Janet Laminack: Time to use new tech to be water efficient

It’s raining again! This seems pretty obvious, but if it’s raining, you don’t need to water your lawn.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle event looks to set world record

Organizers for the “Shoot for the Stars” event in Argyle will conduct a knockout basketball game on Friday, May 6 at the new Alex Betzhold Memorial Community Outdoor Basketball Court at Argyle High School, 191 U.S. Highway 377, and they are looking to set a world record.

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Simmons: Argyle Special Olympics athlete Logan wins Male Athlete of the Year

David Logan of Argyle received the male athlete of the year award in the 15-21 age group at the Area 11 Spring Games of Greater Fort Worth held April 8-9 in Arlington.

David Annis: Brush in fence lines can be tackled

Spring. Everything is starting to grow. Even the brush in the fence lines.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Stanfield Masonic Lodge was hub of Denton

The Stanfield Masonic Lodge, No. 217 A.F. & A.M. was chartered Jan. 22, 1858 and is the oldest fraternal organization in Denton. It was named in honor of charter member W.W.O. Stanfield.

Janet Laminack: Opportunity arises to find out about gardening

Opportunities abound to learn more about landscapes and gardening this time of year.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Four Masons receive years of service recognition

Four Masons recently received recognition for their many years of service during a special ceremony at the Texas Grand Lodge awards presentation for 50- and 60-year Masons of Stanfield Lodge in Denton.

Courtney Davis: Exercise plays a big role in supporting long, healthy life

Did you know that the No. 1 killer of Denton County residents is heart disease, a disease in which many of the risk factors are actually preventable?

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Becca Dickstein: Red columbine a good perennial for color in shady spots

Perk up a shady spot in your spring garden with red columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. Its lantern-like flowers appear in March or April in North Texas.

David Annis: Agriculture newsletter good for info

One of the challenges that we face at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is providing you with the best, most timely information for your operation that will result in your increased profitability.

AP

Major businesses stand against state’s anti-discrimination law

RALEIGH, N.C. — Major corporations took stands Thursday against a new North Carolina law that bans anti-discrimination measures based on sexual orientation and gender identity and requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that match their birth certificates.

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Janet Laminack: Mow before fertilizing

The calendar may not say it’s spring yet, but we know in our hearts it is here.

Denton County Office of History and Culture

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Long-hidden cabin open for tours

The Gibson Log Cabin, 4801 Quail Run Road in Flower Mound, will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

AP

Baked chicken makes an easy weeknight staple

People often ask me what my most-used kitchen tool is (a high-speed blender). But if you were to ask my mom that same question 30 years ago, I am sure she would have answered her Pyrex baking dish.

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Gardening specialist

The Denton County Soil and Water Conservation District recently handed out its 2016 Cooperator of the Year Award to the Denton County Master Gardner Association.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle band director Johnson elected to prestigious group

Argyle ISD director of bands Kathy Johnson was recently elected to the American Bandmasters Association.

Courtney Davis: What food labels really mean

Ever wonder what the dates on a food package really mean? Is it ever safe to use the product after the date stamped on the package?

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Spring brings seasonal titles to Argyle Little Free Library

To celebrate the coming of spring, Argyle Little Free Libraries are stocked with books about baby animals, nature and gardening.

David Annis: Develop a relationship with your vets

For as long as I’ve been working around Texas and Oklahoma, I’ve encouraged our livestock producers to develop a relationship with their veterinarian(s).

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Up and down weather playing a role in Argyle

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Janet Laminack: Texas a surprising home to strong wine production

When you think of wine-producing areas, your first thought is probably not of Texas. However, Texas has some important history in wine grape production.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: New courthouse to accommodate many departments

Groundbreaking for the new Denton County Southwest Courthouse in Flower Mound paved the way for a modern 32,000-square-foot facility.

Courtney Davis: Although delicious, snack packs are far from nutritious

As you walk the grocery aisles, you can’t miss those 100-calorie snack packs that many manufacturers are offering. The size of the packaging seems to suggest “prized possessions” and that you should savor each bite.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Road reconstruction ahead of schedule

The reconstruction of Country Club Road near Argyle is Denton County’s largest county road project and county Commissioner Andy Eads said the work is ahead of schedule.

David Annis: Last chance to earn CEUs for pesticide licenses

For most of us, it’s that time. The end of the month is rolling around and our restricted use pesticide licenses are expiring. The question on everyone’s mind is, “Do I have all the continuing education units needed to get my new RUP license?”

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle getting more hands-free signs on roadways

More hands-free signs will be placed on Argyle roadways to warn drivers not to talk on a cellphone, send a text, take or view photos, scroll through favorite play lists, read emails, play Candy Crush or enter GPS coordinates into your mobile device while the vehicle is in a lane of traffic or in motion on public property, streets or highways.

David Annis: Beginning farming series to cover soil types, stocking rates

I cannot begin to tell you how fun and rewarding it is to be working as the agriculture and natural resources agent here in Denton County. I’ve been here almost a year and have started to notice certain “common” questions and requests for information.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle library receives children’s books donation

The Argyle Little Free Library recently received a generous donation of children’s books.

Janet Laminack: Gardeners prepare for wintery time of year

It finally started feeling like winter around here, at least for a day or two. So what do gardeners or “yardeners” do this time of year?

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Becca Dickstein: Bur oak an excellent choice to plant in North Texas

Winter is a great time to plant a tree in North Texas and bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa, is an excellent choice for our area.

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New hands-free law in effect in Argyle

Argyle’s hands-free law making it illegal for anyone to use a hand-held cellphone or electronic device while driving is now in effect. Signs are being erected around Argyle to notify the public of the...

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Making some fast food with slow cookers

As a mom with two young girls, evenings at my house are hectic. It’s a marathon trying to get everything done. One thing that has made this time a little less hectic in my household is the slow cooker...

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle residents need to be aware of scams

At a recent Argyle Senior Center luncheon, Argyle Police Chief William Tackett discussed some of the scams being circulated in the Argyle area in the past six months, and he said that we continue to have...

David Annis: Discussion series to give pointers, knowledge

When I started with Texas ArgiLife Extension Service in 1988, I met a man and asked him, “How many years of experience do you have farming and ranching?” He replied, “One.” As he grinned and looked away...

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Mental exercises a good stretch for the brain

The other day I suggested to my husband that we begin the new year with some mental exercises. “We need to create a happy environment for our brains,” I told him.

Janet Laminack: Kissing bugs may not pose an immediate threat to all

Kissing bugs have been in the news lately. Maybe you have been wondering what that really means and if you will be impacted by Chagas disease.

Courtney Davis: Make goals within reach

It’s the start of a new year and the start of a new set of New Year’s resolutions.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Resolutions are not easily kept

Through the years I’ve had problems keeping New Year’s resolutions. I would no sooner resolve to lose a few pounds than I’d open a bag of potato chips, grab a candy bar and settle down with a cup of hot chocolate to load up before I wasted away to nothing.

AP

Search for perfect tomato goes on

Page through any of the freshly arrived seed catalogs and you’ll note the words “new” and “improved” splashed across many of the tomato varieties available to home gardeners for 2016.

AP

Rich, easy dishes get their start with lean cauliflower

Truth be told, I was prepared to hate most efforts to transform cauliflower into something it wasn’t. What’s wrong with straight up seasoned and roasted cauliflower? Why do we need to turn it into steaks and cutlets, mash and pizza crusts?

David Annis: Record book winner tours D.C.

I talk on agriculture all the time, but today, I want to talk about 4-H and the experiences our youths are having. Texas 4-H Youth Development sent 20 youth delegates on the Texas 4-H Leadership Conference tour, conducted Nov. 26 through Dec. 1, in Washington, D.C., and among them was Denton County’s Christian Dieterich.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons / The Place is Argyle

In 1836, Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a national holiday, followed by Louisiana and Arkansas two years later. After the Civil War, Christmas celebrations spread across the United States with the decorating of trees, the exchanging of gifts and the observances of the birth of Jesus Christ. Soon, towns began to establish their own distinctive ways to celebrate Christmas.

AP

Replace a tree with a giant-to-be

Nothing like some strong winter winds to remind one of mortality — tree mortality. No tree lives forever. Nothing does. But we humans sometimes don’t appreciate trees’ mortality, especially trees that are already large when we first meet them. They seem like they were here forever and will be here long after we’re gone.

Janet Laminack / Horticulture

Plants make wonderful gifts, says the horticulturist. They are living, yet much less work than a puppy. If you still have some people on your shopping list or need hostess gift ideas, here are some for you.

Callie Rainosek / Pet Talk

Vaccinations can prevent many illnesses in puppies, but viruses such as canine parvovirus are still a threat to dogs with developing immune systems. Young puppies often have immunity against the virus because they get antibodies from the colostrum in their mother’s milk, but these antibodies are not always as effective as a vaccine.

Courtney Davis: Learning healthy hints for this holiday season

December is a month filled with traditions, holiday celebrations, gift giving and lots of delicious foods.

Argyle ISD

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting a big success

The annual Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting was a huge success, announced Deborah Cottle, president of Keep Argyle Beautiful.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Hayrides available for Christmas festival and lighting

The annual Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St., will have hayrides to town hall from the public parking areas behind the U.S. Post Office, 440 U.S. Highway 377, and the Real Estate Station, 702 U.S. Highway 377. Vendor parking will be behind Argyle Town Hall.

David Annis: Vernalization could help winter wheat for grain

With all the rainfall we have been receiving the past few weeks, a common question that I have received is, “How late can I plant wheat for grain?” The answer is, it depends.

Janet Laminack: Books for plant lovers

And just like that, it’s Christmas time. To help you out with your shopping, I have some suggestions of gardening books that might be just what you or the gardener in your life need. These are some of my favorites; there are many great books out there.