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Les Cockrell: Mustard talk to spice up meeting set for today

The Denton County Master Gardener Association’s herbal branch special-interest group will meet from 10 to 11:30 a.m. today at the Denton AgriLife Extension Office, 306 N. Loop 288 in Denton.

Guest speaker will be Janie Farler, and the topic will be “Mustard.” The presentation will include information on propagation, planting, harvesting, history and uses of the herb.

The group meets monthly and anyone interested in growing or learning more about herbs is invited. Admission is free.

For more information, visit .



Emily Fowler Central Library plans annual ‘Star Wars’ party

Denton’s Emily Fowler Central Library will have its annual Star Wars party at 7 p.m. Tuesday with games, crafts and snacks.

Fans are invited to dress as their favorite characters and meet members of the 501st Legion in authentic costumes, according to an announcement from the library.

The event is free and open to all ages, and registration is not required. However, library officials said that crafts will be available only while supplies last.

Emily Fowler Central Library is located at 502 Oakland St. For more information, call 940-349-8718 or e-mail .



Theatre RoadShow production to visit North Branch Library

Denton Community Theatre RoadShow performers will present “Get a Clue ... at the Library!” at 3 p.m. Thursday at the North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

The small cast will narrate and act out several stories, songs and/or poems using puppets, audience participation and traditional theatrical conventions with a minimum of props and costumes, according to a news release from the library.

The program is made possible by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Seating is limited, and free tickets will be available at the library starting an hour before show time on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, e-mail  or call 940-349-8718.



Arts council reminds of registration deadline

The Greater Denton Arts Council will have an informational meeting for people interested in volunteering as docents at noon Monday, July 30, at the Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E. Hickory St.

Deadline for registration is Wednesday. Reservations can be made by calling 940-382-2787.

A light lunch will be served. People who are interested in the visual arts, comfortable with speaking with small groups of people and available during the day are welcome to attend. No previous experience is necessary; all training is provided.

Last year, the docent program provided tours for more than 1,200 children and adults through the Meadows and Gough Galleries at the Center for the Visual Arts, according to a news release. The most active time for tours is during the first two weeks of December. There are three to four training sessions per year.

For more information, visit .



Author sign copies of books at restaurant

Author Shannon Taylor Vannatter is scheduled to be at Mom’s on Main, 204 S. Main St. in Aubrey, from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday to sign copies of her books, and some of the proceeds will be donated to the Aubrey Area Library, according to an announcement from the library.

Her latest releases, Rodeo Dust and Rodeo Hero, are set at the Fort Worth Stockyards and are available at,, and along with her other books.

Vannatter lives in Central Arkansas and has won several awards for her work.

For more information, call 940-365-9162.



UNT plans conference on autism Saturday

The University of North Texas Autism Center and the UNT autism graduate programs will host the Adventures in Autism Intervention and Research Conference from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the UNT Gateway Center, located north of the intersection of Eagle Drive and North Texas Boulevard.

The conference will include more than 20 presentations by nationally recognized autism researchers and practitioners, discussions of current research highlighting new developments in autism intervention and presentations by keynote speakers Linda R. Watson from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and Jennifer Zarcone from the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Neurobehavioral Unit.

Breakout session topics at the conference will include discussions on motor problems in autism, the theory of mind and autism, neurotherapy, applied behavior analysis, speech and language intervention and what to expect from a medical evaluation. Free child care will be available for registered attendees.

For more information about the center or the conference, call 940-369-7426 or e-mail .



Church plans community garden meeting

Oak Grove United Methodist Church will host a community garden steering committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The church is located at 4725 FM720 West in Aubrey, a quarter of a mile south of U.S. Highway 380.

Oak Grove has offered its 10-acre, future building site about a mile north of U.S. 380 as the location for the community garden. Volunteers are needed to find funding sources, plan and develop the site, organize the garden, set up the new gardening organization and develop guidelines and rules for its operation.

No two community gardens are alike, but all produce similar positive results, Jeanne Mathis, project coordinator, stated in a news release. Such gardens can help strengthen communities, break down ethnic and generational barriers, provide sources of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables, promote physical and spiritual healing and provide green space, she added.

For more information, call 972-948-5984 or e-mail .



Audition period under way for Roanoke competition

Singers and teen rock bands are invited to e-mail auditions for the sixth annual Roanoke Rising Star competition.

Online auditions for vocalists will be accepted through Aug. 15, and auditions for teen rock bands will be accepted through Aug. 1. All auditions are submitted by attaching a recording in MP3 format to an e-mail and sending to

All recordings must be unedited and representative of performance ability. The e-mail should also include a photo in jpeg format to use for promotional purposes, and a brief biography of performing experience.

The top 10 vocalists will compete live for judges Saturday, Oct. 13, during the annual Celebrate Roanoke event.

Teen rock bands will audition to perform in concert Oct. 13.

For more information about the contest, visit .

LES COCKRELL is interested in your input for Out & About. Help share information about Denton County events and people by calling him at 940-566-6887. His e-mail address is .