Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park.

Arlington Metro Fire Department won the 15th Battle of the Badges tournament. In the grudge match between the Lewisville Police Department and Lewisville Fire Department, the fire department came out on top.

“Our team played great, and we came out swinging against our police department,” said Lewisville firefighter Billy McWhorter Jr. “We had fun, and hopefully can start playing more games together.”

LPD Det. Asa Hinson said a lack of practice partially led to the department’s loss.

“We didn’t play up to our standards, and it was evident in the first game,” Hinson said.

Hinson was named the police MVP, and Ryan Cortez was named the fire MVP.

“I got on base twice, but I didn’t do anything significant,” Hinson said. “The fact that the team voted for me because of all I’ve done, I feel it’s a sign of respect that they recognize all I do for our team.”

In an effort to have a true Battle of the Badges championship game, there was a police bracket and a fire department bracket.

LPD went on to advance to the final game in the police bracket against the Flower Mound Police Department. After back-to-back games, Flower Mound won the police tournament and earned the right to play in the championship game.

“Once we found our groove I thought we played pretty well,” Hinson said. “We did really well in the police bracket. We played five games, and we’ve only done that one other time.”

McWhorter said Cortez was chosen MVP because he had some great at-bats during the grudge match and the rest of the tournament.

“He had some big hits with runners on base,” McWhorter said. “He also had some great catches in the outfield too.”

McWhorter said the most enjoyable part of the day is seeing friends from the other departments and hanging out with co-workers outside of work.

“It’s always fun to get to play my dad’s team and the guys I have known since I was a kid,” McWhorter said.

Billy McWhorter Sr. is a Flower Mound firefighter and member of their softball team.

Flower Mound was also represented by their police department.

“I think our team played great this year,” said Justin LoBello, Flower Mound police officer. “We lost our first game 12-11 and battled back to win four straight games to win the police side of the bracket.”

Carrollton returned to the tournament with three teams – two from the fire department and one from the police department.

“I feel like our team played well this year, and I’m proud of the dedication they put into every game,” said Justin Haisten, Carrollton firefighter. “We fought hard against some good teams and lost a couple of really close games.”

Haisten said the best part of the day for him was seeing people from other departments that they don’t get to see very often.

Danny Stoner, Carrollton police officer, said he felt that his team played better this year partly because they didn’t have to face Carrollton Fire Department in the first round.

“We enjoyed the separate brackets,” Stoner said. “It was nice to play other police teams, and I felt the games were closer.”

The tournament was a fundraiser for the LCPAAA and the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County. It raised more than $6,500.

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Lewisville calendar of events: Oct. 15-21

Officials come together for Lewisville Lake Bridge ribbon cutting ...

Oct. 15

6 to 9 p.m.

Shared table event

Wayne Ferguson Plaza, 150 W. Church St.

Main & Mill Business Association will host the “shared table” event. Shared Table is an outdoor dining experience in Historic Downtown Lewisville that showcases the best of Downtown Lewisville restaurants with entertainment provided by Radu, The Violin Guy.

Tickets are $100 and will benefit the Old Town Art beautification program.

For information contact Caroline Berend at ceberend@aol.com and visit mainandmillassociation.com.

Oct. 16

10:30 a.m.

Preschool time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for preschoolers ages 3 to 6 years old. Classes will be held at 10:30 a.m. Mondays and at 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays. Activities will include stories, songs, finger plays and movement. The theme for the day is reinforced through a take-home activity. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

11:15 a.m.

Mother Goose Time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For infants, ages 0-15 months. The lap-sit class is designed to encourage one-on-one interaction between adult and child. The class is offered at 11:15 a.m. Mondays and 1:30 p.m. Thursdays. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

2:30 to 4 p.m.

Microsoft Excel Basics

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For adults and teens ages 15 and up. Designed for students with limited to no experience with Microsoft PowerPoint. Learn how to navigate PowerPoint, create a new presentation, choose a slide type, add content, insert images and objects, re-arrange slides, present your slideshow and more. Registration is required. Call 972-219-3779 to register.

6 to 8:30 p.m.

GED classes for adults

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Free Adult Secondary Education (aka GED) classes for adults will be offered at the Lewisville Library starting September 2017. The classes are designed to prepare eligible adults who lack a high school diploma to take the GED high school equivalency exam. The GED classes will be provided by Denton ISD Adult Education and Literacy, and funded by the Texas Workforce Commission. Space is limited. Registration is required. To register, call Denton ISD at 972-350-3481.

7 p.m.

City council meeting

Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church St.

The Lewisville City Council will have its regular meeting on Monday.

Oct. 17

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Artist’s Choice exhibit

MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles St.

The Visual Art League of Lewisville presents “Artist’s Choice” an exhibition of new art pieces by members of the Visual Art League of Lewisville. The exhibit will be on display now through Oct. 28.

10:30 to 1 p.m.

ESL classes for adults

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Free English as a Second Language classes for adults are now being offered at the Lewisville Public Library Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classes are provided by Denton ISD Adult Education and Literacy and funded by the Texas Workforce Commission. Registration is required. Call Denton ISD at 972-350-3481.

10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

Toddler time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for toddlers ages 15 to 36 months at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and at 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. Thursdays. Classes are designed for walkers; each weekly theme is reinforced through an age-appropriate take-home activity. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

1:30 p.m.

Bilingual Mother Goose Time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For infants, ages 0-15 months. The dual-language lap-sit class is designed to encourage one-on-one interaction between adult and child. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

2 p.m.

Mystery book club

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The Booked for Murder Mystery Book Club will discuss “The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware. The club meets the third Tuesday of the month.

6 p.m.

Leche y galletas

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Families can drop in for a short story time in Spanish followed by a period of family reading enjoyed with cookies and milk. A free ticket is required to attend. Tickets are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes prior to the program.

6:30 to 8 p.m.

Intermediate Microsoft Excel

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W Main St.

Designed for students with some experience using Microsoft PowerPoint, and who have mastered the skills covered in the Microsoft PowerPoint basics class. For adults and teens ages 15 and up. Learn how to organize and hide slides, insert slide numbers, create a graphic hyperlink, add slide animation and transitions, embed a video clip, set slideshow timing and more. Registration is required. Call 972-219-3779 to register.

6:30 to 8 p.m.

Rocktober: Rathmore

Wayne Ferguson Plaza, 150 W. Church St.

Rathmore, a Celtic rock band, will perform the second show of the Rocktober concert series. Concerts take place Tuesday nights. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for their comfort. Food and drinks will be sold on-site. Well-behaved pets on a leash are allowed at all shows.

For information call 972-219-3401.

Oct. 18

10:30 a.m.

Spanish toddler time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for toddlers ages 15 to 36 months. Designed for walkers, the Spanish-language story time focuses on early literacy skills through stories, songs, movement and finger plays. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

11:15 a.m.

Spanish preschool time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

The library will host free early literacy classes for preschoolers ages 3 to 6 years old. Share stories, songs, finger plays, movement designed especially for Spanish-speaking families. A ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

1:30 p.m.

Spanish Mother Goose time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For infants, ages 0-15 months. The Spanish-language lap-sit class is designed to encourage one-on-one interaction between adult and child. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

2 to 3 p.m.

Learning to invest

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Learn how to develop an investing strategy, about the impact of asset allocation and the influence of inflation on long-term goals. Registration is required.

6 p.m.

Old Town

Homecoming parade

The Lewisville High School homecoming parade will travel east on Main Street to Mill Street, head north on Mill and then west on Church Street ending at Church and Charles.

6 p.m.

Yoga in the Plaza

Wayne Ferguson Plaza, 150 W. Church St.

Blue Anjou Yoga Studios is holding a weekly “Yoga in the Plaza” event, every Wednesday. The weekly classes are free and open to all yoga levels. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat or blanket, towel and water.

For information visit blueanjou.com or call Lisa Nicholson at 469-645-8555 or email lisa@blueanjou.com.

Oct. 19

4 to 5 p.m.

S.T.E.A.M. class

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W Main St.

Prime Explorations for children ages 6-8 is held weekly. S.T.E.A.M. classes incorporate age-appropriate science, technology, engineering, arts and math activities. Space is limited. A free ticket is required to attend. Tickets are distributed from the youth services desk on a first-come, first-served basis beginning 30 minutes before the class start time.

7 p.m.

Citizen Police Academy

Lewisville Police Department, 1187 W. Main St.

The 40th Citizen Police Academy will be held now through Nov. 2. Most classes are held on Thursday evenings.

7 to 8 p.m.

Teen advisory group

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

Teenagers in grades six through 12th are invited to join the group the third Thursday of each month. Help create the ideal teen experience. Develop leadership skills, learn to work as a team and earn community service hours too. Pick up an application at the Youth Services Desk.

For information call 972-219-3577.

All day

Special needs dance

Memorial Park Recreation Center, 1950 S. Valley Parkway

Memorial Park Recreation Center basketball courts will be closed all day. The building will close to the public at 6 p.m.

10 a.m.

Texas walks

Texas Walks is a campaign that takes place on Oct. 20 with a statewide walk. Participants choose to walk for 10 minutes, at 10 a.m. Sign up at itstimetexas.org/texaswalks.

7 p.m.

Acoustic jam session

MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles St.

The Visual Art League of Lewisville hosts free weekly acoustic jam sessions every Friday. All acoustic instruments and levels are welcome. All music genres are welcome.

For information visit visualartleague.org.

Oct. 21

8 a.m.

Battle of the Badges

Lone Star Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park, 1301 S. Railroad St.

Lewisville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association will host the 15th annual Battle of the Badges softball tournament featuring police and fire teams from across North Texas. Admission is free. Event T-shirts will be available for purchase.

For information email lcpaaa@yahoo.com.

9 a.m. to noon

Boy Scout badge workshop

LLELA, 201 E. Jones St.

The class is designed to accomplish objectives related to a Boy Scout badge, but members of other youth organizations or children interested in the topics are welcome to enroll. It is usually impossible to accomplish all objectives related to a badge in only a few hours, but LLELA staff will include as much as possible in a series of hands-on, engaging activities. The cost is $10 per scout. Registration is required by 11a.m. the Friday before the activity.

For information call 469-635-5481 or visit bit.ly/CoLRegistration to register.

11:15 a.m.

Family story time

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

A story time for all ages to share stories, songs, finger plays and movement reinforcing early literacy skills. Ticket is required. Space is limited, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the youth services desk, 30 minutes before the start of the class.

Noon to 3 p.m.

Saturday at the cabin

LLELA, 201 E. Jones St.

Step back in time and visit the historic Minor-Porter log house. Visitors of all ages are welcome to arrive at any time during the open house. Visitors will get a feel for pioneer life as they tour the log home, smoke house, barn, dugout and homestead grounds. The tour is free with the $5 per vehicle entrance fee to LLELA.

1 p.m.

Flag retirement ceremony

Wayne Ferguson Plaza, 150 W. Church St.

The Lewisville Morning Rotary Club invites the greater Lewisville community to honor the U.S. flag during a flag retirement ceremony. Learn how to properly, honor, display, store and retire the flag.

For information visit lewisvillemorningrotary.com.

2 to 4 p.m.

Free math tutoring

Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St.

For students in grades first through 12. Free math tutoring is provided by Intellichoice. For information visit intellichoice.org/sign-up. All spots filled passed on scores form a diagnostic test administered by Intellichoice.

3 to 4 p.m.

Robot overlords

Sukoon Coffee and Ice Cream, 1288 W. Main St.

The book club is for readers of science fiction, fantasy, horror and graphic novels. Each month has a different theme, and readers will be allowed to select a book that goes along with that theme. Librarians will bring a list of suggested titles to the meetings. Join at any time.

October’s theme is ghosts.

4 to 8 p.m.

Fall festival

Castle Hills Village Shops and Plaza, 2540 King Arthur Blvd.

The family friendly event will feature two sets of horse drawn hayrides that will take a brisk stroll around the plaza. Children can also enjoy bounce houses, carnival games, a pumpkin patch, face painters, balloon artists, a photo booth, a petting zoo and more.

Source Article

Lewisville gymnast Ragan Smith injures ankle, is forced to withdraw from World Championships; American Hurd wins gold

This Story is About…
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 04: Ragan Smith of the U.S. looks towards the balance beam prior to her competition during the qualification round of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on October 4, 2017 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

MONTREAL — Morgan Hurd extended the United States’ domination in the individual all-around Friday night at the World Championships in Montreal, edging Canadian Ellie Black by one-tenth of a point, while Russia’s Elena Eremina took bronze.

Ragan Smith (Lewisville/Texas Dream Gymnastics) had to pull out of the competition just minutes before entering the arena at Olympic Stadium after injuring her right ankle in warmups.

Smith was coming into the competition as a favorite for gold after finishing second in qualifications with a 55.932.

Since 2007, all but one major individual all-around title has been taken by an American.

Hurd, 16, added her name to the list of champions produced by the United States, which includes Shawn Johnson, Anastasia Liukin, Bridget Sloan, Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas and Simone Biles.

Solid from beginning to end, Hurd clinched the title with her final routine on the floor to finish ahead of Black, with whom she was tied at the halfway point of the competition.

Having the World Championships at home suited Black.

The 22-year-old Nova Scotian was spurred on by an enthusiastic crowd. Before her, no Canadian gymnast, male or female, had ever won a world all-around medal. Leading the field heading into the final rotation, Black nearly captured the gold, but finished with a silver.

With 2010 world champion Aliya Mustafina returning from maternity leave, Russia has found a new star in Eremina.

Like Mustafina, the 16-year-old excels on uneven bars. Having pocketed bronze Friday, the young Russian will attempt to take gold in Saturday’s bars final.

A tenth of a point was the difference between Eremina and Japan’s Mai Murakami. who finished in fourth place.

Murakami led following the qualification round but saw her chances for gold evaporate after by a fall off the balance beam.

Competition continues Saturday with the first of two days of individual event finals.

Staff and wire reports

Source Article

Lewisville hotel in the midst of renovations donates furniture to Harvey’s homeless

LEWISVILLE, Texas — A hotel is your home away from home. It can be even more when your home is underwater.

When Tropical Storm Harvey hit, The Best Western Plus of Lewisville welcomed dozens of heartbroken Houstonians.

“All of our team was interacting with these people,” said General Manager Chris Patel. “They became like family for three days that they were here.”

That bond didn’t stop when the rain did nor did the hotel’s desire to give flooding victims a sense of home.

Patel decided to speed up his hotel’s pre-planned remodel and donate every dresser, TV armoire, chair and bedside stand he can. It’s enough to fill two huge moving pods, in the middle of the hotel’s parking lot near I-35 and Corporate Drive. Each piece will help furnish Harvey’s victim’s new or temporary housing. Continue reading “Lewisville hotel in the midst of renovations donates furniture to Harvey’s homeless”

What Are You Going to Do in Louisville?

Louisville is a town located in Texas in the Dallas Metroplex. Many people are attracted to this area, either because of the homes, the great schools or the close proximity to Dallas and all that it has to offer. For some, it is a city that they call home and for others, it is a city where they choose to come when they are visiting family or friends in the area. In either case, it’s a good idea to know what is taking place so that you can take advantage of all that it has to offer.

Like many places in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there are some great places to eat in Louisville TX. One of the options that you may want to consider is Sneaky Pete’s, an American restaurant that is certainly well worth the stop. You can come by anytime of the week but if you happen to stop by on a Sunday, you are going to be treated to a fantastic brunch. Another place that you may want to try is the Drunken Donkey. They have a rather unique menu that is certainly well worth the stop. Continue reading “What Are You Going to Do in Louisville?”