WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:53:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Larry B. McBride http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/deaths/obits/larry-b-mcbride/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/deaths/obits/larry-b-mcbride/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:53:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88053

Larry B. McBride

Larry B. McBride, 70, a retired truck driver, died Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 in Decatur.

Memorial is 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport.

Larry was born on June 2, 1944, to Parker and Rosa Lee (Nunn) McBride in Plainview. He proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, Gary McBride, Dale McBride, and Gale McBride.

He is survived by his partner, Vertreesa Rutherford of Paradise; his sons, Weston McBride and wife Kassanera of San Antonio, and Dustin McBride; his granddaughters, Rachael and Jennalyn; his brothers, Bart McBride and wife Karen of Tulia and Lamar McBride of Vigo Park; other family members and a host of friends.

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George Ray Steele http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/deaths/obits/george-ray-steele/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/deaths/obits/george-ray-steele/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:52:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88050

George Ray Steele

George Ray Steele, 65, died Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Decatur.

Memorial services to be held at a later date.

George was born on April 19, 1949, to Ray Augustus and Georgia May (Fisher) Steele in Mexia. He was united in marriage to Faith DeAnn Fawkes on Nov. 18, 2006 in Las Animas, Colorado. George proudly served his country in the U.S. Army.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife Faith DeAnn Steele of Decatur; his sons, Javier Wayne Steele of Decatur, Daniel Augustus Steele of Decatur, Phillipe Martin Steele of Corsicana, and Trevor Steele of Corsicana; his daughter, Emily Contrerez Steele of Progresso; his sisters, Debra Hays of Mexia, and Sue of Mexia; his parents-in-law, Gary and Pearl Fawkes of Pueblo, Colorado; his aunt and uncle, Marvin and Betty Wilson of Fort Worth; and a host of friends.

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Soil and water sampling: why should we do it? http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/ag-news/soil-and-water-sampling-why-should-we-do-it-2/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/ag-news/soil-and-water-sampling-why-should-we-do-it-2/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:51:25 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88047 SOIL SAMPLING

We are entering into the middle of winter season. The leaves have fallen, and lawns are going dormant. What does this mean?

Well, for most of us, it means no more mowing or fertilizing until spring. With that being said, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of a very important part of turf management – taking a soil sample.

Unfortunately, most people in Wise County have never taken a soil sample. It’s a very easy task, and the information obtained from the analysis is vital in creating an environmentally safe nutrient management program for your turfgrass.

Without an analysis of your soil, you could be applying nitrates, phosphates and other constituents that are not required. Furthermore, you could be damaging both the turf and the environment if you use inorganic or organic fertilizers inappropriately.

So come by the local county extension office this month, and make the right choice for your turf and your environment: take a soil sample.

It’s inexpensive and will pay dividends down the road.


Many times, you hear folks talking about taking soil samples in order to apply the correct type and rate of fertilizer for their turfgrass.

But should we analyze our irrigation water as well? Yes!

Poor quality water from irrigation wells exists throughout Texas. Some have a high sodium content, which can create problems with turf and ornamentals. Water with high pH values may limit nutrient availability in soils and promote certain turf diseases.

Other waters may have toxic levels of some chemical constituents. As a result, turfgrass quality can be compromised, and additional irrigation from this type of water will only compound the problem.

A water analysis provides critical information pertaining to the types and amounts of elements found in your irrigation water. It also provides the necessary information required to determine how well suited your water is for outdoor irrigation.

So, to put your mind at ease about your water source, take a sample.

For information on soil sampling and water sampling, go to the Aggie-Turf website, aggie-turf.tamu.edu and click on “Diagnostics.”

You may also call the Wise County Extension office for information at 940-627-3341.

Todd Vineyard is a Wise County Extension agent.

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Don’t bring wild onions to the dinner table http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/gardeners-mailbag/dont-bring-wild-onions-to-the-dinner-table/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/gardeners-mailbag/dont-bring-wild-onions-to-the-dinner-table/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:50:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88045 Dear Neil: I have what look and smell like wild onions in my backyard. Their leaves are very thin, and they have small, white bulbs. Are they edible?

No. Be very careful! There are members of the onion family that grow wild in Texas and that cause illness and occasional death when people harvest and eat them. Stick with onion-family members that you have either bought in the grocery or intentionally raised in your garden. The risks are far too high otherwise.

Dear Neil: What is the best time to prune plum trees, figs and roses?

Plums should be pruned in late January or early February, before buds start to swell for spring growth. Your goal is to keep the trees low (to 9 or 10 feet tall) and spreading (15 to 16 feet wide).

Figs should not be pruned regularly – only to remove dead or damaged branches. Pruning stimulates strong regrowth, usually at the expense of fruit production. Roses are pruned in mid-February, again before growth begins. Bush roses should be trimmed back by 50 percent, with each cut just above a bud facing out from the center of the plant.

Dear Neil: My tall, beautiful Leyland cypress is slowly turning brown in spite of being watered regularly. What is an easy care evergreen for Texas? This is for property we have in Central Texas, and pines have not done well there either.

Your Leyland cypress has probably succumbed to Seiridium canker. It’s a fatal disease for which we have no control, and tens of thousands of Leylands have died from it in the past decade in Texas alone.

Eastern redcedar juniper (Juniperus virginiana) is a great substitute. It’s native to big areas of Texas, and it has essentially the same mature size, growth form and look as the Leyland cypress tree.

Dear Neil: I have a snow-on-the-mountain camellia that is always covered with buds, but the buds never open. They turn brown and stay on the plant. Otherwise, the plant looks healthy. I’m about to redo my garden. Should I move it to another location in the process, or should I consider it a poor plant choice? I have better luck with other varieties, but they get more shade. Would that help?

You could certainly try the move. The farther north and west you go in Texas, the more challenging camellias become.

It’s partly because of alkaline soils and irrigation water in many cases, and it’s partly because of winter cold. In East Texas, they’re much better suited. Varieties that habitually flower later into the winter are often caught in full bud when cold temperatures hit. The buds, being rather vulnerable to freezes, often just turn brown and hang on.

Earlier flowering types bloom and get it over with before the extremely cold weather. Compare blooming dates of this variety with the others you’re growing. Perhaps that will help give you an answer of whether to save it.

Dear Neil: What is the best fertilizer to apply to a common bermuda lawn, and when should I put it out. Also, what is the timing for pre-emergent weedkiller applications?

Soil tests from Texas A&M repeatedly tell us that clay soils need fertilizers containing primarily nitrogen, so an all-nitrogen plant food such as 24-0-0 (or any similar analysis) would be best. Avoid ammonium sulfate (21-0-0), however. It consists entirely of fast-release nitrogen.

Half or more of the nitrogen in the product you buy should be quality, slow-release nitrogen. In sandy soils, a 4-1-2 ratio such as 16-4-8, 20-5-10 or 24-6-12 would be ideal.

Fertilize one to two weeks after the average date of your last killing freeze. Repeat every two months until early October. Pre-emergents for crabgrass and grassburs need to be applied March 1-15 and repeated June 1-15. Use Halts or Dimension.

Dear Neil: I usually plant Celebrity tomatoes. Can you recommend a second good variety?

Stick with small to mid-sized types. Celebrity has been outstanding for more than 25 years. (It wasn’t mentioned in the book you referenced, because that book goes back more than 30 years.)

Tycoon is a newer type that everyone loves. It would be my second choice. Cherry, pear and Porter tomatoes are excellent producers, as are the super-sweet hybrids. Roma, Super Fantastic and Early Girl are other options, and several other new types are being introduced each year.

Dear Neil: I enjoy morning glories, but in recent years, the plants I’ve grown from seed have had weak mixes of colors. What is the old-fashioned blue type that bloomed so heavily?

That is a variety called Heavenly Blue. Remember that morning glories don’t really bloom very well until fall. They also must be kept “hungry.” Don’t apply nitrogen around their root systems to encourage stem growth because that’s all that you’ll get – vigorous stem and leaf growth.

Have a question you’d like Neil to consider? Mail it to him in care of the Wise County Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Decatur, TX 76234 or email him at mailbag@sperrygardens.com. Neil regrets that he cannot reply to questions individually.

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When the agenda must be adjusted http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/life-matters/when-the-agenda-must-be-adjusted/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/life-matters/when-the-agenda-must-be-adjusted/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:50:01 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88043 We have some new friends from Michigan. We met them in Jamaica in January. They are a delightful young couple that we would be happy to adopt as another set of “our kids.” (A tribe that keeps growing). These happen to be the furthest away, so we are connecting on Facebook.

A couple of my recent Facebook posts have generated responses that highlight the Texas/Michigan difference. The first was a photo of the current temperature of 71 with the caption, “February 10th in north-central Texas!” Comment from Michigan: “I’m going to pretend I didn’t see this!”

The second was a photo of snow in our front yard with the caption, “Glad I didn’t have to leave the house today.” Comment from Michigan: “Is that it?!”

Perspective. Maybe we should go visit “our kids” in Michigan this summer when it is 112 here.

In 1984, Sweetie became my Mrs., and we moved to Fort Worth from the Panhandle where a foot of snow usually meant that the only school closings were college night classes. It was an interesting new perspective here the first time school was canceled because of weather.

I looked out the window and could still see blades of grass sticking up out of the snow. I thought: “they are canceling for this?!” Then I learned about icy roads and Metroplex traffic.

When our latest snowstorm arrived, we joked that we shouldn’t even bother to turn on the local TV stations. All that we would see for the next several days would be reporters showing snowy roads, driving a few miles and doing another live feed from another snowy road.

Some places in Wise County got as much as 7 inches. I’m pretty sure the news reporters in Michigan would say, “Is that it?!”

“It” resulted in massive agenda adjustments for several days. The worst part is not the cancelations, but rescheduling. The rescheduling of last week’s agenda affects this week’s agenda. It can just snowball on you (pun intended).

So, how do you deal with it?

A cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Snow ice cream. A sled made from a plastic tub. A thick blanket.

In other words, don’t stress over what you can’t control. Make the most of the interruption. Our part of the world is several years into drought conditions. This interruption has brought much needed moisture.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

Our lives matter so much to God that He does not adjust Himself to the whims of our limited-vision agendas.

How will you quiet yourself and find Him in your interruptions?

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.

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‘Focus’ not picture perfect, but it’s fun http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/movie-man/focus-not-picture-perfect-but-its-fun/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/movie-man/focus-not-picture-perfect-but-its-fun/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:49:23 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88041 How can anybody not like Will Smith?

As with Denzel Washington or Tom Hanks, he’s beloved.

Even when he goes through a downturn.

About the film

Smith has made great decisions from the beginning.

From music – with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Smith won the first-ever Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1989 for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” – to TV, where “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is in constant syndication, he proved to have a golden touch right off the bat.

His initial foray into motion pictures was just as blessed. Smith’s early-career films were successes: “Bad Boys” (1995); “Independence Day” (1996, MM No. 135, 7); “Men in Black” (1997, MM No. 188, 7); and “Enemy of the State” (1998, MM No. 261, 7).

Even his misfires were popular, including “Wild Wild West” (1999, MM No. 294, 5).

Since then, Smith has missed on occasion but still mostly hit with popular films like “I, Robot” (2004, MM No. 569, 6), “Hitch” (2005, MM No. 599, 6), and “I Am Legend” (2007, MM No. 750, 6).

But lately, Smith stumbled badly with “After Earth.” Starring with his son, Jaden, the heavily-pitched 2013 sci-fi movie substantially underperformed, making just $60.5 million in the U.S. on a $130 million budget. A flat-out dud from Smith was new.

“Focus” won the week but underperformed based on box office pundits’ projections; it made around $20 million. Still, it’s pretty good. The Movie Man is not a Smith hater, and it’s a return to form of a good actor.

The plot (spoilers)

Nicky (Smith) is a suave con man, one who runs a mammothly successful underground theft ring. When Jess (Robbie) tries to scam him one night, he sees right through it and educates her in the ways of how a true grifter works.

Robbie is permitted to accompany Smith’s con men as they rob unsuspecting visitors at the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Impressed with her skills, Robbie is welcomed into Smith’s clan – and his bed.

After the duo pulls off a huge scam, Smith unceremoniously boots Robbie to the curb. Three years later, Smith is working for a racer, Garriga (Adrian Martinez), who hopes to cheat rival car drivers in a scheme that will give him an advantage on the track. On Martinez’s arm, however, is Robbie.

The plan appears to have gone well – even while Smith tries to convince Robbie that he still loves her – until their discovery at the last minute.

Then comes lies upon lies and a stunning gunshot, followed by a happy, if highly-unlikely, resolution.


Smith is terrific. He’s likable, even as a con man. It’s hard to tell when he’s being truthful or not.

And it was great to see Gerald McRaney (a TV stalwart from “Simon and Simon” and “Major Dad”) in an important role.

There are some super-focused, high shots of cities at night that are stunning. (There are also a lot of fake images/mirror reflections/out-of-focus shots throughout the movie that harken back to the title.)

“Focus” contains several excellent scenes.

One is the opener, where Smith schools Robbie after her failed attempt at scamming/seducing him; Smith steadily steals jewelry off her body through a series of distractions.

The second is a quick series of shots where Robbie shows her light-touch skills by walking down Bourbon Street, pilfering something from a series of unsuspecting folks.

Thirdly, there’s a tense gambling scene in a luxury box where Smith keeps jacking up a bet with high-roller Liyuan (BD Wong), culminating with a tense payoff combined afterward with a detailed explanation of the con.

And fourthly …


One of Martinez’s goons is driving through the city at night with the classic hippie/psychedelic song “White Bird” by It’s a Beautiful Day playing in the background. (“Focus” has a great soundtrack.)

He stops to buy some curious items, duct tape among them, from a corner store. He snacks on a sandwich, calmly inserts a mouth guard, puts on a C-collar and then a bicycle helmet.

That’s followed by a sudden acceleration of his vehicle, which crashes right into the car being driven by Smith and Robbie.


Robbie is not strong enough here. “Focus” would’ve benefited from a better actress. There is little chemistry between her and Smith.

The twists and turns are fun, but by the time the conclusion arrives, every possible string has been pulled. Even audiences with little cinematic double-cross experience will see what’s coming.

The final scam doesn’t have to be so complicated; it’s an effort to force viewers to “focus” more, but it’s unnecessarily dense. Plus, in the end, “Focus” tries to become near-comedic, something the movie only occasionally strove for earlier but never managed to achieve.


This R is pretty standard – lots of cussing, a quick booty flash and some minor sensuality. It’s not a hard R by any stretch.


The first half of “Focus” is great fun, as scams are pulled then explained. While it peters out in the second half, the movie remains entertaining.



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Reducing sodium in canned beans: easier than 1-2-3 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/wisenotes/reducing-sodium-in-canned-beans-easier-than-1-2-3/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/blogs/wisenotes/reducing-sodium-in-canned-beans-easier-than-1-2-3/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:48:16 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88039 Have you been leery about purchasing canned food due to the sodium content?

I had some concerns myself until I found the following information from the Department of Food Sciences and Technology at the University of Tennessee.

When the topic of canned food arises, people are sometimes surprised that, nutritionally speaking, many canned foods are comparable to their cooked fresh and frozen counterparts. Studies have even shown that some canned foods yield higher amounts of essential nutrients.

In addition, canned foods are available year-round, so people can easily and conveniently use them anytime in their favorite dishes.

These days, many companies are reducing the sodium in their foods. While it may have reduced sodium, the food item may not be “low in sodium.” In any case, it is important to understand where the sodium in a food product comes from by reading the ingredient lists and identifying sodium-containing ingredients (i.e. baking soda [sodium bicarbonate], soy sauce, monosodium glutamate [MSG], brine).

Research shows that draining and rinsing are effective ways to reduce the sodium content of canned beans. Overall, draining alone reduced sodium by 36 percent, while draining and rinsing the beans reduced sodium by 41 percent. Rinsing beans after they are drained ensures that all residual sodium adhering to the bean’s surface is removed and results in the highest reduction. All brands and all classes of beans tested demonstrated significant reductions in sodium by either draining or draining and rinsing.

Canned beans are full of fiber and rich in nutrients, and by draining and rinsing, the sodium content of canned beans can be reduced. The recipe below is a good example of how we can simply enjoy the many nutritional benefits of canned beans.


  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (11-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 large jalape o pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime/lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently. Cover and chill. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Yield: 7 cups

Nutrients per servings: 113 calories, 4g protein, 4g fat, 5g fiber, 16g carbohydrates, 315mg sodium

Tanya Davis is a Wise County Extension agent.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/wednesday-march-4-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/wednesday-march-4-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:22:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88028

WINTER WEATHER EXPECTED TO RETURN – Rain was falling and the temperature was 45 degrees in Wise County at 7:45 a.m. as Update was going to press, but colder air will move in to the area today with the rain expected to turn into freezing rain and sleet by this afternoon. The temperature is expected to drop to around 28 by 5 p.m. Total daytime sleet accumulation of less than a half inch is possible, according to the National Weather Service. The sleet may transition into snow tonight and in the overnight hours with a low around 23. New snow and sleet accumulation of 2-4 inches are possible. Wise County is under a winter storm warning through noon Thursday. As of 7:30 a.m., local rainfall totals included 0.07 of an inch in Decatur and 0.05 in Bridgeport. If the weather causes any closures, cancellations or delays, we will post those as we are notified at WCMess.com/closings.

Weatherford-College-Update-Cut-In-Big-BoxBULLS ADVANCE TO REGIONAL TOURNEY – The Bridgeport Bulls earned a 74-62 regional quarterfinal win over Kennedale last night in Fort Worth. Caleb Smith led the Bulls in scoring with 29, including 14 in the fourth quarter. Devonte Patterson had 18, Keenan Holdman 16 and Jacob Del Angel 11. The Bulls will face Levelland in the 4A Region I Semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at the Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Abilene Wylie and Lubbock Estacado will be the other two teams in the tournament and will play after the Bridgeport/Levelland game.

JUDGE ADDRESSES ISSUES FACING COUNTY – County Judge J.D. Clark identified water and transportation as two of the biggest issues facing Wise County during a question-and-answer session at Tuesday’s Decatur Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Decatur Civic Center. “We pray of course for rain and that the lake will fill up, but we also need to be praying for some really innovative ideas and some new ways of doing business when it comes to water,” Clark said. On the possibility of a covered rodeo arena at the Wise County Fairgrounds, Clark said, “I’d love to see a covered arena, but it all comes down to dollars and where does it fall in your priorities. I do think something like that is a perfect opportunity for some private/public partnerships.” Read more from Tuesday’s Q&A in the midweek Wise County Messenger on newsstands today.

YOUTH FAIR – Today’s Wise County Youth Fair events at the Wise County Fairgrounds include the Market Lamb Show at 8 a.m. and the Dog Show at 10 a.m. Livestock will also move into the barns from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

LEGAL AID CLINIC – Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas is moving its monthly clinic in Decatur from the Decatur Public Library to the First United Methodist Church of Decatur beginning Thursday. Clinic hours run 5-7 p.m. Applicants seeking information should call 940-383-1406.

KIDNEY WALK FUNDRAISER – Chili’s Decatur will be hosting a Give Back Event Thursday benefiting Team Kynslee, who will be walking in the Fort Worth Kidney Walk. Go eat, or order take out, and tell your server that you are there to support Team Kynslee, and a percentage of your total will be donated to their team. You can also make a donation directly to their team at donate.kidney.org/goto/teamkynslee. All donations go directly to the National Kidney Foundation.

LEARN TO CROCHET AND KNIT – Decatur Public Library is offering free Learn to Crochet and Learn to Knit classes Thursday evenings in March and April, 6:15-7:45 p.m. Beginning March 5, bring your own crochet hook and a skein of yarn, and learn to crochet simple stitches and patterns. Knitting classes will be Thursdays in April; bring your own pair of knitting needles and yarn. Classes are free and open to all ages. No registration necessary. Call 940-393-0290, visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com or stop by the library, 1700 FM 51 South.

FUNERALS – No service is scheduled for Shirley Briggs, 80, of Decatur. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Larry McBride, 70, of Paradise is 2 p.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Dorothy L. Durham, 92, of Bridgeport is 5 p.m. today at Hawkins Chapel with private burial at DFW National Cemetery.

SERVICE for Rubin “RV” “Sonny” Martin, 84, of Bridgeport is pending at Hawkins-Bridgeport. SERVICE for Asie Lee Rhodes, 91, is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Bobby Clifton Greer Sr., 79, of Decatur is 10 a.m. Friday at Coker-Hawkins Chapel. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Charles Gordon King, 75, of Alvord is 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Hopewell Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Coker-Hawkins.

MEMORIAL MASS for Ann Jolley, 74, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Saturday at Assumption of the Blessed Mary Catholic Church in Decatur. Family visitation is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday at the church. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

NO SERVICE is scheduled for Patsy Marie Hornberger, 72, of Decatur. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

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School/business/event closings, delays and cancellations for Wednesday http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/schoolbusinessevent-closings-delays-and-cancellations/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/schoolbusinessevent-closings-delays-and-cancellations/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87614 Due to the possible accumulation of snow or ice on area roadways Wednesday, March 4, and Thursday, March 5, due to a winter storm, the following schools, businesses and events will be closed, delayed or canceled. (Note: We’ll be keeping this page updated as the night/morning progresses, so check back often.)


  • to be announced


  • to be announced


  • to be announced


  • to be announced


  • First United Methodist Church of Decatur – ALL Wednesday night and Thursday morning activities canceled


  • Wise County Youth Fair – ALL Thursday arrivals and show times have been delayed 2 hours.
    Arrival of ALL Rabbits 9-10 a.m.
    Market Swine Show 9:30 a.m.
    Arrival of 4-H & FCCLA entries 9:30-12
    Meat Pen of Rabbits judged 10 a.m.
    FCCLA entries judged 12:30 p.m.
    4-H entries judged 1 p.m.
    Market Goat Show 4 p.m.
    Viewing of 4-H & FCCLA 7 p.m.Ag Mech begin moving in
    (Must be in place by 8 a.m. Friday)


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/tuesday-march-3-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/tuesday-march-3-2015/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 14:16:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88023

YOUTH FAIR DAY 2 – Today is a busy day at the Wise County Youth Fair. The Horse Show enters day two at 8:30 a.m. at NRS Arena. At the Wise County Fairgrounds, the Broiler Show is at 8 a.m., Breeding Dairy Goat Show at 10 a.m., Longhorn Show at 2 p.m., Breeding Swine Show at 4 p.m. and 4-H Parade of Fashion at 6:30 p.m.

YOUTH FAIR QUEENS CROWNED – The 2015 Youth Fair Queens were crowned Monday night at the Women’s Building at the Wise County Fairgrounds in Decatur. Winners are 4-H Queen Lyndi Luttrull of Decatur; FCCLA Queen Shelby Boyers of Paradise; and FFA Queen Remington Swensson of Bridgeport. Runners-up are Kate Hill of Boyd 4-H, Skylar Anderson of Boyd FCCLA and Taylor Ragsdale, Boyd FFA.

BULLS WIN – The Bridgeport Bulls captured the 4A Region I area title Monday, beating Iowa Park 70-40 behind 20 points from Devonte Patterson and 14 each from Ethan Chapman and Caleb Smith. Bridgeport will play Kennedale at 7 tonight at Chisholm Trail High School in Forth Worth.

EAGLES, HOUNDS FALL – The Wichita Falls Hirschi Huskies rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth to beat the Decatur Eagles 51-48 in the 4A Region I area game. Parker Hicks led Decatur with 15. Cade Lamirand and Aaron Shetter had 12 each. Tyler Maynard tossed in 35 points but Avinger took down the Slidell Greyhounds 79-67 in the Class A Region II area game.

FEBRUARY WEATHER – Helped by nearly two inches of rainfall during the final week of the month, February was the second straight month of above-average rainfall. Although much of last week’s precipitation was of the frozen variety, it did help February finish with 3.04 inches, compared to the normal 2.47 inches. For the year, Wise County has received 6.16 inches of rainfall, nearly two inches above the average for the first two months of the year. Temperatures in the month ranged from a high of 78 on Feb. 14 to a low of 19 on Feb. 2 and Feb. 27.

PROJECT GRADUATION DANCE – Paradise Project Graduation will sponsor a dance featuring the Zach Seth Band 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday at the Wise County Fairgrounds Women’s Building. General admission is $8 or $5 for Wise County Youth Fair participants. Under 14 must be accompanied by a parent. Students from all area schools are invited.

HUNTING HERITAGE BANQUET – The National Wild Turkey Federation Hunting Heritage Banquet is Friday at the Decatur Civic Center. The event, rescheduled from last week due to weather, will feature a live auction, silent auction, raffles and games. Doors open at 6 p.m. For tickets call Jennifer Barrow, Cross Timbers NWTF president, at 940-393-8908.

SQUARE DANCE LESSONS – The Decatur 8ers Square Dance Club will provide beginning square dance lessons 9 a.m.-1 p.m. over five Saturdays beginning this Saturday at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 701 W. Hale in Decatur. The free lessons are for anyone ages 12 and up. Caller Robert Walker will be teaching. Call Fonda or Marshal at 940-627-2343.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for Larry McBride, 70, of Paradise is 2 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport. FUNERAL for Dorothy L. Durham, 92, of Bridgeport is 5 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Chapel with private burial at DFW National Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Doyle W. Dickerson, 76, of Alvord is 2 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Alvord Cemetery. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Bobby Clifton Greer Sr., 79, of Decatur is 10 a.m. Friday at Coker-Hawkins Chapel in Decatur. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

SERVICES for Charles King, 75, of Alvord and Patsy M. Hornsberger, 72, of Decatur are pending at Coker-Hawkins.

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Monday, March 2, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-march-2-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-march-2-2015/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:18:15 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88016

WEATHER FORCES RESCHEDULING OF WEEKEND EVENTS – Icy conditions remained across Wise County into Sunday, causing more cancellations and postponements over the weekend. The Decatur and Wichita Falls Hirschi 4A Region I area basketball game slated for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Bowie High School was postponed until 7:30 tonight at the same site. Decatur Athletic Director Mike Fuller said officials from Paris were unable to make the trip to Bowie. Bridgeport and Iowa Park moved their game to 6:30 tonight in Graham. They were scheduled to play after Decatur in Bowie Saturday. The Slidell and Avinger game scheduled for Saturday in Honey Grove was also postponed until 7 tonight. Local weather watchers reported Friday snowfall totals of 4 inches in Decatur, 3.5 in Alvord and 2.5 in Rhome. The National Weather Service reported some parts of Wise County saw as much as 7 inches of snow. Temperatures finally climbed above freezing in Decatur Sunday morning.

YOUTH FAIR BEGINS – The 63rd Annual Wise County Youth Fair begins at 8:30 today with the Horse Show at NRS Arena. The Youth Fair Queens contest was postponed from Saturday to 7 tonight at the Women’s Building at the Wise County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $5 for adults/students and free for kids under school age.

ROAD CLOSURE - Cemetery Road in Decatur will be closed at the BNSF railroad crossing near Poco Monday and Tuesday. BNSF is replacing the rails. The work was rescheduled from last week due to inclement weather.

PBR RESERVED SEATS  SOLD OUT — WC Challenger Charities announced Monday morning that reserved seats to the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge presented by First State Bank on May 30 are sold out. The group is in contact with a vendor to bring temporary seating to the arena for this event. Plans should be finalized within two days. Check wcchallenger.org or the group’s Facebook page for updates on additional tickets.

HAMBURGER FUNDRAISER – Making the Change Relay for Life team is holding a hamburger fundraiser 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday at Harwood Park in Bridgeport. Cost is $5 for hamburgers, chips and a drink. Reserve a meal by calling 940-683-3010. Deliveries will be made in the Bridgeport area. Walk-ups are welcome.

COTTONDALE VFD FUNDRAISER – Cottondale Volunteer Fire Department is having a fundraiser 5-8 p.m. March 13. Dinner will include pancakes and sausage, tea and coffee. Donations will be accepted for each plate. Drawings will be held for a television, two quilts and a mystery weekend. Tickets are $2 each at the door.

BASKETBALL TOURNEY – Decatur Junior Women’s Club 3-on-3 basketball tournament is Friday, March 27. Register online by Wednesday, March 25, at poweredbysportssignup.com. Those registered by March 19 will receive a free T-shirt. Call Sara, 940-206-0400.

WALK ACROSS TEXAS – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Wise County is sponsoring Walk Across Texas, an eight-week walking program, scheduled to begin today. Get together a team of up to eight people and walk together or individually. The team tracks its total miles to see if it can cover 830 miles “across Texas” in eight weeks. The goal is to establish an exercise habit. Participation is free. Call the Extension office, 940-627-3341.

FUNERALS – Services for Larry McBride, 70, of Paradise and Dorothy L. Durham, 92, of Bridgeport are pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Jimmy Williams, 82, of Boyd is 2 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church in Boyd with burial at Boyd Cemetery. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Doyle W. Dickerson, 76, of Alvord is 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church of Alvord with burial at Alvord Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICE for Patsy M. Hornsberger, 72, of Decatur is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

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Snowbound: Winter precipitation creates treacherous roadways http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/snowbound-winter-precipitation-creates-treacherous-roadways/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/snowbound-winter-precipitation-creates-treacherous-roadways/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:59:35 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88003 ...

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County commissioners to hit the road http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/county-commissioners-to-hit-the-road/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/county-commissioners-to-hit-the-road/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:56:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87994 ...

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Students show off tech skills http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/students-show-off-tech-skills/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/students-show-off-tech-skills/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:55:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87992 ...

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Eagle Scout gives back to high school for final project http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/eagle-scout-gives-back-to-high-school-for-final-project/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/eagle-scout-gives-back-to-high-school-for-final-project/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:54:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87989 ...

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Alvord School Board meets, calls election http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/alvord-school-board-meets-calls-election/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/alvord-school-board-meets-calls-election/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:53:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87986 ...

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DPS invites peace officers to become troopers http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/dps-invites-peace-officers-to-become-troopers/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/dps-invites-peace-officers-to-become-troopers/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:53:05 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87984 ...

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Decatur City Council’s goal: ‘Get leaner’ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-city-councils-goal-get-leaner/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-city-councils-goal-get-leaner/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:52:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87982 ...

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Grand Jury Indictements for Saturday, February 28, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/grand-jury-indictements-for-saturday-february-28-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/grand-jury-indictements-for-saturday-february-28-2015/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:51:51 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87980 ...

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Basketball: Big opening statements – Bulls, Smith blast Venus http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-big-opening-statements-bulls-smith-blast-venus/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-big-opening-statements-bulls-smith-blast-venus/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:51:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87978 ...

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