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From the Desk of Andy Eads – February 2015

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Andy Eads, Denton County Pct. 4 Commissioner
Andy Eads, Denton County Pct. 4 Commissioner

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, the Commissioners Court approved a resolution expressing its support of the First Aid for Drug-Free Living campaign and drug test kit initiative. The resolution states that Denton County communities stand together in fighting the dangers of drug abuse and addiction; and that it supports programs for preventing drug addiction throughout Denton County.

Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville, Lewisville Independent School District, Denton County officials, area law enforcement agencies, select retailers and drug prevention organizations worked to create the First Aid for Drug-Free Living campaign. This pilot program’s goal is to educate parents and others who live within the vicinity of the Lewisville Independent School District boundaries regarding ways to help their children stay drug-free.

These area communities and organizations have developed, and are implementing, the 5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Drug Abuse booklet to help parents know how to talk to their children about drug abuse, what a drug habit looks like, when and how to test their child for drug abuse, what to do when they know their child has a problem, and how to seek assistance for their families. It is the goal of these community leaders and organizations to motivate individuals to become more active participants in anti-drug abuse programs, including utilization of the 5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Drug Abuse booklet, to eradicate drug abuse from our communities.

The Denton County Commissioners Court believes it is in the best interest of public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Denton County to stand with our neighboring communities, Lewisville ISD and partnering organizations in this endeavor. We applaud and support the First Aid for Drug-Free Living campaign and drug test kit initiative and encourage citizens to join our efforts to promote safe, healthy and drug-free communities throughout southern Denton County. Commissioners hope this pilot program can expand countywide in the future.

Office of History and Culture Lecture Series

On Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 12 – 1 p.m., in honor of Presidents Day, Tom Tweeddale will present “US History Based on the Succession of the Presidency”, in the Courthouse-on-the-Square Commissioners Courtroom.

During this lecture, Tom Tweeddale will present a brief history on the succession of US presidents, discussing a collection of events related to elections and re-elections. Along with the presentation, he will share interesting and little-known facts on some of the presidents, including which president is in the Wrestling Hall of Fame, which president coined Maxwell House’s slogan, “Good to the Last Drop,” and which president, born in 1790, still has two living grandchildren.

Tom Tweeddale, a retired airline pilot with 36 years’ experience, developed an interest in American history after flying over national landmarks. He is the author of Your Trivia Guide to the USA, and has presented lectures based on his research at various colleges, libraries and other institutions.

All Courthouse Museum exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public.  The Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum is located in the historic Denton County Courthouse at 110 W. Hickory in Denton.

Denton County gets an “A” rating for Open Government

In a year-long audit of open government compliance, The Dallas Morning News approached 113 local agencies to determine how well they followed state laws guaranteeing access to information about how taxpayer money is spent and whether they followed best practices, such as those developed by the State Comptroller in 2014. Government entities were also assessed based upon customer service and best practices in handling open records requests. The metrics included cost of processing the requests, and whether or not an Attorney General ruling was sought. More than 1 in 5 local government entities assessed scored a “D” or an “F.”

Denton County, however, was among the best in the Transparency 2015 ratings, receiving an A. It ranked as excellent in request best practices, excellent in request compliance, good in web customer service and excellent in online meeting notices.

Denton County places a priority on customer service and always adheres to best practices, and we are proud of the A rating we received in this study.

35Express construction update

The Corinth Parkway bridge over Interstate 35E permanently closed on, Feb. 7. Once the bridge was closed, 35Express crews demolished the western half of the bridge (the portion over the southbound mainlanes). The new Corinth Parkway is expected to open summer 2016.

Motorists now must use Post Oak Drive to access westbound Corinth Parkway and the U-Turn near Exit 459 (near the Destiny Dallas RV Resort) to access eastbound Corinth Parkway.

In addition to the full closure of the bridge, east and westbound Corinth Parkway near the north and southbound I-35E frontage roads, will be reduced to one lane. Motorists will only be able to turn right from the intersection.

The bridge is being demolished in two phases. Work now will begins on the southbound mainlane bridge that will eventually travel over Corinth Parkway. This work is expected to last approximately six to eight months. Once the southbound mainlane bridge is complete, crews will then shift traffic onto the new pavement, begin demolishing the eastern half of the Corinth Parkway bridge and start work on the northbound mainlane bridge.

Built in the 1950s, the Corinth Parkway bridge will be replaced with an at-grade roadway that will travel underneath I-35E. Once construction is complete, the new roadway will include two lanes of traffic in each direction, a dedicated turn lane in each direction and Texas U-turn lanes on each side of the road.

Check out the project website at www.35express.org for more detailed information and detour routes, as well as regular updates on lane and road closures and upcoming construction. In addition, access to traffic cameras along I-35E is available.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is andy.eads@dentoncounty.com and my office number is 940-349-2801.

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