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Les Cockrell: State park to offer trout derby for kids

Area families are invited to share in a holiday-themed trout derby and a “Lost Pines Adventure” on Saturday at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

The trout derby is planned from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit. Children of all ages are welcome to be at the unit’s fishing pond to participate in the event, which is sponsored in part by Cabela’s. Prizes will be awarded in several categories, and a casting contest will be featured.

The Lost Pines Adventure will begin at 10 a.m. at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit and will feature an easy half-mile hike along the Lost Pines Nature Trail. No reservations are necessary. 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.


Information session on Affordable Care Act set for Saturday

An information session on the Affordable Care Act featuring a trained navigator from the Community Council of Greater Dallas is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Denton’s Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 1300 Wilson St.

Participants should bring the following documents: a copy of the birth certificate for each person who is applying; a copy of the Social Security card for each person who is applying; proof of each family member’s income (paycheck stub, letter from employer stating earnings or papers that show how much is being received in child support); and applicant’s Alien Registration Card (I-551) or a copy of the front and back of the card if the applicant is not a U.S. citizen.

The program is sponsored by Women of Wisdom, Denton and the Denton County Democratic Party.

The event is posted on Facebook at For more information, call 940-566-1165.


American Red Cross issues call for blood donors

Officials with the American Red Cross this week issued a call for blood donations to help shore up supplies in the wake of recent severe weather that forced cancellation of some area blood drives and resulted in poor turnout for others.

As residents are able to return to normal activities and it’s considered safe to travel, the Red Cross encourages eligible donors to make a blood donation appointment by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

Blood donations of all types are needed to maintain an adequate supply for patients in need, especially types O negative, B negative and A negative. Platelet donations are also needed since they must be transfused within five days of donation and must be constantly replenished.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required to give blood. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate.


Texas Strong Toy Run set Saturday in Carrollton

Corvette World Dallas and Legends Corvette Club are sponsoring the Texas Strong Toy Run on Saturday on behalf of DFW Toys for Tots.

Area residents can participate in the event by bringing a new unwrapped toy and their vehicle to Corvette World Dallas, 1810 N. Interstate 35E in Carrollton. Vehicles will line up at noon and cruise to the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill in Dallas to drop off toys.

To sign up for the event or to drop off toys, contact Donna Smith at 972-446-8388 or join the event on Facebook at


State to stock trout in Elm Fork of Trinity River

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, in conjunction with the city of Lewisville and the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, is scheduled to release thousands of rainbow trout into the Elm Fork of the Trinity River on Friday as part of an ongoing program to boost the fish population and encourage recreational use of the river.

The state releases fingerlings below the Lewisville Dam spillway into the river. Actual stocking dates are dependent on weather, so anglers should call the hatchery at 903-676-2277 to verify.

Access to the river is through LLELA, which is open Friday through Sunday. For more information, visit

Trout anglers will need to purchase a $5 freshwater fishing stamp for their valid Texas fishing license, and anglers younger than 17 years of age are not required to have a license or stamp.


Lewisville Animal Shelter offers Santa Paws Village

The Lewisville Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, 995 E. Valley Ridge Blvd., will hold Santa Paws Village through Dec. 31.

The event is designed to increase awareness of animal adoptions, provide a holiday giving tree for supplies and accept monetary donations for spaying and neutering at the shelter.

Hours for the shelter are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.


Environmental learning area slates Saturday events

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area will host a bird walk and a guided nature walk on Saturday.

Bird watchers of all skill levels ages 10 and older are invited to join Keith Lockhart at 7:30 a.m. as he guides visitors to prime bird locations, some of which are not typically open to the public except on scheduled tours.

A Texas Master Naturalist will lead the nature walk beginning at 10 a.m., and participants will explore the Cicada Trail to search for animal tracks and other signs of wildlife and to learn more about the natural history of the area.

Cost of the activities is $7 per person, and reservations are not required. For more information, contact Lisa Cole at or 972-219-3930.

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area is a 2,000-acre area of prairies, forests and wetlands managed as a wildlife preserve by a group of agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of North Texas, the city of Lewisville, the Lewisville school district and Texas A&M University.

It is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for fishing, hiking, camping, bird watching, kayaking, canoeing, picnicking and other activities. The entrance is at 201 E. Jones St., at the intersection with Kealy Street in Lewisville. For more information, call 972-219-3930 or visit


South Branch Library to host free lecture Saturday

Dr. Steven Forde, a University of North Texas professor, is scheduled to present a free lecture titled “Slavery: Popular Sovereignty vs. the Constitution” at 2 p.m. Saturday at Denton’s South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane.

The lecture is part of a series titled “Lincoln, the Union and Crisis,” which is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Humanities Texas.


Butterfield Stage to host holiday youth production

A Youth Theater production of the holiday play Believe! will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Butterfield Stage, 201 S. Denton St. in Gainesville.

Tickets cost $5 each and can be reserved by calling the box office at 940-665-1284 or purchased online at

The play, written by Patty Eberhart, features traditional Christmas music.

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