WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Sat, 20 Dec 2014 21:01:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Moore indicted for attempted murder http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/moore-indicted-for-attempted-murder/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/moore-indicted-for-attempted-murder/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:52:46 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84960 A man accused of setting his common-law wife on fire in October has been indicted for attempted murder.

Johnny Leon Moore III

Johnny Leon Moore III, 45, of Decatur, was indicted on three separate charges related to a fire the morning of Oct. 4 in a travel trailer in the Brushy Creek RV park northwest of Decatur.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, a grand jury also indicted Moore for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and arson of a habitation.

Deputy Wise County Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said Moore and his common-law wife, Patricia K. Woods, 40, were arguing the night before the fire and Moore left for the night. He returned Saturday morning and began arguing again, and this time it became physical.

“He picked up some Coleman lantern fluid and poured it on the floor, saying he wanted to ‘burn the place down,'” Travis said.

Scene of the Crime

SCENE OF THE CRIME – Johnny Moore III is accused of setting the fire that seriously injured his common-law wife and destroyed the travel trailer where she was living in early October. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

When Woods ran to the back of the trailer, she slipped in a puddle of the lantern fluid and fell into the liquid.

“He asked her, ‘Are you ready to die?’ and he ignited the fire,” Travis said.

It appeared Moore had an immediate change of heart and panicked, Travis said. He threw her out of the trailer and extinguished the fire on her, then assaulted her again and threatened her, warning her not to tell anyone what really happened.

Moore then took Woods to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, where he came up with a different version of the events. Once Woods was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas to be treated for her burns, she called Wise County dispatch to tell them what really happened, Travis said.

Moore was arrested Oct. 15 for arson causing bodily injury and aggravated assault causes serious bodily injury. He remains in the Wise County Jail with total bond set at $200,000.

Woods spent several weeks at Parkland and is now recovering at a nursing home. Travis said she sustained third degree burns on 24 to 28 percent of her body, mainly from the waist down. She is now undergoing physical therapy three times a day as she works toward walking again.

Travis said Woods has been pushing herself to begin walking again sooner than doctors said she could.

The Decatur Fire Department responded to the fire at 11:18 a.m. Oct. 4, but the travel trailer was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. It was a total loss.

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Head-on collision sends 2 to hospitals http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/head-on-collision-sends-2-to-hospitals/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/head-on-collision-sends-2-to-hospitals/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:51:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84956 A head-on collision on Texas 114 just west of Boyd Friday morning sent two drivers to area hospitals.

Head On Crash

HEAD-ON CRASH – DPS Trooper Ralph Ray Wallace (left) investigates as Wise County EMS personnel visit with the husband of a driver injured in a Friday morning collision on Texas 114 just west of Boyd. Both drivers were injured when the pickup (background) veered into the path of the car at left, and they collided head-on. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Karen Backus, 54, of Springtown was eastbound about two miles west of Boyd in a Nissan Maxima when a pickup, driven by 26-year-old Andrew Erickson of Arlington, veered into her lane and hit her head-on.

The accident occurred just before 10:30 a.m.

Backus’ vehicle stayed upright and ended up on the north shoulder, while Erickson’s Nissan Titan truck flipped and came to rest on its roof on the south shoulder of the highway.

Top Down Titan

TOP-DOWN TITAN – A moment’s inattention left this Nissan Titan truck crunched and upside-down alongside Texas 114 Friday morning and sent two drivers to hospitals. The truck’s driver, Andrew Erickson of Arlington, was listed in fair condition Friday at JPS Health Center in Fort Worth. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Both drivers were injured and were transported by Wise County EMS. Backus went to Wise Regional Health System where she was treated and released. Erickson was taken to JPS Health System in Fort Worth, where he was listed in fair condition Friday afternoon.

The accident blocked traffic on 114, but Boyd and Paradise fire personnel, Boyd police and Wise County sheriff’s deputies began directing one lane of vehicles through the area just after 11 a.m.

DPS State Trooper Ralph Ray Wallace investigated the accident.

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Santa Claus is comin’ to town http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/santa-claus-is-comin-to-town/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/santa-claus-is-comin-to-town/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:50:32 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84952 There may only be one Santa Claus, but he has a lot of helpers this year in Wise County.

A QUARTER CENTURY OF SANTA- Chan Horne has portrayed Santa in Bridgeport for 25 years now. “It’s always good to see how the kids react positively to Santa and Christmas,” he said. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

All week, there have been numerous Santa-centric events throughout the county, from Breakfast with Santa to the Christmas parade to the Toy Run.

But what’s it like to dress up as the man in the big red suit?

Mario Rondon, who has been portraying Santa Claus at Boyd’s Breakfast with Santa event for three years running, said it’s an unpredictable job.

“Just like any other situation with kids, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” the Boyd High School math teacher said. “But the kids seem to enjoy it, and that’s the best part for me. For some of them, they’re getting over their fear of meeting someone new, and with others they’re just concerned with making sure they can rattle off all the things they want for Christmas.”

Parents can be just as unpredictable.

“When they’re just trying to get that Polaroid moment with their kid for their Christmas card, and the kid isn’t looking, that’s always interesting,” he said.

To Protect and Serve Presents

TO PROTECT AND SERVE…PRESENTS- Decatur Police Sgt. Devlon Campbell stands with some of the multitude of Christmas presents he and other Decatur police officers will deliver to children in need on Christmas eve as a part of the Santa Cops program. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Others who don the beard and coat say that they enjoy making children happy during the holidays – even if that happiness is short-lived.

“The best part of the job is when you make a child’s day and make them forget about the pain and suffering and sadness in the world,” Chan Horne said. He’s been Bridgeport’s resident Santa for 25 years now and has seen a lot of sadness in some of the children he’s met.

“A lot of the kids that visit me aren’t religious, so they ask Santa for some unrealistic stuff. One year, a kid asked for his mom and dad to get back together – that was all he wanted for Christmas.”

MARIO RONDON. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

But Horne said he still enjoys seeing children’s reactions to the spectacle of Christmas and the legend of Santa.

In Decatur, Santa takes the form of a uniform and a badge every Christmas Eve through the Decatur Police Department’s Santa Cops program. Now in its seventh year, the program uses toys that have been donated from local businesses to give to children in need.

The first year, Police Chief Rex Hoskins and his staff hand-delivered presents to 20 children. This year, that has grown to 161.

Currently, the police station’s training room is half-filled with gifts for all ages. A Hot Wheels track sits next to some Legos, which are across the room from stacks of Barbie princess dolls. And that’s not counting the myriad of bicycles that still need to be purchased before Christmas Eve.

“We used to wrap all of them,” Santa cops program coordinator Ashley Dobyns said, “Then more kids qualified for the program, and we had to just start delivering them.”

Police officers deliver the gifts early Christmas morning.

“We’ll be done by noon – we load up pickup trucks, our SWAT truck and other vehicles, and we just drive through town and hand out the presents to the kids,” Sgt. Devlon Campbell said. “It’s a huge undertaking.”

Whether you believe in Santa or not, there’s no doubt the spirit of giving he represents is alive and well in Wise County.

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Volunteers bring inmates glimpses of God http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/volunteers-bring-inmates-glimpses-of-god/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/volunteers-bring-inmates-glimpses-of-god/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:47:55 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84947 “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
“I was a stranger and you invited me in,
“I needed clothes and you clothed me,
“I was sick and you looked after me,
“I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

(Matthew 25: 35-36, NIV)

Wise County Jail Chaplain Marilyn Featherstone said she thinks about that passage a lot.

“That’s the bottom line,” she said. “That is Christianity, in my opinion.”

FAITH BEHIND BARS – The Wise County Jail isn’t a church, but Bibles and Bible study are available for inmates who wish to use their time behind bars to repent, reflect and prepare for a new life once they’re back outside. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

She and a roster of volunteers visit those in jail in Wise County. They do their best to bring faith behind the bars, helping the 180 or so inmates use their sentences as a time to repent, reflect and study – get to know God and lay the foundation for a new life when they get out.

It was a conviction that put them there – often on the testimony of witnesses.

Inside the walls, some experience a different kind of conviction, a different sort of witness. Each volunteer brings a testimony that springs from his or her own life.

The men and women in jail took some wrong turns to get there. Those who minister have traveled the same roads, taken some of the same turns.

Featherstone, a former missionary in Nigeria and Jamaica, worked in law enforcement for years as a secretary to Sheriffs Phil Ryan, then David Walker, and their chief deputies. Her husband, John, was the jail’s chaplain.

“When John died in 1999, the sheriff says, ‘You’ve been doing this all your life. Why don’t you take over?’

“I thought, ‘I can’t do that!’ But I’ve loved it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

When she retired from the secretarial job four years ago at age 79, Walker asked her to stay on as chaplain. She did. Now she’s a volunteer, there every morning from 8 to 10 a.m.

She will talk, listen, study the Bible or pray with any inmate who requests it. She gives a Bible to everyone who wants one and tries to accommodate each inmate’s wishes to see a minister or practice their faith – whatever it may be.

Ageless Chaplain

AGELESS CHAPLAIN – Marilyn Featherstone, who retired after 20 years as secretary to the Wise County sheriff and chief deputy, was asked to stay on as chaplain. She’s available to talk, pray and counsel with inmates every morning. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

It’s an imperfect system, shackled by laws requiring the segregation of male and female prisoners and maximum, medium and minimum security inmates. Those rules discourage large gatherings of inmates and prevent some of them from getting to “go to church” as often as they would like.

Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, a lineup of ministers, lay preachers and teachers come to the jail and hold Bible studies, pray and worship with the inmates who want to come.

“They come out from churches all over the county,” Featherstone said. “I know there’s Baptist, the motorcycle people, Trinity. We have so many, I can’t even remember what all churches we have. I don’t really pay any attention to it, to tell you the truth.

“This is non-denominational,” she said. “The longer I live, the more I realize that we’re just all in this together, and we’re all the same. We just do what we can.”

Classes are held for men and women – three or four to more than a dozen at a time. Some inmates may not get to attend more than once or twice a month, and they may not be able to study or visit with a minister of their particular denomination.

“Security is our biggest hangup,” Featherstone said. “I know sometimes people get to feeling like, ‘I’m never going to get to go to church again.’ But it’s surprising the amount of interest in church services.

“Usually, the only complaint will be that they didn’t get to go.”

LOTS OF CHALLENGES

Those who minister in jail know they are fighting an uphill battle.

A STORY TO TELL – Cutting horse trainer Bryan Jackson pulls no punches when he talks to inmates about what God has done in his life. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

Aside from the majority of inmates who simply aren’t interested, they deal with men and women who bring a multitude of problems to jail with them – problems that will still be there when they get out.

Equipping them for that struggle is something those who minister take seriously.

Bryan Jackson is a cutting-horse trainer who lives near Paradise. He is familiar with those challenges.

“This is the beginning of the changing of the heart, the beginning of the changing of the mind,” he said. “I try to teach them to walk as Christian men, and to understand that when you get out, no one’s going to believe you.

“Everyone’s going to look at you and say, ‘OK, now I want to see you walk the walk.'”

Jackson’s own conversion experience, in 2002, was met with skepticism from his friends and family – those who knew him in his wilder days.

Even after he began to go to churches and give his testimony, one minister told him he was not interested in having him come to speak until he’d seen him live his faith for a few years.

“He said, ‘You’re not going to go speak in front of my people, then turn around and live like you used to live,'” Jackson said.

“I was heartbroken. I was so on fire for the Lord and happy – I was just bubbling with it.”

It won’t be any different for the inmates, he tells them.

“We want them to understand, and be prepared for what’s going to take place,” he said. “Why would we accept them at first, at face value, on their spoken word? Most of them have lied and stolen from their family – walking in truth has not been a part of their life.

“People want to see different, not just hear different.”

‘I BELIEVE MY JOB IS TO BE A SOWER.’

Bryan Jackson’s life changed in a moment, on July 29, 2002. He calls it his “Damascus Road” experience – referencing the conversion of Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, in Acts chapter 9.

“I had family turmoil and a bunch of other things that were going on – a bunch of Jerry Springer stuff,” he said. “I was out between those two oak trees over there, having a hat-throwing-down, cussing fit, jumping up and down and yelling.”

In the next moment, he said, he felt a hand on his back.

“The Lord spoke to me and said ‘Bryan, you’re a child of mine, but it’s time for you to come home to me right now.'” he said. “I said, ‘God, I truthfully don’t deserve your forgiveness or your deliverance.'”

But he vowed to do his best to serve God as long as he lived, and immediately, he said, his heart was changed.

“I went outside fighting the demons of addiction and immorality, and walked back in my house delivered,” he said. “I can’t see it any other way.”

Jackson began speaking, giving his testimony, at every opportunity. He started attending Victory Family Church, met Laura Peck, and she invited him to come speak at the jail. At first he resisted, but she convinced him he was uniquely equipped for that ministry.

“She said the people who are effective are the people who have endured,” he said. “The very first time I went, it changed my life.”

He went in with a lesson all planned out, he said. But when he saw the big, scarred, scary man who came to hear him, a different lesson arose.

“I start to talk, and the Holy Spirit just comes over me and I stop and say, ‘Who’s the first person redeemed by the blood of Christ?’ They didn’t know. I said, ‘I want you to understand, the very first person redeemed – by Christ’s profession, ‘You will be in Paradise with me today’ – was a criminal, who hung on a cross beside Christ. All he said was ‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom.'”

Instantly, Jackson said, the man was on his knees, crying that there was a God who could forgive him for what he had done.

“I was placed there for that man, that day,” he said. “I had judged him. I said, ‘Why is he here?’ – and that was the man I was there to see that day.”

Now, Jackson tells his story without hesitation, relating to the men in ways they may not have expected. He tells them how God has restored the life that Satan had destroyed, and he tells them of God’s infinite patience and love for his children.

“I believe my job is to be a sower,” he said. “One time I was in Stephenville, at a horse show, and I went to church out there in the middle of the country, on a dirt road. One of the guys I had in jail was taking the money.

“He stopped and went right to his preacher and said, ‘That’s the guy! That’s the guy! That’s the guy who changed my life in jail! I knew because of what he’d been through that I could do it.'” Jackson said. “The Lord knew I was needing to see some fruit.

“With that little confirmation that sharing did matter, I’ve been happy ever since,” he said. “I know there’s someone else like him.

“I hope that the ministry in the Wise County Jail is successful. We know if we send God’s word forward that it’s going to perform its deed, no matter what.”

NEXT ISSUE: Results

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Meals on Wheels needs help serving seniors http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meals-on-wheels-needs-help-serving-seniors/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meals-on-wheels-needs-help-serving-seniors/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:45:20 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84942 Wise County Meals on Wheels needs the public’s help in order to meet the needs of local senior citizens.

The program delivers hot meals to the homes of hungry seniors throughout the county. But with the price of food going up, and donations down, they are in danger of not being able to meet those needs.

Paid positions have already been cut to help pay the food bills.

Delivery Time

DELIVERY TIME – Elaine Davis, who has served on the Wise County Committee on Aging board of directors for more than 30 years, helps Peggy Calvert package food for delivery to Meals on Wheels clients Friday morning. The program is in need of financial donations and volunteers. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We’ve let two (of four) drivers go and let the office manager go, so there’s only myself and two paid drivers now,” said Donna Brown, executive director of Meals on Wheels.

This past week, the organization couldn’t meet its payroll.

Currently, the two drivers are basically doubling up in order to cover the four routes around the county. Brown said a couple of volunteers who would be willing to deliver some meals would be a big help.

The number of clients served has also been reduced, Brown said, from 120 to around 80. New clients can’t be added unless there is a critical need.

More volunteers would not only allow more local seniors to receive meals – they receive a measure of companionship as well.

“With a majority of our clients, (the delivery person) is the only person they see all day, and for most of them, that’s the only meal they get during the day,” said Charles Ross, volunteer coordinator for Meals on Wheels.

Ross volunteers his time on Mondays to make a delivery route to some of the more rural areas of the county. At least three or four people on his route have no contact with family members, and he can count on spending at least 45 minutes at one house visiting with one of the clients. But the shortage of delivery drivers doesn’t leave much time for visiting.

The clients pay for the meals if they can – but most of them can’t.

“I have a lady who gives me $1.82 every month,” Ross said.

“And that’s something, you know,” Brown responded.

The program receives funding from the county, United Way of Wise County, the North Central Texas Council of Governments and, possibly, grant funding. While those institutions help keep it going, Meals on Wheels mostly relies on donations from the community to help cover costs such as the $7,000 a month bill for food alone.

Brown said she’d like to remind the public about their Adopt-A-Senior program. Individuals or groups such as churches can donate $20 per month to adopt a client.

She said she also appreciates all the local businesses and churches that donate services or items.

To find out more about Meals on Wheels or how you can donate, visit www.wisemealsonwheels.com.

One of those businesses helping out Meals on Wheels is Superior Automotive, which is collecting lap blankets for Meals on Wheels clients. Today (Dec. 20) is the deadline to donate. The business is located at 1201 N. U.S. 81/287 next to Decatur Tire.

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Cyber crime strikes Wise County Sheriff’s Office http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/cyber-crime-strikes-wise-county-sheriffs-office/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/cyber-crime-strikes-wise-county-sheriffs-office/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:44:06 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84939 Local law enforcement fell victim to cyber criminals last week when a computer virus wiped out a server in the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff David Walker said one of his department’s 14 servers was infected with the CryptoWall virus on or around Dec. 18. The virus encrypted all the files on the server, including videos, photos, forms and other case file materials, dating from 2008 to the present.

The CryptoWall virus is a form of malware and is also known as “ransomware” because the infection offers users a way to recover their files if they pay a ransom. Once the ransom is paid, the user is provided decryption instructions to restore the lost files.

If the information has been backed up, users can generally restore the information themselves and avoid paying the ransom. Unfortunately, this particular sheriff’s office server, which was new, had not been backed up.

Walker said the problem was discovered the evening of Dec. 18 when some files weren’t accessible and there were a few problems with email. He said they immediately contacted Prince Computing Corp., a consultant hired by the county in August, and Prince began working with the county’s information technology manager, Randy Joy, and Heinrich Downes, the S.O.’s in-house IT specialist.

“They contained the virus, figured out the machine it came from and took that machine off line,” he said. “By the time we talked to the FBI Friday, (the virus) was contained, and we knew what the damage was.”

He said normally the FBI wouldn’t recommend paying the ransom, but in this case, there are no other options to recover the information. To further complicate matters, the ransom must be paid via Bitcoin, a digital currency.

Walker said he’s working with a digital security expert in the Metroplex to facilitate the payment and the instructions that should follow.

As of Friday morning, a $500 payment had been made via Bitcoin, but no decryption information had been received as promised.

“It’s unusual because it’s been working as advertised across the world – but for us, it isn’t,” Walker said. He and other department officials are trying to decide how long to play the game and whether or not to make another payment.

“Ideally we could get this code and reinstall the data, but it’s looking slimmer and slimmer,” he said. “FBI security experts are trying daily to break this thing and so far it hasn’t been done.”

Walker said if the information can’t be recovered, they’ll be forced to move forward and simply wipe the server clean.

“It’s a huge inconvenience, and it does make you angry,” he said. “There are people who say you shouldn’t be paying these people, but under these circumstances, you weigh your options and have to think, ‘Do you want your files or not?'”

He said any information on that server tied to criminal cases was likely already filed in the prosecutor’s office, and some of the photos had already been downloaded and saved to the department’s master file, in addition to being on that server.

“By no means are we slowed down or out of business,” Walker said. “It’s not going to affect any immediate daily operations we have right now, but over the weekend or by Monday, we’ll have to make a decision about how to proceed if we haven’t received the decryption instructions.”

Joy said the rest of the county’s servers and information should be safe.

“That particular virus doesn’t propagate,” he said. “It got on that one PC, and that PC was connected to that one server with a data share. It can only cause problems with files or documents that are accessible by that individual machine with a network share.”

Joy said generally all the county’s servers are backed up daily, and those with financial information are backed up two times a day.

“That was a new server that I didn’t have much contact with,” he said. “Generally, we never lose more than a day’s worth of work.”

Walker said they believe the CryptoWall virus came through via email and was unleashed when a user clicked on a voice mail link within that email.

“We just need to stress to everyone to be very careful with unsolicited emails and not to click on a link, even though it may look real,” Joy said.

The city of Decatur was struck by the same virus earlier this year, according to technology services manager J.B. McKenzie.

“We got hit with it, and it was isolated in one department,” he said.

He explained that some of the affected files were on a server that was backed up, so he was able to restore those himself, but the user had also saved files on the computer’s C drive, which is not regularly backed up.

He had to make a Bitcoin payment to regain access to that information.

“I actually sent them a fraction of a Bitcoin, which would equal $500, and the guy sent me an algorithm and a list of files that he had encrypted,” he said. “They caught us at a time that we were getting ready to redo our firewall.”

Although the sheriff’s office has yet to determine the origination point for the virus that corrupted its files, McKenzie said the city’s virus protection, Kaspersky, tracked it to the Ukraine.

“We knew within a couple of days where it came from,” he said.

Walker said the incident was “the perfect storm” as his department was in the process of moving information between servers. County officials were also in the process of trying to better coordinate the county’s computer systems and had recently hired Prince to evaluate the network and its needs for the future,

He said the incident has forced them to take an immediate look at the security of their systems and recognize their vulnerability. He anticipates putting increased security measures in place to protect the department’s firewalls, ethernet and the like.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing that we haven’t got (our files) back yet,” he said. “You do everything you can to prevent it … you put up the biggest fence in the world around your stuff, and somebody is smart enough to get over it.”

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Chico school board ponders need for new ag facility http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/chico-school-board-ponders-need-for-new-ag-facility/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/chico-school-board-ponders-need-for-new-ag-facility/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:43:20 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84937 The Chico school board continued its discussion of facility needs this week in anticipation of a possible bond election next spring.

One item that keeps coming up is a new ag facility. Superintendent Mike Jones explained why the board is looking at replacing the current facility, located across town from the school.

“To get there, students have to drive across railroad tracks and Texas 101,” he said. “According to the state, that makes it a hazardous route. We’d like to find a place closer to the school and construct an ag facility to meet the needs going forward.”

At a workshop following Monday’s meeting, the board also discussed other items that have been identified by the facilities committee as priority items – such as increasing security across the district.

Jones said the district’s financial advisor will be at next month’s meeting to discuss how a possible bond package’s cost would affect the tax rate and impact property owners in the district. The board is expected to decide in February whether to call a bond election. The end of February is the deadline to put an issue on the ballot for May.

One of those facility needs is roof repair to the middle school, and the board received some good news on that item.

The district reached a settlement agreement with a former insurance company regarding hail damage the building sustained during a storm in 2011. The district should receive $318,000 to help pay for the roof replacement.

In other business the board:

  • split 3-3 on a vote to change a local policy to have the board hire at-will employees rather than the superintendent. G.A. Buckner, Bill Hand and Lori Clark voted to change the policy, and Doug Bowyer, Paul Cantrell and Mark Tate voted to keep policy the same. Pancho Redwine was not in attendance.
  • received a “clean” annual audit report for the district.
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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, December 20, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meeting-agendas-for-saturday-december-20-2014-2/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meeting-agendas-for-saturday-december-20-2014-2/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:43:08 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84935 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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Bridgeport City Council quickly wraps up last meeting of 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-city-council-quickly-wraps-up-last-meeting-of-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-city-council-quickly-wraps-up-last-meeting-of-2014/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:42:58 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84933 The Bridgeport City Council’s last meeting of the year Tuesday night was short, sweet and to the point.

The council passed one motion, tabled another and had a brief discussion about improving drainage areas around Turkey Creek – all within 15 minutes.

A motion to approve a continued grazing contract on 226 acres near the airport in the J. Grunder Survey passed unanimously.

A motion to award a bid for the Halsell street sidewalk improvement project was tabled. Mayor Corey Lane suggested tabling the issue so more information could be gathered before the decision.

A brief workshop item – improving drainage areas around Turkey Creek – was discussed.

City attorney Rob Alison told the council before any action was taken, they would have to make sure the renovations would not have any impact on surrounding drainage areas.

“We can’t go around willy-nilly changing drainage structures,” Alison said.

The meeting closed with retiring City Administrator Brandon Emmons thanking the council for all of their hard work during his tenure. Tuesday night was his last council meeting with the city.

“It’s been a fun time, and I’ve learned some new skill sets that will help me in future endeavors,” Emmons said. “I also want to thank the entire staff that’s here tonight. We made a great team. We’ve accomplished quite a bit in the last four to five years, and that’s something I’m proud of.”

A retirement reception honoring Emmons was held yesterday at City Hall.

The council’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 900 Thompson St. It is open to the public.

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Decatur EDC board approves incentive request http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-edc-board-approves-incentive-request/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-edc-board-approves-incentive-request/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:42:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84931 It’s still up to the city council, but the Decatur Economic Development Corp. board Thursday recommended approval of an incentive grant for Freedom Power Sports.

The grant, which is on the council’s agenda for Monday, is designed to help the company expand its Decatur operation, build a new facility and eventually add more employees – all boosting the local economy.

Further details will be available after Monday’s city council meeting.

Also Thursday, the EDC board heard an update on the finish-out of its new office at 203 Walnut St., just off the northwest corner of the square. If all goes well, the EDC should move from the Decatur Visitors Center at 106 S. Trinity around Jan. 9.

They also heard financial reports and got an update from EDC Director Mary Poche on features of the new web site and other projects the EDC is working on.

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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, December 20, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/uncategorized/meeting-agendas-for-saturday-december-20-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/uncategorized/meeting-agendas-for-saturday-december-20-2014/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:41:34 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84929 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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Road hand hit by pickup http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/road-hand-hit-by-pickup/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/road-hand-hit-by-pickup/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:40:46 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84927 A Precinct 2 employee was injured Tuesday afternoon on County Road 1797, just east of Park Springs, when one of his coworkers backed into him with a pickup.

County Commissioner Kevin Burns said Mike McCasland was operating a maintainer but got off of it to remove large rocks from the roadway. He said the crew was removing dirt from the road that had piled up due to oil field traffic.

At about 3:15 p.m., McCasland bent over to pick up a rock, and Louis “Shorty” Moody, driving a 3/4-ton pickup, backed into him, knocking him to the ground. Burns said the bumper of the pickup hit McCasland in the head and shoulder.

He was transported by Wise County EMS to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur where he was treated and released a few hours later.

Burns said he spoke with McCasland Thursday, but he had not yet been released to return to work.

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Future educators win big http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/future-educators-win-big/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/future-educators-win-big/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:40:31 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84925 They may not all want to go into education, but Karla Bevel’s students at Bridgeport High School are learning how to impact future generations regardless of their career path.

Students Today Teachers Tomorrow

STUDENTS TODAY, TEACHERS TOMORROW – Many members of the TAFE program at Bridgeport High School are also involved with the Ready, Set, Teach! program that allows students to assist in middle, elementary and intermediate classrooms in the district. For those that want to become teachers, it prepares them for life in the classroom. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Bevel teaches education classes as part of the family and consumer science curriculum at the high school. Many of her students are a part of the BHS chapter of the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE), a non-profit aimed at helping students recognize their teaching goals.

Bridgeport is the only school in Wise County to have a TAFE chapter.

Twenty-seven of Bevel’s students qualified for the TAFE state competition, to be held in Lubbock in February, after their showing at Weatherford College last month.

The students placed in various teaching-based competitions such as scrapbooks, bulletin boards, community service projects and professional portfolios.

Class is In Session

CLASS IS IN SESSION – Karla Bevel laughs as she teaches her Texas Association of Future Educators students at Bridgeport High School. Bevel’s TAFE chapter is a group of students who compete state-wide in education tournaments. They will be headed to Lubbock in February for the state tournament. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“A lot of them don’t even want to be teachers – a lot of them want to do something in the health science field,” Bevel said. “But I don’t mind that because, like I always tell them, 99 percent of them will be parents at some point. They will be their child’s first educator, so learning all of this helps with other aspects of life in the long run.”

Many of Bevel’s students participate in Ready, Set, Teach!, a program that allows them to help out in the classroom at other schools in the district.

“They never want to be [at the high school],” Bevel said. “They always want to be at their on-site classrooms, teaching the other kids.”

Many of the students say teaching younger students is what makes the class worthwhile.

“I get to teach my own lessons at the beginning of class and then I help assist the teacher throughout the day,” Gaitlin Neeper said. Neeper helps teach 7th grade English, and enjoys interacting with the middle schoolers. “They’re kind of sassy.”

Others, like senior Lucero Perez, like it when a student doesn’t need their help – because that means she’s done her job.

“My favorite part is seeing them grow – I had a student last year who wasn’t able to do the material, and I would help him all throughout last year, and then towards the end, I was like, ‘Do you need any help?’ and he was like, ‘No, go away, I got it.’ So that’s always fun to see, when they start to get it,” Perez said.

Bevel said the group tries to take a community service model to their learning as well. The TAFE students have participated in multiple community outreach projects this year, including the Wise County Olympathon.

TAFE, she added, like many other extracurricular opportunities the school offers, is indicative of where the education model is going in the next few years thanks to House Bill 5, which updated the requirements for high school graduation and different fields of study.

“Bridgeport’s really the only school that I know of that’s constantly focusing on getting their students to focus on one aspect of their education and then using that aspect to cross over into other fields so they can have skills for life,” Bevel said.

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Casillas closes after almost 100 years http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/casillas-closes-after-almost-100-years/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/casillas-closes-after-almost-100-years/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:39:02 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84921 As of Friday night at 8:30, Casillas Restaurant in Bridgeport is closed – ending nearly a century of service.

Martin Casilla, Jr. and his wife, Mary Helen, have owned and operated the popular Mexican restaurant for the last nine years, taking over and renovating it after Martin’s grandmother died.

Cerrado Casillas

CERRADO CASILLA’S – Mary Helen and Martin Casillas stand in front of Casilla’s Mexican restaurant on its last day of business. The restaurant closed on Friday after 80 years of operation. Messenger photo by Jake Harris

“We just felt like it was time,” Martin said. “We felt like we wanted to retire while we still had the ability to.”

Martin, known as “Marty” to his staff and the customers that frequent the restaurant, is now in his 70s. He remembers when older generations would come to his grandmother’s restaurant, in a small house in what is now the back corner of the restaurant as it stands today.

A lot of customers have passed through the doors at Casillas since it opened, and nearly all of them are sad to see those doors close.

“Oh, they’ve been feeding me all of my life, and now that they’re closing, I don’t know where I’m going to go for Mexican food,” Bridgeport resident Juan Mercer said. “It’s good, home-cooked food and it doesn’t have a fake taste to it.”

Throughout their last day of business, the doors opened and closed with customers telling the husband-and-wife duo how much they would miss eating at Casillas.

None of them are sadder to see the restaurant go than Marty and Mary Helen.

“I’ve been crying off and on for about two weeks, every time we see someone who asks about the restaurant, so I’m a bit emotional about the whole thing,” Mary Helen said. “We’ve met so many great people, and our customers are just the best. But, we figured now would be as good a time as any to retire.”

The couple said they tried to get their children or grandchildren to take over the restaurant, but “they already have jobs, with vacation and benefits and everything,” Marty said. “And I don’t blame them, because you really do have to love working at a restaurant to work here.

“It’s a calling. And we’re not hurting for money, either – we’re still profitable – but we just figured we should retire while we still could. My dad, he worked here until he was 82. We want to take some time off.”

Mary Helen added that they are looking at selling, and there have been some offers. But she doesn’t want the Casillas name to stay if the restaurant gets new owners.

“I wouldn’t want people who were used to our food to come here and not get what they were used to, without our recipes and everything. So we’ll see what happens.”

“It’s sad to see it go, but it’s time,” Marty said.

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Volleyball: Justice Served – 2014 All-Wise Volleyball http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-justice-served-2014-all-wise-volleyball/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-justice-served-2014-all-wise-volleyball/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:37:51 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84918
Stormi Leonard 2

MVP – Stormi Leonard; Decatur, Senior. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

MVP
Stormi Leonard
Decatur, senior
The all-time Lady Eagles leader in assists with 3,955 dished out 1,433 to help Decatur to a second straight state title. The 8-4A MVP, TGCA Athlete of the Year and all-state tournament team member also made 455 digs while running the controls of the Decatur offense.

Cooper Martin Caroline Lowery

OFFENSIVE MVPS – Cooper Martin & Caroline Lowery; Decatur, Seniors. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Cooper Martin
Decatur, senior
The 8-4A Most Valuable Blocker and TGCA all-state selection was a force in the playoffs on the right side for the Lady Eagles. Martin finished the year with 448 kills and hit .315.

Caroline Lowery
Decatur, senior
The 8-4A Co-MVP and TGCA all-state pick led the Lady Eagle with 499 kills and hit .316. She also served up 93 aces.

Makayla Mayfield

DEFENSIVE MVP – Makayla Mayfield; Decatur, Senior. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Makayla Mayfield
Decatur, senior
The 2013 Class 3A MVP put in another strong season, earning 8-4A Defensive MVP with her 543 digs to go along with her 496 kills. Mayfield was her best in the 4A title game, putting down 21 kills and making 16 digs, earning finals MVP.

Tessa Harfield

BLOCKER OF THE YEAR – Tessa Harfield; Northwest, Senior. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

OUTSTANDING BLOCKER
Tessa Harfield
Northwest, senior
The Lady Texans middle blocker recorded 30 blocks in 5-6A play to earn second-team all-district honors. She also recorded 130 kills.

Jett Preather

HITTER OF THE YEAR – Jett Preather; Paradise, Senior. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

OUTSTANDING HITTER
Jett Preather
Paradise, senior
The 9-3A Most Valuable Hitter paced the Lady Panthers to the playoffs with her 489 kills. She also served 29 aces and made 276 digs on the way to a TGCA 3A all-state selection.

Britney Howard

LIBERO OF THE YEAR – Britney Howard; Boyd, Senior. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

LIBERO OF THE YEAR
Britney Howard
Boyd, senior
The 9-3A Defensive MVP made 501 digs for the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets. She also served 44 aces.

FIRST TEAM

Big Hitter

BIG HITTER – Northwest’s Camryn Berryhill led the Lady Texans in kills this season, earning first-team 5-6A. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

CAMRYN BERRYHILL
Northwest, sophomore
The 5-6A first-team selection led the Lady Texans with 181 kills during 5-6A play. She also made 200 digs.

SHELBY BRADSHAW
Paradise, senior
The 9-3A first-team pick put down 267 kills and made 218 digs. She was a weapon at the service line with her 39 aces and 94 percent serving percentage.

Leading the Way

LEADING THE WAY – Boyd senior setter Baylie Harris (10) provided leadership and 450 assists for the Lady Yellowjackets, earning a spot on the All-Wise team. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

BAYLIE HARRIS
Boyd, senior
The Lady Yellowjackets setter handed out 450 assists earning a second-team 9-3A selection.

Rallying the Team

RALLYING THE TEAM – Decatur’s Maclaine Lowery provided solid defensive play as the Lady Eagles’ libero. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

MACLAINE LOWERY
Decatur, sophomore
The Lady Eagles libero made 482 digs and served 48 aces for the 4A state champions, earning a first-team 8-4A spot

COURTNEY ROBERTS
Decatur, sophomore
Moving to middle blocker in mid-season, Roberts provided offense and defense with 140 kills and 51 blocks. She also served 54 aces, earning 8-4A Most Valuable Server.

REAGAN TAYLOR
Paradise, senior
The 9-3A Blocker of the Year made 119 solo blocks and put down 217 kills.

ALLI YORK
Chico, junior
The 9-2A Co-Defensive MVP led the Lady Dragons with 98 kills. She also helped pace Chico to the playoffs with her 74 digs and 39 aces.

SECOND TEAM

MORGAN BAKER
Northwest, junior
The Lady Texans setter handed out 285 assists in 5-6A play along with making 140 digs, receiving honorable mention for all district.

MADDIE BUSCH
Boyd, senior
The Lady Yellowjackets’ middle blocker put down 361 kills and recorded 128 blocks to earn first-team 9-3A.

MADI HORNE
Paradise, junior
The Lady Panthers’ libero made 594 digs in her first season at the spot. She earned second-team 9-3A.

EMILY OXFORD
Decatur, junior
The Lady Eagles’ middle blocker led the state champions with 104 blocks, earning first-team 8-4A.

BRITTON PETTY
Chico, sophomore
The Lady Dragons setter doled out 108 assists and served 38 aces to garner a 9-2A first-team selection.

TATUM TALLEY
Northwest, junior
The Lady Texans’ defensive standout made 219 digs, receiving honorable mention for the 5-6A squad.

JESSICA WHITE
Bridgeport, senior
The Sissies’ middle blocker was slowed by a knee injury early in the year but bounced back to put down 56 kills and make 27 blocks and earn second-team 8-4A.

HONORABLE MENTION

Boyd: Morgan Abbott, Kayleigh Pappajohn

Bridgeport: Mariah Leyva, Sadie White, Kendall Scott, Kensley Turner

Chico: Kiley Marburger, Hope Webb, Destinee Hardee

Decatur: Ariana Buchanan, Taylor Uselton, Kelsie Worley

Paradise: Emily Corbin

Northwest: Christine Ruybalid

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Basketball: Lady ‘Hounds mince Panthers, 69-17 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-lady-hounds-mince-panthers-69-17/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-lady-hounds-mince-panthers-69-17/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:31:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84907 The Lady Greyhounds barely broke a sweat Tuesday night in a dominating 69-17 win over rival Saint Jo in the District 21-A opener.

The Panthers couldn’t put up much of a fight as Slidell (13-3, 1-0) kept attacking the paint in an opening 27-5 run.

On the Drive

ON THE DRIVE – Slidell’s Makayla Fitzgerald takes the ball inside during the Lady Greyhounds’ win over Saint Jo Tuesday in the district opener. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Slidell’s Kayler Talamantes shined with a career-high 26 points. She hit 50 percent of her 3-pointers along with the relentless inside attack.

“Kayler seemed to be there at the end of a lot of nice passes to finish around the basket,” said Slidell coach Cody Vanover. “We had a season-best 18 assists. We moved the ball really well and played very unselfishly.”

Slidell didn’t ease off the gas in the second, more than doubling Saint Jo’s efforts to end the half up 41-12.

Both teams avoided foul trouble, combining for 15 free throws. Saint Jo sank 55 percent of their free throws, while Slidell hit 83 percent.

Slidell continued to force turnovers and score big in the second half, outscoring Saint Jo 28-5 in the waning minutes.

Caitlin Pruett and Jessy Goode scored 14 points each. Pruett also had 10 rebounds, seven steals and six assists. Goode had five steals to go along with her career-best scoring effort.

“We did a nice job defensively jumping passing lanes which led to a lot of run out baskets,” Vanover said.

Makayla Fitzgerald finished with seven rebounds – a career-high.

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Basketball: Bowie ends Boyd’s streak http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-bowie-ends-boyds-streak/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-bowie-ends-boyds-streak/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:30:40 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84904 The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets’ 11-game winning streak to open the season hit a dead end Tuesday night in the District 9-3A opener.

IN A TRAP – Bowie defenders surround Boyd’s Kenzie Elkins during the Lady Yellowjackets’ 82-20 loss Tuesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Boyd turned the ball over 34 times as the Bowie Jackrabbits rolled to an 82-20 victory.

“They got after us. They are a good ballclub,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “We’ve not seen that type of pressure. We’ll have to regroup and get ready for Holliday.”

Bowie’s pressure in the backcourt led to turnovers and easy baskets in transition. Courtney Brady and Addy Cook took advantage of the chances. Brady finished with a game-high 24 points. Cook added 15, scoring nine in the first quarter.

Bowie led by 11 after the opening frame and broke the game open in the second quarter with a 22-2 run. Bowie held Boyd scoreless for the first six and half minutes of the quarter before Lindsay Thorpe’s basket.

Thorpe led Boyd with 11 points.

Owning a 42-11 halftime lead, Bowie continued to pull away in the second half. Brady put in nine in the third as the Lady Jackrabbits went up 61-16. In the fourth, Jordan Brightwell went to work inside for six of her 10 points.

Boyd was without Abbey Harrell for nearly the entire game. Harrell hit a baseline jumper in the first two minutes of the game. She attempted a 3-pointer, then left the lineup with a quad injury.

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Basketball: Lady Panthers rally for victory http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-lady-panthers-rally-for-victory/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-lady-panthers-rally-for-victory/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:29:35 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84901 Behind 24 points from Kaylee McConnell, the Paradise Lady Panthers stormed back from a second-half deficit to pound Jacksboro 67-40 in the District 9-3A opener Tuesday.

Trailing 33-28 with five minutes left in the third quarter, Paradise went on a 19-1 run to end the frame and take a 47-34 lead. The Lady Panthers outscored Jacksboro 20-6 in the fourth quarter to extend their closing run to 39-7.

Courtney Kerr joined McConnell in double figures with 13. Aliyah Read finished with 10 points. Jett Preather had nine and Taylor Richards six.

Paradise took on City View Friday in its final game before the Christmas Break.

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Basketball: Lady Texans fall to 0-2 in 5-6A http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-lady-texans-fall-to-0-2-in-5-6a/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-lady-texans-fall-to-0-2-in-5-6a/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:29:01 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84899 The Northwest Lady Texans couldn’t overcome a slow start Tuesday, falling to Denton Guyer 48-33.

Alexus Brigham scored 18 points and grabbed four rebounds. Maddie Dodgen added eight points.

The Lady Texans fell to 0-2 in District 5-6A, shooting 12-for-41 from the field and hitting four of their 12 free throws.

Northwest fell behind 13-3 in the first quarter and trailed 23-11 at halftime.

ALVORD 71, POOLVILLE 64

Behind big nights from Cierra Rangel and Katie Claborn, the Alvord Lady Bulldogs downed Poolville to begin District 11-2A play.

Rangel tossed in 26 points and Claborn 20.

Alvord (7-8, 1-0) looked to pick up a second league victory Friday at home against Valley View.

ERA 46, CHICO 21

The Chico Lady Dragons struggled offensively Tuesday in a loss in the District 11-2A opener against Era.

Era built a 27-11 halftime lead and kept pulling away in the second half.

Kylie Marburger and Cheyanne Hale led Chico with six points each.

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Basketball: ‘Hounds run past Dogs http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-hounds-run-past-dogs/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-hounds-run-past-dogs/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 20:28:17 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84897 Tyler Maynard poured in a career-high 43 points to lead the Slidell Greyhounds back from a 10-point deficit and steal a 68-60 win over the Alvord Bulldogs Tuesday.

Alvord led 37-27 midway through the third quarter. Slidell went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 37.

The Bulldogs held a 47-45 lead going into the final frame. Slidell pushed ahead with a 23-13 run in the fourth.

“The kids showed a lot of toughness in this game,” said Slidell coach Todd McCormick.

Slidell improved to 13-4. Alvord fell to 1-2.

Colton Crane added seven points for Slidell. Mason Maynard pulled down nine boards with his three points.

Troy Morales scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds for Alvord. Damon Ledet had 10 points and four boards. Kory Maag posted eight points and eight rebounds. Joe Randall scored eight points with four boards and six steals.

Alvord used a 22-11 spurt in the second quarter to take a 34-27 halftime advantage.

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