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Les Cockrell: State park plans slate of outdoor activities

Area residents searching for outdoor family activities should find plenty to keep them busy this weekend at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

A sunset hike set for 7 p.m. Friday at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit will open the weekend schedule. Participants should meet at picnic Pavilion 1, and they should bring a flashlight for the half-mile hike.

On Saturday, staff members at Johnson Branch will host a Wildlife Detectives program at 10 a.m., and lead a hike along the Vanishing Prairies Trail at 1:30 p.m.

Wildlife Detectives teaches families how to use observation skills to find traces of animal activity, and the program will be followed by a short track-hunting hike. Participants should meet at the amphitheater near the fishing pond.

The afternoon hike will cover a half-mile and will begin at Pavilion 1.

A guided nature hike will be offered at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit at 10 a.m. Saturday, and participants should meet at the Bluestem parking area. Volunteer guides will point out interesting features along the 2-mile route trail, including a beaver lodge.

A twilight hike is on tap at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Isle du Bois Unit. Participants should meet at the Hawthorn parking area for the hike, which will follow the Randy Bell scenic trail.

Park staff members recommend that hikers wear sturdy shoes and bring water.

Park admission is $7 for those 13 and older. For more information about Isle du Bois events, call 940-686-2148. For more information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2294.


‘Day of Recognition’ event to honor veterans

Several senior veterans from area Signature Senior Living communities including Denton’s Willow Bend Assisted Living and Memory Care Community will be honored during a “Day of Recognition” event today at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison.

The event will include flights in a Boeing Stearman military trainer aircraft provided by the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a press release stated.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by presentation of the colors and the series of flights.

Air Force veteran Jordan Wray, a resident of Denton-Willow Bend, and U.S. Army veteran Ray Quinn, Willow Bend maintenance director, are scheduled to participate.

The event is open to the public. The museum is at 4572 Claire Chennault St.


Sanger library to host program on geocaching

The Sanger Public Library will offer a free program on geocaching at 7 p.m. today.

Participants may use their smartphones or hand-held GPS devices, and flashlights are recommended.

All ages are welcome, but in order to ensure there are enough flashlights, those who plan to participate are asked to contact the library by calling 940-458-3257, e-mailing or messaging the staff on Facebook.


Salvation Army slates holiday gift donation drive

The Salvation Army will begin collecting donated Christmas gifts for area children whose parents cannot afford to purchase items on Friday.

The gifts will primarily be collected at Golden Triangle Mall through the organization’s Angel Tree program.

Beginning on Friday and going through Dec. 9, the Angel Tree will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Angel Tree is in the mall next to Barnes & Noble Booksellers in the Macy’s corridor.


‘Fandom Event’ set Saturday at Denton library

Denton’s North Branch Library will host a “Fandom Event” from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, and fans of Supernatural, FireFly, Doctor Who and Sherlock are invited to participate.

There will be themed snacks, crafts, costume contests and games for each show. The library is at 3020 N. Locust St.

For more information, contact Juli Gonzalez at 940-349-8741 or at


Little Elm Toys for Tots campaign to begin

The Little Elm Toys for Tots campaign will kick off Saturday in the parking lot of the Kroger store at the corner of Little Elm Parkway and FM423.

Toys will be accepted from 9 a.m. to noon by volunteers. Only new, unwrapped toys for children ages infant to 12 will be accepted.

Special guests will include Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Santa Claus, Little Elm firefighters and members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

For more information, contact Kathy Phillips at or Sandy DeVauld at


Computer recycling event slated for Saturday

A computer recycling event is planned from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Cupboard Natural Foods and Cafe, 200 W. Congress St. in Denton.

The public is invited to bring any kind of electronics for recycling.

For more information, visit


Friends of the Denton Public Libraries plans book sale

Members of the Friends of the Denton Public Libraries are scheduled to host their quarterly “big book sale” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

Admission is $1 per person or free for Friends members. Most items will be priced at 50 cents or $1.

Patrons can also buy a book bag for $15 and then fill it up with books at no additional charge.

The sale raises money for the Denton Public Library for programs, materials and equipment.

For more information, contact Laura Douglas at 940-349-8749 or at


Ryan Ready concert to benefit opera house

Ryan Ready will perform at a hometown CD release party and concert to benefit the Pilot Point Opera House on Saturday at the opera house, located on the historic square in downtown Pilot Point.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be a raffle to benefit the Opera House during intermission, and refreshments will be provided.

Admission will be $8 for adults, $5 for children and free for ages 3 and younger.

For more information, e-mail


Adults invited to receive free flu shots Sunday

Adults will have an opportunity to get a free flu shot during a drive-through clinic planned from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton, 3000 Interstate 35 North.

The shots will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, at the main hospital building entrance, and participants won’t have to get out of their cars, a spokeswoman for the hospital said.

For more information, call 877-847-9355.


Dinner to benefit Denton Animal Shelter Foundation

The Purrrfect Bite, a progressive dinner on and off the Denton Square, is planned from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday to benefit the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation.

Cost is $125 per person. Features will include champagne and hors d’oeuvres, Hannah’s Off the Square; appetizers, Guiseppe’s; soup, Wine2; salad, Chestnut Tree; entrée, Queenie’s Steakhouse; dessert, The Abbey Inn and Beth Marie’s; and coffee, Jupiter House.

The Denton Community Theatre will provide entertainment and a raffle.

To reserve tickets, e-mail


Retirement community sets Veterans Day event

Vintage Retirement Community, 205 N. Bonnie Brae St. in Denton, is planning a Veterans Day celebration at 2 p.m. Monday.

The event will feature a bugler, color guard and presentation by Senior Master Sgt. Sylvia Budinich of the U.S. Air Force.

Refreshments will be served.

Winter clothing drive under way at middle school

Members of the National Junior Honor Society at Calhoun Middle School in Denton are conducting a winter clothing drive for a local ministry, and the public is invited to donate.

James Hall and Derrick Stewart are sponsors of the group, and Tim Smith, a financial representative of Modern Woodmen of America, is also supporting the effort.

Hall said coats, sweaters and other winter apparel items are needed.

Area residents who want to help can drop off items at the front office of the school, located at 709 Congress St., between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“We’ll be continuing the drive through next Friday, Nov. 15,” Hall said.


Denton church planning garage sale Saturday

Denton’s Christ the Servant Lutheran Church will conduct a garage sale at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

The church is at 2121 E. University Drive.

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