Appraisal appeals rolling in

An estimated 10,000 Denton County residents have filed appeals of their 2015 property tax appraisals, but officials said Monday they expect that group of unhappy taxpayers to be about the same size as last year.

On tornado’s trail

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth reported that the Mother’s Day tornado that struck southwest Denton was a category EF1, with wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph. The tornado touched down shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday near Hilltop Road and Country Club Road and ended just behind the Whataburger on Fort Worth Drive north of Interstate 35E, according to coordinates provided by the weather service.

Rain puts lakes past threshold

The Denton County Sheriff's Office released a statement earlier today saying no evacuations were necessary in the greenbelt south of Ray Roberts Lake.

Governor signs disaster declaration

Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, word came from the governor’s office that Gov. Greg Abbott had signed a disaster declaration for Denton County as well as Bosque, Clay, Eastland, Gaines, Montague and Van Zandt counties. Additional counties may be added to the declaration that will be sent to Washington, D.C., as the weather situation continues to develop.

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Firefighter’s training kicked in for rescues

Gainesville firefighter Wayne Twiner has been training once a month for three and a half years with Texas Task Force 1 as a rescue swimmer.

Well fire rouses neighbors

Residents along West Windsor Drive in northwest Denton were still shaken Friday by a fire and explosion at a natural gas well site in their neighborhood during severe weather Thursday night.

Severe weather heightened

Tornadoes, more flash flooding and hail are in the forecast for Denton County over the next several hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather likely to dampen weekend

Denton County residents can expect weekend weather conditions similar to those that produced an EF1 tornado Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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Further drought relief ahead

After nearly a week of blue skies and bountiful sunshine, Texas is expected to get back to the business of drought relief.

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Rain tops off lakes

After a week of downpours in North Texas, Army Corps of Engineers officials in Lewisville report lake levels across this part of the country are reaching capacity — and in some cases exceeding it.

Argyle forum set for school board candidates

The PTA groups from Hilltop Elementary and Argyle Intermediate schools will host a joint community forum for the Argyle school board candidates running in the May 9 election.

Les Cockrell: Benefit performance set for April 30

RSVP: Serving Denton County will be the beneficiary of a Music Theatre of Denton’s fundraising performance of The Wedding Singer on Thursday, April 30, according to Diana Corona, RSVP executive director.

County clinic data left at shop

Internal and state investigations continue at the Denton County Health Department following a security breach by an employee. In February, an unidentified employee left a USB drive at a local printing store to print a personal document from the drive.

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Relocation fund comes with added conditions

The Little Elm Town Council agreed Tuesday evening to release $325,000 from an escrow fund to a relocation fund to help residents of Lincoln Park Manor if they can convince the Lincoln Park City Council to cease all legal action against Little Elm.

Hearing set for towns’ dispute

A civil district court judge in Austin ruled that arguments would be heard later this month from a coalition of North Texas towns seeking to stop Little Elm’s petition for the state to recognize its new town limits.

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Positive impact

AUBREY — Three years to the day and almost to the very moment of the death of his 18-year-old son, Wade White stood before more than 600 students and school personnel Monday in the Aubrey High School gym, encouraging them to love and to make an impact that lasts.

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Beyond blue

PILOT POINT — Spring is usually when North Texans begin searching for bluebonnet fields appearing alongside busy state highways. But this year, another field of flowers is challenging the dominance of...

Calls up for sheriff’s mental health unit

Denton County Sheriff William Travis was on hand Tuesday morning to give Denton County commissioners the annual report for his office.

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Town tries to fight change

The Lincoln Park Town Council voted last week not only to fire its town manager, Nathaniel Parker, and town attorney, Rider Scott, but also to abolish an agreement that would move the town’s limits north of the mobile home park where all of the town residents are currently living.

Two vie in area mayor’s race

Campaigning once again for mayor of Oak Point is the last thing that Duane Olson wanted to do. He’d already served as mayor from 2003 to 2007 and 2009 to 2011, and running against the current mayor, Jim Wohletz, wasn’t his intention when he passed the mayoral duties on to him.

Affidavit alleges sexual contact

Jimmie Leeroy Exline Jr., former Sanger High School band director, inappropriately touched a minor more than once, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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Girl collects toys for kids experiencing stress

AUBREY — Eighth-grader Lexi Newton has given some thought to what a child might experience after a car accident, crisis or traumatic event.

Grand jury indicts local nurse on drug charges

A Denton nurse practitioner was recently indicted on diversion of controlled substance and possession of controlled substance by fraud charges, authorities said.

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Wildfires erupt in county

A handful of grass fires kept area firefighters busy Monday afternoon.

‘Long journey almost over’

Charles Stobaugh is almost a free man. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday refused the state’s appeal to review the work of a lower court, which acquitted Stobaugh, 59, in the murder of his estranged wife, Kathy Stobaugh.

Pilot Point school board to mull hiring superintendent

The Pilot Point school board will hold a special meeting Wednesday to consider officially hiring Dan Ray Gist II as superintendent.

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Tuning up

PILOT POINT — Entering the Pilot Point Community Opera House feels like time-traveling through different eras of the town’s history. Over the past 115 years, it’s been a car dealership, a general store, a grocery store and a community theater.

Pilot Point picks superintendent

The Pilot Point school board didn’t have to look far to find its next superintendent.

Cooperative proposes two routes for transmission line

DALLAS — Brazos Electric Power Cooperative filed a proposal Thursday with state regulators for proposed routes for a transmission line and substation in west Frisco and Little Elm.

Women’s health center celebrates ribbon cutting

A new women’s health center in Cross Roads will have its grand opening event Thursday.

Area precinct chair indicted

A Denton County Republican Party precinct chairman was indicted on a count of fourth-degree impersonation in New Jersey last August.

Plane forced to land on road

An investigation is underway after a plane was forced to make an emergency landing west of Sanger on Wednesday morning.

Frosty temperatures to stick around

Keep the heavy coats, gloves and hat nearby. Freezing and near-freezing temperatures are expected to hang around Denton for the next couple of days.

Pilot Point P&Z to discuss changes to comprehensive plan

Year in Review: Local projects fill area

Forward thinking, forward planning has been the name of the game in many of the projects, programs and decision-making done in Denton County over the course of 2014.

Police identify driver, victims

Garrett Wilhelm of Gainesville was on his way to visit his parents in Keller when he rear-ended a family of four along Interstate 35W on Wednesday afternoon, police said. The Christmas Eve accident killed 5-year-old Moriah Modisette of Cross Roads and seriously injured members of her family.

Horn says lower caps come with a price

Denton County Judge Mary Horn is gearing up for a familiar battle in the 84th Texas Legislature. Horn and fellow Commissioners Court members are hoping a proposed bill to lower the caps on annual increases in residential property appraisals and revenue will be defeated because they say it would limit the prerogatives of local elected officials to set tax rates, create budgets and deliver needed services to Denton County residents.

Jurors indict former deputy

Former Denton County sheriff’s deputy Joe Edward Cummings has been arrested on child pornography charges.

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Cold, hard reality

Should Mother Nature choose to dump a slew of winter precipitation on top of Denton County, she will find county officials decidedly more prepared for it than last year.

Les Cockrell: Holiday event takes cues from past

Area residents are invited to take a trip back in time to experience a Victorian American Christmas from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Denton County Historical Park.

Les Cockrell: Holiday gift wrapping available at mall

Young people from First United Methodist Church of Denton will be offering their holiday gift-wrapping service at Golden Triangle Mall again this year.

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Church on the range

SANGER — The red building looks more like a barn than a church. A black sign with a silhouette of a cowboy kneeling in front of a cross is the only indication that this is a place of worship.

Les Cockrell: Donations taken around the clock

North Texas Trinity Cowboy Church of Sanger will hold its third G6 project to help the community beginning on Sunday, according to an announcement from the church.

County gives OK to recommended projects

Denton County commissioners gave approval Tuesday to recommendations made by the capital improvements committee for proposed projects over the next 10 years.

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New districts keep towns on their toes

Fall in Denton County was once a time of year when fields of coastal hay, wheat and even peanuts lined U.S. Highway 380. Combines, tractors and truckloads of workers labored from sunup to sundown harvesting crops and taking them to market. Evenings were spent by the fire or on a neighbor’s front porch swapping tales until the Sandman arrived.

Les Cockrell: A twist on shopping

An alternative gifts fair is planned for Friday through Sunday at Miller Center, located inside Denton’s First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Locust St.

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Poll watchers keep eye on skies

Denton voters will need to bring boots and an umbrella along with their voter guides to the polls today. Meteorologists expect a steady rain, with an occasional embedded thunderstorm, as a cold front arrives in time for Election Day. Whether it affects overall voter turnout remains to be seen.

Spreading warmth

An Aubrey fifth-grader is now seeing proof that kids can make a difference — contrary to what he once thought. In less than a month, 10-year-old Zachary Hamilton has collected more than 340 blankets for the less fortunate. He plans to deliver the new and gently used coverings Nov. 15 to Our Daily Bread.

Answers come at polls Tuesday

The time has finally come to settle things. After months of campaigning, debates and rhetoric, Denton County voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to determine, among many other ballot issues, who will lead the state for the next four years and just what will be the fate of hydraulic fracturing within Denton city limits.

United Way to pursue legislative action

United Way of Denton County continues to pave the way for the community it serves as the agency gears up to advocate for three key issues during the upcoming legislative session.