Accident victims identified


Drivers who died in two separate one-car accidents Friday night and early Saturday morning have been identified. The first driver, Jerry Easterwood, 35, of Springtown, died on Farm Road 718 in Newark at 8:49 p.m. Friday. Easterwood’s 1994 Pontiac Firebird was clocked at a speed of close to 140 miles per hour by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jackson Bridgeman before he broke off pursuit. Bridgeman said he lost sight of the driver and went all the way north to S.H. 114 looking for him. In the meantime, a resident who lives along FM 718 reported hearing a loud bang. Responders found Easterswood’s car had crashed through a gate, rolled several times and landed on its top in a field on the west side of the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene. DPS spokesman Lonny Haschel said Easterwood was not wearing a seatbelt. The investigation remains open awaiting autopsy results. The second accident occurred around 1 a.m. on U.S. 287 north of Alvord. That driver, 76-year-old Dennis Ward of Wichita, Kan. was southbound in a 1997 Dodge minivan when a witness said he left the roadway to the right, struck the culvert at the Hot Skillet restaurant and continued straight ahead, striking a tree. Ward was also pronounced dead at the scene. That accident is also under investigation, pending autopsy results.

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Friday, January 16, 2015


1 INJURED WHEN TRUCK STRIKES TRACTOR – An Alvord man was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur by ambulance after his tractor was struck by a truck on U.S. 81/287 south of Alvord shortly after 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Marvin Porter, 55, was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries after he hit the dash of the tractor following the collision. “He had a lot of preexisting conditions, and it’s unclear if he aggravated those and to what extent,” said Department of Public Safety Trooper Zeb Siebeneck. Porter was injured in an April 2014 wreck on U.S. 81/287 in Decatur when a fuel tank from an 18-wheeler broke free and struck his pickup. Porter’s friend Michael White, who was on the scene after Thursday’s accident, said Porter had his back fused together after that accident and later a knee surgery. Porter was driving his tractor on the southbound shoulder of U.S. 81/287, according to Siebeneck. A pickup driven by Tuxie Ballard, 25, of New Mexico hit the tractor in the rear ripping off the left back tire. Ballard’s truck came to rest in the median. “Ballard was in the outside lane going 75 in a 75, and Porter was on the shoulder,” Siebeneck said. “[Ballard] dropped his phone and swerved and hit the tractor.” Ballard said his phone was on the console and fell.

EDUCATION FOUNDATION SETS GOAL – The Decatur Education Foundation is seeking $50,000 in donations to fund innovative teaching grants, and $36,750 has been raised in donations and pledges, Foundation Board President Fred Renfro announced at last night’s annual donor recognition program. Top donors who have contributed at least $5,000 include Conoco Phillips, Decatur ISD faculty and staff, Devon Energy and Wise Regional Health System.

EAGLES START DISTRICT – Decatur Eagles will start the District 8-4A schedule at 8 tonight at home against Castleberry. The game will follow the girls game at 6:15. Get live updates of the action @wcmsports on Twitter. A recap of the action and a local scoreboard will be posted at wcmsports.com following the action. In other games, Bridgeport teams will head to Lake Worth. Alvord will be in Lindsay. Boyd teams try to rebound at Nocona. Chico plays host to Valley View. Paradise welcomes Henrietta. Slidell heads to Prairie Valley. Northwest visits Keller.

FOSSILS AND ROCKS – The Wise County Fossil, Rock and Mineral Society will meet 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, at the First United Methodist Church Wesley Center, 200 East Main St., in Decatur. The program will be on field trips, and photos will be shown of previous field trips in and around the Wise County area. Members are encouraged to bring their own specimens. A potluck meal will be served at 6:45 p.m. Visitors are welcome. Call 940-627-2329.

BENEFIT BAKE SALE – Open Arms is holding two bake sales to raise money for house fire victim Charles Montgomery. There is one from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Chico Mart and one from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Lowe’s Marketplace in Decatur. For information, call 940-210-5738.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY – The Bridgeport Historical society will meet Monday at the Weatherford College Wise County campus. A board meeting is scheduled for 11, lunch is at 11:30, and a general meeting is scheduled for noon.

HOLIDAY CLOSING – The Decatur dumpsite will close Monday. Other dumpsites (Boyd, Chico and Cottondale) will close the next business day, which is Wednesday. They will reopen regular hours of 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday.

FUNERALS – No service is scheduled for Loretta M. Wilson, 92, of Decatur. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL graveside for Lloyd Wayne Webb Sr., 74, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, at Pleasant Grove No. 1 Cemetery in Decatur. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Kathleen M. Erickson of Alvord will be held at a later date. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Frank Robinson, 80, of Decatur is pending at Coker-Hawkins.

GRAVESIDE service for Mack Thomas Irvin Jr., 66, of Boyd is 9:15 a.m. today at DFW National Cemetery in Dallas. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Jessica Jane Pittman, the baby daughter of Debra Land and Trevor Pittman of Boyd is 6 tonight at Christian-Hawkins.

SERVICE for Paul Lambert, 84, of Boyd is pending at Christian-Hawkins.

SERVICE for Larry F. Fast, 69, of Paradise is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Gary Andrew Miller, 67, of Runaway Bay is 2 p.m. Sunday at Hawkins Chapel with burial at Eternal Oaks Cemetery in Runaway Bay. Family visitation is 3-5 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

GRAVESIDE memorial for Kenneth Earl Canova, 71, of Bridgeport is 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at West Bridgeport Cemetery. Hawkins-Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for John Diffenderfer, 63, of Paradise is 2 p.m. Saturday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

GRAVESIDE service for Albert Taylor, 70, of Bridgeport is 11 a.m. Saturday at Willow Point Cemetery in Balsora. Jones Family Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Cecil Brooks, 88, of Chico is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home.

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Motorcyclist taken to hospital after wreck


wreckA motorcyclist was transported to Denton Regional Medical Center after a collision with a tractor-trailer on U.S. 380 east of Decatur Thursday evening.
Antonio Trejo, 28, of Decatur was taken by ambulance to the Denton Hospital after the wreck that occurred shortly after 6 p.m.
Trejo’s bike hit the back right end of the tractor-trailer driven by Johnny Simmons, 51, of Bridgeport.

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Basketball: Happy returns – Senior point guard prepares for first district game in almost two years


As the Decatur Lady Eagles made a run to the district title and the third round of the playoffs, Jasmyne Tate kept a smile on her face and cheered her teammates on.

But from the sidelines, she longed for more.

“It was hard to see my team play and not be able to be out there with them,” Tate recalled. “All I could do was support them.”

Back on the Floor

BACK ON THE FLOOR – Decatur senior Jasmyne Tate will lead the Lady Eagles into district play Friday. The point guard missed nearly two years with a pair of knee injuries. She is averaging 7.9 points and 5.1 assists this year. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

After two knee surgeries and a nearly two-year wait, Tate will get an opportunity to try to guide the Lady Eagles back to a league title and the playoffs when they open 8-4A play Friday at Lake Worth.

“I’m glad to be back and getting into shape,” Tate said.

In the middle of her sophomore year, as the Lady Eagles were starting the second half of district play, Tate injured her left knee.

“I was running to try to scare a girl and my knee gave out,” Tate recalled.

It was the second straight game for the Lady Eagles to lose a player to a knee injury.

“We lost Murphy [Graham] in the last game of the first half and then Jasmyne against Gainesville here,” said Decatur coach Billy Garner.

Tate had surgery and began the long road back to rejoining the Lady Eagles. Before her junior season playing in a summer league, she reinjured her left knee and required a second surgery.

That meant she would not play her junior year. While missing the season, she remained upbeat, knowing her opportunity would come.

“It was better to sit out that year. I didn’t feel the leg was ready or strong enough,” Tate said.

“I felt like it would make me stronger and better.”

In May, she was finally released and resumed practicing. She admitted she took it easy during the summer, not want to risk injuring the knee again.

“I played a lot of basketball but I didn’t want to rush it,” Tate explained.

When the Lady Eagles started the season Nov. 10, Tate was in the lineup as the team’s starting point guard. Heading into district, she’s averaging 7.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and a steal.

“She’s done a good job,” Garner said. “It’s not her natural position. But she’s big, strong and handles the ball well enough to play there. She’s a real good passer.”

Tate, who was an off-guard before the injury, admits that it has been adjustment moving to the point.

“Whatever coach wants me to do, I’ll do,” Tate said. “I don’t think about the pressure. I just try to get the ball down the floor and get my teammates open.”

Tate has battled some residual soreness since returning to action.

“I just feel old,” she joked. “My teammates keep me going. They push me to finish whatever I’m doing.”

Garner has tried make a few adjustments to keep Tate healthy.

“She still hurts a bit. Part of that is the wear and tear of not playing in more than a year,” he said.

But with only eight more games promised in her career, Tate is not looking to take it easy now.

“Now, you’ve got to push hard,” Tate said. “I think we can share something special and can go far.”

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Getaway driver charged in Christmas Eve robbery


Three of the four men arrested in the West Side Grocery Store robbery last week have now been charged with aggravated robbery after it was discovered that one of them drove a getaway car to help the other two flee the scene, according to Bridgeport Police.

Uriel Betancourt, 17, of Bridgeport, was initially only charged with evading arrest on Christmas Eve when he was found hiding with his brother Julio Betancourt and Pedro Ibarra-McDonald, the two men who robbed the grocery store at gunpoint.

Uriel was charged with aggravated robbery Wednesday after Bridgeport Police found that he drove a getaway car for Julio Betancourt and Ibarra-McDonald. A $50,000 aggravated robbery bond was added to his $5,000 bond for evading arrest, and he is currently still in the Wise County jail, along with Julio Betancourt and Ibarra-McDonald.

Julio Betancourt and Ibarra-McDonald were both arrested on aggravated robbery charges Christmas Eve. Ibarra-McDonald was also charged with possession of greater than or equal to 28 grams of a controlled substance, as well as possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana.

Diego Barboza, the other man arrested in connection with the robbery, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and is awaiting trial after posting a $7,500 bond on Christmas Day.

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James Lawrence Davis, Jr.


James Lawrence Davis, Jr.

James Lawrence Davis, Jr., 75, a retired rancher, died Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014 in Decatur.

Funeral is 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31 at Slidell Baptist Church with burial in Slidell Cemetery. Bobby Cates and Charles Taylor will officiate, and Shawn Barnhart, Isaac Davis, Dustin Davis, Rodney Yard, Danny Juarez and Ralph Amyx will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearer is Tony Martinez.

James was born April 3, 1939 to James and Lola (Hubble) Davis Sr. in Oklahoma City. He married Elma Kay Loyd May 12, 1960 in Alvord. James retired from being a rancher and dairyman.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Elma Kay Davis of Slidell; sons Jimmy Davis of Slidell and Jeff Davis and wife, Lisa, of Chico; daughter Kathleen Barnhart of Slidell; brother Bill Davis of Slidell; grandchildren Shawn, Sarah, Isaac, Dustin and Taylor; and great-grandchild, Caysen.

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Weekly Specials for Wednesday, December 31, 2014


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Breaking: Mobile home catches fire on County Road 2320


The Decatur, Greenwood Slidell and Krum fire departments responded to a mobile home fire in the 2000 block of County Road 2320 in Decatur after the mobile home became engulfed in flames around 2:30 a.m Friday.

The residents of the mobile home were not on the property at the time of the fire, which destroyed the entire home and was not put out until around 3:20 a.m.

Deputy Wise County Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Greenwood Slidell firefighters extinguish the remains of a mobile home fire this morning on County Road 2320. Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

Greenwood Slidell firefighters extinguish the remains of a mobile home fire Friday morning on County Road 2320. Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

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Breaking: Two suspects apprehended in Bridgeport grocery store robbery


Update: According to a statement Bridgeport Assistant Chief Steve Stanford released on the Bridgeport Police Department’s Facebook page Christmas morning, two other people were arrested in addition to the two robbery suspects. During the search of the suspects’ hideout on Crittendon Street, “various narcotics” were also seized along with the firearms that are believed to have been used in the robbery.
“Thanks to our partnership with the community and some great police work, these suspects will be spending their Christmas morning in the Wise County Jail. Merry Christmas!” Stanford wrote.

Two males who are believed to have robbed the West Side Grocery store and gas station in Bridgeport at gunpoint Christmas Eve have been apprehended by Bridgeport police.

Police Chief Randy Singleton said that around 10 p.m. Wednesday, two masked men entered the store brandishing handguns and stole the store’s cash register and a case of beer. 

“All they said was, ‘Give us the money!’ over and over,” Singleton said, recounting footage of the incident he saw from the store’s security footage.

“One suspect robbed the cashier, who slowly took the cash tray out of the register and put it on the counter, while the other suspect stole the beer and kept a lookout,” Singleton said.

The two suspects fled the scene on foot, but were found hiding out behind a house in the 700 block of Crittendon Street less than an hour later.

“I’m assuming they knew the people who lived [at that house], but it’s not for certain yet,” Singleton said. “We’re treating that house as another crime scene for now.”

“At least one gun and some other evidence of the crime” was found where the suspects were hiding, Singleton said.

The two suspects’ names are not available at this time.

The three cashiers who were working at the store at the time of the robbery declined to comment on the incident.

This story is ongoing. Check back with the Messenger for more details.

This snapshot of footage from the West Side Grocery's security camera shows the two men who robbed the store. The first suspect to enter robbed the cashier, while the second one stole the beer, according to Police Chief Randy Singleton. Photo courtesy of the West Side Grocery store.

This snapshot of footage from the West Side Grocery’s security camera shows the two men who robbed the store.
The first suspect to enter robbed the cashier, while the second one stole the beer, according to Police Chief Randy Singleton.
Photo courtesy of the West Side Grocery store.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014 Edition


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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, December 20, 2014


COUNCIL PLANS SHORT MEETING – The Decatur City Council will meet Monday at 6 p.m., just long enough to take care of a couple of agenda items that need approval to keep moving. The council is expected to approve on second reading an ordinance to change zoning at 550 W. Mill St. from single-family to two-family residential, allowing the property owner to build a duplex. They will also vote on a performance agreement between Freedom Power Sports LLC and the Decatur Economic Development Corp. The meeting is at City Hall and is open to the public.

HOSPITAL BOARD TO MEET – The trustees of the Decatur Hospital Authority will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the board room at the hospital in Decatur. Among the reports on the agenda is an update from the building committee on the proposed new Fit-N-Wise facility. Board members Carey Williams and Chris Forbis are slated to be reappointed, and medical staff appointments, reappointments and first-year reviews are also planned. They will consider bids for workers compensation insurance, and consider the acquisition of two more nursing facilities – owned by Cantex Continuing Care Network and located in Southlake and Fort Worth. The meeting is open to the public.

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Names of wreck victims released


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The identities of the pickup driver and passenger in Friday night’s head-on collision on Farm Road 51 South have been released.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Adam Lawson said the driver was Lynis Parris of De Leon. Parris had minor injuries but was kept overnight at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, according to Lawson.

The trooper said Parris’ passenger was Clara Quesnot, also of De Leon. She’s listed in stable condition at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. She and Parris were injured when their pickup hit a Toyota Camry traveling northbound on 51 between Farm Roads 2123 and 2048. The Camry was a marked WBAP car.

WBAP released the name of its injured reporter — Alan Scaia — earlier in the day Saturday. News director Rick Hadley told the Messenger Saturday night that Scaia had been upgraded from critical to serious condition at JPS. Scaia, 33, lives in Fort Worth.

 

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2014 Decatur Lady Eagles: A Look Back


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Blue-Streak

Back to ‘Ship
Lady Eagles sweep Robinson to reach 2nd state final
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 22, 2014
Read full story…

Clear vision
Lady Eagles driven for 2nd title
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 22, 2014
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True blue
Decatur faithful cheer volleyball team on its way to state competition
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 22, 2014
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Fantastic Four
Decatur senior quartet tries to lead Lady Eagles to second crown
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014
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ELATED STATE
Lady Eagles claim clash of champs
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Serious power
Competitive Lowery fuels Lady Eagles
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Decatur faces Robinson for spot in finals
Rockettes beat Bellville to reach state tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Lowery lifts Lady Eagles to regional finals
Hitter buries 12 kills in win
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Defense spurs Lady Eagle to win
Decatur makes 52 digs in sweep
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Mayfield lands at TWU
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Martin joins DBU
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Lady Eagles dispose of Iowa Park in 3
By Bob Buckel
Published Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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Lady Eagles ready to get back on court
Decatur meets Iowa Park in area match
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 8, 2014

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Lady Eagles blast Venus in playoff opener
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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Perfect again
Lady Eagles close sixth straight unbeaten run through district
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 1, 2014

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Lady Eagles spike Sissies
Decatur hits .639 in 55th straight win
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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Lady Eagles reach milestone
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 25, 2014

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Decatur picks off Grapevine
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Family flock
Lady Eagles share variety of family relationships
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 18, 2014

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Senior sweep
Lady Eagles cruise to win on Senior Night
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 18, 2014

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Lady Eagles extend winning streak
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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Mayfield, Decatur sweep Sissies
Lady Eagles continue district streak
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 11, 2014

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Lady Eagles storm Castleberry
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 8, 2014

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Lady Eagles sweep Legacy
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 4, 2014

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Lady Eagles keep district streak rolling
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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No. 2 Decatur takes down Argyle in four
Pep talk fuels late surge
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 27, 2014

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Lady Eagles sweep Abilene Wiley
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Eagles face pair of rivals
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 20, 2014

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Covering all bases
Sophomore fills multiple roles for Lady Eagles
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 13, 2014

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Lady Eagles serve up home win over Ryan
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 13, 2014

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Decatur wins in 4
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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Decatur rolls past Fossil Ridge
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 6, 2014

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Decatur goes 3-3 in tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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Lady Eagles return home, slam No. 1 Brock
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Decatur keeps tough schedule in perspective
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Lady Eagles take second at NISD
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Lady Eagles fall to Aledo
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Decatur stays atop 4A poll
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Lady Eagles battle for gold
Decatur goes 4-1 at elite tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 16, 2014

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Decatur heads to tough tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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Starting on top
Lady Eagles begin season ranked No. 1 in TGCA poll
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 9, 2014

Read full story…

Quarterback on court
Senior setter leads Decatur into season
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Shooting Championship Results


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County Budget Stories


Commissioners eye proposed budget, tax rates

Numbers are flying among county officials as they close in on a budget for fiscal year 2015.
Published Saturday, August 2, 2014
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Judge suggests declining state stipend

County Judge Glenn Hughes thinks Wise County should no longer accept a state stipend for the county judge’s salary.
Published Saturday, August 2, 2014
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Commissioners propose budget, tax rate

Nothing is set in stone, but Wise County’s budget for fiscal year 2015 is taking shape.
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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County judge’s paycheck to shrink

Almost all county employees will see a pay increase in fiscal year 2015 – all except for the county judge.
Published Saturday, August 23, 2014
READ MORE…

Commissioners dig into budget

County commissioners have proposed an almost $70 million budget for fiscal year 2015, and Auditor Ann McCuiston hit the financial highlights in a budget workshop Thursday.
Published Saturday, August 23, 2014
READ MORE…

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Breaking News–18-wheeler explosion causes U.S. 287 standstill


U.S. 287 is shut down in the north- and southbound lanes near McMaster New Holland in Decatur after an 18-wheeler hit a concrete divider and exploded. There are no reported injuries at this time. First responders are on the scene, and we will have updates as soon as they become available.

Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford.

Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford.

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Breaking News: Two car accidents on North Trinity Street, F.M. 1810


Two car accidents occurred at roughly the same time in Wise County Monday night.

At 5:30 p.m., two cars collided at the corner of North Trinity and Bishop Street in Decatur. A white Chevy Silverado was headed north when the front left of the vehicle collided with the front left of a black SUV traveling south. Names of those involved and injuries sustained are unknown at this time. Updates to follow.

The second collision, which also happened around 5:30 p.m., involved a tractor trailer and another vehicle. A tractor trailer was headed west on F.M. 1810 about halfway in between Decatur and Chico. The tractor trailer driver, Juan Pablo Chavez of Decatur, was experiencing a diabetic episode while he was driving west and swerved left of the center line. This caused him to hit the other truck headed east, driven by Reed Alan Riewe of Comanche. Both vehicles lost their front left axles and tires, resulting in each vehicle swerving off onto opposite sides of the road. No injuries were reported. Chavez was arrested at the scene after it was discovered that he had a warrant out for his arrest.

Two cars collided at the intersection of Trinity and Bishop Street Monday night. Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

Two cars collided at the intersection of Trinity and Bishop Street Monday night. Messenger photo by Jake Harris.

 

A tractor trailer collided with another truck on F.M. 1810 Monday night. Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

A tractor trailer collided with another truck on F.M. 1810 Monday night. Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

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AutoChimp test


Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

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1 injured in overturned cement truck


The driver of a cement truck was injured in a one-vehicle rollover north of Boyd Monday afternoon.

Jamey Wolf, 33, sustained lacerations to his back. Although a helicopter ambulance was called to the scene, he was transported by ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Investigators said Wolf was southbound on Farm Road 730 when he drove off the roadway as he attempted to round a curve near County Road 4480. He drove back onto the road but overcorrected and overturned the truck.

The truck landed on its side, spun twice and skidded several yards before coming to a rest in the bar ditch on the southbound side. It dropped its load across both lanes of 730.

Boyd Fire Department, Wise County Sheriff’s deputies and medics responded to the accident, which was toned out just before 4 p.m.
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Trying to take ‘Mister’ like a man


It’s a weird moment in a man’s life when he ceases to be himself and becomes a “Mister.”

All my life, I’ve been Jimmy and everyone has called me that – until now. More and more I’m confronted with “Mr. Alford.”

It’s almost the Mr. Hyde to my Dr. Jekyll … or something like that … All I know is, I don’t see “Mr. Alford” when I look in the mirror.

I call this the “Mr.” Syndrome, which incidentally would be a great name for a super villain.

This new syndrome hit me full force the other night when I “volunteered” – or, more appropriately, was volunteered by my wife to take photos of an eighth-grade graduation.

These kids call my wife Mrs. Alford, so they call me Mr. Alford. I know it’s a sign of respect and they are following orders, but every Mr. Alford smacked of “You’re an old man … and why are you wearing Converse? Don’t you need orthotics for your aging feet?”

And inside my head, I shriek like a little girl and cower. “I’m not getting old!”

But on the outside, I smile and nod and continue on with my business.

Maybe I need to see a doctor. This can’t be normal. Everyone ages and being called Mr. is nothing to get bent out of shape about. Right?

I know I certainly wouldn’t want to go in the opposite direction.

There are people who want to relive the glory days, sport the letterman jacket, slick back their hair and hop in a black TransAm. Personally, I think that sounds dreadful.

I’m not saying I didn’t have a happy childhood, but good Lord, please don’t make me go back. That’s when a person makes all the mistakes that shape them into the adult they were meant to be.

Woe is me if I were doomed to repeat every fumble, busted lie, and embarrassing foible.

Of course the question would also be “What if you knew then, what you know now?”

That could be fine, I guess, but really I think that would be even worse. I’m a firm believer that my life is pretty much like a 20-year old movie. The veneer of classic cinema has not yet glossed it over. When I watch it, the clothes just look awful and the hair is hilarious.

And just like that 20-year-old movie, when you try to re-watch it, it just doesn’t hold up and you end up wishing for some “Law and Order” reruns.

Think about it. Going back in time would mean you’d have to witness all the embarrassing things your friends are doing – things that, at the time, seemed just fine. You of course would seem like the most boring person ever, because you’re “responsible” or you just know that eating all that ice cream and riding the roller coaster will not end well.

The all-night bender will have lost its appeal. The lovers you chased will have the harsh light of hindsight on them. They may look good now, but you know exactly how they will look, years down the road.

I guess I’ll stick with aging, maybe not gracefully but steadily and assuredly.

That still doesn’t mean I have to enjoy being called “Mr.”

Jimmy Alford is a graphic designer, reporter and photographer for the Messenger.

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