CANTU FOUND GUILTY OF LESSER CHARGE – Faced with a first degree felony charge of injury to a child with intent to cause serious bodily injury, Fernando Cantu was instead found guilty of the state jail felony charge of injury to a child by negligence causing bodily injury. The jury returned its verdict around 7 p.m. yesterday in 271st District Court in Decatur after deliberating for nearly five hours. The punishment phase of the trial will begin this morning. Cantu, 33, of Bridgeport faces 180 days to 2 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. He is also eligible for probation. Prosecutors said Cantu squeezed the head of a 4-month-old, causing serious injury. The jury also found that his hand did not constitute a deadly weapon.
TEA RELEASES SCHOOL RATINGS – The Texas Education Agency released the 2013 school accountability ratings yesterday, and all Wise County districts and individual campuses “met standard,” except Boyd High School. The agency gave BHS “improvement required.” Boyd Superintendent Ted West told the Messenger last week that the district’s scores were “unacceptable,” and they have already altered courses for incoming freshmen to address the issue. This year’s ratings were based on four indexes including STAAR standardized test scores, student progress on those tests, the school’s pace in closing the performance gap for disadvantaged kids and the students’ readiness for life after high school, which factors in graduation rates and scores on college placement tests. According to these indexes, schools had either “met standard,” “met alternative standard” or “improvement required.” This replaces the former system that rated schools exemplary, recognized, academically acceptable or academically unacceptable. Read more in the weekend Messenger.
WIDE LOAD – A 22-foot-wide Rare Bear racing airplane will be traveling along portions of Wise County roads today. The plane is being moved from Jacksboro to Sherman where test flights will be conducted. The route will be U.S. 380 from the west county line to Farm Road 51 North in Decatur up through the Slidell area.
WATERMELON FESTIVAL – The Alvord Watermelon Festival and Barbecue Cook-off is today and Saturday. The Mike Watts Memorial Scholarship Fish Fry is 6 tonight. It also features a 42 tournament, washer tournament and Kolton Moore. Saturday’s events include a pageant at 10 a.m. and vendors all day. For more information about the washer tournament, call Clay Stephens at (940) 300-8968. Cost is $20 per team, and it’s double elimination.
DANCE CAMP – Registration is open for Princess and Rock Star Dance Camps, Aug. 12-14, presented by Bridgeport Parks and Recreation and Miss Twister’s Dance Company. The camp is for ages 5-10 at a cost of $50 per student. For more information, call (940) 683-3480.
EAGLES TICKETS – 2013 Decatur Eagles Football season ticket are on sale at the Decatur High School Ticket Office, 750 E. Eagle Summit Drive. Reserved ticket holders may only purchase the same tickets they had last season. Reserved ticket holders may purchase tickets at Saturday’s Blue-White scrimmage at 6 p.m. or 8:30 a.m.-noon Monday through Friday Aug. 12-15. For all first-time season ticket buyers and those who wish to purchase additional tickets or change their existing seats, tickets will go on sale first-come, first-served Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Graham scrimmage at Eagle Stadium at 7 p.m. Ticket sales end Sept. 5. Call 940-393-7290 for information.
BLUE-WHITE SCRIMMAGE — Decatur’s annual Blue-White scrimmage is 6 p.m. Saturday at Eagle Stadium. Varsity is scheduled to begin play at 8. The booster club will sell hamburger meals for $6 and will have all the latest Eagle gear for sale.
WORLD BREASTFEEDING CELEBRATION – Outreach Health Services-Decatur WIC Clinic is celebrating the delivery of a new freezer to become a drop off depot for the mothers of Wise County to donate their breastmilk to The Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas. The event is 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday. A presentation by the milk bank starts at 10:15 am. All pregnant and breastfeeding women are encouraged to attend. There will be snacks and door prizes. For more information call (940) 627-5796
SOCCER TOURNAMENT – A soccer tournament benefiting the Sanchez family of Decatur is 9 a.m. Saturday at Renshaw Park. There is no set cost to play, but donations will be accepted. Food will also be available.
OFFICE CLOSED – Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Jan Morrow’s office will be closed today for legislative training. The office resumes regular business hours Monday, Aug. 12.
SOCCER SIGN-UPS – Bridgeport Youth Association will have soccer registration 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays Aug. 10 and 17, at the Bridgeport Community Center, 1102 Lawdwin Ave. Registration fee is $60.
BASEBALL SIGN-UPS – Decatur Baseball League will hold registration for fall ball noon-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the Harmon Park concession stand. Each player must turn in a copy of their birth certificate. The league is open to kids ages 3 to 14. For more information, call Eric at (940) 389-4679.
FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES – Decatur Church of Christ is hosting Gear Up, a free school supply event, 5-7 p.m. Sunday at the church, on the corner of Farm Road 51 South and Preskitt Road. A full-size backpack filled with supplies will be given to kindergarten through sixth graders accompanied by an adult. There will be a free barbecue dinner, back-to-school services and a Bible experience.
WISE REPUBLICANS – The August Wise Republican meeting is 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Wise Co. Sheriff’s Office located at 200 Rook Ramsey Rd. in Decatur. Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Terri Johnson will be the guest speaker.
BAKE SALE – The Decatur Rodeo Team is holding a bake sale 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at David’s Western Store. The team will sell cookies, cakes, pies, hotdogs and drinks.
FUNERALS – Service for Sharon Daves, 64, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. today in the Chapel at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery.
GRAVESIDE service for Judy Ward, 47, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Monday at West Bridgeport Cemetery. Family visitation is 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Jones Family Funeral Home.
MEMORIAL service for James H. Simon, 79, of Bridgeport is 2 p.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport. Family visitation is 1-2 p.m. before the service.
SERVICE for Mellie Collin Pylant, 88, of Alvord is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.