From the tragic story of a Lantana man who was seriously injured after being hit by a motorist during his morning walk, to the addition of a new fire station and more lanes on FM 407, The Cross Timbers Gazette kept busy covering the ups and downs of our rapidly growing area.
As we move into our 31st year of local news coverage and the beginning of a new decade, we wanted to take a look back at the top Lantana news stories of 2009. We would like your input as to which story you think was the biggest. Take a walk down memory lane below, then click here to vote. Happy New Year!
Here are our picks for Top News Stories of 2009 (in no particular order)…
FM 407 Curve opens: A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on March 10 for a new, four-lane segment of FM 407 that bypasses the four-way stop at McMakin and East Jeter Roads in Bartonville. Construction on the new pavement that runs from Lantana Trail to Rayzor Road took about a year and a half.
Officials table public safety proposal: After nearly a year of debate, Lantana’s two Fresh Water Supply District boards voted Nov. 12 to not take action on an initiative to increase police presence in Lantana. The issue is expected to be reevaluated by the boards in May 2010.
Resident to star in ‘The Bachelor’: Lantana resident and ‘Bachelorette’ contestant Jake Pavelka will star in the 14th season of the ABC reality television series ‘The Bachelor’ this January. The 31-year-old commercial pilot and limousine company owner was eliminated by Jillian Harris on her season of ‘The Bachelorette’ last spring, but he remained a crowd favorite.
H1N1 pandemic hits area: The H1N1 flu scare of 2009 caused both the Denton and Lewisville school districts to close down for a week in May after receiving a directive from the Denton County Health Department. Later that fall, H1N1 cases came back with a vengeance and vaccine was in short supply.
Lantana man seriously injured in accident: Eddie Little, 66, was crossing the eastbound lanes of Bohnam Parkway at Lantana Trail on the morning of Feb. 27 when an SUV struck him. Little sustained serious head injuries from the accident, and is still undergoing physical therapy as of January 2010. Get updates on Little’s condition here: www.caringbridge.org/visit/eddielittle
HOA institutes annual Fire/EMS assessment: Lantana residents will now get a separate annual bill to cover EMS and fire protection, beginning this June. Prior to the change, the Lantana Community Association was collecting the money as part of the monthly HOA dues.
Elementary schools earn Exemplary ratings: For the first time, both E.P. Rayzor and Blanton elementary schools attained exemplary ratings from the Texas Education Agency. E.P. Rayzor opened in 2002 and Blanton opened in 2008.
Area enjoys White Christmas: Rain changed to snow Christmas Eve morning as temperatures dropped into the upper 20’s and around 3 inches of the white stuff fell by the time Santa visited Lantana. It was the first official White Christmas in DFW since 1926.
Lantana fire station opens: A formal dedication ceremony and open house was held on Nov. 14 at Argyle Fire Station No. 513 in Lantana on Copper Canyon Rd. a mile north of FM 407. The fire department now has direct access to Lantana via the end of Golf Club Drive with a private road. Lantana’s developer, Republic Property Group, donated 2.7 acres of land on the east side of Lantana for the new station several years ago.
New homebuilders announced: Irvine, CA based Standard Pacific Homes and Dallas-based American Legend Homes will be building in Lantana by this spring, according to the Lantana Community Association. Standard Pacific will offer homes in the Carlisle neighborhood and American Legend will be building in the Magnolia neighborhood.