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Redefining THE WEST

Corinth - Hickory Creek - Shady Shores - Lake Dallas




11 Linnybird Bakeshop: The Best Little Bakeshop in Texas

19 Metro Dent: So Much More Than Just Dent Repair

ARTICLES 08 10 Hot Weekend Spots For Girls 12 Inside Community & Education 14 TGCA Legacy All-Star Ranci Willis 18 5 Things to Try 20 Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell 23 Words. Political or Otherwise: Lynn Clark

24 Words. Political or Otherwise: Cindy Aughinbaugh

25 Setting the Stage for the Future of Denton County

26 North Texas Fair and Rodeo Ready for Full Crowds

29 Foodie Friday DFW: Bella Maca 30 Sheriff’s Corner with Sheriff Tracy Murphree




Redefining THE WEST

Cover Image Tyler Hawkins, of The Ranch Arrangement


Publisher of Murray Media Group, Publisher & Editor Scott & Kelly Murray







here is so much to talk about with our latest issue! Not only are we justifiably highlighting women of influence in our community, but the kiddos are officially back in school! If you remember — and I know you do — last year was a little iffy when it came to the start of school because of COVID-19. Some kids were in person, others were learning virtually, and the traditions of school supplies, new clothes, carpool lines, and big yellow school busses each morning looked drastically different. All opinions aside about the pandemic, I really do have a heart for working parents who stepped in as homeschoolers, the teachers who shifted lesson plans, administrators who tirelessly worked behind the scenes, coaches who kept our kids in the game, and the students who found a way to roll with the punches. Our kids deserve nothing but the best — now and well into the future. And I know they will continue to make us proud during the 2021-22 school year. We hope you enjoy the latest issue. Along with back-toschool stories, we are celebrating women in business. Many of the women I have interviewed for this issue all spoke of being true to themselves and having strong allies in their corner. They spoke on balancing work and home life — how it comes with ups and downs but to focus on the positive and find ways to do the things that make you happy. I wish you and your family the best of luck as we start the new school year!

Managing Editor Jana Melton Sub-Editors Bobbi Byrne Alisha Tran

Editor & Writer Steve Gamel


Caylie Howard, Diane Ciarloni Jade Kensington, Jean Eisenmann Leena Duwadi, Mark Miller

Advertising Inquiries


Graphic Designers Caroline Brock Cayla Thompson Michele Cunningham-Scott


Miranda Longoria Photography Your Candid Memories Photography What’s That Guy’s Name? Guy T Photography


Lake Cities Living invites reader feedback, story suggestions and general comments. Email

All submissions become the sole property of Murray Media Group.

Editorial Inquiries Call 972.899.3637 or email Address: 3513 Yucca Dr., Ste. 200 Flower Mound, TX 75028

Lake Cities Living is published monthly by Murray Media Group. Some articles and/or content may be sponsored by advertisers. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. Lake Cities

Livings is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and its agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission in writing from the publisher. © 2021 Murray Media Group

Stay well, stay kind, and be blessed.

Sincerely, Kelly Murray 6 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | AUGUST 2021





1. Fredericksburg

Are you looking for a hot spot for your weekend’s girl trip? Fredericksburg is the perfect spot for you. Fredericksburg is known for its wineries. You can stay in one of their quaint bed and breakfasts, shop and explore the town during the day, and relax with a glass of wine in the evening. It’s the perfect place for you to unwind with your girls for a weekend. 2. Granbury Granbury is the perfect getaway for any girl’s weekend. They have a cute town square with lots of shops and restaurants for you to enjoy. If you’re looking to cool off during the day, they are also home to Granbury Lake, where you can boat, water ski, and more. If you’re looking for a unique nighttime experience, you can also check out their historical ghost tour that they host on the square. Granbury is sure to show you and your girls a great time! 8 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | AUGUST 2021

3. Dallas You don’t have to travel far to experience a fun weekend with your girlfriends.

Dallas is home to some amazing history. You can check out any number of their

museums, eat delicious foods at any of their fabulous restaurants, and experience some amazing shopping experiences. A weekend in Dallas is just what the doctor ordered for your hot girl weekend! 4. Fort Worth If you’re looking for a boot scootin’ good time with your girls for a weekend, then look no further than Ft. Worth. You can take a tour of the historical district of this fun little

town during the day, and then dance the night away at one of their country dance halls

and bars. And don’t forget to take a stroll in the Ft. Worth Stockyards. Ft. Worth is a girl’s trip you won’t forget! 5. San Antonio San Antonio is a fun way to spend a weekend away with your girls. You can remember the Alamo by taking a tour of the historic building, enjoy delicious food from their

variety of restaurants, then take a River Walk boat ride in the evening. This trip is a surefire way to ensure that you and your girls have a fantastic weekend getaway! 6. Salado Salado is the perfect little town for your relaxing girls weekend getaway. You can stay at

the historic Stagecoach Inn, explore the Royal Street District, Browse Unique Boutiques, and enjoy some delicious wine. This is the perfect little trip for you and your girlfriends to experience a weekend of memories.

the Galveston Island Historic Pier in the evening, and dine on some delicious food. This is the perfect little town for a weekend at the beach with your girls! 9. Dripping Springs Are you looking for a sip and relax girl’s weekend? If so, Dripping Springs is the place for you. They are home to some of the best wineries and breweries. You’ll get to experience unique tastes and flavors that you will only find here, in Dripping Springs. If you and your girls are wine connoisseurs, this is the trip for you! 10. Austin

7. Waco Are you and your girlfriend’s wannabe fixer uppers? Waco is the home of the original Fixer Uppers, Chip and Joanna Gaines. You can take a stroll around the Magnolia

Silos, enjoy a delicious Magnolia cupcake at their bakery, and even eat at the Gaines’

restaurant in Waco. Waco is the perfect place to live out your redecorating dreams with your girls!

8. Galveston Are you in need of a beach vacation with your girls? Galveston is a great little town

to explore with your girlfriends. You can relax on the beach during the day, explore

The capital of our beloved Lonestar State is a great weekend getaway for you and your girls. You can experience the history of our home state by taking a tour of our capitol building. If you’re looking to cool down, you can take a swim in the Barton Springs Municipal Pool. You can also enjoy some delicious cuisine that is unique to Austin. Austin is more than just our state capital, it’s a great girl’s weekend destination! AUGUST 2021 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | 9


Business Spotlight





“We will be offering vegan and gluten-free cupcakes every day this fall,” she said. The bakeshop’s name carries a significant family meaning. “Both my mom’s and daughter’s middle names are Lynn, but my greataunt always called them her ‘linnybirds,” Britten reflected.

by Jean Eisenmann | photos courtesy of Linnybird Bakesphop

innybird Bakeshop is as sweet as pie – and cake, cupcakes, and cookies. This little bakery (400 square feet!) in charming Lake Dallas is a little slice of heaven. And don’t let its size fool you. The shop is brimming with stadiumsized flavors. All their baked goods are made with quality ingredients and decorated not only beautifully but creatively.

Lining their displays are simple layer cakes, flavorful pies, and cookies. Their amazing chocolate chip cookie takes three days to make and is worth the wait! “That was a quarantine recipe over COVID. I played with that recipe for six weeks!” Owner Lisa Britten admitted with a laugh. Linnybird is best known for their cupcakes. A jaw-dropping variety of cupcakes in unique, mouthwatering flavors. “At last count, we have over 200 flavors,” Britten said. Their over-the-top cupcake flavor selections change every week, guaranteeing your sweet tooth will

never be bored. Available by special order, gluten-free cupcakes are on Linnybird’s menu, and for walk-in customers, a vegan selection is offered on Fridays and Saturdays.

Britten grew up baking with her grandmothers but has been turning out delicious baked goods for customers since 1997. Popularity for her sweet treats grew from home kitchen baking to owning her own establishment, Sugar Queen Bakery. “It was harder to name my first shop than to name my kids,” she quipped. In the years that followed, she became a multi-award-winning baker. In addition to local acclaim, Sugar Queen’s Berry Pecan cupcake was proclaimed by the Texas State Legislature as the Official Cupcake of Texas in 2011. The flavor is now available at Linnybird by special order. In 2016, as owner of four Sugar Queen locations, Lisa closed their doors to devote her time to her four children before they grew up. Fast forward to COVID-19, Lisa began baking again during quarantine. “It sparked my desire to do it all over again,” Lisa revealed. Linnybird opened in August of 2020. “It’s been so much more than I could have ever anticipated.”

940.497.2727 | | 204 W. Hundley Dr. • Lake Dallas, TX 75065



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YARD OF THE MONTH Keep Lake Dallas Beautiful has implemented a Yard of the Month program! The purpose is to publicly recognize residents who contribute to the overall appearance and health of Lake Dallas’ natural resources through the use of their property. To find what criteria yards will be based off of go to and to nominate someone’s yard go to

LAKE DALLAS AND CORINTH PD CONSIDER MERGING City officials from Lake Dallas and Corinth announced plans to explore the possibility of merging Police Departments. The goal of this would be to increase efficiency, improve services, and expand police response capabilities. The city plans on doing a 12-18 month feasibility study to better understand how a merged department would operate to best serve the residents before making any final decisions.


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NEW LAKE DALLAS ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL The Lake Dallas ISD Board of Trustees approved Kerri Blevins as the new principal of Lake Dallas Elementary School. Prior to this approval, Mrs. Blevins served as an assistant principal at Lake Dallas Middle School since 2019. Mrs. Blevins is even a product of Lake Dallas ISD, having moved to the Lake Cities area when she was in seventh grade and graduated from Lake Dallas High School. Welcome and congrats! photo courtesy of Anthony Tosie

NEW LAKE DALLAS HIGH PRINCIPAL The Lake Dallas ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved Mollie Avelino as the new principal of Lake Dallas High School. Ms. Avelino served as Lake Dallas High School’s associate principal since 2015 and previously served as an assistant principal at the campus from 2012 until that time. Ms. Avelino is looking forward to fostering an environment that all Falcons are proud to be a part of. photo courtesy of Anthony Tosie


HOPEFUL HEARTS 5K STAMPEDE On September 25 in Old Town Lewisville come run for the Hopeful Hearts 5k Stampede benefiting Christian Community Action! Registration includes a t-shirt, goody bag, free food and drinks, and an opportunity to win individual and team contests with great prizes! There will be music, an auction and a VIP party for the top sponsors to meet former Dallas Cowboy and three-time Super Bowl Champion Tony Tolbert! For more information visit or contact

STEVIE J ROSE AND RIO GRANDE BAND AT THE VFW Come to the VFW Post 10460 (501 Thompson Dr., Lake Dallas) on Saturday, August 28 at 8:30pm to hear Stevie J Rose and the Rio Grande band! This is a free event open to the public so bring your family, invite your friends, and dance the night away to some good country music.

NEW HEAD VARSITY FOOTBALL COACH Lake Dallas ISD has named Jason Young as the new head coach of the varsity Falcon football team! Coach Young has served on the Falcons’ coaching staff for the past 10 years and has assisted in many playoff appearances for the team. Before beginning his career in education and coaching he played football at Butler Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso. He even competed at the United States Olympic Track and Field Team Trials in 2000. photo courtesy of Anthony Tosie

STUDENTS EAT FREE! Denton ISD students will be able to eat free all year! The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced it would extend universal free lunch to all children throughout the U.S. until the end of the 21-22 school year. This extension allows Denton ISD Child Nutrition to continue to provide free breakfast and lunch to all currently enrolled Denton ISD students.


TGCA Legacy All-Star



“...Nobody is born a great softball player. If you put the work in, you’re going to get great results.”

by Steve Gamel | photo courtesy of Jeff Woo with the Denton Record-Chronicle

ormer Guyer softball pitcher Ranci Willis may be done with high school and on her way to pitch at Texas Tech, but that hasn’t stopped her from being recognized for her dominant senior season just a few more times. Willis, who broke the Lady Wildcats’ single-season school record for strikeouts with 287 punchouts while leading Guyer to the Class 6A Region I quarterfinal, was one of only 20 seniors from across the state named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A-6A Legacy AllStar team on June 9. She followed that by being named the Denton RecordChronicle’s All-Area Softball MVP less than a month later. “[My biggest takeaway] is definitely competing — just having a mindset of wanting to win,” Willis told the DRC after her latest accolades. “You never know when your last game is going to be. You have to play your heart out now.”

Willis...was one of only 20 seniors from across the state named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A-6A Legacy All-Star team. 14 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | AUGUST 2021

Willis transferred to Guyer from Boerger following her freshman season. Her breakout season came in 2021 when she started 27 of Guyer’s 30 games and finished 22-1 in the circle. Her stats were video game-esque as she boasted a 1.10 ERA while allowing just 30 hits. That made her a no-brainer for both awards, especially the TGCA honor. TGCA Legacy All-Star team members are selected by softball member coaches of the association. Willis was the only softball player from Denton County to make this year’s TGCA Legacy roster. “We always say there’s no secret formula to this. Nobody is born a great softball player. If you put the work in, you’re going to get great results,” Guyer coach Keith Medford said of Willis in an interview with the DRC.


Redefining The



by Diane Ciarloni | photography by What’s That Guy’s Name? | PHOTOGRAPHY BY GUY T

yler Hawkins was just a kid when he sank into the comforting softness of a family friend’s leather sofa. There was a wrap-around feeling of security — like something that wasn’t going away anytime soon. Pulling it all together were tactile experiences of a smooth coolness beneath his skin and, of course, the distinct leather smell that’s beyond duplication.

As noted, he was just a kid, but the

impression went all the way to the soles of his boots. It stayed there as he grew into a man. It stayed as he traded boots for

a bigger size, and it stayed as his boots tramped through life.

“I spent my adult life driving trucks, drilling water wells, and working in the Texas and Pennsylvania oil fields,” Hawkins said.

“I grew up in agriculture with livestock, and that’s still my parents’ way of life.

“I started rethinking a lot of things when the most recent oil bust hit. There’s

nothing out there that’s certain, but

the oil fields are influenced by so many details that I can’t control. It doesn’t

matter how hard I, or other individuals,

work; we can’t stop it if oil heads south.

Besides, I no longer felt challenged, and I don’t like that.”

Hawkins began studying how to buy a

business, combing through the computer

listings for a year. He’s hard-working, single, no children. He’s 35 years old and unafraid of a challenge. He’s bored with oil field life, and his skin prickles with a sense of new adventure. He scrolls down the computer screen and stops at a listing: The Ranch Arrangement in Denton, Texas. Sitting up a bit straighter, Hawkins reads about the leather furniture pieces offered at The Ranch Arrangement. Everything is made in the U.S., with top quality hides in timeless styles and designs.

didn’t know about running a business? Had he thought far enough along to

know if he would keep things the same or explore changes?

The hard-working young man is solid.

A kid jumps up from an old leather sofa and runs to Hawkins at the computer. There was that smell he remembered, with the softness and the coolness, and the delicate age lines carved by family members burrowing into the leather. There was the automatic agricultural connection. It felt like home.

“In my opinion, looking someone in the

Hawkins put in four months of due diligence and closed on the business by the end of May 2021.

the bare-bones basics. I open, and I close.

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Did he feel anxious? Wasn’t there a lot he


eye while you’re having a conversation is

just as important today as it was 100 years ago. Mike Rowe once said something

like, ‘don’t chase your passion, take your passion with you.’ Remembering that helped me a lot.

“I feel like I’m home (at the store). There are There is furniture coming in and furniture

going out. Historically, the available styles

T h e R a n c h A r r a n g e m e n t . c o m

and designs at The Ranch Arrangement were very rustic and western, representative of ranch life.

keep our present audience, but we’ll expand it to encompass more tastes and preferences. We’ll be modern ranch.”

“My customer base is 50-years-and-up, with most of it being up. I want to keep it, but I also want to reach out and include the younger crowd like my age. I look forward to working with interior designers and real estate agents who are doing a lot of home staging. There is a tremendous building wave going on and that’s definitely in our favor.”

The Ranch Arrangement has 6,000 square feet of show space. A large portion of that footage is divided into spaces-within-aspace, allowing for eclectic room vignettes that encourage customers to see the potential for furniture, rugs, artwork, and other accessories in their own homes.

How does he propose to do these things? “It will all take time, but I plan to keep the rustic western feel while incorporating some transitional softening into the styles and designs. I want to blend in some contemporary. In other words, we’ll

“We’ll never be a Nebraska Furniture Mart,” Hawkins said, “and that’s fine by me. We’re able to order just about anything, and many items can be fully customized. We’re still going to be distinctly Western, but we’re going to broaden the definition. The way I see it, our leather upholstery


benefits the cattle industry, we repurpose old lumber to make new furniture, the wool rugs we sell helps ranchers, and recycling plastic to make trending rugs aids the overall environment. I like those things about this business. And, above all else, we’ll focus on quality products and customer service. A wise CEO once told me, ‘If you can learn customer service, you’ll do just fine.’ That’s been a motto of mine ever since.” The moral of the story? Sometimes,those early impressions grow into something very exciting. Obviously, this one did.

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F o r t

W o r t h

D r .

D e n t o n ,


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Things 5TO TRY little orange fish 601 S. Main St., Ste. 101 • Grapevine, TX little orange fish is a fun-filled children’s boutique that carries children’s clothing in girl’s sizes 0-12 and boy’s sizes 0-8. They have many different brands to suit a variety of styles and carry high-end lines as well as budget-friendly fashions. No matter what you or your child is looking for, you’ll find it here. Heaven Sent Boutique & Gifts 2585 MacArthur Blvd., Ste. 1100 • Lewisville, TX

Heaven Sent Children’s Boutique has been outfitting children in fun, upscale clothing for the past 15 years. They carry clothing for boys and girls from infants to age 14 years old. They also carry a huge assortment of unique gifts and accessories to complement each outfit.


Janie & Jack 3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy., Ste. 425 Grapevine, TX Janie and Jack is a design house with every kid at its heart. They make clothes that last, that you can pass down from sibling to sibling. They carry clothing for boys and girls from newborn to age 16 years old. Their collections feature modern twists on class fashion.

Pickled Pink Children’s Boutique 148 S. Elm St. • Keller, TX

Half-Pint Children’s Boutique 108 W. Oak St., Ste. 102 • Denton, TX

Pickled Pink Children’s Boutique is owned by Texas native, Shannon, who opened up this children’s boutique in 2009. It consists of multiple vendors and a wide selection of personalized clothing and gifts, giving customers the ultimate shopping experience. They also carry many exclusive lines you can only find at Pickled Pink.

Half-Pint Children’s Boutique carries many different brands to suit a variety of budgets and styles. They have clothing items for boys and girls from newborn to size 6, and toys and accessories for a variety of ages. They also offer monogramming services to customize your children’s clothing and accessories.


Business Spotlight


Than Just Dent Repair by Steve Gamel

214.735.8365 | | 1620 E. State Hwy. 121, Ste. C100 • Lewisville, TX 75056


o a major hailstorm hits North Texas

days and at no cost out of pocket to the

“It’s amazing to me how many people

… again. While you’ve been lucky

customer,” Mike said. “If a hailstorm hits,

come in here thinking we just do dents,”

to avoid damage to your car in the

past, this time you need to get quite a few repairs done beyond having someone pop a few dents out of your hood. While filing an insurance claim, meeting with an adjuster, and dropping your car off at the nearest body shop can be a nip and tuck process for many first-timers, for most it’s not. It could take weeks to meet with an adjuster depending on how many claims they are working on, and body shops, in general, aren’t built to handle an influx of hail damaged vehicles on top of their normal workload. Even paintless dent repair facilities are limited in what they can do. Mike Nosker has seen this lengthy scenario play out over and over again during his 24 years in hail repair. Getting your car repaired should be faster, which is why you should choose Metro Dent in Lewisville.

and I need to bring in 50 more technicians to keep that cycle time and quality the same, I’ll do it in a heartbeat.” Metro Dent has become the trusted choice for motorists throughout Denton County and beyond, and they are the best and most comprehensive. Metro Dent strives for perfection and will restore your vehicle to

Mike said. “Many paintless dent repair places are limited in what they can fix, but many times customers have some pretty bad damage and various things that need

“We make the entire process easy, so people aren’t so scared to get their car fixed.”

its original condition – whether it has a single door ding or a hood full of hail damage.

to be replaced. We can do anything cosmetic.” All workmanship comes with a lifetime warranty, and on qualified insurance claims, there’s no money out of pocket. During hail season, Metro Dent offers extended work hours, free pickup and delivery,

free car rental, and personalized service. Metro Dent works on your behalf with

Metro Dent also does full-body dent

a licensed independent adjuster to get

repair, minor collision jobs, paint

your repair approved at the proper level,

correction, detailing and reconditioning

which means you are assured of the

services, glass replacement, ceramic paint coatings, vinyl wraps, and more. They

highest quality service. Plus, they can help with your deductible and still offer you a

“We bend over backward to help return

service standard cars and trucks as well as

lifetime warranty.

a customer’s car in the best condition we

boats, RVs, and dirt bikes. All Metro Dent

can without having them wait months.

technicians are certified and have at least

“I always tell people, if you’re not sure

In some cases, our cycle time is three

15 years of experience in the industry.

of us, everyone is on social media these days. Go look at our reviews,” Mike said. AUGUST 2021 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | 19




“People will work with you if you work with them. People will respect you if you respect them. We don’t have all of the answers, but we can be a resource to the people.”

by Caylie Howard | photos courtesy of Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell


ver the years, our world has produced some of the most influential women in history. We have seen the world of women blossom with opportunities. We have seen women, quite literally, change the world as we know it. As residents of Denton County, we are privileged to say that we are home to some of the women that hold the prestigious title of women of influence. It’s safe to say that there is no one more deserving of the title of an influential woman than our very own Denton County Commissioner, Bobbie Mitchell.

Commissioner Mitchell has been a loyal resident of Lewisville since 1971. She is the proud wife of her husband, Fred, loving mother to her two children, Darin and Rhonda, adoring grandmother to her nine grandchildren, and a great grandmother to three. “Above all, I serve the Lord. I am blessed and highly favored.” Commissioner Mitchell said. Commissioner Mitchell retired from GTE in May of 1993 after 20 years of service in various management positions. “I believe that a business background was very beneficial in my political career. There’s a lot of red tape that you have to go through to get things done.” Commissioner Mitchell said. In 1985, Commissioner Mitchell joined the City of Lewisville’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. She served on the board until 1987 when she joined the City of Lewisville Planning and Zoning Commission, to which she served until

“There was a little bit of racism involved, but I had the support of the Chamber of Commerce to take racism out of the election.”

1990. “A lot of people don’t like to start by serving on boards, but for me it was a positive.” Commissioner Mitchell said. From there, Commissioner Mitchell went on to serve two years on Lewisville’s City Council. In 1992, Commissioner Mitchell served as Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, until 1993 when she became acting Mayor of Lewisville. She served in that role until 2000. In 2000, the opportunity to run for Commissioner of Precinct 3 opened up. This opportunity did not come without its challenges. “This was my first time running as a Republican. This was a party office. I had two opponents to begin with until one dropped out.” Commissioner Mitchell recalled. But that wasn’t the only obstacle in Commissioner Mitchell’s run for office. “There was a little bit of racism involved, but I had the support of the Chamber of Commerce to take racism out of the election.” AUGUST 2021 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | 21

As residents of Denton County, we are privileged to say that we are home to some of the women that hold the prestigious title of women of influence.

“Every one of us has a calling. I like to say God put me here for such a time as this.”


Commissioner Mitchell went on to say, “I was a candidate for the people; for all of the people. Now I’m an elected official for the people. We are all the same, no matter our race. We are all God’s creations. I’m looking forward to the day when we don’t refer to it as the first black Mayor of Lewisville, or the black Commissioner, or even a woman Commissioner. We just refer to it as Commissioner.”

She added, “Every one of us has a calling.

In the many years that Commissioner Mitchell has served Denton County, she has

Saying that Commissioner Mitchell has

learned some very wise lessons.

When asked what Commissioner Mitchell’s advice is for women considering running for office, her response was “first and foremost, pray about it. It can be a hard job. Then talk to some of your friends. Ask them how they feel about you becoming a public servant. Then you should find out about the job.”

I like to say that God put me here for such a time as this.” Commissioner Mitchell

has prided herself on representing the

people of Denton County as a resource of information. “We can’t know everything. But I make sure that people know that they can come to me. If I don’t have a

solution, I will point them in the direction of someone who does.”

served Denton County with grace and

outstanding leadership is nothing short of the truth. She has led with kindness,

acceptance, and wisdom for decades, and it is because of her amazing dedication to our County that Commissioner

Bobbie Mitchell is without a doubt to be considered one of our most influential women of Denton County.


LYNN by Diane Ciarloni photos courtesy of Lynn Clark




here was never, ever, ever a time when Hickory Creek Mayor, Lynn Clark, aspired to any form of political agenda. It wasn’t even the tiniest nano-blip on her personal radar.

She later served as Mayor Pro Tem from May, 2010 to June, 2015, when she was appointed to Mayor after John Smith stepped down from the position. She succeeded in mayoral elections in both 2016, 2018 and 2020.

“My campaign opponents were always men,” Lynn said, “but I don’t think gender matters much. It’s your words, your relationships, your values that draw people. It’s also effective and respectful communication, getting a message across, having an open door, and being responsive.

“Our two boys were born in California,” Lynn said, “so I was basically a stay-athome mom. We were in the Air Force six years, and after that, Bob realized his dream of becoming a commercial pilot. He retired from Southwest after 35 years.”

“I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and Mayor. Words matter in all four of those roles. I’ve always tried to have Philippians 4:8 be a guide in everything, where we’re told to use our words in an honorable and just manner. Relationships take work, and words are a very important part of that work.”

Lynn served as Executive Director of the Texas Association of Rental Agencies for 15 of those 35 years, retiring in 2005. “I’ve pretty much stumbled into everything I’ve done,” Lynn answered with a chuckle. “Landing that position was a fluke.”

She campaigned for Town Council, Place 1, in 2007. She won.

Lynn Clark was officially alive and well in the political arena.

Born in Waco, Clark got a history degree with a minor in literature. She earned a teaching degree, but by the time she was ready to use it, she and her Air Force husband, Bob Clark, were stationed in California. Her teaching certificate was only valid 1,400 miles away — in Texas.

On being Mayor of Hickory Creek, she added, “I’ve loved Hickory Creek ever since we first moved here, and I was very interested when I heard about the new Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in 2003. I raised my hand and was appointed.”

Lynn got her feet not just wet but soaked on the EDC. She enjoyed it. She learned the satisfying feeling of giving back to the community she loved, helping it grow in the right direction for all residents.

It’s your words, your relationships, your values that draw people. AUGUST 2021 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | 23




by Diane Ciarloni photos courtesy of Cindy Aughinbaugh


hady Shores Mayor, Cindy Aughinbaugh, has proudly served in her role since 2015 and bases her life on a cornerstone inscribed with one word….Involvement.

Cindy and husband, Steve, moved to Shady Shores in 2008. She already knew a great deal about volunteering her time and efforts through PTA (Parents and Teachers Association), Boy Scouts, and various booster clubs. But things felt different in Shady Shores. Cindy found herself wanting to do more than volunteer. She wanted close involvement with her community. She wanted to give back.

“That was really weird,” Cindy laughed. “I’d never campaigned for anything even remotely political, and it was quite an experience. I was elected and also appointed Mayor Pro Tem. Next, I was appointed Mayor in 2015.” Cindy has 24 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | AUGUST 2021

“The first thing I learned is government has operating rules that are totally different from a corporation,” Cindy said. “The second thing I learned was things happen very slowly. It didn’t take long to realize that most issues we deal with are the ones affecting our day-to-day lives – when will the potholes on my street be fixed? When will the drainage problem be resolved? I beg residents to please, please come to council meetings. Be involved with your community. Become familiar with the issues and how things work. Be a part of what’s happening, and don’t rely on social media misinformation.” Any advice for other ladies who might like to step into the political pool? “Never be intimidated because you have as much to offer, if not more, than the next person,” Cindy stressed. “I’m a female Mayor with five male council members! Be professional and stick to the issues. Be genuine. The whole point is I care. I enjoy helping to make this town better. Neither I, nor anyone else, can make those contributions without being involved.”

Cindy has a degree in industrial engineering and management from Oklahoma State University and worked in software and management for 30 years. With that background, there surely must be a number of ways for her to serve Shady Shores. Word got around about Cindy, and some of her new friends and neighbors encouraged her to run for election in the 2010 city council race.

remained Mayor of Shady Shores since then, winning fair and square through elections. By now, the campaigning process seems a bit less weird and, at the moment, she’s leaning toward going for another term in 2023.

“Be a part of what’s happening, and don’t rely on social media misinformation.”

Setting The Stage


O f

D e n t o n

C o u n t y

by Denton County Judge Andy Eads photo courtesy of Judge Andy Eads


nsuring Denton County continues to have a thriving economy is an important part of County government and one the Denton County Commissioners Court takes very seriously.

Despite recent challenges, growth across Denton County is rapidly increasing as

new businesses – large and small – flock to

our region. In fact, new projects have been ongoing since the middle of last year, not slowing at all. Calls for available office

space are constant while major housing developments, townhome projects,

and apartments are under construction throughout the county.

With a current estimated population of

911,912, Denton County is not far from

topping the 1 million mark – a milestone

now anticipated by 2025. We are growing at a faster pace than what was projected just five years ago when our population was expected to hit 1 million in 2030.

By 2050, the latest estimates call for our

population to reach more than 2.3 million. Jobs grew by 45,488 in the past five years and are projected to grow by

40,810 in the next five years. The median

household income, as reported in 2018, is now $83,400 in Denton County – around $23,100 above the national median household income of $60,300. The rapid growth is exactly why we are focused on drawing high-paying jobs to Denton County and providing a diverse portfolio of positions to meet the needs of all residents. In just the last five years, we’ve attracted such top companies as Farmer Brothers, Tanger Outlets, Mary Kay, Charles Schwab, Tyson, two Stanley Black & Decker facilities, Thirty-One Gifts, Gulfstream, ASCO/Texaplex, Ariat, the PGA headquarters, Grandscape, Schluter, Ericsson, Belltown Solar, and a major expansion of Retractable Technologies Inc. Together, these projects have invested billions into Denton County, some relocating regional and national headquarters along with higher wages in an array of industries from solar power to tourism, technology and much more.

When you stop to think about it, Denton County has become THE place to live, work, and play in the region, state, and the U.S. We have also worked tirelessly in the last few decades to ensure transportation needs are being addressed as more vehicles traverse our highways. We expanded FM 2499, Interstate 35E, FM 1171, west U.S. 380 with plans underway for east U.S. 380, and much more. Soon, you will see construction along Interstate 35W in the main lanes and frontage roads as well as in the area where 35E and 35W merge. Plans are being drawn for Loop 288 West with an estimated let date of 2026 to complete the loop both east and west of I-35 in Denton. And that is just the beginning. We will continue to plan ahead to ensure adequate access throughout the county. We also work with the Denton County Transportation Authority to provide alternative transportation via bus routes and the A-train as well as with our cities and towns to address their ongoing needs. The Denton County Commissioners Court also recognizes the importance of balancing this fast-paced growth and the requisite infrastructure requirements while keeping our taxpayers top of mind. Among the top 15 counties in Texas, we have the lowest countywide tax rate at .224985 since we do not have hospital or college districts. And we aim to keep it that way. A thriving, diverse economy coupled with meeting residents’ needs for transportation, housing, education, and income is the legacy we want to leave for decades to come. It is important we all work together to create the Denton County we can all be proud of for future generations to enjoy.


If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. 940.349.2820 | |


North Texas Fair and Rodeo




CROWDS by Mark Miller | photos courtesy of Kelsey Hodges


fter being held last year in October and conducted under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the North Texas Fair and Rodeo returns to its August roots while welcoming as many people as possible in 2021.


The 93rd rendition will take place Aug. 20-28 at the North Texas Fair Grounds north of U.S. 380 in Denton. In 2020, crowd sizes and areas were regulated, 100 hand sanitizers were placed throughout the grounds, and plexiglass was installed at the concession stands. Everything was sanitized daily, and masks were mandated at all the gates. “There was a lot of added expense with a lot of decreased crowds, but it was 100 percent better than not having it,” said Executive Director Glenn Carlton. While hand sanitizers return this year, and there will be plenty of places

“There was a lot of added expense with a lot of decreased crowds, but it was 100 percent better than not having it.” to social distance for those still apprehensive about the virus, Carlton expects 200,000 or more people to enjoy themselves over the nine-day run. Back after a seven-year absence will be Tumbleweed Crossing, a wild west stunt show that will be conducted every day. Another popular attraction that has delighted attendees for years is Swifty Swine, the swimming pig who also will take part in the pig races. Talley Amusements will again operate the midway as it has for 10 years. Probably the biggest attraction will be the music with a stellar list of top country artists including Aaron Watson, Terri Clark, Michael Salgado, Jake Hooker, Giovonnie and the Hired Guns, Randall King, Midland, Flatland Cavalry, and Sawyer Brown. Most nights will

“We’ll be able to host road shows and youth sports. It’s going to be multipurpose.” feature three acts on two stages in addition to the daily rodeo including the PRCA, Invitational Ranch, 21 and Under, Bull Blowout, and Mutton Bustin.’ “I think the all-inclusiveness is the big thing,” Carlton said. “You get the rodeo and the music and the whole fair for one price. And along with the great entertainment, you get other things like the livestock show and creative arts. You get to see a lot of Americana and a lot of community.”

“They have been the strength and backbone of this organization forever,” said Executive Assistant Nanci Kimney. The event has been conducted at its current 33-acre site since 1945 when Dr. W.C. Kimbrough sold the property to the Denton County Fair Association for $5. Before that, it was held at other Denton County sites but primarily featured horse and mule races.

“Right now, we’re a 100-acre fair on 33 acres,” Carlton said. “The new location will be more than a fairgrounds nine days a year. We’ll be able to host road shows and youth sports. It’s going to be multipurpose.”

ADMISSION Aug. 23-25 | $15

for anyone age 12 and older Aug. 20-22 & 27-28 | $20 Aug. 26 | $30 Military and those age 55 and older receive a $5 discount each day Children 6-11 are $5 and 6 and under free throughout the fair.

This year’s sponsors include Miller Lite (music), Coors (rodeo), Samsung (carnival), First State Bank (livestock barn); Commercial Bank (exhibits), First United (Fun Zone), Peterbilt (Kids Zone), and DATCU.


Helping Carlton and his small staff will be a corps of about 800 volunteers focused on making the fair/rodeo a success.

Within the next five years, the fair is expected to move to a 109-acre property purchased in 2014 at I-35 and Ganzer. It most likely will be a joint effort between the fair and Denton County. Until then, however, people can enjoy all the North Texas Fair and Rodeo has to offer.



BELLA MACA by Jay Marks | photos courtesy of Foodie Friday DFW


e’s cooked for the Queen of England and Paul McCartney. He’s traveled all over the world participating in cooking competitions. And now Chef Walter Bandt has opened his own restaurant, Bella Maca, to cook for the people of North DFW.

If you’ve never had the privilege of tasting some of Chef Walter’s food, trust us on this one. You’ll be able to feel all of his love, passion, and experience in each and every bite. When it came to deciding the concept for Bella Maca, Chef Walter took inspiration from his own family and upbringing (“Maca” was his grandmother’s nickname) and decided to create an ArgentinianItalian fusion restaurant that also incorporates other cooking techniques and ingredients that he’s learned about in his world travels.

Since Foodie Friday is about the food, let’s talk about what Chef Walter made for us. To start our meal off, we sampled the Empanadas and Steamed Mussels. The empanadas start off with the perfect pastry exterior and are filled with seasoned ground beef, olives, and egg, then served with a side of their iconic chimichurri. And the mussels come straight from Maine each week and are served in a spicy tomato broth.

oh-my-gosh amazing. The meat was so tender that it came clean off the

bone and was covered in a delicious

red wine reduction sauce served over creamy polenta.

And we can’t talk about Bella Maca

without talking about their extensive collection of wines, whiskeys, and more, including some selections

straight from South America like their Argentinian Malbec.

The best way to sample their wine

selection is to reserve a spot at one of

their paired wine dinners. Each dinner has

Bella Maca has a beautiful woodfired oven, which allows them to cook incredible homestyle Italian items like their pizzas. Their signature pizza is the Don Emilio named after Walter’s father, which is topped with Canadian bacon, mushrooms, and crispy artichokes.

its own theme (Peruvian cuisine, Spanish

Then we come to the amazing selection of entrees with options like their Wild Mushroom Risotto, Poor Man’s Steak, and the Braised Short Ribs. Everything we tried was delicious, but those Short Ribs were

his restaurant, it’s not just about eating

tapas, etc.) and has a number of wines

perfectly paired with each course. Check

their Facebook page for upcoming events, and you can reserve your spot by calling the restaurant or visiting in person.

Chef Walter believes that when you visit good food but having a great experience.

And we definitely felt that when we visited Bella Maca. We can’t wait for you to give them a try!

972.724.2540 |








etention Officers perform specialized law enforcement work in the care and security of inmates to ensure their constitutional rights and welfare are safeguarded in the County Jail. A typical work day could involve admitting and booking inmates, supervising trustees, ensuring security of inmates and the Jail, performing commissary duties, receiving and maintaining an inventory of inmate property and supplies, performing control operations, performing inmate classification duties, and preparing and transporting inmates. Additional responsibilities may include monitoring cameras, monitoring emergency systems, performing various life and fire safety activities, performing telephone and radio communications and performing duties as a member of the Extraction Team. If you or anyone you know might be interested in a career in Law Enforcement, and you meet the following minimum qualifications, you can apply online. • Good moral character. • Must be 18 years of age. • High School diploma or GED required. • Must be a U.S. citizen. • Must attain certification by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement as a

Jailer within one (1) year of employment.

• Possession of a valid Driver’s License. Must be able to obtain a State of

Texas driver’s license within 90 days. Once hired, Detention Officers will go through on-the-job training before

attending The Basic County Corrections Class, which is on site at The Denton

County Sheriff’s Office. This is where the

certification by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) is obtained.


WE ARE HIRING If you are interested in a career in Law Enforcement, join our family and be a part of a great organization. Detention Officer I positions start at $38,752.00 per year. Visit our website to apply. careers/dentoncounty

Detention Officers’ starting salary ranges from $38,752 - $44,952 depending on education and experience. Detention Officers receive a wide range of benefits including: health care

benefits, longevity pay, stipends for

education/bilingual proficiency, tuition

reimbursement, county retirement plan, provided equipment, exceptional Law

Enforcement training in preparation for

TCOLE licensing, and many promotional opportunities within Law Enforcement. dentoncounty

940.349.1600 | 127 N. WOODROW LN., STE. 300 • DENTON, TX 76205 | DENTONCOUNTY.GOV/707/SHERIFF 30 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | AUGUST 2021

Profile for Murray Media Group

Lake Cities Living Magazine August 2021  


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