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Les Cockrell: Guest to speak at plant society

Guest speaker Lynde Dodd will present a program on stewardship and protection of the environment to members of the Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas on Thursday.

The group meets in the new science building at Texas Woman’s University. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. in the foyer, and the program will be offered at 7 p.m. in the large auditorium/classroom on the second floor.

Dodd holds a master’s degree from the University of North Texas environmental science program and has a strong interest in helping with the transformation of lands back to nature, according to a program announcement. She has worked to research, enhance and restore aquatic plant communities across the nation.

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Tuesday fundraiser to benefit Ryan High School Grad Night

A fundraiser to benefit Ryan High School Grad Night is planned from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at Jason’s Deli, 2219 S. Loop 288, Suite 114, in Denton.

A percentage of proceeds from sales during the event will go to support the Grad Night project.

Ryan Grad Night is an all-night party sponsored and supervised each year by parents of the Ryan High senior class graduates. The party provides a safe, sober and fun event and a time for seniors to celebrate their friendships as a group before they leave high school, organizers said. The 2014 graduates will be going by bus to Main Event in Frisco for games, music, food, prizes and more.

Program on getting organized planned Thursday at Denton library

Denton’s Emily Fowler Central Library will conduct a free program designed to help people get organized at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Reanna Wallace of Blissfully Organized will share tips on getting things organized and keeping it that way.

The library is located at 502 Oakland St. To register, call 940-349-8752 or e-mail


Libraries sets programs on retirement planning

Two area libraries will conduct free programs on retirement planning this week.

One program will be held at Sanger Public Library at 7 p.m. today, and the second is planned at the Krum Public Library at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Tim Smith, a retirement specialist and financial representative for Modern Woodmen of America, will be the featured speaker for both programs. He will talk about planning for retirement and offer options and strategies that people can follow to ensure that they don’t outlive their savings.

The Sanger Public Library is located at 501 Bolivar St. in Sanger, and the Krum Public Library is located at 803 E. McCart St. in Krum. Refreshments will be served at both programs.

For more information, call the Sanger library at 940-458-3257 and the Krum library at 940-482-3455.


Dr. Seuss birthday celebration planned

Youngsters ages 3-10 are invited to join Denton’s North Branch Library at 4 p.m. Wednesday to celebrate the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.

The Guyer High School Speech Team will perform The Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss and there will be games, Dr. Seuss-themed crafts and a birthday cake.

The library is located at 3020 N. Locust St. No registration is necessary. For more information, contact Dana Tucker at 940-349-8715 or


Community planning forum to be held in Denton

A community planning forum to discuss the quality of life in Denton is planned from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday in Room 115 of the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St., in downtown Denton.

Residents of all ages who are interested in helping shape Denton’s future over the next five to 10 years are invited to attend. Topics will include transportation for those over 60.

Coffee and snacks will be served. The free event is part of a series of meetings inviting locals to share their views. The University of North Texas, in partnership with the North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, is seeking Denton residents of all ages to participate in the community forums.

To register, contact Julia Wolfe, project coordinator, at 940-784-3780 or


American Red Cross sets two county blood drives

The American Red Cross has announced that two blood drives are planned in Denton County this week.

The first drive will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Lowe’s located at 2773 E. El Dorado Parkway in Little Elm.

The second drive is planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at McConnell Hall, 1705 W. Sycamore St., on the campus of the University of North Texas.

All blood types of are needed. Call 1-800-733-2767 or visit to make an appointment or for more information.

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


Oratorical Competition state results announced

Amber Bell, a home-schooled student from Austin, took top honors at the state level of the Oratorical Competition on the Constitution sponsored by the American Legion, according to an announcement from Denton’s American Legion Post 71.

Bell received a scholarship valued at $2,000 and the right to compete at the national level of the competition, to be held April 5 and 6 in Indianapolis. The state contest was held Feb. 17 on the campus of Blinn College in Brenham.

Also competing were Kenwoo Kim of Lewisville High School, second place, $1,500 scholarship; Scott Pofahl of Bandera High School, third place, $1,000 scholarship; and Jacolyn Thompson, a home-schooled student from Houston, fourth place, $500 scholarship.

There will be 54 contestants competing at the national level, and the first-place winner will receive a scholarship valued at $18,000.

The oratorical competition is open to all high school students, with competition beginning in January in each district. Materials will be available from high school principals at the beginning of school in August 2014 or by calling Lynn Vowell at 940-727-8067.

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