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Les Cockrell: Ryan High schedules mattress sale event

Ryan High School will have its annual mattress sale fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the commons area at the school, 5101 E. McKinney St.

The sale will feature name-brand mattresses in a variety of styles and sizes. All mattresses are new, come with factory warranties and will be sold as much as 60 percent off retail price, organizers said.

Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted, and free layaway will be available.

Proceeds from the sale will go to support Ryan High Grad Night for the class of 2014.

For more information, e-mail Brenda Summerlin at


Voter registration drive planned at Denton mall

A voter registration drive is planned from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday as part of a series of drives at Denton’s Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 S. Interstate 35E.

Mary C. Taylor, deputy voter registrar, and volunteers will be at the mall to register voters.

One additional registration drive is planned from 1 to 3 p.m. April 12.

In addition to registering, residents who have moved recently and/or had name changes can update their information.

Government-issued photo identification is now required when voting in Texas elections. Information about the free Election Identification Card will be provided.


Volunteers needed to serve as ombudsmen, advocates

Volunteers are needed to fill the role of ombudsman or advocate in area nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging.

An ombudsman is someone who safeguards the rights and protects the dignity of residents in these facilities and empowers them to advocate for their own needs. At present, 25 facilities in Denton County are in need of certified volunteer ombudsmen.

Volunteers receive extensive pre-placement training to identify problems and resolve residents’ concerns. In addition, volunteers receive ongoing professional and peer support.

No prior experience is required, but volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and complete a free training course that includes classroom study and training at local nursing and assisted living homes, lasting up to 34 hours.

After training, volunteers serve an internship, working two to three hours per week in an assigned facility. Hours are flexible and are determined by each volunteer.

Training courses are forming now. For more information, call Laura Wolfe at 972-978-1371 or e-mail


Family events available at Ray Roberts Lake park

Area residents can learn more about birds of prey, kayaking and snakes this weekend during featured programs at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

Doris Mager will be at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit at 6 p.m. Friday to lead an “owl prowl.” Participants will gather at the Lost Pines Amphitheater for the guided tour.

Mager will be back at Isle du Bois at 9 a.m. Saturday to present a program on birds of prey and introduce participants to three raptors. This program will also be at the Lost Pines Amphitheater.

A beginning kayaking class will be offered at 10 a.m. at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit and at 2 p.m. at the Johnson Branch Unit.

Participants will learn basic tips and tricks for kayaking while enjoying a paddle on Ray Roberts Lake. Boats, paddles and life preservers will be provided.

No reservations are required, but a limited number of kayaks will be available and the program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

A ranger talk titled “Snakes Alive” will be offered at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Isle du Bois Unit. Participants can take a look at a non-venomous milk snake and learn more about other snakes found in the area.

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.


LLELA to offer campfire program, nature walks

Visitors to the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area this weekend will have an opportunity to take part in a campfire program, learn more about bird watching and go on a nature walk.

The campfire program is planned from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday. Featured will be stories, songs, a craft for children and toasting marshmallows.

Cost is $10 per person, and registration is required by calling 972-219-3930.

On Saturday, early risers are invited to join Keith Lockhart for a bird walk at 7:30 a.m. No reservations are required for the event, which is open to ages 10 and older at a cost of $7 per person.

Lockhart will guide visitors to prime birding locations along LLELA’s nature trails.

The nature walk is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, and a naturalist will lead participants in search of animal tracks, deer trails and spring migrating birds.

There is no additional fee for this activity beyond regular admission to LLELA, which is $5 per person, free for children age 5 and younger.

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. For more information about LLELA, call 972-219-3930 or visit


Library to host program on retirement planning

Tim Smith, a retirement specialist and financial representative for Modern Woodmen of America, will speak on retirement planning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Denton’s North Branch Library.

He will talk about planning for retirement and offer options and strategies that people can follow to ensure they don’t outlive their savings.

Refreshments will be served. The library is at 3020 N. Locust St.


VNA Ann’s Haven schedules bereavement luncheon

A VNA Ann’s Haven bereavement luncheon for those grieving the death of a loved one is scheduled for noon Tuesday at the Denton Elks Lodge, 228 E. Oak St.

Guest speaker will be Natalie Paulus, who will discuss “Seniors Helping Seniors.”

A catered lunch will be provided at no charge, underwritten by the First Christian Church, according to a press release.

For more information, contact Jerald Garner at 940-349-5900 or

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