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Les Cockrell: Lecture on Denton’s historic bridges planned

The Denton County Office of History and Culture will host a lecture titled “The Historic Bridges of Denton County: Sharing the Legacy” from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Courthouse on the Square, 110 W. Hickory St.

Guest speaker D.J. Taylor will provide a look back at the early efforts to build bridges in the county, with particular focus on the historic iron and steel bridges that have been moved to parks and schools in recent years.

Today, many of these bridges display Historical Marker plaques and some are registered on the national and Texas state historic registers, according to an event press release.

Taylor is the first vice chairman of the Denton County Historical Commission and editor of the Commission’s quarterly publication, Retrospect. He is also a contributor to the Denton Record-Chronicle and has compiled the monthly column, “Yesteryear” since 2008.

Taylor is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington with a bachelor’s degree in history. He lives in the Bolivar community, northwest of Sanger, with his wife, Vicki.

All Courthouse Museum exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public. The courthouse has handicapped parking and accessibility through the north entrance.


Area nonprofit agencies to participate in North Texas Giving Day

Several Denton nonprofit organizations will be participating in North Texas Giving Day on Thursday.

They are asking their supporters to “get up and give” with an online donation from 7 a.m. to midnight. Donations of $25 or more can be made by visiting

North Texas Giving Day was launched in 2009 by Communities Foundation of Texas with ongoing support from Center for Nonprofit Management and The Dallas Foundation.

This year, area agencies hope to exceed the $366,372 raised locally in 2012, according to an event press release.


Fundraiser for Keep Lewisville Beautiful planned

A fundraiser for Keep Lewisville Beautiful is planned from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Johnny Carino’s in Lewisville, 595 E. Round Grove Rd.

To participate, supporters should print the flyer available at and present it at the restaurant during the fundraiser. A percentage of each purchase will be donated to Keep Lewisville Beautiful.

Flyers are also available at the KLB office, located at 101 W. Main St., Suite 102, in Lewisville.


Environmental learning area invites families to programs

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area invites area residents to explore “Stars on the Prairie,” tour a restored log house and take part in a campfire program this weekend.

Clyde Camp, a master naturalist and amateur astronomer with more than 30 years of experience, will lead the star-gazing program from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. Friday. The program is open to ages 5 and older, and cost is $7 per person.

Registration is required at 972-219-3930 or If the sky is cloudy, a night hike will be held instead.

LLELA visitors can tour the Minor-Porter log house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The house is furnished with all the trappings of life on the Denton County frontier circa-1870. Knowledgeable volunteers will be on hand to guide visitors through the structures and answer questions in the informal tour. There is no additional fee beyond the regular gate admission of $5 per person (ages 5 and younger are free).

The campfire program will be offered from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday in the campground at LLELA. All ages are invited to enjoy traditional campfire activities, including stories, songs, a craft for children and toasted marshmallows. Cost is $7 per person and registration is required by calling 972-219-3930 or e-mailing

LLELA is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for fishing, hiking, camping, bird watching, kayaking/canoeing, picnicking and other outdoor activities. LLELA’s entrance is at 201 E. Jones St. (at the intersection of Jones and Kealy streets) in Lewisville.


Lewisville Lake Symphony to open 30th season Friday

Lewisville Lake Symphony will open its 30th season with a performance featuring acclaimed Chinese double bassist Yang Heran at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St. in Lewisville.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. To order tickets, visit or call 972-874-9087. Advance tickets cannot be purchased at MCL Grand.

Free public parking is available along Main and Church streets or at Lewisville City Hall, located across Church Street from the theater. Parking is not allowed on the grass lot across Church Street from the MCL Grand.


Denton Public Library offers Read to Rover program

The Denton Public Library’s Read to Rover program will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday at the North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

The program provides an opportunity for children who struggle with reading to read one-on-one with a trained, certified therapy dog, according to a press release from the library. The program is made possible by a partnership with Therapy Pals of Golden Triangle, according to the press release.

Parents or guardians will need to register their children in person and sign a permission slip, and space is limited. The program is for children reading on their own and is best for ages 6-11.

For more information, contact Dana Tucker at 940-349-8715 or


American Red Cross blood drive scheduled Saturday

An American Red Cross community blood drive is planned from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the gymnasium of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Oak St.

A photo ID is required to donate. Potential donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors may give blood every 56 days.

Visit and enter the sponsor code, standrew, to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins will be welcome. For more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS.


VFW Post 2205 members announce essay contests

Members of Post 2205 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary have announced the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay contests.

Information packets have been sent to area high schools and middle schools, and application forms are available at the schools.

The Voice of Democracy contest is open to students in grades 9-11, and the Patriot's Pen competition is for students in grades six through eight.

The contests are open to students who are enrolled in public and parochial school and home-school programs in the United States, its territories or an overseas U.S. military school, according to a press release from Post 2205. Foreign exchange students or previous first-place winners are not eligible, according to the release.

The theme of this year’s Voice of Democracy contest is “Why I’m Optimistic about Our Nation’s Future.”

Entries must be written and recorded on CD with no background noise or enhancement. The essay cannot contain the student’s name, address or nationality.

This year’s theme for the Patriot's Pen competition is “What Patriotism Means to Me.” A 300- to 400-word typewritten essay must be turned in by midnight Nov. 1 to Post 2205.

Winners of the contests will advance to district competition.

For more information about the contest or if entry forms are not available at a student’s school, call VFW Post 2205 at 940-387-2205.


Booth spaces still available for Aubrey Peanut Festival

Booth Spaces are still available for the 28th annual Aubrey Peanut Festival, which will be held Oct. 5, organizers announced last week.

Food booths, which include electricity, measure 14 feet by 20 feet and are $250 each. All food vendors are required to submit a temporary food permit (no fee) to the City of Aubrey for approval, and forms are available at

A limited number of indoor booths are available inside the fire station. They measure 10 feet by 10 feet, have no electricity and are $65 each.

Outdoor booths with electricity measure 14 feet by 14 feet and are $85 each. Outdoor booths without electricity are $65 each for spaces measuring 12 feet by 12 feet or $50 for spaces measuring 10 feet by 10 feet.

Booth applications must be submitted to the Peanut Festival Committee for approval and booth assignment. Booth assignments are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Booth applications are available at and more information is available by calling 940-343-1313.

Booth rental applications may be returned to Aubrey City Hall, 107 S. Main St. in Aubrey or submitted by mail to: Aubrey Peanut Festival, P.O. Box 224, Aubrey, TX 76227.

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