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Les Cockrell: State park plans variety of outdoor activities

Visitors to Ray Roberts Lake State Park on Saturday will be offered opportunities to hike and learn more about birds.

A “Flying Feathered Friends” hike is planned from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit. Hikers will watch and listen for birds along the mile-long route on paved and unpaved trails.

All levels of bird watchers are welcome, and participants should meet at Pavilion 1. Binoculars are recommended, and a limited number of binoculars and pocket field guides will be available.

A habitats and history hike is planned at 10 a.m. at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit. Hikers will explore animal habitat along the 2.2-mile route on the Randy Bell Scenic Trail and also learn a few facts about local history.

No reservations are required and participants should meet at the Hawthorn parking area.

A vanishing prairie hike is planned at 10 a.m. at Johnson Branch. This half-mile hike will begin at Pavilion 1 and will include information about birds and trees along the trail.

An introduction to birding program from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Johnson Branch will provide plenty of information about a hobby that anyone can enjoy. Park staff members will provide information about binoculars, field guides and what to do in the field, and then participants will go on a short bird-watching hike.

All hikers are advised to 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 940-637-2636.


Denton County Office of History and Culture to present lecture today

The Denton County Office of History and Culture will present a lecture at noon today by Chelsea Stallings on the relocation of Denton’s Quakertown community in the 1920s.

The lecture will be in the Commissioners Courtroom of the Courthouse on the Square, 110 W. Hickory St.

Stallings is a graduate student in the history department at the University of North Texas and is writing her master’s thesis on Quakertown.

All exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public.


Friends of the Denton Public Libraries slate book sale

Friends of the Denton Public Libraries will conduct a 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 members of the Friends organization.

Most items featured at the sale will cost 50 cents or $1, organizers said. Patrons can also buy a book bag for $15 and then fill the bag with books at no additional charge. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Denton Public Library programs, materials and equipment.

For more information, call 940-349-8752.


Scholarship foundation schedules event

The Denton African American Scholarship Foundation will present “A Night of Fun at the Mardi Gras Ball” at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E. Hickory St.

At last check, a few tickets still remained for the fundraiser, which benefits 2014 scholarships and endowment. The organization’s goal is to help make college a reality for youth of African American descent, according to a press release.

Tickets cost $50 each and include dinner and a dance. Semi-formal to formal wear is requested and Mardi Gras masks are encouraged.

To check ticket availability, call Harry Eaddy at 940-380-0761 or Val Morgan at 940-391-4148. Donations will be accepted at the event or can be mailed to: DAASF, P.O. Box 1217, Denton, TX 76202.

For more information, visit


Denton High Fillies dance team plans junior clinic

Denton High School’s Fillies dance team will conduct its annual Junior Fillies Clinic from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Participants will learn dance routines, play games and prepare a routine for the Fillies’ annual spring show, Fillies Follies, which will be held Feb. 21-22.

Registration cost is $28, which includes a T-shirt, a complimentary ticket to Fillies Follies and snacks. On-site registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

For more information, contact Kerri Burgess at 940-369-2124 or


Kim wins American Legion oratorical competition

Kenwoo Kim, a sophomore at Lewisville High School, took top honors at the American Legion Division 1 Oratorical Competition on the Constitution held Feb. 1 in Plano.

Kim advanced to the Division 1 contest by winning the District 13 Oratorical Competition in Denton on Jan. 12, and he will now compete against three other division winners from Texas at the state competition to be held at Blinn College in Brenham on Sunday and Monday.

Contestants receive college scholarships at each competition level. The oratorical competition is open to all high school students, with competition beginning in January in each district. Materials are available from high school principals or speech teachers, or by calling Lynn Vowell at 940-727-8067, at the beginning of school year in August.


Community Clothes Closet passes two-year mark

The Community Clothes Closet in Justin recently celebrated its second birthday.

Between July 2012 and January 2014, the nonprofit, faith-based organization provided more than 36,900 items of free clothing and shoes, serving an average of 59 families on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

Joanna Johnson, executive director, and Gwen St. Clair, executive coordinator, report that donations are still coming in, allowing the agency’s volunteers to continue making a difference in many lives.

The Community Clothes Closet is open from 2 to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of each month for anyone needing clothing. Volunteers work every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sort and hang donated clothing. Donations are accepted any time the organization is open. The agency is located at 209 W. 5th St. in Justin.

For more information, contact Johnson at 940-453-0959 or St. Clair at 817-291-8872 or e-mail


Program about severe weather set for Denton

The National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth will present a SKYWARN severe weather program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in Hubbard Hall at Texas Woman’s University.

The program will be offered in partnership with the city of Denton Emergency Management, Denton County Emergency Services and Denton County Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

The program will discuss thunderstorm formation and features associated with severe storms. The presentation will review tornado formation and behavior and discuss why some storms produce tornadoes and some do not. The program will also cover spotter operations and recommended reporting procedures and safety precautions when thunderstorms threaten.

The program is free and open to the public. No advance registration is necessary.

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