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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

Decatur-Volleyball-Page


Blue-Streak

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

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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.
IMG_3340

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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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Nora EdithMae Karrer

Ben and Chrissy Karrer of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Nora EdithMae, on April 22, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 8 pounds and was 18 1/2 inches long.

She has one sister: Kaitlyn, 9.

Grandparents are Beth Adams and Ann and Wayne Karrer, all of San Antonio and Kevin and Stacy Daniel of Wylie.

Great-grandparents are Tom and Bobbie Amis of Era, Sue Karrer of Marion and Marty McClain of San Antonio.

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Paradise Intermediate gets new principal

Paradise Intermediate School will have new leadership next year, as school counselor Kristin Gage will take over as principal.

The school board held a special meeting Monday night to make the selection. They unanimously agreed to give her a two-year contract.

Gage has been in education for 19 years, 15 of them in PISD.

The district began searching for a new intermediate school principal earlier this month when current principal Terry McCutchen announced his resignation.

According to Superintendent Monty Chapman and McCutchen, he was leaving PISD for personal reasons and had not yet lined up another job.

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Hazel Augustine Sloas

Hazel Augustine Sloas

Hazel Augustine Sloas, 88, died Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Graveside service is 3 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Saginaw Cemetery with burial under the direction of Calvario Funeral Home (formerly Shannon North) in Fort Worth.

Hazel was born Jan. 15, 1926, in Winfield, Ala. to William and Mary Henderson.

She was preceded in death by her husband, T.H. Sloas, and two sons.

She is survived by a son, William “Bill” Sloas of Newark; daughters Deborah Morton and Renah Sloas, both of Newark; and numerous grandchildren.

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Paradise ISD extends teacher contracts

The Paradise school board opted to extend the contracts for all teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses during Monday night’s meeting.

The contracts were extended for one year and will be up for review again in spring 2015. The board also agreed to use Superintendent Monty Chapman as an independent contractor after his current contract ends in June.

Chapman recently resigned to take a job at Weatherford Independent School District, but has agreed to help the board and the next superintendent with next year’s budget, which will include planning for other big-ticket items like a wastewater treatment facility.

Non-contracted employees will see a pay raise. The board approved a 2.5 percent raise from the midpoint, which would mean a larger raise for employees on the lower end of the pay scale and a smaller raise for those on the high end.

In other business, the board:

  • adopted textbooks recommended by Patti Seckman; and
  • agreed to seek a waiver from the Texas Education Agency for an additional bad weather day due to all the ice last winter.

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Half-milers lead pack into regional meet

The 800 is considered one of the toughest challenges in track and field, testing the limits of the aerobic and anaerobic systems in athletes along with their will.

OUT IN FRONT – Decatur’s Brandon Rivera heads into the Class 3A Region II meet Saturday with the top time. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“You’ve got to be a tremendous athlete but have the desire to succeed and ability to finish when your body is screaming at you,” explains Decatur track coach David Park. “You have to have the mindset to push through and finish.”

This year, several Wise County athletes have been able to find the right balance of endurance and speed to establish themselves as state contenders heading into this weekend’s regional meets.

Three are not surprises after running the 800 on the state’s biggest stage last year – Decatur’s Brandon Rivera and Haley Dennard and Alvord’s Savannah Williams.

Williams captured the silver medal in the 2013 Class 2A final, running 2:21. She is the top returning 800 runner from last year after defending champion Crawford’s Ann Marie Dunlap chose to run the 1,600 and 3,200.

“It takes a lot of work and dedication to run the 800,” Williams said. “You have to be dedicated and work hard every day.”

Williams will run Saturday in Stephenville at the Class 2A Region II meet.

Dennard is the only area runner to top Williams this year. Dennard won the 3A Region II title last year and went on to seventh at state, running 2:22.87. Last week at the 3A 9/10 area meet, she ran 2:21 to win.

“She’s a close No. 2,” Park said about her spot in the region, heading into the 3A Region II meet Friday and Saturday at Texas A&M-Commerce.

Dennard has signed a letter of intent to run at Tarleton next year.

Rivera finished just off the medal stand at state last year, running 2:00.54 to finish fourth. Driven to bring home a title, Rivera has been unbeatable this spring, breaking two minutes at all but one race. He ran 1:56.95 to win the area title last week.

“Brandon is seeded No. 1,” Park said.

He said after last week’s win: “I hope to stay unbeaten through state.”

Slidell’s Caitlin Pruett and Northwest’s Baylee Nelson also head to regionals with shots to earn state spots.

Nelson ran 2:18.28 to finish second at the 5A 3/4 area meet Friday.

Northwest coach George Lutkenhaus said she will likely need to be around 2:15 at this weekend’s 5A Region I meet to get out.

“It’s very possible,” he said.

Pruett blew away the field at the Class A Division II 21/22 meet April 10, running 2:23.04.

“She’s in the top two out of what I’ve seen in the region,” said Slidell coach Cody Vanover.

Pruett will run at the A Region III Division II meet at Bullard High School Saturday.

REGION MEETS
Friday and Saturday

CLASS 5A REGION I
Texas Tech University
Local team: Northwest

CLASS 3A REGION II
Texas A&M-Commerce
Local teams: Decatur, Bridgeport

CLASS 2A REGION II
Tarleton State University
Local teams: Alvord, Boyd, Paradise

CLASS A DIVISION I REGION II
Abilene Christian
Local team: Chico

CLASS A DIVISION II REGION III
Bullard High School
Local team: Slidell

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A tale of two Easters

It was the worst of times, and now it is close to the best of times.

His first Easter was spent in a hospital bed connected to all kinds of hoses, lines, electrodes and machines while swaddled in a blanket that eliminated virtually any movement. He shared the bed with enough species of stuffed animals to make Noah proud.

Add to this mix the fact that he had, in his approximately five months of life, spent more time in the hospital than he had at home, and you have a good idea of a little boy’s first Easter.

That little boy is our youngest grandchild, Kinzler, and he has a condition that required him to have a tracheostomy put in to help facilitate his breathing. The idea of a child having a trach is, at best, totally overwhelming – especially in the beginning.

You imagine all kinds of things happening, none of which are good. His mom and dad quickly completed the training required to bring him home after receiving it, and that is when the real education began, thanks to Kinzler.

The doctors said most “trach babies” had to have a feeding tube put into their stomach since many couldn’t take a bottle. Kinzler didn’t get that message and had no trouble at all with a bottle and not too much later baby food. Now he eats just about any food he wants, along with assorted non-food items from time to time, just like any toddler.

His favorite foods seem to be of the mixed variety like mashed potatoes and gravy combined with cheese-bite crackers and maybe a couple of pieces of apple … or just about anything else that fits with his not-too-fancy or discerning palate.

The doctors said he wouldn’t be able to make sounds due to his trach, but Kinzler didn’t get that message either. It wasn’t long until he was able to “talk around his trach” and even say some words. With his “talking” and the use of a little sign language, he has absolutely no trouble communicating his desires and intentions.

Now we’re nearing the best of times.

Last week he was at the doctor for them to decide whether he was ready to have his trach removed. It was decided that although there had been marked improvement in his condition, it was still too early to remove it. He will be reevaluated around next Easter.

Disappointment was the initial reaction, but everyone immediately realized it was for the best.

So this was the second ‘trached Easter’ for Kinzler. The good thing about the situation is that if Kinzler could express his feelings, I believe he would say:

“What is wrong with everyone else? Why don’t they have a hole in their throat with a tube coming out? Why aren’t they able to stick a finger in their trach and make a sound that drives Mom up the wall?

“And what’s all the fuss about about having a trach? I’ve got one, and I’m just fine, thank you.”

We’ll make it another year, little one, and we’ll be just fine as long as you keep that nearly constant smile on your face. That’s what keeps all of us old people going.

No matter how long the Man Upstairs lets me stay around, I will never be able to teach Kinzler the types of things he has taught me in the last 17 months.

Mack Thweatt is a Messenger photographer and proofreader.

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