A look back at the people, events and stories that shaped 2013 in southern Denton County

From a school rezoning case that divided Flower Mound, to residents coming together to remember a teen whose life was cut short by an illness, 2013 was another memorable year in southern Denton County.

As The Cross Timbers Gazette moves into its 35th year of local news coverage, we would like to take a few moments and look back at some of biggest local news stories of 2013 (in no particular order):

Rough Start: The year got off to a tragic start with the fatal shooting of a Justin man in Flower Mound on New Year’s Day. It was the town’s only murder in 2013 and the first such case in four years.

School Shuffle: The controversial rezoning of elementary and middle schools that feed into Flower Mound High School was approved by the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees in April.

Icepocalypse 2013: Parents’ nerves were frayed and businesses lost holiday shoppers when a major freezing rain and sleet storm paralyzed Denton County for nearly a week in early December. 

Reporting for Duty: Andy Kancel was sworn in as Flower Mound’s new police chief in November after the retirement of Chief Kenneth Brooker, who had been with the town for 30 years.

Safe Passage: After a 9-year-old boy riding his bike to school was clipped by a vehicle in April–the second such incident in a year–Lantana officials worked out a first-of-its-kind deal with the sheriff’s department to implement a crossing guard program.

Taking Shape:
The long-anticipated development of Lakeside DFW in south Flower Mound got underway last year with new homes to be followed by multi-family and retail.

Calling it Quits: Controversial issues in Bartonville put fresh faces on town council and led to the sudden resignations of Mayor Ron Robertson and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Farrell on Nov. 19.

Expressway Underway: After 15 years of planning and coordination, the Texas Department of Transportation in October broke ground on the Interstate 35E widening project spanning 28-miles through southern Denton County into Dallas.

About Face: Citing personal reasons, Lewisville ISD Place 3 Trustee Dr. Mark Welding of Highland Village resigned in August, just three months after taking office. Flower Mound resident Angie Cox came out on top in a three-way race to fill Welding’s seat in November.

Making a Splash: Ten years after being filed, a permit for Lake Ralph Hall was approved in September by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, paving the way for the state’s first new reservoir in almost 30 years.

Runaway Cop: A Flower Mound police sergeant made national news in November after he participated in a marathon in San Antonio and kept running…all the way to Florida.

To The Rescue: Donations poured in from the community after a Lantana family of five lost just about everything when their home burned down in May.

Aisles of Smiles: United Supermarkets cut the ribbon in December on the Lubbock-based company’s Market Street grocery store at FM 2499 and FM 1171 in the River Walk at Central Park.

Locked and Loaded:
In response to the Newtown, Conn. tragedy, the Argyle school board voted in May to allow teachers and faculty to carry firearms on the district’s campuses.

Walk This Way: Flower Mound voters in November approved the creation of a $16 million Public Improvement District to fund capital improvements inside The River Walk at Central Park mixed-use development.

Town Hall Changes: The resignation announcement by a long-time Double Oak town council member in March set in motion a flurry of appointments at town hall.

End of an Era: After serving the area for over four generations, a piece of southern Denton County history and a place to catch up on all the local gossip over a bowl of Frito pie left us in February.

Canyon Falls Kicks Off: Work began in May on the rebooted Canyon Falls development, a 1,200-acre master-planned community straddling Flower Mound, Argyle and Northlake along FM 1171 between Hwy 377 and I-35W.

Senior Center Success: Big plans for a Flower Mound senior center were unveiled and nearly derailed this year, but appear to be back on track.

Mayor Scare: Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml suffered a serious injury in August after becoming pinned between two vehicles.

Greenbacks For Green Views: Highland Village received a nice sum from the Texas Department of Transportation in March to replace a park that is out of service during the expansion of I-35E.

Experience Wins The Day: Two newcomers to the political process could not overcome a pair of experienced candidates in a hotly contested Flower Mound town council race.

New Sheriff in Town: Will Travis, a political outsider, took the reins of the Denton County Sheriff’s Department in January, bringing his own style of community policing to county residents.

Not Forgotten: The community celebrated the life of Max Schwolert, a 17-year-old Marcus High School senior, who died suddenly from influenza complications in late December 2012.

Good Sports: Argyle proved that the third time is a charm as it
claimed its first state football championship
and the Guyer Wildcats successfully defended its Class 4A Division I state football title.

What is your top story pick of 2013? Tell us in the comments below. Happy New Year!

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