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Les Cockrell: Student takes top honors at event

Kenwoo Kim, a sophomore at Lewisville High School, took top honors in the 2014 American Legion District 13 Oratorical Competition on the Constitution on Jan. 12 at American Legion Post 71 in Denton.

Other contestants were Austin Lux, a freshman at Denton High School; Joseph Martin, a senior at Flower Mound Marcus High School; and Pete Burley Jr., a senior at Guyer High School.

Kenwoo will proceed to the Division l Oratorical Competition, which will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 1, at American Legion Post 321 in Plano. The event is open to the public.

The winner at Division 1 will proceed to state competition planned Feb. 17 at Blinn College in Brenham. The national competition is slated for April 18-20 in Indianapolis.

Winners win college scholarship money at each level, up to approximately $20,000 for winning the national event.

The competition is open to any high school student in ninth through 12th grades. Students can contact their principals or speech teachers about entering future competitions.

For more information, call Lynn Vowell, District 13 oratorical chairman, at 940-727-8067.


Mystery book club to meet at Lewisville Public Library

Mystery lovers are invited to check out the Booked For Murder Mystery Book Club at the Lewisville Public Library.

The next meeting of the group will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the library’s Crawford Meeting Room. Members will discuss Dare Me by Megan Abbott.

The club meets monthly on the third Tuesday and discusses all types of mysteries, thrillers, suspense novels and an occasional true crime story, according to a press release.

The library is located at 1197 W. Main St. in Lewisville.


Denton’s Triangle Squares offers series of Plus Lessons

The Triangle Squares Square & Round Dance Club of Denton has launched a 15-week series of Plus Lessons, and those interested can still sign up by attending the next class, scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the group said.

Classes are held at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Ave. Cost is $30 per person or $50 per couple. The teacher is Toby Thomason.

For more information, call Toby or Judy at 940-382-6809.


Watoto Children’s Choir to perform in two concerts

The Watoto Children's Choir will return for two Denton County concerts this week.

The choir is scheduled to be at The Church of Corinth at 7 p.m. Thursday and at Southmont Baptist Church in Denton at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Members of the choir act as ambassadors to raise awareness about the plight of the orphaned and vulnerable children of Africa. Watoto is a holistic child-care solution initiated to serve the needs of Africa and her people, according to a press release.

Each of the children in the choir has suffered the loss of one or both parents. They live in Watoto Children’s Villages where they receive the care they need. For more information about the choir, visit

The Church of Corinth is located at 3201 Tower Ridge Drive in Corinth, and Southmont Baptist Church is located at 2801 Pennsylvania Drive in Denton.


Denton Drilling Awareness Group sets meeting

The Denton Drilling Awareness Group will hold a community meeting to discuss the gas well drilling and fracking in the South Lakes-Denia area on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the group.

The meeting will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Room B of the Denia Park Recreation Center, 1001 Parvin St., in Denton.

For more information, visit, call 940-383-4693 or e-mail


Environmental learning area offer Stars on the Prairie

Area residents with an interest in astronomy are invited to attend a Stars on the Prairie program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.

Master Naturalist Clyde Camp, an amateur astronomer with more than 30 years of experience, will lead the program, which is open to ages 5 and older.

Cost is $10 per person and registration is required by calling 972-219-3930 or e-mailing If the sky is cloudy, a night hike will be held.

The environmental learning area includes 2,000 acres of prairies, forests and wetlands managed as a wildlife preserve.

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


Prosper Cops with a Claus program helps 17 families

The Prosper Police Department’s Cops with a Claus program provided assistance to 17 families identified as being in financial need during the holiday season, according to an announcement from Marty Nevil, the department’s public information officer.

This was the 13th year for the program, which offers monetary help to families in a manner that attempts to maintain their honor and dignity, Nevil stated.

“An important aspect of what we do is serve the community in any way possible, and the Cops with a Claus program addresses that head-on. Part of our duty as police officers is to try everything in our power to meet the needs in our community, applying our energy and resources to find solutions. That’s the basis for Cops with a Claus,” she said.

The program awarded gift cards of $225 to each recipient. The cards are redeemable at any vendor that accepts credit cards and there are no restrictions on how the money is spent, Nevil said. Some families used the money for basic necessities and others used it to bring some Christmas cheer to their children or to purchase clothing.

The program’s successful 13-year run can be attributed to the generosity of Prosper residents, Nevil said. Police officers, dispatchers and their families finance the program by asking for donations or conducting fundraising programs.

Applications for the gift cards were distributed through the Prosper Independent School District and then a group of community volunteers selected the families who received holiday grants.

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