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Department honors its own

The Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department held its annual awards banquet last weekend to honor the hard work and dedication of its members.

Annual Awards

ANNUAL AWARDS – Members of the Bridgeport Fire Department were honored at a banquet last weekend. Pictured are (bottom, from left) Alex Sessions, Dawnelle Burns, (front) David Nichols, Capt. Justin Knox, Chief Terry Long, Assistant Chief Keith Long, Robert Grothe, Assistant Chief Kenny Hudson, Jerry Beck, Aaron Steadman, (back row) Chaplain Gary Sessions, Albert Taylor, Robby Schwartz, Brandon Graybill, Kyle Bloodworth, Ricky Schwartz, Daniel Underwood and Captain Tanner Reeves. Submitted photo

Jason Hall was named Rookie of the Year, and Chief Terry Long was awarded Officer of the Year.

Firefighter of the Year was Aaron Steadman.

Steadman, along with Assistant Chief Kenny Hudson, were honored by Long with the Chief’s Award.

The department also recognized the top 10 responders. Chief Long was the top responder, going to 335 out of 553 calls received. The remaining top responders included Steadman with 235 calls; Capt. Tanner Reeves with 183; Albert Taylor, 156; Roy Martz, 154; Ricky Schwartz, 153; Jason Hall, 150; Assistant Chief Keith Long, 149; Assistant Chief Hudson, 139; and Robby Schwartz, 135.

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Changing the grade; Boyd introduces new ranking system

Starting with next year’s freshman class, Boyd High School adopted a new formula to calculate grade-point average and class ranking.

Only core course subjects, including English, foreign language, math, science and social studies, will factor into a student’s GPA.

“It got to a point where you had students picking classes to take-not because they really wanted to take them, but so they could move up in the class ranks,” said Boyd High Principal Scott Nedrow. “Now we’re making it more equitable and fair across the board for all students. It levels the playing field for everybody.”

Pre-AP, AP and dual class credits will continue to be weighted, but in a slightly different and more efficient manner. Students will have an additional 5 percent of their overall grade added on at the end of the semester for pre-AP courses. For example, if a student earned a 100 in a pre-AP course, they would be awarded a 105 at semester’s end for the class.

AP and dual credit courses will add on 10 percent of their overall score. Thus a 100 would become a 110.

“The biggest difference now is we add it on at the end of the semester, and it’s all done in the computer,” said Boyd High counselor Tara Allred. “The way we were doing it before was pretty antiquated.”

Since all current high school students are still on the old system, the school will have to juggle two grading styles for the next three years, Allred added.

She also assured the new system would not discourage students from taking electives such as art or ag classes now not included in the GPA calculation.

“A certain number of electives are required by the state,” Allred said. “Electives are still a graduation requirement.”

On Monday, the high school will hold an informational session for eighth grade students and their parents about the changes to GPA calculations and the new endorsement paths incoming freshman must choose.

The meeting is 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Boyd High School cafetorium. Eighth graders and their parents are encouraged to attend.

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Decatur finishes 4th at Robson Ranch

The Decatur Eagles finished fourth Monday at the Fossil Ridge Invitational at Robson Ranch.

The Decatur squad fired a 346. Prince of Peace won the tournament with a 319.

Drew Jones finished fourth with a round of 78. Bryce Elder shot 86, Cade Lamirand 89, Hayden Bennett 93, and Charlie Shannon 95.

Lawson Harris fired a 93, playing as an individual. Dawson Thompson hit 103.

Bridgeport took fifth with a 362.

Brayden Garrett and Brazier Talley shot 89s. Ty Reed hit 90, Blake Boyd 94, and Austin Lennard 112.

Decatur and Bridgeport will start the District 9-3A tournament April 2 at Tanglewood Golf Resort in Pottsboro. The tournament will conclude April 7 at Turtle Hill Golf Course in Muenster.

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New quarry not good for Chico

During the community forum at the March 18 Chico ISD school board meeting, I spoke in opposition to the settlement agreement with the City of Chico and P&K Quarry. I presented five reasons to vote no:

1. Decrease in property values on the east side of Texas 101

2. Air quality issues

3. Traffic safety on Farm Road 1810

4. Decrease in value on 17 acres owned by school near the proposed quarry

5. Decrease in future student body enrollment due to quality of life issues

Superintendent Mike Jones said the school’s initial greatest concern, traffic, had been addressed.

Even if P&K follows up with a request for approval to widen Farm Road 1810 in front of the quarry’s entrance to allow a turning lane for trucks on the westbound lane, trucks will be turning left across traffic onto the eastbound lane.

And even if P&K follows the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) will they be a “good business neighbor” for Chico?

I realize Superintendent Jones is following Mayor J.D. Clark’s public relations plan to sell bringing this business to Chico; however, I know P&K will not be a good neighbor.

The air quality from the limestone dust is creating health issues and becoming a real nuisance since Blue Starr Materials started up just south of Chico, close to the city limits, and the old TXI plant expanded.

I’m concerned about my husband’s health from being exposed to lime dust. He is retired and enjoys keeping our yard and growing a large vegetable garden. The limestone collects on the grass so when he mows, his eyes become irritated, he coughs at night and sneezes.

What are the long-term health risks to our children or to the elderly with chronic lung and heart problems? We do not know, but it can’t be good for anyone.

Living next to a quarry is like a “lifetime” of living next to an active construction site. Noisy neighbors are not good neighbors.

In addition to the noise from big machinery, the blasting could damage water lines creating water leaks and damage homes near the site. A good neighbor does not damage their neighbors’ property.

Families are drawn to a community that offers a safe, healthy environment. Everything green here is covered with limestone dust making our town “gray” – and gray is not the color of choice.

This agreement changes our community forever, and not for the good. Once the land is destroyed there is no way to replace it.

Brenda Rankin

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Northwest coach heads to Sherman

By Richard Greene
After five seasons on the Northwest Texans’ sidelines, Bill Patterson is leaving.
Patterson, who led the Texans to three playoff appearances, accepted the head football coaching job at Sherman Monday.
“I feel like Sherman is a place you can go and have a chance to win a state championship,” Patterson said Monday night. “They have good players and a tradition of having good football teams.”
Patterson added that he was drawn by the fact that Sherman is a “one-school town.”
Northwest currently has two high schools and a third is being built.
He takes over a Sherman team that went 4-6 last season and missed the playoffs. He replaces Gary Joe Kinne.
Sherman will be a 5A school, sharing District 10 with Denison, McKinney, McKinney North, Lovejoy, Prosper, Wylie and Wylie East. Northwest will be in the new Class 6A.
Patterson leaves Northwest with a record of 23-30. After his first squad went winless in 2009, he guided the Texans to the playoffs in 2010. The Texans went 8-3 the past two seasons and lost in the bi-district round of the Class 5A playoffs.
“We’re the only team to go back-to-back to the playoffs,” he said. “It’s been a great five years. I’ve enjoyed working with Coach [Susan] Elza and the staff here. I had two kids graduate from Northwest. It’ll always be a special place.”
Under Patterson, the Texans dominated the Keller schools the past two years, going 7-1.
“The credit goes to the players,” he said. “We’ve had a great group of kids to work with.”

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Hospital board to meet Monday

Three days before a grand opening reception at Parkway Surgical & Cardiovascular Hospital, the Decatur Hospital Authority board will approve contracts to equip and operate the imaging center near the hospital at Interstate Highway 35 and North Tarrant Parkway in Fort Worth.

Those are two of the items on the agenda for a 6 p.m. Monday meeting at the hospital board room at Wise Regional Health System.

MVP Alliance, LP is the company that will lease the equipment to Wise Regional and provide services to operate the imaging center.

The board is also expected to approve the construction of an underground drainage system on the West Campus in Decatur – the former main hospital facility located across SH 51 from the hospital. Wise Regional will share the cost of that construction with Dr. Aamir Zuberi, who owns the building which is currently used for WRHS outpatient dialysis service.

The hospital’s share of the cost is $64,960.

The board will also consider the purchase of six monitors that will enable six of the ER patient rooms at the hospital to be used for higher-acuity patients. Pricetag for those is a total of $165,185, which was budgeted.

The hospital’s annual Infection Control and Quality Improvement plans are also up for approval, along with new medical staff appointments, reappointments and first-year reviews, administrative and financial reports and a proposed change to move the April meeting to the third Monday.

The board will also consider a nursing policy on patient transfers and appoint a member to the Wise Health Services, Inc. board to complete the three-year term of Lesa Warren, who resigned from the hospital board last month.

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Decatur finishes 7th; Bridgeport takes eighth at Tanglewood

Playing on the Tanglewood course in Pottsboro, the site of the District 9-3A tournament in April, the Decatur Eagles finished seventh and the Bridgeport Bulls eighth Monday.

Decatur fired a 350, finishing two strokes ahead of Bridgeport.

Sulphur Springs won the tournament with a 316.

Drew Jones carded Decatur’s best score, an 80. He finished 10 strokes back of Paris’ Tanner Napler, who won the tournament with a 70. Sulphur Springs’ Brody Blackmon took second with a 71.

Decatur’s Cade Lamirand shot an 85. Bryce Elder hit 90, Hayden Bennett 95, and Charlie Shannon 101.

Decatur’s Dawson Thompson hit a 99 and Derek Potts a 128 playing as individuals.

Ty Reed led Bridgeport, shooting an 83. Brayden Garrett hit 86, Blake Boyd 89, and Brazier Talley 94. Austin Lennard hit 131.

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Davila found in Claude

According to Bridgeport police, Bridgeport resident Benisio Davila, 83, has been found in Claude, Texas, which is near Amarillo. He has been taken to a local hospital to be checked out. A Silver Alert was issued for Davila after he went missing Friday, March 7, 2014 around 3:30 p.m.

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Breaking news: Game time bumped up

The start time District 9-3A tiebreaker between Decatur and Gainesville has been bumped up to 5 p.m. in Krum. The game was originally slated for 7. The winner between Decatur/Gainesville is slated play Krum at 8 p.m. Friday in Sanger.

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Bryanna Lynn Pinkerton

Cody and Anna Pinkerton of Chico announce the birth of a daughter, Bryanna Lynn, on Dec. 17, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 19 inches long.

She has two brothers: Bryson, 11, and Braeden, 8; and one sister: Bailey, 7.

Grandparents are Tracey Pinkerton of Decatur, Pam Washburn of Runaway Bay and Chris Riney and Becky Cook of Sunset.

Great-grandparents are Barbara and Ruben Pinkerton of Decatur and Dean Branch of Kingsland.

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Texans back in playoffs

For the first time, the Northwest Texans are heading to the postseason for the second consecutive year.

Big Night

BIG NIGHT – Northwest’s Emmanuel Moore had three catches for 100 yards last week against Keller Central. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

After a heart-pounding win over Keller Central last Thursday, the Texans solidified their spot as the District 4-5A Division II first seed representative.

Northwest (8-2) takes on the Arlington Lamar Vikings (8-2) Friday in the bi-district round of the Class 5A playoffs at Birdville Athletic Complex. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

“The kids are excited. Since we played Carroll we’ve been playing pretty good,” Northwest coach Bill Patterson said. “We’ve played well the last five weeks and got ourselves in the playoffs. I told the kids yesterday this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so take advantage of it.”

That first-ever playoff victory still eludes the Texans, but Patterson says this group is focused to be the team that gets Northwest over that hump.

“We talk about it all the time,” Patterson said. “We’ve been talking about it since off-season started last December. The kids understand what’s in front of them.”

Last year’s postseason experience should help the Texans.

“They are not just in awe anymore,” the coach said.

Lamar ended the season on a three-game winning streak. Their only losses were to Arlington Bowie and South Grand Prairie.

Offensively, they are led by Cameron Smith and Jamal Kemp. The duo has combined for 1,406 yards on the ground.

“They have a lot of good athletes on offense,” Patterson said. “Defensively they have struggled some.”

Northwest’s defense has had some struggles of its own lately, especially getting out of the gate against strong offenses. They fell into deep holes early against Fossil Ridge and Carroll.

Patterson knows they can’t let that happen again against Lamar.

“If we get down 14-0 in this one, it can get to 28-0 pretty quick,” Patterson said. “We have to be ready, and we can’t turn the ball over on offense.”

NORTHWEST (8-2, 5-2) VS. ARLINGTON LAMAR (8-2, 6-1)

7:30 p.m. at Birdville Athletic Complex

Northwest: The Texans are still in search of their first playoff victory.
Arlington Lamar: Lamar is named after Mirabeau B. Lamar the second president of the Republic of Texas.
Harris line: Lamar by 7

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Wreck victim identified

A Bridgeport man was killed in a one-vehicle rollover near Lake Bridgeport Saturday afternoon.

Andrew Chase Walker, 21, was southbound on Farm Road 2952, approaching a curve in the road, when he veered off the roadway, caught the edge of pavement and overcorrected, losing control of the Dodge truck he was driving. The pick-up rolled sideways before splintering a telephone pole and coming to a rest in a thicket of brush.

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash, which occurred around 5:30 p.m.

Walker was the only occupant of the truck, and no other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

Lake Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department, Wise County medics and sheriff’s deputies and state troopers responded.


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One killed in one-vehicle rollover

The driver of a pick-up was killed in a one-vehicle rollover near Lake Bridgeport Saturday afternoon.

According to investigators, it appears the driver caught the edge of the pavement and overcorrected, losing control of the Dodge truck. The truck rolled sideways before splintering a telephone pole and coming to a rest in a thicket of brush.

Speed was believed to be a factor.

The driver was the only occupant of the truck, and no other vehicles were involved in the wreck, which occurred around 5:30 p.m.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Jesus Alberto Flores Jr.

Jesse and Elda Flores of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Jesus Alberto Jr., on June 27, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long.

He has one sister: Jazlyn Areli, 4.

Grandparents are Magdalena Flores of Decatur and Isabel Garcia of Decatur.

Great-grandparents are Oscar and Rosa Flores of Decatur and Ofelia Amador of Mission.

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Northwest runners miss out on medal stand

Kellee McCann could not keep first-place in her sights Saturday in the Class 5A 3200 meter run at the UIL Track and Field State Meet in Austin.

HITTING HIS STRIDE - Northwest's Zach Kirkland raced to a seventh-place finish in the 800 meter Saturday. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

HITTING HIS STRIDE – Northwest’s Zach Kirkland raced to a seventh-place finish in the 800 meter Saturday. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

The Northwest High School junior got off to a good start, staying in the lead pack, but Sandie Raines of Humble Kingwood slowly began to pull away. Raines ended up defeating the field by 25 seconds.

McCann finished fourth with a time of 10:50 – nine seconds behind her first-place time at the Region I meet.

Raines set a new Class 5A state record with a time of 10:13.

Paige Hofstad was just ahead of McCann in third with a time of 10:45. Devin Clark of Smithson Valley was second in 10:38.

After taking first at regionals, Northwest junior Zack Kirkland just couldn’t keep pace in the 800-meter at state.

He took seventh with a time of 1:55 – two seconds slower than his time at regionals.

Myles Marshall captured the top spot in 1:51.

Northwest senior Kiarra Simpson also came away with a seventh-place finish in the discus. After fouls on her first two throws, she hit her best mark with her third toss of 133-09.

Cion Hicks of Killeen Shoemaker easily took the top spot with a throw of 160-06.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

HEAD START CUTS WON’T AFFECT WISE – The Head Start and Early Head Start locations in Wise County will be spared from cuts in staffing and classes due to sequestration. The Texas Neighborhood Services board of directors met in Weatherford yesterday and considered three options to cut staff to meet the required 5 percent cut. They decided to cut three Head Start classes in Navarro County and two in Palo Pinto County. That decision was one of three options considered, and one option that was not chosen included cutting one Head Start classroom and one Early Head Start classroom in Wise County. Other approved cuts include a 5 percent reduction in health insurance rates, the elimination of an administrative assistant position and moving a community services position from full-time to part-time. The changes were approved by the TNS policy board, made up of parent representatives, last night. Texas Neighborhood Services serves nine counties.

PARADISE CHAMBER – Today’s meeting of the Paradise Chamber of Commerce is for board members only, noon at Jorge’s in downtown Paradise. The general luncheon meeting is noon Monday, May 6, at City Hall. For information, call (940) 433-3288.

JURY CANCELED – Today’s jury trial at Runaway Bay Municipal Court has been canceled. Jurors do not need to report.

5K RUN/WALK – The Rodeo Pink 5K Run/Walk is 9 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at the pavilion at Harwood Park in Bridgeport. Pre-register before April 26 to receive a T-shirt. Cost is $20. After April 26, fees increase to $25 and do not include a T-shirt. Registration forms are available at Bridgeport City Hall, Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce, iCopy in Decatur, Angel’s Health Care in Decatur or online at or

HOMES FOR VETERANS – A fundraising dinner to benefit WC Challenger Charities’ partnership with the Military Warriors Support Foundation is 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Decatur. The group is raising money to provide homes to five wounded war veterans, and keys to those homes will be presented at the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge bull riding event June 8 in Decatur. Lt. Gen. Leroy Sisco, founder and chief executive officer of the foundation will attend the dinner, and although the dinner is free, there will be an opportunity to make a donation at the end of the program. To attend, RSVP to Bree at First Baptist by calling (940) 627-3235 or by emailing

SINGLES MEETING - The North Texas Singles Club meets at Spicy Mexico in Bowie at 6 p.m. Saturday. All single adults are invited. Mini will be your greeter. For more information, call her at (940) 366-0100.

CANDIDATES AND CHILI - Meet the Candidates for Rhome City Council noon-5 p.m. Saturday at the Rhome Family Park, 400 South Virginia. Residents are invited to bring a pot of chili and participate in the First Chili Cook Off.

HEALTH FORUM – The Wise County Health Forum meets 9 a.m. today at Decatur City Hall Community Room.

CHURCH TO CELEBRATE 120 YEARS – New Salem Free Will Baptist Church in Decatur will celebrate its 120th anniversary at 2 p.m. Saturday. The celebration will include singing the first song sung at the time of organization, a history of the church, recognition of former pastors in attendance, the unveiling of a historical marker and the singing of “Precious Memories,” the song used at the closing of the first meeting. Refreshments will be served after the program.

RELAY BENEFIT – Swann’s Food Service will park its truck in front of Family Clinic in Bridgeport 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and donate a portion of the sales to the Healing Hearts Relay For Life team.

RELAY BAKE SALES – RGA HomeCare Relay for Life Team will hold a bake sale 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday in front of their office located at 1411 Chico Highway in Bridgeport. ALSO, Campin’ 4 a Cure will hold a bake sale 7:30 a.m.-noon Saturday at Decatur Tire Store. Donations are welcome.

PLANT SALE – Decatur FFA will have a plant sale 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Exxon on the corner of U.S. 81/287 and Farm Road 51. They will be selling annuals, perennials, ground cover and assorted planted color containers. A select number of 3-gallon double knock out roses will be for sale. All plant material was planted and grown by students of the Decatur High School Horticulture Department.

SPRING BLING - The “Bling It On” fundraiser to benefit the Greenwood EE Club featuring Premier Designs Jewelry is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. today at the Decatur Church of Christ Family Room. For information, call (940) 626-4355.

FUNERALMEMORIAL mass for David L. Brown, 74, of Sunset is 11 a.m. May 4 at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Bowie. He was the brother of Mary Jane Strole of Runaway Bay.

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Holiday Greetings Cover Art Entries

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Letters and Essays for Santa

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Christmas Art

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