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‘Barclay’ grassland fire 70 percent contained

As of 10:30 p.m. the ‘Barclay’ fire that torched 500 acres of the LBJ Grassland is 70 percent contained.

According to the Texas A&M Forestry Service, three structures have been destroyed, but no homes have been lost. Crews are being cycled in for mop-up duty overnight.

Firefighters from more than 20 fire departments, including 10 Wise County departments, battled the intense blaze centered around County Road 2391 near Hopewell Baptist Church close to Alvord. Roads near the blaze are still blocked off.

Earlier Friday, a helicopter and single-engine air tanker assisted from the air, dumping water and fire retardant. One firefighter was transported to the hospital for heat exhaustion, and multiple homes were evacuated. As of 10:30 p.m. only one home was still evacuated due to the resident not having returned home.

Earlier Friday, a helicopter and single-engine air tanker assisted from the air, dumping water and fire retardant. One firefighter was transported to the hospital for heat exhaustion, and multiple homes were evacuated. As of 10:30 p.m. only one home was still evacuated due to the resident not having returned home.

Donations for EMS first responders are being accepted at 1001 Rose Ave. in Decatur.

Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell said water and Gatorade are the best items to donate. Powell advised if food is brought that it be non-perishable. A crew is setting up a mobile kitchen to provide breakfast Saturday morning.




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May 5 General Election Results

The unofficial results of the May 5 local elections are in. The results are as follows:

For 104
Against 199
Jimmy Looney 151
Russell Rice 134
For 47
Against 42
Randy Singleton 189
Tim Kirkland 14
Kathy Kennedy 121
Debra Workman 69
For 166
Against 31
Jay Davidson 91
Cecil (Buster) Chandler 35
For 111
Against 25
For 6
Against 149
Sean Phillips 53
Michael S. Murray 51
Taylor Burton 55
Shawn M. Glover 51
Brad Reid 57
Christ Raines 49
Matt Hirst 312
Joy Harrison 605
Stephen Janis 192
Ron Hastings 617
Michelle Pittman 145
Jo Ann Wilson 94
Kenny Crenshaw 135
Fabiola Valdez 102
Elaine Priest 120
Josh McCabe 107
Sam Eason 128
David Gilbert 108
Leeanne Mackowski 134
Ronnie Moore 102
Jannie Tucknies 19
Berry White 164
Jamie Griffeth 70
John W. Boyd 154
Janice Sivley 185
Christopher Petty 167
Laura Lee Blackburn 272
For 112
Against 137

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Subscribe to the Wise County Messenger – Spring Showers Special

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Slidell takes down No. 7 Graford

Layton Shelton and Easton Vanover scored 14 points apiece to lead the Slidell Greyhounds to a 71-68 victory over No. 7 Graford Tuesday.
Five Greyhounds finished in double figures. Shelby Johnson had 12, Brady Vanover 11 and Hunter Horner 10.
Easton Vanover drained a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter to help Slidell to a 35-29 halftime lead. The Greyhounds held on the rest of the way. Shelton scored eight in the final quarter to secure the victory.

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Embree finishes 36th, Ashmore 83rd in 4A race

As the last race of a steamy, warm afternoon, the 4A boys faced the toughest conditions on the Old Settlers Park course in Round Rock Saturday.
Decatur sophomores Gabe Embree and Matthew Ashmore fought their way around the course to post strong finishes.
Embree ran 17:09 to finish 36th. Ashmore garnered 83rd, running 17:46.
“It was hot and miserable,” Ashmore said. “I gave it all that I had. You try to do everything before to be ready for it.”
Ashmore finished 17th at the 4A Region II meet to qualify for state as an individual. Embree was 24th at regionals and earned the final individual state bid.
San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez won the race in 15:36 4A title, sprinting away from Kaufman’s Christian Rivera to win by 22 seconds.

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Howard’s work ethic, defense key as Decatur looks to make playoff push

This time last year, Decatur High School was not even a blimp on Cidnee Howard’s radar.
After completing her sophomore season at Westlake High School, 230 miles away in Austin, Howard and her family moved to Decatur this past June. Along with her father Chuck, who is an assistant football coach at Decatur, the two began a new chapter in their lives.
Since then, Cidnee has become an integral part of the Lady Eagle’s volleyball team. In Decatur’s regular season finale against Argyle on Tuesday, Cidnee finished with a team-high 41 digs to help the Lady Eagles enter the playoffs on a high note.
She and the Lady Eagles are now preparing to open the playoffs at 7 p.m. Monday with a 4A Region II bi-district match with North Hills at Advantage Sports Complex in Carrollton.
“[Cidnee] is a really hard worker, a lead-by-example kind of kid,” said coach Clark Oberle. “She’s not afraid to hit the floor. She’s been good for us. Anytime you get a kid with that kind of attitude it’s going to help the program.”
Growing up, Cidnee was surrounded by athletics. Her father has been coaching for 30 years and her older brother, Connor, is a freshman slot receiver at UNT. Chuck said he and his wife try not to do much coaching at home, and instead focus on encouraging their children.
“[My dad] has trained me throughout my whole life,” Cidnee said. “He’s always been so supportive in every sport I’ve been in.”
The move from Austin to Decatur, according to Chuck, was so Cidnee could be in a smaller school. Decatur is a 4A school with an enrollment of just more than 1,000 students while Westlake, a 6A school, has an enrollment of roughly 2,500.
When the Howards arrived in Decatur, they got an unexpected surprise – a coach with a championship pedigree.
“His resume speaks for itself,” Chuck said. “We feel very fortunate as I’m sure everyone here in Decatur [does] to have him as the head volleyball coach.”
Oberle won the 4A state title with Argyle in 2015 and left to become the Decatur head coach and girl’s coordinator and volleyball coach in May. He had previously been at Argyle for 18 seasons, where he compiled a record of 533-239 – winning 69 percent of his games.
For Cidnee, the move to Decatur couldn’t have come at a better time.
“[Oberle] has been very influential,” Cidnee said. “He’s definitely pushed us because he’s been around talent.”
Senior captain Autumn Finney, who has been the backbone of the Lady Eagles all season, said Cidnee has been a force on Decatur’s back row. Along with her ability to dig tough balls and set up teammates with passes, Finney has been impressed with Cidnee’s selfless attitude that has resonated throughout the team.
“If I’m down and not feeling it, she really motivates me,” Finney said. “She’s so humble. She’s always working hard and congratulating everyone. When she says something she really means it.”
With their win Tuesday, Decatur tied Argyle for second place in District 9-4A. The schools then flipped for the second seed, and Argyle won, meaning Decatur would enter the playoffs as the third seed.
The Lady Eagles’ matchup in the bi-district round will be against the second-place team in District 10-4A, North Hills Prep. The Lady Panthers finished the regular season went 12-2 in district play.
“In the playoffs you can’t take anybody lightly,” Oberle said. “We’re going to show up ready to play.”
In the few practices they have leading up to their bi-district match, Oberle said his team wouldn’t focus on one thing in particular, but are working on their service receive and attack errors.
“Just playing to the best of our ability and playing as a team,” Cidnee said regarding what Decatur’s mindset is entering the playoffs. “I’m trying to be a leader and encourage on the court and off.”


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Volleyball roundup: Chico completes sweep of Alvord

The Chico Lady Dragons completed the season sweep of the cross-county rival Alvord Tuesday.
Chico won 27-25, 25-16, 25-22 to move to 7-3 in District 9-2A.
Alvord dropped to 4-6.
Christina Thomas led Alvord with seven kills. Kinly Walker added five kills. Kendall Connolly handed out 13 assists.

Boyd def. City View
The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets moved to 9-1 in District 8-3A with a sweep of City View Tuesday.
Jordyn Todd tallied 12 kills. Laney Pellegrini finished with eight and Shaylee Martin five.
Tori Pellegrini doled out 12 assists and Macey McCune 10.
Kamryn Frenzel served four aces and Macee Valtr three.
Defensively, Valtr made eight digs and Larrin Maxwell six.

Jacksboro def. Paradise
For a second time in District 8-3A, Jacksboro outlasted Paradise to win in five games.
Jacksboro won 25-21, 25-15, 20-25, 19-25, 15-10.
Gracie Barnett put down 15 kills. Harley Mayfield and Ashley Kosman had eight apiece.
Kennedy Schneck handed out 26 assists.
Harley Mayfield served six aces.

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Assault on Eagle Summit returns

Runners will return to challenge the hills of Eagle Summit Saturday morning for the first time in two years.
The Assault of Eagle Summit will start with the 6A/5A varsity girls 5K at 8 a.m. and will be followed by the 6A/5A varsity boys race. The large school junior varsity races will be held before the four 4A-and-under events. A race will start approximately every 25 minutes.
With the construction of the Eagle Activity Center last year, the challenging race with climbs around the Decatur High School campus was not held.
“A lot of coaches are excited it’s back. I’m not so sure about the kids running it,” said Decatur coach David Park.
The course will feature a new starting line located behind the track. Runners will head south before turning toward Carson Elementary and U.S. Business 287 and rejoining the old course to run to the front of the school. A tough climb onto the practice field will give runners one last test before the finish line.
Along with Decatur, Alvord, Boyd, Slidell and Victory Christian will be in the field. Denton Guyer and Lewisville will be in the large school races with Decatur.
“There’s not a lot of big schools but there’s a good field of smaller schools,” Park said. “Our top teams will be running in the 6A/5A races.”
Park expects his girls team to be back at full strength with Makenzie Fox and Elizabeth Culpepper on the course. Both were out last week at the Marcus I Invitational. The Lady Eagles finished 28th in the elite girls 5K race.
The Eagles took 21st last week in the elite boys 5K at the Marcus I Invitational. Alan Rangel turned in a season-best 16:29.

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In their final tuneup before starting 9-2A play, the Chico Lady Dragons had no trouble with Saint Jo Saturday.
The Lady Dragons won in three games, 25-14, 25-13, 25-19.
Jessica Byers put down 18 kills. Michaela Martin and Laynee North finished with seven apiece.
North set the ball 45 times.
Martin served four aces.
Maddie Hager made a team-best 18 digs.

Weatherford def. Northwest
The Northwest Lady Texans struggled to generate offense against Weatherford Friday.
The Lady Texans hit only .011, netting 21 kills in dropping all three sets (25-15, 25-8, 25-10).
Rylie Anderson had seven kills and Kori James six.
Analise Lucio handed out 15 assists and made 14 digs.

Paradise def. Iowa Park
Bonham def. Paradise
The Paradise Lady Panthers split their two matches Saturday at the Buckle Up for Lane’s Sake Tournament at Nocona.
Paradise beat Iowa Park 25-18, 25-22 and then fell to Bonham 25-21, 25-27, 25-20.
Gracie Barnett and Ashley Kosman finished with 18 kills each in the two matches.
Saylea Mayfield recorded 33 assists and Kennedy Schneck 24. Both also had five aces.
Mayfield made 18 digs and Dori Skogberg 17.

Bridgeport def. Millsap

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Eagles pile up yards, points in win over Springtown

After the second turnover in their first three possessions, the Decatur offense struggled to stay on the field the rest of the night. Mainly because they kept scoring.

The Eagles ran only 27 more offensive plays after Wilson Hicks’ interception with 4:06 left in the first quarter, scoring on eight of them. Decatur added a special teams touchdown just for good measure in a 69-35 victory over the Springtown Porcupines in the season opener at Eagle Stadium.
“It just shows the maturity of this team,” said Decatur senior receiver Dane Fitzgerald. “We make a mistake and just come out the next drive and make up for it.”
Fitzgerald had one of the early miscues with a fumble that ended Decatur’s first drive at the Springtown 2. He more than made up for it, showing no signs of rust after missing the entire preseason with an arm injury. Fitzgerald hauled in eight catches for 242 yards with touchdowns covering 50 and 25 yards.
“I have to thank my coaches for that and our trainer Kam [Phillips] who made sure I was up there every day for treatment,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald was just one of the stars for the Decatur offense that piled up 601 yards.
Hicks threw for 376 yards, completing 18 of his 22 attempts. He did not have an incompletion after the first-quarter interception. He showed off his legs in the Eagles’ goal-line offense, running for scores of four, seven and eight yards.
“Wilson had that one pass that he wanted back,” said Decatur coach Mike Fuller.
“We were pretty efficient. We executed well. We were a little disappointed with the two turnovers.”
In his debut as the Eagles’ feature back, AJ Martinez delivered a pair of touchdown runs and ran for 69 yards. His dash to the end zone from 35 yards out with 4:13 left served as the nightcap.
Martinez also took a short pass from Hicks and rumbled 60 yards for a touchdown.
“AJ had a great game for his first time back there as a sophomore,” Fuller said.
Not to be left out of the equation, Mario Reyes ran for 114 yards, including a 64-yard sprint to the end zone in the second quarter.
He also scored on a 71-yard punt return in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
Playing with a big lead most of the night, the Decatur defense allowed 464 yards, including 106 rushing to Springtown back Cameron Rickett.
Springtown cut a 21-0 deficit to 14 twice, including taking the third quarter kickoff and marching 72 yards. Fitzgerald’s two touchdown catches just four plays apart around a Gunner Ragsdale interception quickly put the game away.

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Boyd wins pool at Argyle Tournament

The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets won a challenging pool that included last year’s 4A state runner-up Argyle in the opening day of the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Tournament Thursday.
Boyd beat Argyle in five sets, 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 29-31, 15-11 to finish 3-0 in pool play and reach the Gold Bracket.
Boyd also beat Aubrey (25-18, 25-12, 25-15) and Joshua (25-9, 25-8, 25-16).
Jordyn Todd buried 48 kills in the three matches. Macee Valtr added 32 and Laney Pellegrini 20.
Macey McCune and Tori Pellegrini handed out 56 assists each.
Valtr served six aces.
Larrin Maxwell made 65 digs.

Paradise wins one, split two at tourney
The Paradise Lady Panthers beat Eastern Hills and split two other matches at the Fort Worth Southwest Tournament Thursday.
Paradise took both games from Eastern Hills, 25-16, 25-17. The Lady Panthers took the first game 25-14 against Alvarado but fell in second 25-20. Against Everman, Paradise dropped the first 25-21 and took the second 32-30.
Harley Mayfield handed out 17 kills. Ashley Kosman had 16 and Gracie Barnett 10.
Saylea Mayfield recorded 37 assists and Kennedy Schneck 12.
Defensively, Harley Mayfield made 16 digs.
Koman served four aces.

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Lady Texans finish fifth

The Northwest Lady Texans finished fifth in the bronze bracket at the Northwest ISD Classic over the weekend.

After dropping the first match in bracket play to Frisco Reedy (25-18, 25-15), Northwest bounced back to close the weekend with wins over Mansfield (25-17, 25-23) and Rockwall (25-22, 20-25, 26-24).


Oakley O’Dell tallied 24 kills in the three matches with 19 digs.

Bailey Tompkins had 22 kills and six blocks.

Analise Lucio finished with 57 assists and a team-high 38 digs.

Northwest went 5-4 at the tournament, beating Argyle (25-16, 21-25, 25-19), Elgin, Okla. (25-7, 25-8) and Highland Park (25-22, 15-25, 25-22) on Thursday and Friday.

The Lady Texans dropped a match Thursday to Vandegrift, 25-19, 25-18. Friday, Northwest fell to Frisco Wakeland (25-20, 25-17) and Southlake Carroll (25-20, 25-15).

O’Dell had 50 kills over the first two days.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

COOLER, WITH RAIN CHANCES — A cool front has brought cooler temperatures to Wise County. Highs for the rest of the week are expected to be in the mid-80s. The forecast also includes a 50 percent chance of storms overnight, and slight rain chances remain in the forecast each day through Saturday. Overnight rainfall totals included Overnight rainfall totals included 0.65 of an inch in Alvord, 0.6 in Cottondale, 0.52 in Bridgeport, 0.4 in Greenwood and 0.17 in Rhome.

BOIL NOTICE LIFTED — The City of Bridgeport has lifted the boil water notice that had been in effect since Saturday following a water line break. It is no longer necessary to boil water prior to consumption.

DECATUR, ALVORD, NORTHWEST VOLLEYBALL PICK UP WINS — Playing the 3A state runner-up Tuesday night, the Decatur Lady Eagles dropped the first two sets. The Lady Eagles quickly turned the deficit into a signature victory, winning the final three games. Decatur won 19-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-10. Autumn Finney led the Decatur comeback with 17 kills. Callisburg outlasted Boyd in five sets (25-21, 13-25, 25-22, 20-25, 15-10). Jordyn Todd buried 15 kills for the Lady Yellowjackets. Laney Pellegrini and Jacey Cate landed 13 apiece. Christina Thomas put down 11 kills to lead the Alvord Lady Bulldogs to a sweep of Gold-Burg Tuesday night. Alvord won 25-14, 25-13, 25-15. The Chico Lady Dragons fell in four games to Petrolia Tuesday, 25-14, 26-28, 25-17, 25-20. The Northwest Lady Texans swept Mansfield Summit Tuesday, 25-20, 25-17, 25-20. Bailey Tompkins hit .478 and buried 13 kills on 23 attacks. Ponder beat Paradise 25-16, 25-15, 25-19. Harley Mayfield had eight kills. Lindsay beat Bridgeport.

WASHER TOURNAMENT — The Rhome Veterans Group is having a washer and corn hole tournament 10 a.m. Saturday in the backyard of the Rhome Public Library, 265 W BC Rhome Ave. There will be cash prizes and refreshments for sale. The tournament benefits the library and Rhome Veterans. There is a discount for early entry. Go to Entries will also be accepted the day of the tournament before 9:30 a.m. Call 817-636-2826 or 817-636-2292.

BEEKEEPING 101 – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is hosting Beekeeping 101 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Wise County Fairgrounds. Speakers will discuss how to get started beekeeping, managing hives, ag exemption and more. Cost is $10. Call the Extension office to sign up, 940-627-3341.

QUILT SHOW — The Wise County Quilt Guild is having a quilt show noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Bridgeport Community Center, 1102 Lawdwin St. Admission is free with two canned goods or a monetary donation for Wise Area Relief Mission. There will be several vendors, hourly door prizes and demonstrations, a silent auction, as well as a bake sale and country store. Visit

TASTE OF WISE — The 7th Annual Taste of Wise is 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Decatur Conference Center. Sample appetizers, drinks and dishes from local restaurants. Tickets are $10. They’re available online at or at iOffice, the Wise County Messenger and the conference center.

TEACHER RETIREMENT — A retirement celebration in honor of Maralyn Harveson is 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport. A short program will be given at 3 p.m. Former students may send letters, memories or photos to or mail to P.O. Box 221, Bridgeport, TX 76426.

BASEBALL SIGN-UPS — Wise County Special Needs Baseball is accepting registrations for the 2017 fall season, which starts Sept. 30. Register online at or email Register by Sept. 2 to avoid a late fee. Call Emily Pivoda, 830-279-8481.

HEALTH FORUM MEETING — Due to inservice at the Weatherford College Wise County campus, the Wise County Health Forum monthly meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday has been moved to the Decatur Conference Center.

FUNERALS — Services for David Oaks, 49, and Sharon Murphy, 77, both of Rhome are pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

MEMORIAL service for Vicki Cheves, 66, of Bridgeport will be held at a later date. Jones Family Funeral Home-Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Cilfredo “Sonny” Garces, 78, of Paradise is pending at Jones-Bridgeport.

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Author, conspiracy theorist dies

Author, conspiracy theorist dies

Jim Marrs, local author and conspiracy theorist who studied the Aurora alien spaceship crash of 1897, died Wednesday. He was 73.

According to a post on Marrs’ official Facebook page, he died following a heart attack. Marrs bowed out of speaking engagements earlier this year due to poor health.

Jim Marrs

Marrs is best known for his 1989 book on the John F. Kennedy assassination, “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy,” which reached the New York Times paperback non-fiction best seller list and provided inspiration for Oliver Stone’s film “JFK.” Marrs’ 1997 book “Alien Agenda,” which delved into the world of UFOs, was the top-selling non-fiction UFO book in the world.

Marrs told the Messenger in a 2011 interview that the Aurora spaceship crash was the best evidence of UFOs he’d ever seen.

“I think the Aurora story is as strong as you can get,” he said. “It had contemporary reports from newspapers. And it was corroborated with all these other stories. The stories started appearing in 1896 in California. There were stories across the nation. Then after the crash in Aurora, there were no more stories. Something happened.

“This was six years before the Wright Brothers flew. There was nothing in the air.”

A documentary on the Aurora crash featuring Marrs was played at the 2016 Aurora Alien Encounter, an event that celebrates the town’s legend.

Marrs formerly worked as a journalist at the Denton Record Chronicle, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. During his time at the Telegram, Marrs also wrote scripts and acted for the “Fort Worth Gridiron Show.”

“He was an extremely talented guy, in so many different ways,” said Messenger publisher Roy Eaton, who was on the “Gridiron Show” with Marrs. “He was a really talented writer and reporter; a true character.”

Marrs also taught a course on Kennedy’s assassination at the University of Texas in Arlington from 1976 to 2007. Marrs wrote more than a dozen books on conspiracy theories and appeared as a guest on a number of talk and television shows, including the History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” and “History’s Mysteries.”

His final book, “The Illuminati: The Secret Society That Hijacked the World” was published earlier this year.

“People put me down as a conspiracy theorist, or call me a nut,” Marrs told the Messenger in 2011. “That’s all right because I know of what I speak. I only write about things I can prove or support. Saying ‘I don’t believe that’ is not a valid argument. That’s fine. It’s an opinion, but it’s not facts or knowledge.

“The whole world history is a giant conspiracy,” Marrs added. “My motto is, ‘If it’s not an act of God, it’s a conspiracy.’ Ships sink, planes crash, auto accidents happen, everything is not a conspiracy. But if it’s not an act of God, somebody planned it.”

According to Marrs’ Facebook page, his family will hold a “Texas-sized” wake for him at their home next month.

Jim Marrs


Jim Marrs, 73, died Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Wise County.

Jim was born Dec. 5, 1943, in Fort Worth.

He received a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas and attended graduate school at Texas Tech in Lubbock. He has worked for several Texas newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Beginning in 1976 until his retirement in 2007, Marrs taught a course on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at the University of Texas at Arlington. In 1989, his book, “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy,” was published to critical acclaim and reached the New York Times paperback non-fiction best seller list. It became a basis for the Oliver Stone film “JFK.”

Other books by Marrs include “Alien Agenda” (1997), which was the top-selling non-fiction UFO book in the world, “Rule by Secrecy” (2000), “The Terror Conspiracy Revisited” (2007), “The Rise of the Fourth Reich” (2008), “The Trillion-Dollar Conspiracy” (2010), “Our Occulted History” (2013), “Population Control” (2015) and his last book “The Illuminati” (2017).

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Marrs is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carol; daughters Cathryn Lafitte of Fort Worth and Jayme Castle and her husband, Chris; brother David and wife, Sandy, of Bridgeport; and grandchildren Moxy, Jackson and Scout.

Memorial donations to go toward Jim’s medical expenses can be sent to: P.O. Box 189, Springtown, TX 76082 or visit

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Marshall ends Texans’ dream season in semifinal

With a thunderous two-handed dunk by Fort Bend Marshall’s John Walker III late in the fourth quarter, the Buffalo’s put the finishing touches on a decisive Class 5A state semifinal victory and ended the Northwest Texans dreams season. Despite a heroic effort from sophomore standout Avery Anderson and his team-leading 23 points, the Texans (32-6) had no answer for the Buffaloes (32-7) losing, 82-59.
It was the first trip to the state tournament for both teams, but it will be Fort Bend Marshall playing for their first ever state championship as they advance to take on Mansfield Timberview Saturday afternoon.
“We thought we had a good team and we did,” said Northwest coach Mike Hatch. “I don’t know if we had a good enough team to get down to the final four, but we had a good team. These guys just grew closer and closer together and it’s tough for the season to end for them. They enjoy practicing everyday and they love to play. It was a neat group to see grow into what they’ve become.”
Northwest fought to keep the game close in the first half after the Buffaloes opened the game on a 10-4 run. A late run got the Texans within 17-14 at the end of the first.
The Texans continued to plug away in the second and took their first lead with six minutes left in the half on an Anderson layup and-one. Northwest’s lead would never grow to more than two points.
Marshall’s Tajzmel Sherman, who led all scorers with 25, hit layup with just over four minutes left in the half to start a 13-0 run and give the Buffaloes the lead for good. Marshall’s pressure defense turned out to be the big difference as the Buffalo’s scored 33 points off of Texan turnovers.
Northwest cut the deficit back to 36-28 at the half, but could never climb any closer. The Texans struggled in the third to keep the game close with numerous missed shots from point-blank range. Marshall’s lead grew as the Texans’ frustration continued to mount.
“We struggled in the third quarter to finish,” Hatch said. “We gave ourselves plenty of opportunities we just didn’t finish them. Against a team like Marshall you want to take advantage of every opportunity cause you don’t get that many, and they didn’t miss their opportunities. It was like a lid on the basket and we couldn’t get it off and our kids just kept fighting. I’m proud as I can be of our kids.”
The Buffalo’s took a 12-point advantage to the fourth quarter and began to put the game away. They outscored the Texans 30-16 in the frame, never letting Northwest to get any closer than 10 points.
Despite the setback Northwest returns four of their five starters and should be primed for the future.
“We are a young team and hopefully we’ll get back here,” Hatch said.
Besides Anderson, Northwest was led by Jordan Keys with 12 and Jay A’mons with 10.

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2016 Wise County Primary Election photo highlights

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Rhome woman seriously injured in rollover

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Rhome woman was seriously injured Thursday morning when she rolled her sports utility vehicle on U.S. 81/287, just south of County Road 4421.
Barbara L. Mallory was northbound on 287 just before 8 a.m. when her left, front tire blew out, pulling her vehicle to the left. Department of Public Safety Trooper Madison Zaragoza said Mallory overcorrected to the right, running off the east side of the road. She tried to straighten the vehicle on a strip of pavement that runs alongside the highway, but she never regained control. The vehicle rolled and landed on its side next to the railroad tracks.
Mallory was trapped in the SUV and suffered multiple lacerations. She was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth by Medic 1.
Wise County’s Rescue 1 and East Wise Fire Department also responded.

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Softball: Decatur holds on against Alvarado

With the Region I bi-district contest between Decatur and Alvarado tied at 2, the top of the sixth inning was unconventional to say the least.

Two illegal pitches and three walks allowed Brianna Crooks to score without the ball touching the bat.

With Taylor Butler and pitcher Caitlin Butler on base, Brittany Roberts laid a perfect bunt down the first base line to load the bases.

An RBI grounder to second from Braelynn Hanes and a sacrifice fly to center by Taryn Trull gave Decatur a 5-2 advantage for the remainder of the game.

“She had illegal pitches and that scored our runs,” Decatur coach Carly Cloud explained. “She didn’t have both feet on the rubber. Her feet were split and they caught that and made the call.”

Decatur’s other two runs came in the top of the fifth inning.

Caitlin Butler hit a hard grounder to center to start things off. She was followed by Brittany Roberts who ran out a bunt down the first-base line.

That set up Kelsie Roberts, who hit a blooper over the shortstop’s head to left field, scoring Butler.

Two batters later, Trull walked before Jenny Bradford smashed a ball to left field that brought in another run to put the Lady Eagles up 2-0.

“We talked about struggling early on with our bats,” Cloud said. “They made adjustments as the game went on and fought their little hearts out.”

In the bottom of the fifth, a walk, two stolen bases and a pair of bunt singles allowed Alvarado to score two runs and tie the game up, before Decatur’s three-run sixth inning.

The late offensive burst showcased the patience of the Decatur team.

“We were trying to get used to her speed,” second-baseman Kelsie Roberts said. “It was a little different than what we’ve seen before. She wasn’t putting the ball right down the middle either. Once we started hitting, we knew we could keep it going.”

For seniors like Hanes, the win was special and allowed them to make up for losing the bi-district game last season.

“We were determined to win for each other,” she said. “It feels awesome. Last year we didn’t win. That’s a great feeling for us seniors who really wanted to have that success.”

Caitlin Butler struck out seven Alvarado batters in her seven innings in the pitcher’s circle.

Decatur moves on to the area round to face Burkburnett, the runner-up from District 5-4A.

Burkburnett finished the regular season with a 13-7 record, beating Stephenville in consecutive games to win the three-game bi-district series.

Against Stephenville, Burkburnett used a two-pitcher rotation with Madison Blair starting Game 1, and Bragg in Game 2.

Blair struck out eight while allowing six hits and two runs in her seven innings in Game 1.

Bragg pitched a seven-inning shutout in Game 2, allowing six hits while striking out four and walking two.

Burkburnett had nine hits in their first game against Stephenville and 10 in the second game.

Decatur and Burkburnett play at 7 p.m. Tursday in Henrietta.


Decatur … 000 … 023 … 0 … 5 … 11 … 5
Alvarado … 000 … 020 … 0 … 2 … 2 … 3

WP: Caitlin Butler LP: Brianna Moreno

2B: Alvarado, Sidney Huddleston

RBI: Alvarado, Mallory Bennett, Clarissa Robles; Decatur, Kelsie Roberts, Taryn Trull, Braelynn Hanes, Jenny Bradford

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Track: Girls relay teams shine at regional meet

The girls relay teams were a bright spot for Paradise at the Region II-3A meet in Whitehouse Friday and Saturday.

The 4×100 and 4×200 teams both won bronze, slightly missing state bids.

Kyndall McCasland, Amber French, Carressa McCasland and Mikela Beck made up the 4×100 team, while Kyndall McCasland, Taylor Richards, Carressa McCasland, Aliya Read competed in the 4×200.

The 4×100 relay’s 50.22 was just .01 shy of qualifying for the state meet in Austin, and the 4×200 team fell three seconds short of making the cut.

Paradise’s 4×400 team of Caressa McCasland, Read, Richards and Beck came in sixth with a time of 4:11.44.

Paradise’s Haley Rector finished fourth in the pole vault at 10-0, and Boyd’s best finish came from Lindsay Thorpe whose 36-10.5 shot put was good for bronze.

For the Paradise boys, the 4×200 team of Austin Hogan, Darian Sotomi, Nick Loney and Cash Preather set a school record with a 1:31.97 to qualify for regional finals.

After the meet, Paradise boys track coach Jonathan Ryle was reflective on the careers of the seniors who have led the team.

“These Seniors have given this school a JV district championship as freshmen, two varsity district championships, and ended it with a school record and their best race of the year,” Ryle said. “It was a great way to end it.”

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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 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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