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  1. The Editorial Board On Feb. 2, UNT announced its celebratory ranking among 115 top-tier research universities in the U.S. – an echelon bestowed from the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education a day earlier. Now that it is considered “one of the ‘highest research’ institutions in the country,” according to the Denton-Record Chronicle, the university reached one of the goals that UNT President Neal Smatresk set last semester. A sizable part of his State of the University address in September 2016 discussed reaching that level of acclaim, as UNT prides itself on awarding “a large number of doctoral degrees each year.” We are certainly pleased with some of the progress that our beloved Mean Green has made over the past few years, which include the 2015 renovations to the Union and a nearly $1 million partnership with one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, the Dallas Cowboys. However, it does strike us with wonderment as to how certain areas on campus have seen entirely new buildings, while others continue to age, wear, tear or simply appear to be uninspired. Smatresk stated in an interview last summer that his administration has “moved mountains in regards to deep infrastructure, landscaping and physical changes to the [university] grounds.” He also said, “A lot of people don’t notice and take it for granted, but we’ve made the campus a lot prettier than it was.” This may be the case, but why is it that Wooten Hall continues to resemble a set piece from “Lean on Me?” Why is it that the lineup from Kerr to Clark Hall touts flawed substratum, but their cousin Rawlins can boast about “neighborhood lounges and study rooms” on all of its floors? And if College Inn is fully “paid off,” why is that the foundation has been referred to as “‘iffy’ on the east side?” Especially when it was built over 50 years ago and continues to have expensive upkeep. View Full Article
  2. Matt Brune | Staff Writer Winners. That’s what newly appointed head basketball coach Grant McCasland wants in the North Texas basketball program. It’s something McCasland did plenty of in his lone season at Arkansas State University last season, when he doubled the Red Wolves’ win total from 10 to 20 in just one year. He remains adamant that having players with experience winning is crucial to building a successful program. This has always been McCasland’s approach to recruiting. With a Division II national title under his belt and several trips to the Elite Eight, McCasland has the resume to back up his strategy. “The No. 1 need for us was to find guys that want to win and came from winning programs,” McCasland said. “After that, the key was getting guys that knew how to play and could shoot.” With the 2017 roster set, that’s exactly what McCasland got in his first recruiting class at North Texas. McCasland and his staff were able to lure in seven new players — four junior college transfers and three true freshmen. This approach allows them to pair the young talent of the three freshmen with the experience of the four transfers and the players coming back from last year’s squad. “We’re excited [about this freshman class],” associate head coach Ross Hodge said. “Zach Simmons ended up being the 16th best player in the state. I think Umoja [Gibson] was a top 25 player in the state. Both are really good kids.” The third piece to that freshman class puzzle is Mark Tikhonenko, a 6’10 Russian forward. View Full Article
  3. Denton officials mull citations for marijuana possession View Full Article
  4. A public hearing to consider adoption of an ordinance to rezone approximately 1.39 acres from a residential area to commercial was denied again on April 7 at the regular city council meeting. Opposition of apartment complexes proposed for the area have been denied as residents feel it would not be compatible to their needs. The last time city council considered rezoning the area was at a March 8 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting in order to make the area of the city compatible with the Denton 2030 plan. Residents have historically opposed efforts to build single-occupancy buildings in the area and prefer multi-family units that are more favorable to their needs for the neighborhood. The most recent proposal by Park7 Development, a 640-bed single-occupancy apartment building, falls in line with past denials in the area. History of attempted change In Denton, residents have been outspoken about the building of apartment complexes or other student housing buildings in the historical Oak and Hickory streets. Another student housing development was first purchased by EdR housing company in Sept. 2015, originally with 374 units, then scaled down to 300. When the project was first proposed to the Planning and Zoning Committee, there were less parking spaces than beds and it was higher than three stories. On Dec. 6, 2016, the proposal was postponed again, agreeing on waiting another six months for the final proposal. View Full Article
  5. Reece Waddell Sports Editor When head coach Tracey Kee was hired as the fourth softball coach in program history in August 2013, many expected the program to experience a swift turnaround. In 16 seasons as head coach at East Carolina University, Kee sported a 684-362 record and led the Pirates to four NCAA tournament appearances. So when the Mean Green finished with their best record in program history at 31-22 in Kee’s first year, it seemed like things were trending upward. Until they weren’t. Since their record-setting campaign in 2014, North Texas has gone 63-85 for a .468 win percentage. Last year, the Mean Green went on a 14-game losing streak during the last month of the season that ultimately cost them a berth in the Conference USA tournament – which was being hosted right in their own backyard. Part of the struggles can be attributed to poor conference play. Including this season, the Mean Green are 25-40 in C-USA dating back to 2015. In 2014, North Texas’ only winning season under Kee, the Mean Green went 14-9 in conference. So what has changed since their 31-win season almost three years ago? Most of it is player inexperience. Of the 15 players on their roster, 10 of them are either freshmen or sophomores. The nine underclassman hitters currently combine for a .239 average, while the lone underclassman pitcher in sophomore Lauren Craine has an inflated ERA of 6.60. Opponents are also hitting .318 against her. With so many young players, it’s hard to reasonably expect this team to be good in clutch situations. When the game is on the line in the late innings, the Mean Green only have a few players to turn to for a big strikeout or hit with runners in scoring position. Over the last three seasons, inconsistency has plagued this program. And look no further than the turnover of players. This past offseason, the Mean Green lost six players. Two of them were to graduation. The other four – Lauren Miller, Casady Webb, Mackenzie Dawson and Kay Kay Hayter – all left the program at various points throughout the summer and did not return to the team.But the exits don’t stop there. View Full Article
  6. After two season with the Mean Green men’s basketball team, sophomore guard Ja’Michael Brown is transferring. Brown appeared in 62 games for North Texas the past two seasons. He averaged 8.0 points per game during his freshman campaign, but averaged just 5.8 points per game in 2016. In his freshman season he started 18 games. Last year he started only 12. Men’s basketball head coach Grant McCasland said Brown’s decision to leave ultimately boiled down to one thing. “He wanted to be close to home,” said head coach Grant McCasland. “I’m excited about his future and where he’s headed because I feel he he has a great direction on where he’s headed and what’s best for him and his family." View Full Article
  7. Cesar Valdes | Staff Writer Coming off nearly two weeks rest, the Mean Green tennis team picked up right where they left off with a 6-1 victory over Southern Methodist University on senior day. After falling to SMU last year in a close 4-3 match, North Texas was able to get revenge on the Mustangs Thursday. “We’ve put so much work in,” head coach Sujay Lama said. “Just the preparation in the last four week, I [felt] so calm and confident. Lead by the undefeated doubles duo of sophomores Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze, the Mean Green won their 11th doubles point of the season. As promised, Lama experimented with the rest of the doubles lineup. Senior Alexis Thoma paired with sophomore Minying Liang on the third court and clinched the doubles point for North Texas with an emphatic 6-2 victory. In singles, Thoma was the first one off the courts, knocking off Dasha Sharapova, the close relative of WTA pro women’s player Maria Sharapova, in straight sets. Kononova had her six-match singles win streak snapped by fellow Mustang sophomore Liza Buss. Kononova and Buss played a tough back-and-forth match, but a few critical errors ultimately allowed Buss to prevail. Although Lama will finish the season with his fourth losing spring year, he is still confident in his team heading into the C-USA tournament. Throughout Lama’s tenure at North Texas, he has accumulated an overall record of 28-10 in the month of April. “Everything we do, it’s all about how we finish,” Lama said. “It’s such a long journey. There’s ups and downs, but what matters is how we finish. This team is so well prepared because we’ve gone through adversity.” Featured image: Senior Agustina Valenzuela eyes the ball during her swing. Courtesy | Mean Green Athletics View Full Article
  8. Dave Tracy, a lecturer at the UNT whose long broadcast career included working for CBS and founding his own production company, died Wednesday. Tracy, 69, is survived by his two children, Robert and Anne Tracy. “He meant the world to me; all I ever wanted to do was make him proud,” Tracy’s son, Robert Tracy said in a statement on social media. “He was so kind and talented and the best journalist I’ll ever know. We find solace in knowing that Dad is whole again, reunited with my grandparents and his family members and friends, and that so many people loved him just as much as we did.” Those who worked alongside Tracy at the Mayborn School of Journalism remember his consistent hard work, talent and passion for his craft. Tracy taught media and visual communications classes at UNT between 2013 and 2017. “Dave Tracy, a broadcast/digital lecturer, loved UNT and the Mayborn School of Journalism, and we loved him,” Dorothy Bland, dean of the journalism school, said. “He was a humble, hardworking and joyful soul who loved great storytelling and chocolate milk. We are blessed to have worked with him.” The Mayborn school plans to establish the Dave Tracy Memorial Scholarship to uphold Tracy’s legacy. Donations can be made here. Dave Tracy. Junebug Clark Tracy also led the Mayborn Multimedia High School Journalism Workshop at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference every summer since the workshop’s founding in 2014. “I loved the man,” George Getschow, a UNT professor and co-founder of the Mayborn Conference, said. “Dave was a bundle of creative energy, someone who constantly challenged himself to get better. He leaves an indelible mark on the Mayborn, and on all of us who had the privilege of coming into his orbit.” Born in May of 1947, Tracy served in the U.S. Navy before beginning his work in radio, after which he moved into the areas of writing and producing for broadcast news and television. Tracy worked at a CBS affiliate in San Diego, then moved to television reporting in Peoria, Illinois, and finally to Dallas, all while working for local CBS affiliates. The family plans to hold a memorial service for Tracy in June. He will be cremated and his ashes scattered in San Diego. Statements: Dorothy Bland: “Dave Tracy, a broadcast/digital lecturer, loved UNT and the Mayborn School of Journalism, and we loved him. He was an award-winning broadcast journalist with more than 30 years of experience who loved to teach. He taught broadcast journalism classes and led the Mayborn Multimedia High School Workshop for three years during the summer of 2014, 2015 and 2016. He also was the founder of NT Daily Radio and his students have produced award-winning shows. He was a humble, hardworking and joyful soul who loved great storytelling and chocolate milk. We are blessed to have worked with him. He was the producer for the 100th anniversary Pulitzer video and that’s now part of the Mayborn archive.” George Getschow: “I loved the man. Dave was a bundle of creative energy, someone who constantly challenged himself to get better. He once audited my narrative class, and by the time it was over I felt he should have been teaching the class instead of me. He told me a few weeks ago during a visit that he missed teaching, and couldn’t wait to get back. Though he won’t be coming back, he leaves an indelible mark on the Mayborn, and on all of us who had the privilege of coming into his orbit.” Robert Tracy: “Last night we lost the strongest, most considerate man — my father, Dave Tracy. Surrounded by my sister, my wife, me and his brother, Dad chose to end his fight with stage IV prostate cancer and polymiositis. He left this world in a room filled with love. He meant the world to me; all I ever wanted to do was make him proud. He was so kind and talented and the best journalist I’ll ever know. He touched lives — through the stories he told and produced on Channel 4 and Channel 8, and in his career as a teacher, first at Carthage High School, then at the University of North Texas. He also wrote and published two books in his spare time (among so much more). Thank you for your thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. We find solace in knowing that Dad is whole again, reunited with my grandparents and his family members and friends, and that so many people loved him just as much as we did.” Featured Image: Dave Tracey. Radio Lab University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism. Junebug Clark View Full Article
  9. Various roadblocks and pathways are closed in and obstructed as new and old construction projects throughout the UNT campus continue, set to finish in April. North Texas Boulevard and I-35 Road closures and obstructions of pedestrian walkways are expected as the I-35 project continues along the intersections of North Texas Boulevard and North and South I-35. This is due to the realignment of frontal roads at the new North Texas Boulevard bridge and the widening of the main traffic lanes from Bonnie Brae to McCormick street. The construction is set to finish this semester. Science Research Building The east and south sides of the Science Research Building are being renovated. The sidewalks and D parking lot next to the building will be blocked by construction fencing. The exterior and interior renovations will be wrapping up at some point this month. Language Building All sides of the Language Building except the west side are being renovated. Renovations include: the removal and replacement of the concrete walkways on the building’s plaza, as well as new drains, access ramps and planters. The renovations will be wrapping up this month. Renovated entrance of the Language building facing Avenue A. According to the Construction Obstruction report for April 2017, the list of renovations included new croncrete walkways, drains, access ramps and planters. Jennyfer Rodriguez College of Visual Arts and Design Building In parking lot 50, east of the Art Building, the new CVAD Building will be built to consolidate art departments. Lot 50 and the sidewalks adjacent will be obstructed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The project is set to finish in October. New Dormitory behind Kerr Hall The new dormitory and tour center will be in the northwest corner of Eagle Drive and Avenue A. There will be construction fencing, restricting access to the construction site in parking lot R. The project started in January 2017, and will be completed by July 2018. West Hall The south wing and parking lot 17 will be obstructed due to roof repairs being done due to recent storm damage. The roof repairs should be finished later this month. Community Garden The green space between Legends Hall and North Texas Lofts will be greeted by a new raised-bed community garden. Pedestrian traffic will be obstructed until May 2017, when the garden is set to be completed. Central Path The central pathway is located in Clark Park and the southeast corner of parking lot 27. This pathway will link the Hurley Administration building to the Gateway Center along with new landscaping. Walkways near these sites may be obstructed and Maple street will be closed until May 2017. Air Force-ROTC Improvements Parking lot 19 (across Santa Fe Square) through Fouts Field to the AFROTC building faced infrastructure upgrades. The upgrade will provide the campus with power network redundances.. Vehicular traffic will be affected on various days throughout the week until June 2017. Hickory Street Improvement From Bonnie Brae Street to Carroll Boulevard, expect various sidewalks and portions of the roadways to be closed throughout the duration of the project. The obstruction is due to the upgrade to the existing sanitary sewer and water service and reconstructed roadway. The project started in January 2017 and will be completed by January 2019. Parking lot 85 Parking lot 85 east of Victory Hall is dealing with the addition of lights to the lot for increased security. There will be some minor pedestrian and vehicular obstruction until May 2017 when the project is set to be finished. Fraternity Row and Lot 40 The north side of Maple Street, directly across from Fraternity Row will be obstructed. The new fraternity houses being built on parking lot 40 will create road and walkway obstruction. This project will be completed by May 2017. Featured Image: Contruction taking place in parking lot 50, to the east of the Art building. The new building will consilidate all the art departments. Construction is expected to conclude on Oct. 2018. Jennyfer Rodriguez View Full Article
  10. Matt Brune | Staff Writer Spring football has come and gone, leaving fans and players alike anxious for North Texas’ upcoming 2017 campaign. With five months to kickoff against Lamar University on Saturday, Sept. 2, let’s kill some time by delving into what we learned this spring. And let’s start with this – last season’s mark of 5-8 was nothing to scoff at. Five wins superseded most expectations in 2016, especially with the Mean Green coming off a 1-11 2015 season that featured one of the worst losses in school history. But very often in sports, teams regress to the mean after overachieving. For North Texas to win six or more games and get back to a bowl, they must get consistent quarterback play and show improvement on both the offensive and defensive lines. In the spring game we saw a lot of things that can help us rate this team in those categories already. To win close games you have to be consistent. When times get tough, the Mean Green will need to repeatedly get stops on defense or convert opportunities on offense. Neither side showed that consistency in the spring game. The defense dominated the early stages of the game and in the second half, the offense dismantled the defense with quarterbacks Quinn Shanbour and Cade Pearson under center. Shanbour ended the day 13-of-22 for 253 yards and two touchdowns, while Pearson went 13-of-18 for 148 yards and a score of his own. That’s right, last year’s starter Mason Fine did not have the best of days. Fine threw the lone interception of the afternoon, and he only threw for 116 yards. View Full Article
  11. The UNT Student Government Association released its final election report Friday, a full week after polls closed. In the final tally, Barrett Cole and Lisa Umeh won with over 65 percent of the vote. The report contained a statement from the SGA Supreme Court that overruled a prior Election Board hearing, where votes for a candidate team were struck from the final vote tally. The court unanimously agreed that votes for the Robert Navarro Jr. and Steven Maldonado ticket, which operated under the “YOU-N-T” banner, should be partially reinstated. Court members found that while the Navarro/ Maldonado campaign was in violation of the Election Code during the Election Cookout, the disqualification was “unjust and unequal to the violation in question.” The court deemed this a result of the Election Board’s failure to “give due process to the Navarro/Maldonado campaign during the investigation.” The “YOU-N-T” disqualification was in response to an alleged campaign violation that a member of the Election Board, David Klein, filed as a complaint. So, what happened? The Alleged Violation At about 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, SGA Election Commissioner John Carr saw TWU student Jamie Esparza, a friend of Navarro’s, arrive at the Graduate Student Council and SGA co-sponsored Cast Your Vote Cookout event. Esparza was seen wearing a “YOU-N-T” campaign T-shirt. “At that point was when I asked Election Board member David Klein to keep an eye on that person,” John Carr said, claiming the Esparza was breaking the guidelines as candidates were instructed “not to distribute campaign materials.” Esparza maintains she only got to talk to about 20 people, did not solicit votes from any of them, and “never touched a phone.” She says her activities were limited to walking students through voting procedures and directing them to places where they could learn more about all the candidates on the ballot. She claims at most seven students asked who she was voting for, which is where she told them she could answer any questions about the “YOU-N-T” campaign they had. Klein said Esparza was herself acting as “campaign materials,” in wearing the shirt, along with “touching phones and talking specifically about that campaign and only that campaign.” There is some confusion, though. It is not clear why Esparza was not asked to leave immediately and why her information was not collected so that she could be called to testify in the Election Board hearing afterward. “I wasn’t sure if they would think that a shirt itself would be enough grounds for a disqualification,” Carr said. “Which is why I said [to David Klein] ‘maybe you should watch her, see if she’s specifically campaigning for a certain candidate.'” Klein admits he only saw Esparza “helping people on their phones” and did not hear Esparza seeking endorsement. About 25 minutes after Esparza arrived, Klein asked her to leave. His testimony as a witness is based on a conversation he claims happened with a male UNT student, who said he had heard Esparza “mention” the Navarro campaign. Neither Carr nor Klein attempted to record this witness’ information as evidence. “Not having a process is no excuse for not getting witness statements or witness information to call up for something like a hearing at which you are going to disqualify a ticket,” SGA Supreme Court Chief Justice Jena Chakour said. The Supreme Court Hearing At the SGA Supreme Court hearing on April 5, Robert Navarro presented an email exchange between John Carr and opposing candidate Mia Muric, who gave him the email. “Muric asked, “Are there a number of witnesses willing to confirm that this allegation occurred?” John responded, “The students that received the solicitation while in line were witnesses who have not allowed the release of their identities. I also overheard of other individuals who witnessed the incident, but they have not reached out to me directly.” Navarro’s main contention is that Carr and Klein cannot base their disqualification on overheard, unsourced claims. Navarro and Maldonado also said they were not given adequate time to prepare for the hearing March 30, or they would have been able to bring Esparza. View Full Article
  12. With time for just one final play in the first half, freshman quarterback Cade Pearson took the snap from the shotgun. Senior Turner Smiley ran a simple “Go” route and somehow got past the deepest safety and as he did so looked back for the ball. The ball from Pearson was a little high, but Smiley brought it down and took it to the house to close out the half. The Green team carried that momentum into the second half and won the annual spring game 44-34. Smiley ended the game with four receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown in a game where he had four quarterbacks rotating behind center. “Turner’s had a great camp,” head coach Seth Littrell said. “He’s catching the ball more consistently, it’s becoming more natural to him. He had a really good day.” Fellow wideout Rico Bussey got busy as well, totaling eight receptions for 146 yards and had a 68-yard touchdown where he juked out two defenders and outran the rest. The quarterback play was fairly even throughout the game between the three that played significant time. Sophomore Mason Fine, junior Quinn Shanbour and Pearson all had completion percentages of at lesat 56. Fine threw the sole interception and the fewest yards while also throwing the most attempts of the trio. “It shows we have a lot of people that can play at the QB position,” Smiley said. “[We have] three or four guys that can play at a D1 level and that shows when they’re on the field.” Initially, the defense stole the show. Leading 23-12 early in a uniquely scored game, the defense constantly forced the offense into long down and distance situations. The White team totaled five sacks, an interception, a fumble, and three 3-and-outs in the first half. The second half showed a more dialed-in offense and short route patterns sliced up the soft coverage in the defense. The offense avoided committing a turnover after the break. “Some of it’s players [and] coaches having to get in rhythm,” Littrell said. “There were a couple nice series where they got [the defense] on their heels,and we weren’t in too many long yard situations.” The rushing game was slowed by the defense and the Green team averaged just 3.46 yards per carry on 39 carries. View Full Article
  13. The sun was shining down on Apogee Stadium for the annual Green and White scrimmage for North Texas football. It was a perfect spring day for a spring game. The Mean Green did not just go through the motions on Saturday, as they provided the first decent look at the 2017 squad. Here are five observations from what the Mean Green showed on Saturday. 1.) Wide-receiver corps is getting better. One key area in which North Texas struggled last season was out wide. But if Saturday was any indication, things are looking much brighter. Sophomore Rico Bussey had eight catches for 146 yards and a touchdown to go with senior Turner Smiley’s four catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. The Mean Green never quite had the threat of two receivers who could be explosive last year, but these two are primed. Add in former Notre Dame sophomore Jalen Guyton, who had four catches for 25 yards, and North Texas could finally have the depth it’s been looking for. 2.) Quarterback controversy? Probably not, but sophomore Mason Fine struggled compared to the other two fighting for the starting job. Junior Quinn Shanbour and freshman Cade Pearson both looked good, and after the game head coach Seth Littrell did say that the best person would win the job. He also said that as of now, Shanbour and Fine are the top two candidates. Fine finished 14-for-25 for 116 yards with an interception and a touchdown, while Shanbour finished 13-for-22 with two touchdowns and 253 yards. Pearson did just a hair better than Fine with a 13-for-18 day with a touchdown on 148 yards. 3.) Offensive line struggles continue. The Mean Green struggled with offensive line depth last year and it could be the same problem yet again this season. The quarterbacks were constantly on the move leading to a couple of pass break-ups forced by linemen. The defense also forced two turnovers and sacked the quarterbacks six times. Littrell said they dominated the offensive line at times, bringing me to my next point. View Full Article
  14. With Spring in full swing and the city council election only a month away, candidates are preparing for the home stretch of their respective races. On May 6 residents will vote to re-elect certain candidates or pick from a number of local names. With applications closed since Feb. 17, Keely Briggs of District 2 will begin her second term in her position after the election. But others face tougher battles. The last day to register to vote is tomorrow, April 6. Here is a guide of the candidates for Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4: District 1 Frances Hawes, Gerard Hudspeth and Emily White are running for District 1, which opened up after Kevin Roden finished his third and last term. He was first elected in May 2011 and cannot run again. Transparency, an ethics ordinance and infrastructure are the main things Hudspeth plans to fix if elected. “We are guaranteed three new council members,” Hudspeth said. “It will be very important for someone to step in those roles. It will be very important to have someone to understand those seats, I think my time in the planning and zoning committee has helped me understand some of these changes.” White, who received her bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University and is now a professor at North Central Texas College, said she wants to be involved with the decision making. “I think that serving our city council will be the ultimate volunteer opportunity,” White said. “I teach rhetoric and argument, and I think it would be good for my students to see me living the political life that I talk to them about in class with being leaders in their community and being effective communicators.” Hawes, a caretaker who has lived in Denton for over 10 years, could not be reached for comment. District 2 Keely Briggs is the incumbent for the District 2 seat and will run unopposed for this year’s election. A graduate of UNT, Briggs was first elected to her seat in May 2015, and is currently in her first term. Briggs said she wants to focus on businesses, the environment and neighborhoods, and she has the ability to focus on these issues full-time. “You have to answer every call. You have to read every letter. You have to open every email. You have to communicate consistently and openly with people and community stakeholders whether you agree with them or not,” Briggs said. “I want this community to have an ever improving quality of representative government. I am working hard to set a higher expectation for elected officials and citizen engagement in that regard.” District 3 Jason Cole, Don Duff and Paul Meltzer are vying for the District 3 spot, which was left open by Kathleen Wazny who decided in December that she would not run for another term. Wazny was first elected onto city council in May 2015, but said she needed to focus on spending more time with her family. Meltzer said he wanted to take a stand on issues facing Denton, and then decided to run for the seat. His goals for this election and the city of Denton include smart growth, fiscal discipline and building community consensus. One of his biggest concerns is to review plans for the new gas plant. “My interest began when council voted to repeal the fracking ban rather than defend it,” Meltzer said. “Then later I didn’t like it when council voted to borrow $265 million to build a gas plant, the biggest single expenditure in city history and knowing there would be opposition found a way to finance it without giving the citizens a vote. Seeing no one else running to take a stand in my district, I realized I should do it myself.” Duff, who said he was encouraged to run by his friend Wazny, has goals for council that include getting an ethics ordinance and to spend money wisely. “We will go into a new phase, there will be a number of changes,” Duff said. “I can tell you I am coming in this with a great deal of background, [Wazny] will be my mentor and advisor throughout this.” Jason Cole, whose family has been rooted in Denton for the past 100 years, is also in favor of an ethics ordinance, more transparency and communication within the government. Cole said that living in District 3 his whole life has given him the know-how to run for the seat. “We’re about to experience a monstrous amount of growth, and I want it to be easier for small businesses to grow,” Cole said. “We have the longest permit wait-time. We have a real rigorous code enforcement.” District 4 John Ryan and Amanda Servis are running for this seat, which is being left open by Joey Hawkins. Hawkins faced a recall election for his vote to overturn the fracking ban in Denton last May. He will not be running again in this election. Ryan, a former council member, said many fellow community members have encouraged him to run again, and he wants to continue giving back to the community. “On the long-term planning, water is a resource that you can’t just generate or produce more of,” Ryan said. “We need to watch the future. Projections are in the quarter million in the next 20 years. It’s starting to get off the ground at this point.” Servis, owner of Lucky Locks Beauty Bar in Denton, has roots that run deep in Denton, too. Her grandmother is Pat Cheek, who ran for city council four years ago, and Phil Cheek, who owns part of the Jagoe Construction company. “I feel that communication is key,” Servis said. “I have been a student here, a working single mom, so I feel like I am connected in every way.” Featured Image: A speaker presents at the bi-monthly city council meeting on Tuesday, April 4. A new board will be elected May 6. Keeley G. Briggs, far right, is the only current member running for re-election. Samantha Hardisty View Full Article
  15. Blotter: Man allegedly stomps on girlfriend at local motel View Full Article