WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:41:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Breaking News: Two bikes collide in Rhome http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/breaking-news-two-bikes-collide-in-rhome/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/breaking-news-two-bikes-collide-in-rhome/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:20:51 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82265 _JD67003Two motorcycles collided on the U.S. 287 service road between Pioneer Road and Texas 114 in Rhome Sunday morning.
One of the riders was flown by Air Evac 68 to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
The accident occurred around 7:45 a.m.
Rhome officers on the scene directed all media requests about the accident to Chief Brandon Davis, who was not immediately available for comment.
According to Wise County Sheriff’s Office initial dispatch, three riders were on the ground following the collision. The medical helicopter was requested immediately after first responders arrived on scene for one rider.
A rider on a third bike with the group, who asked to remain anonymous, said he did not see the accident occur.

“I was a couple hundred yards behind,” he said. “They came over the hit and I guess they realized they had to merge and clipped.”
The rider said the group was heading back to Utah .

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Boy struck by car http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/boy-struck-by-car/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/boy-struck-by-car/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:04:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82262 A 13-year-old boy was struck by a car in the 800 block of 17th Street in Bridgeport Sunday morning.
He was transported by ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with apparent minor injuries, according to Bridgeport Police Sgt. Ricky Schwartz.
The accident occurred at 8:47 a.m.

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Man arrested for arson, assault http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/man-arrested-for-arson-assault/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/man-arrested-for-arson-assault/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:34:55 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82256 A Decatur man was arrested Wednesday morning on felony charges stemming from a trailer fire Oct. 4.

Johnny Leon Moore III

Johnny Leon Moore III, 45, of Decatur was arrested by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office fugitive apprehension unit in connection with the fire at 3222 N. U.S. 81/287, according to the Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Moore was charged with arson causing bodily injury, a first degree felony, and aggravated assault causes serious bodily injury, a second degree felony. He remains in the Wise County Jail with a $100,000 bond for each charge.

Patricia K. Woods, 40, suffered burns on her lower extremities in the fire, and remains hospitalized at Parkland in Dallas.

Woods and Moore were purchasing the trailer from the owner of Brushy Creek RV Park, off U.S. 81/287 just behind the roadside rest area northwest of Decatur. They had lived there about three weeks.

After the fire broke out, Moore reportedly took Woods in a private vehicle to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, where she was treated and later transferred by helicopter to Parkland.

The Decatur Fire Department was called at 11:18 a.m. the day of the fire, and when they arrived at the location, the RV was fully engulfed. They extinguished the fire and stayed on the scene until 1:25 p.m. – but the RV and contents were a total loss.

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Early voting opens Monday http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/early-voting-opens-monday/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/early-voting-opens-monday/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:34:00 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82253 Come Jan. 1, 2015, Texas will have a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner and railroad commissioner.

It all starts Monday, when early voting opens statewide.

There’s much more on this year’s ballot: seats in the Texas and U.S. House and Senate, a host of judgeships, even Paradise school board posts.

Wise County will elect a slate of local officeholders too. District and county judge and clerk positions, a county court-at-law judge, county treasurer and two commissioners’ posts are on the ballot along with four justice of the peace jobs.

And voters statewide will give their yea or nay to a constitutional amendment providing additional money from the state’s surplus to the state highway fund.

Early voting is available at the Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, Decatur City Hall and Rhome City Hall beginning at 8 Monday morning. Anyone registered to vote in Wise County can cast a ballot at any of those locations.

Hours for early voting, which runs through Oct. 31, are:

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, through Friday, Oct. 24
  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Decatur City Hall
  • noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at Decatur City Hall
  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, through Friday, Oct. 31

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at precinct polling locations throughout the county.

The most recent Appeals Court decision restored the state’s Voter ID law, meaning those wishing to cast a ballot will need to bring a photo ID with them to the polling place, along with their voter registration card.

There are seven forms of acceptable ID:

  • Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

Voters who don’t have an ID when they show up at the polling place will be issued a provisional ballot, which can become official if they return with an ID within a given number of days.

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Rodeo legend to speak at Chamber luncheon http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/rodeo-legend-to-speak-at-chamber-luncheon/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/rodeo-legend-to-speak-at-chamber-luncheon/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:33:21 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82251 It’s a voice of an old friend – a voice of strong values, gentle humor and quiet wisdom.

Bob Tallman is much more than a rodeo announcer. He’s the guy who knows the back-stories on the cowboys out there in the arena, bucking and roping and wrestling – because he knew their dads and granddads.

He’s the eloquent spokesman for the cowboy way, patriotism and faith and a strong work ethic.

Golden Voice

GOLDEN VOICE – Rodeo legend Bob Tallman said he’s excited about coming to see his friends in Decatur Oct. 28, when he will be the featured speaker for a Chamber luncheon at the Civic Center. Submitted photo

He’s been in 11 movies, announced more National Finals Rodeos than anyone else and has been voted the PRCA’s Announcer of the Year eight times. He’s in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

And he’s coming to Decatur Oct. 28 to speak at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Decatur’s Trevor Brazile, 11-time All-Around World Champion Cowboy, will introduce his longtime friend at the luncheon, which will be held 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Decatur Civic Center. Luncheon reservations at $12 per person can be made by calling the Chamber office at 940-627-3107.

Carey Williams, sales manager for James Wood Autos in Decatur, got the idea to bring Tallman here when he sat near him at last year’s Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo.

“As president of the North Texas Chevy Dealers, we got to sit in the president’s box, right beside the announcer above the bucking chutes,” Williams said. “To watch Bob work a rodeo – it’s a production. He’s got three computer screens in front of him and a guy helping him, so he can see who’s coming up and make comments about the guy who’s fixing to ride or rope.”

Williams said with all of Decatur’s rodeo ties, he felt Tallman would be a natural for a local speaking gig. He asked the stock show president if he thought Tallman would come and got an immediate positive response.

“I think he’ll be very interesting to listen to,” Williams said. “He’s got a very strong faith, which fits well with our community, and he understands community.

“Getting Trevor to come introduce him – that’s kind of a fun twist because he’s usually introducting Trevor.”

Williams said Tallman, a businessman and entrepreneur himself, will be able to relate to the business crowd at the Chamber lunch.

“Bob’s got a couple of businesses,” he said. “I thought it would be something everyone coming to that luncheon would enjoy.”

Tallman’s voice is heard by more than 60 million people across the U.S. and Canada each year – not only announcing some of the biggest rodeos in the world, but also recording commercials, narrating movie segments, emceeing charity events and commentating on a variety of sports programs for the Canadian Broadcasting Network, Fox Sports, ABC, TNN and ESPN.

In addition to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Tallman’s itinerary includes the Texas Stampede in Dallas, the Reno Rodeo, the Red Bluff Round Up and Canada’s legendary Calgary Stampede.

But his greatest honor, he says, is getting to use what he calls his “priceless gift from God” to touch lives with a message of hope and faith. A rancher, he has found that “planting seeds for the Lord” has a greater return.

In 2000, he launched Bob Tallman’s Charities, hosting an annual golf tournament in Houston to “Give a Child Another Day of Life” – benefiting the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Children’s Cancer Hospital. A portion of the sales from his Texas Style Seasoning business are also donated to the Children’s Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson.

Williams hopes the Civic Center’s Great Hall will be packed for the luncheon.

“The way I see these luncheons,” he said, “if it’s an interesting program that people get something out of, it’ll bring them back to the next one. Not only that – if they can just pick up one or two ideas they can take back, it can have a positive impact on their business or their life.”

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Upcoming Halloween Events http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/upcoming-halloween-events/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/upcoming-halloween-events/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:32:25 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82248 BRIDGEPORT

SPOOKTACULAR – Bridgeport Parks and Recreation will host the Spooktacular Fall Festival 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Bridgeport Community Center. The free event will include a zipline, rock wall, rat race, candy, games, popcorn, cotton candy, balloon animals and face painting. There will be magic shows at 5:45 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., and a costume contest sponsored by Bridgeport Main Street at 6:15 p.m.

The Great Pumpkin

THE GREAT PUMPKIN – Piles of pumpkins can be found at farmer’s markets, produce stands and grocery stores around the county. Some families transform them into jack-o-lanterns, while others choose to enjoy their natural beauty. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

FALL FEST – The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport will have a Family Fun Fall Fest 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the church’s Family Life Center. There will be free food and candy, a bounce house, obstacle course, games and prizes. Wear costumes. The church is at the corner of Texas 114 and Cates Street.

COSTUME PARADE – Bridgeport Main Street’s Suit Up and Say Boo Halloween Costume parade down Halsell Street is 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. It begins at Bridgeport Stage, 1009 Halsell St. The street will be closed from 4:45 to 6 p.m. for the event.

HALLOWEEN NIGHT – Various streets will be closed 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in the Oakland Heights Addition for trick-or-treating.

FEARAPHOBIA – The Fearaphobia Haunted House at 1407 Carpenter St. in Bridgeport is open 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays until Nov. 1. Tickets are $15 and $10 at the door for adults and children under 12, respectively, and $10 and $5 online at www.fearaphobia.com/tickets.html. There will also be a children’s haunted house for those who feel they might get too scared going on the actual tour. If the event breaks even, designer Robert Chaney plans to give the proceeds to a local charity.


HAUNTED HOUSE – The Chico Community Volunteer Fire Department will have a haunted house 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October at the Old Chico Middle School, 400 S. Hovey St. Admission for 12 and under is $3 and 13 and older is $5. All proceeds will benefit the fire department. The haunted house will also have a “kid’s hall” for smaller children.


SPOOKY TALES – Decatur Public Library is hosting Tales from the Critt, a Halloween-themed spoken word program with audiobook ace C.J. Critt, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27. A veteran of Broadway and a staff writer at Radio Disney as well as the original voice of America’s favorite bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, Critt will channel the voices of various mystery and suspense authors she has recorded in her 20-year career with Recorded Books and Harper Audio, and will treat the audience to some classic spooky fare and a lively question-and-answer session. Suggested age is 13 and up.

TRICK OR TREAT NIGHT – Decatur City Council voted to move the city’s trick-or-treat observance to Thursday, Oct. 30, to avoid a conflict with the Eagles’ final home football game Oct. 31. The council agreed to designate Deer Park Road as one-way, northbound, between Eagle Drive and Preskitt Road from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the 30th to help ease traffic problems in some of the city’s more popular trick or treating areas.

FALL FESTIVAL – Gover-nor’s Ridge Fall Festival is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30. There will be a bounce house, games and prizes, a merry-go-round, goblin walk and a hot dog supper, plus trick or treating.

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Meeting Previews for Saturday, October 18, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meeting-previews-for-saturday-october-18-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meeting-previews-for-saturday-october-18-2014/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:31:20 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82245 BOYD

BOYD ISD – The Boyd School Board meets 6:30 p.m. Monday and plans to discuss approving a Boyd High School field trip to the FFA National Convention in Louisville Kentucky as well as construction plans for a show animal project facility. The board will also consider softball field renovations.


LICENSING LIQUOR – The Bridgeport City Council will discuss adding alcohol beverage licenses and fees to the city’s code of ordinances at its meeting Tuesday night. It will also discuss fiscal year 2013-14 budget adjustments; award a city landscaping bid to either All Wise Garden Butch Haas, or Cut and Grow; and consider a proposal for a real estate broker to sell Rutherford Ranch. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 900 Thompson St. and is open to the public.

SOCCER, ANYONE? – The Bridgeport School Board will discuss adding a soccer program to the high school at its meeting Monday night. The board will also hear reports on the dual-language program and the district’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) score. It will also continue earlier discussions about possible facility renovations. These include Bull Memorial Stadium and baseball dugout renovations, as well as the building of an agriculture science barn. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at 2107 15th St. and is open to the public.


PARADISE COUNCIL – The Paradise City Council meets 6 p.m. Monday to discuss street closures for the Jingle Run and a church-sponsored autumn event. The council will also decide whether or not to purchase a building and discuss road repair and the Wise County Appraisal District’s contract for billing and collection services.

PISD MEETING – The Paradise School Board will meet 6:30 p.m. Monday and plans to set a date to canvass the Nov. 4 election results and for the employee appreciation dinner. The board will also consider the district’s contract with Wise County Appraisal District for collections.

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Rockets to the Rescue; Elementary students employ problem-solving, design skills http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/rockets-to-the-rescue-elementary-students-employ-problem-solving-design-skills/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/rockets-to-the-rescue-elementary-students-employ-problem-solving-design-skills/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:30:03 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82243 It’s not rocket science.

Or is it?

Students in Decatur ISD’s advanced academics classes designed and built their own rockets last week as part of the seventh annual 2014 4-H National Youth Science Day.

Launching Consultation

LAUNCHING CONSULTATION – Carson Elementary fifth graders Jacob Lowrie and Carson Wicker work together to launch the rocket they designed and built last week in advanced academics class. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The program – Rockets to the Rescue – was taught in classrooms across the country, and Chrissy Karrer, Wise County’s Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent for 4-H and youth development, and Andrea Calabretta, 4-H program assistant, presented the program locally.

The intent is to show students how aerospace engineering can be used to solve real-world problems. Advanced academics teacher Danielle Scroggins said students used STEM (science, technology engineering and math) skills to problem-solve their way through a rocket design and then were allowed to test that design.

Fifth graders at Rann and Carson elementaries, and fourth and fifth graders at Young Elementary, participated in the program and were given this challege: “Design a rocket propulsion system to launch and deliver a payload of food to a small island in the Pacific Ocean that was devastated by a storm and cut off from all food deliveries.”

The students were told that the inhabitants of the island were close to starvation, and ships with food were still several days away. Airplanes couldn’t land because runways were destroyed, and helicopters were not a viable option.

Instructions said the rockets should be able to deliver food intact and fresh, so the people could survive until normal transportation methods were restored.

Students were put in groups and given a rocket-building kit that included card stock, paper, rubber bands, a grocery bag, string, cotton balls, a rubber cork, straws, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, packing tape, scissors and 12 inches of half-inch PVC pipe.

They had to use these items to build a rocket that would safely transport four raisins to the designated landing zone marked by hula hoops.

“The kids loved it!” Scroggins said. “They learned when disaster strikes you have to get food to people. The design process – designing it and then testing it – it was really fun.”

Students first sketched a design and had it approved before building it, then moved on to the testing stage. Scroggins worked with the kids in the classroom, while Karrer did the bulk of the presentation, then tested the rockets outdoors with the students.

“I told them, ‘You want your food to get there and look like the food it’s supposed to be,'” said Scroggins.

“You don’t want it to fall out,” Karrer added.

“Or get smooshed,” Scroggins said with a laugh.

After the students launched the rockets, they evaluated the result and went back inside to make adjustments and try again.

It was a hands-on lesson in problem-solving, and Scroggins said students were to re-evaluate the results this week and reflect on their work.

4-H National Youth Science Day was Oct. 8, and it’s the rallying event for year-round 4-H science programming. For information on local 4-H clubs, call the Extension office at 940-627-3341.

To learn more about the work of Decatur’s advanced academics classes, follow them on Twitter @DecaturISDGT.

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Transportation planner touts 287 corridor; Says Texas needs to do more to boost Gulf shipping http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/transportation-planner-touts-287-corridor-says-texas-needs-to-do-more-to-boost-gulf-shipping/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/transportation-planner-touts-287-corridor-says-texas-needs-to-do-more-to-boost-gulf-shipping/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:28:51 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82240 In the world of transportation and infrastructure planning, David Dean is a pretty heavy hitter.

And he’s a fan of Decatur.

David Dean

Dean, who served as general counsel to two Texas governors and as Secretary of State from 1981-1983, is president of Dean International Inc., a public policy consulting firm. He’s one of the driving forces behind TEX-21, a 12-year-old grassroots coalition working to find comprehensive solutions to the transportation challenges facing Texas.

Decatur and Wise County are among the roughly 75 public and private entities which are members of the coalition.

“We appreciate the leadership of Decatur and Wise County in this coalition,” Dean said Wednesday, speaking to the Decatur Lions’ Club. “They’ve been able to wave the Wise County flag in Austin and Washington, D.C. and because of that many, many people in the executive and legislative branches of government understand who you are, your business base and what your needs are, better than ever before.”

Dean said the U.S. 287 corridor has long been a vital part of the nation’s transportation system. In fact, a coalition was formed in 1913 – before there was a U.S. highway system – to promote the corridor as a major trade and tourism route from the Texas Gulf Coast to the north and west.

“Over 100 years ago they were trying to create a corridor that would eventually become U.S. Highway 287 – and they were very successful,” he said. “Highway 287 became one of the major north-east-south-west corridors connecting the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, up through what’s now called the Metroplex to Amarillo, Colorado and north.”

BEAUMONT TO YELLOWSTONE – A 1950s-era flyer touts the attractions along U.S. 287, promoting it as a trade and tourist artery from the Texas Gulf Coast to the scenic west. Submitted photo

That group ceased to exist in the 1960s after it was unsuccessful in getting 287 designated an interstate highway. TEX-21 is its successor.

“We’re basically trying to resurrect what our predecessors created,” Dean said. “To get people to think about what’s 50 miles down the road this way and what’s 50 miles down the road that way.”


Dean said the state’s current model of building and maintaining roads with the tax on gasoline is “not sustainable.” He urged his audience to vote in favor of Prop. 1 on the Nov. 4 ballot, using some oil and gas revenue from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to bolster highway maintenance projects.

Solutions like that are a necessity, he said, in a state and nation that have become “tax-averse.”

He referenced President George Bush the elder’s comment, “Read my lips: no new taxes” – later withdrawn as taxes were raised – which likely cost him re-election to the White House.

“‘No new taxes’ has become the settled public policy of national, state, regional and local governments,” Dean said. “There’s no part of the country that embraces a tax-and-spend policy.

“That’s a good thing, but it’s also a challenging thing for a state like Texas that is still growing.”

He noted that the Texas of his boyhood had 9 million residents and was the third most populous state in the U.S.

“I remember going on house calls with my dad [a pediatrician] in the evening, driving from Dallas to Fort Worth and Dad telling me, ‘One day, son, this is all going to be one big metropolis,’ as we passed a dairy farm,” he laughed. “Well, that’s exactly what it is today.

“And I’m here to tell you that one of these days – and many of us will still be living – Decatur’s going to be a part of that metropolitan area and so will all of Wise County. It’s coming, just like the tide, and you can’t stop it.”

He noted that in the 40 years from 1960 to 2000, Texas grew from 9 million to 20 million and passed New York as the second most populous state. Since 2000, Texas’ population has increased by 25 percent, jumping from 20 million to 25 million.

And, he said, within a 60-mile radius of DFW Airport – which encompasses virtually all of Wise County – in 2000 there were 6 million people. Today that number is seven-and-a-half million.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is, in fact, the largest inland population center – not on a coast or a waterway – in the U.S., and the fastest-growing metropolitan area over 3 million people in the U.S.

“About 1,500 people a day are moving into Texas,” Dean said. “Add in 1,100 babies a day. I know a few die and a few leave, but by and large people are getting here as quickly as they can, and they’re staying.

“They’re coming to Texas because they want what we’ve got – quality of life, low taxes, minimal regulation on businesses and generally corruption-free government. That’s the modern miracle of Texas.”

And while all those things are good, he said, Texas has not done a particularly good job of providing the infrastructure needed to accommodate the growing population.

“I’m focusing on transportation, but you could talk about water, criminal justice, higher education, public education,” he said. “If you’ve got a state that’s averse to raising taxes, then eventually there’s going to be major, major tension when it comes to providing essential services in a growing population area.”


He shifted the focus to the Panama Canal, which should complete a deepending and widening project in 2016. That will allow huge container ships to transit to the Gulf coast and eastern seaboard.

The use of Texas ports could amplify the importance of 287 in carrying goods from the coast inland.

“Much of what you see coming eastbound on BNSF and UP trains arrived in Long Beach four or five days earlier,” he said. “It’s coming to Alliance Airport or one of the other intermodal centers to be redistributed throughout the country.”

He said U.S. 287, from Beaumont/Port Arthur, is the “sleeper corridor” as far as getting products distributed into the United States and from the metroplex throughout the world.

“There’s going to be a massive shift,” he said. “Those ships coming from all over Asia bringing products to be consumed in the U.S. are not going to have to stop at LA/Long Beach, Oakland or Seattle/Tacoma. They’re going to be able to come south through the Panama Canal, through the canal, and access the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic seaboard.”

One modern container ship, he said, carrying 14,000 containers, is enough to fill 35 trains a mile-and-a-half long, double-stacked.

He said the cost to move one container one mile by water is about 10 cents. By train, it’s about $2 and by truck it’s about $4.

“Economics drives everything,” he said. “The closer you can get your product to the customer by water, the lower the cost is going to be.”

Texas has 16 seaports along 350 miles of coastline, he said, but not one that can accommodate the new cargo ships. And, he added, no one is working to deepen their port to do so.

“These ships are just like trucks,” he said. “They want to fill it back up. That’s 35 trains to unload it and 35 trains to reload it. We’re talking about massive, massive, massive economic development for those ports.

“We’ve got the possibility in Texas, if we get our transportation policy right, to make this happen. We need to wake up and do the things we need to do to diversify our economy and create jobs for all these people who are moving here.”

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Meet PISD’s school board candidates http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meet-pisds-school-board-candidates/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/meet-pisds-school-board-candidates/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:27:13 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82236 Three spots on the Paradise ISD school board will go before the voters Nov. 4. The at-large seats are 3, 4, and 5.

Rusty Ford is unopposed for place 5, but places 3 and 4 are up for grabs.

Incumbent Kevin Howerton is challenged by Vann Wakefield for place 3, and Jim Taylor faces off against place 4 incumbent Carrie Preather.

Short biographies of the candidates, and their responses to questions concerning the challenges facing Paradise ISD’s school board, follow.


Kevin Howerton (incumbent)

Age: 51

Howerton has lived in Wise County for 51 years, the last 10 in Paradise, where he currently resides.

Howerton has been married for 25 years to his wife Celina. They have three daughters: Ally, 21, Rylee, 18 and Kaycie, 16.

His wife taught at PISD for 15 years, and he has many friends who teach in the district. He said he wants to serve to help keep the school going forward now that it’s back on track.

“The uphill climb now is state funding,” Howerton said. “A large number of schools like PISD have lost a considerable amount of funds from the state. It will take a strong effort from all the districts to get their voices heard. The board’s role should be to evaluate and support the Superintendent’s plans as they discover and move forward.”

Despite multiple attempts to contact challenger Vann Wakefield, there was no response as of press time.


Carrie Cleveland Preather (incumbent)

Age: 40

Preather has lived in the area for 40 years and resides in Paradise.

She is married to Larry Preather and has two children, Cash and Jett Preather, both active at PISD in academics and extracurricular activities. She said her children are looking forward to completing their senior year next spring.

Preather said It has been a pleasure to watch her children thrive at PISD over the last 12 years. She believes their time at Paradise has prepared them to be active, responsible and educated leaders in the future.

She graduated from PHS (1993) as did her parents and other family members over the years. Her mother taught in PISD for 25 years.

She said her love for Paradise is deep-rooted, and serving on the school board is her way of giving back. She said she is prepared for the issues the district is facing.

“I feel the major issue facing PISD today is the state funding cuts,” Preather said. “As a board, we work closely with our Superintendent Robert Criswell to ensure the money we receive is used wisely for the good of the children at PISD.”


Age: 60

Taylor, a Wise County resident since 1989. lives in Cottondale.

He has five grandchildren and two nieces in PISD, from pre-K to high school. In the past 20 years he has had three children and seven nieces and nephews graduate from Paradise High School. Taylor’s wife of 42 years, Patti, works for WG Financial in Bridgeport and Mann Refrigeration.

He said he wants to serve because because of his vested interest in Paradise ISD. He has previously served on the school board, so he already possesses the ability and experience to be effective.

“The major issue facing Paradise ISD is stability. In the past 18 months every administrative position from superintendent to elementary school principal and athletic director has changed personnel,” Taylor said. “The superintendent position is yet to be filled. It will be the task of the new board to provide the stability of purpose, goal, strategic and long-range planning.

“The first step is selection of a superintendent to operate under the leadership of the board. Change must be controlled and channeled to meet the 5-, 10-, 20-year goals and strategies as determined by the board. The fact of complete change in administrative staff from superintendent to elementary principal in a short period of time says the board has had to move from strategic planning to operational planning and firefighting.

“The board is the voice of the voters in determining the short and long term goals and strategies for the district.”


Early voting for the Paradise school board election will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20-24, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27-31 at three locations:

  • Decatur City Hall, 201 E. Walnut St., Decatur
  • Rhome City Hall, 105 1st., Rhome
  • Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, 1000 Thompson St., Bridgeport

Early voting will also be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25, and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 26, at Decatur City Hall only.

On election day, the polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following Paradise-area locations:

  • Precinct 22 – AgriLife Extension Building, 206 S. State, Decatur
  • Precinct 8 – Assumption Catholic Church 1305 S. Deer Park, Decatur
  • Precinct 14 – Bridgeport Lions Hall, 1107 6th St., Bridgeport
  • Precinct 16 – Boonsville Community Center, West on Hwy 920, Boonsville
  • Precinct 17 – First United Methodist Church, Activity Center, 301 S. Oak, Paradise
  • Precinct 20 – Cottondale Community Center, 161 CR 3571, Cottondale
  • Precinct 23 – Boyd Community Center, 420 E Morton Ave., Boyd.
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Competition is in the air … literally http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/competition-is-in-the-air-literally/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/competition-is-in-the-air-literally/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:26:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82234 Nearly a month after its creation, the Melba Doyle Disc Golf Course will see its first tourney this afternoon.

More than a dozen competitors will sling their way through the Chasing Chains Disc Golf Club’s inaugural tournament starting at 1:30 p.m.

Catch the Fever

CATCH THE FEVER – Disc golfers play through the newly created Melba Doyle Disc Golf Course. Decatur’s Chasing Chains Disc Golf Club is holding its first tournament today at 1:30 p.m. at Melba Doyle Park. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Play is free, but only club members can enter. Joining the Chasing Chains is also free and easy – just search for the club’s Facebook page by entering Decatur Chasing Chains Disc Golf Club, and ask to join. Administrators will be watching the page to add new members as quickly as possible – even just prior to tournament play.

Decatur Parks supervisor and club member Ray Petty said the competition is a “Bag tag” tourney. Basically, the golfers are vying for bragging rights in the form of numbered tags. The better a player finishes, the better the tag’s number.

Owners of the coveted low digit tags can then be challenged over the next six months by other golfers.

“The person who is challenged can pick the course and whoever wins switches tags and keeps them,” Petty said. “Then we turn all the tags back in and do another tourney. It’s something to get people interested.”

He said there are 25 tags now, and tags remaining after the tourney will be given to members on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The goal is to play up and get better numbers,” he said. “A lot of us are really new to it, and some have been playing for years. I’ve only been playing since February.

“When you play better people, you’ll get better. We hope this is just the beginning.”

Petty said the club is considering hosting a doubles tourney and a benefit tournament as interest grows.

Heath Chambers, another club member and supporter, said he believes the interest is here.

Chambers put a rack of disc golf frisbees for sale in Decatur Tire on Tuesday. He has already sold about 30.

“We’ve had a real good turnout. Everyone really wants to support it,” Chambers said. “It’s something to do, and it’s fun. It’s also free. I got into it in college because it’s cheap.”

Petty said many people have gone out and bought discs just to have fun.

“It’s a neat opportunity for a family, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 3 or 4 years old or 60 or 70 years old – you can throw a frisbee.”

Chambers said people interested in disc golf or buying a disc can call him at 940-577-0109.

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Air Evac Lifeteam dedicates new base http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/business/air-evac-lifeteam-dedicates-new-base/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/business/air-evac-lifeteam-dedicates-new-base/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:25:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82231 High winds and low clouds kept the helicopter tour off the menu at Monday’s open house for the new Decatur Air Evac Lifeteam base – but they didn’t keep the crowds from turning out to celebrate the service’s new station in Decatur.

New Base of Operations

NEW BASE OF OPERATIONS – Air Evac Lifeteam has a new headquarters on the campus of Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, providing a spot for pilots, nurses and paramedics to stay while they’re on call. A host of local dignitaries turned out to watch Program Director Lisa Ponce cut the ribbon Monday, Oct. 13. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The new Decatur base is located on the campus of Wise Regional Hospital, just a few yards from the Emergency Room entrance.

The open house, which ran from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., allowed visitors to see the pilot’s office, kitchen, day room and sleeping quarters where a pilot, nurse and paramedic are stationed and on call around the clock.

Lifeteam’s Decatur base covers Wise, Jack, Montague, Tarrant and Denton counties.

Air Evac Lifeteam is the nation’s largest independently owned and operated air medical service provider, with 115 bases in 15 states. They provide emergency medical service at accident scenes, transfer patients from rural areas to urban hospitals, and stand by at events like festivals and football games.

“Some days we have three or four flights, some days none,” said Lisa Ponce, program director for the Decatur base.

Ponce said the new base is a huge improvement over the team’s previous quarters, which were located inside the hospital.

“Wise Regional continues to grow, so we move our crew quarters to help them and to remain available to the hospital and community,” she said.

State Rep. Phil King came out for the ribbon cutting along with local dignitaries and hospital officials.

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Football: Off the chain – Randall runs for 320 yards, 5 touchdowns in Alvord victory http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-off-the-chain-randall-runs-for-320-yards-5-touchdowns-in-alvord-victory/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-off-the-chain-randall-runs-for-320-yards-5-touchdowns-in-alvord-victory/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:24:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82228 On his opening carry, Joe Randall broke free for 62 yards before being tripped up. It was one of the few times the Blue Ridge Tigers kept the Alvord senior out of the end zone.

Randall rushed for 320 yards and five touchdowns on just 19 carries in Alvord’s 42-20 victory over the Tigers at Bulldog Stadium.

Fighting Them Off

FIGHTING THEM OFF – Alvord’s Joe Randall fends off three Tiger defenders. In 19 carries, Randall scored 30 points, helping the Bulldogs to a 2-0 district record with a 42-20 win. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

“My offensive line did a great job. They worked hard all week and did a fantastic job,” Randall said. “All the glory goes to them and God.”

Randall broke 300 yards with his 63-yard dash to the end zone with 1:45 remaining.

“I had no idea where I was at. I just wanted to run the ball hard and get what I could get,” Randall said.

Behind Randall’s big night, the Bulldogs (4-3) moved to 2-0 in 5-2A Division I and remain tied for first place with Bells.

“We just need to keep getting better and playing hard,” said Alvord coach Pete Hart.

Randall found the end zone three times in the first half, staking the Bulldogs to a 21-0.

He scored on runs of 55, 18 and 37 yards. His two scores in the second half covered 10 and 63 yards.

“Our offensive line and receivers did a good job of blocking tonight,” Hart said.

“One of the things we’re doing is a lot of zone blocking where Joe finds a crease. With a back like Joe, you only have to hold a block long enough for him to find a crease and he runs through it.”

Randall’s 37-yard touchdown run with 59 seconds left in the first half came a play after Heath Walker recovered a Blue Ridge fumble and made a 19-yard return.

Walker’s fumble recovery was one of two turnovers forced by the Bulldogs’ defense in the first half. Riley Davila picked off a pass off a deflection.

Walker’s fumble recovery was also one of two big plays for the senior defensive back in the opening half. Walker stopped Blue Ridge quarterback Ty Agan at the 2-yard line on a fourth-down scramble on the opening possession of the game.

The Alvord defense kept Agan and the Tigers’ potent offense scoreless through the first 41 minutes. Agan threw a pair of scores and ran for a 39-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Agan ran for 142 yards and threw for 325, completing 31 of his 51 attempts. Brevin Wiggins caught eight passes for 140 yards. Colby Quillin added 94 yards on nine grabs.

“I was really pleased with our defense,” Hart said. “The last two touchdowns were after we put in a lot of kids into the game. We worked all week trying to figure out how to stop them. I’m so proud of the kids and our coaching staff.”

After the goal-line stand, Randall immediately got the Bulldogs out of the shadow their own goal-line with his 62-yard romp. But the Bulldogs could not capitalize, turning the ball over thee plays later.

Alvord lost three turnovers – two fumbles and an interception. But there was little to complain about offensively for the Bulldogs, who piled up 463 yards. Alvord rushed for 379. Cassidy Patterson added 51 yards on eight carries.

“Offensively, we moved the ball up and down the field in the first half,” Hart said. “The second half, they did some things well defensively and we made adjustments.”

But any defense for Blue Ridge only temporarily slowed Randall and company.


Blue Ridge … 0 … 0 … 0 … 20 … – … 20
Alvord … 14 … 7 … 0 … 21 … – … 42


Alvord – 2:51, Joe Randall 55 run, run failed

Alvord – 0:27, Randall 18 run, Mason Clower pass from Cassidy Patterson


Alvord – 0:59, Randall 37 run, Jose Luna kick


Alvord – 9:46, Randall 10 run, Luna kick

Blue Ridge – 7:53, Colby Quillin 25 pass from Ty Agan, pass failed

Alvord – 5:56, Jaylon White 45 punt return, Luna kick

Blue Ridge – 2:57, Agan 39 run, Konner Walker run

Alvord – 1:45, Randall 63 run, Luna kick

Blue Ridge – 1:03, Brendan Davis 2 pass from Agan, run failed


First Downs … 21 … 16
Rushes-Yards … 27-138 … 31-379
Passing Yards … 325 … 84
Total Yards … 463 … 463
Comp-Att-Int … 31-51-1 … 4-11-1
Sacks-Yards lost … 2-2 … 3-14
Punts-Average … 4-38 … 2-41.5
Fumbles-Lost … 2-1 … 3-2
Penalties-Yards … 9-70 … 6-46


Rushing: Blue Ridge, Ty Agan 21-142, Brevin Wiggins 2-(minus 10), Cameron Armstrong 1-9, Laine Albert 3-(minus 3). Alvord, Joe Randall 19-320, Cassidy Patterson 8-51, Jaylon White 2-(minus 3), Mason Clower 2-11.

Passing: Blue Ridge, Agan 31-51-1-325. Alvord, Patterson 4-11-1-84.

Receiving: Blue Ridge, Colby Quillin 9-94, Wiggins 8-140, Armstrong 2-13, Albert 4-34, Dakota Bell 1-11, Jason Price 4-25, Brendan Davis 2-8, Dalton Eaves 1-1. Alvord, Randall 2-40, Damon Ledet 2-47.

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Football: Eagles outlast Mineral Wells http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-eagles-outlast-mineral-wells/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-eagles-outlast-mineral-wells/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:23:35 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82225 A low-scoring, defensive battle turned into a touchdown-fest late as the Decatur Eagles boosted their record to 5-2 with a win over a tough Ram team at Mineral Wells.

“I told anybody who would listen, all week, that that’s a really good football team over there,” Decatur coach Mike Fuller said after the game. “They’re well-coached, they know what they’re doing, they play with confidence.”

A tough defense held quarterback Justin Myers’ running game in check most of the night, and a flurry of flags – 15 in the second half alone – kept both teams from hitting their stride.

Myers hit Felix Guerrero for a 38-yard pass in the first quarter, setting up the Eagles’ first score. Two Payton McAlister runs later, it was 6-0 and the first of five Brandon Garza extra point kicks made it 7-0 with 8 minutes left in the opening frame.

The Rams got a second-quarter touchdown on a one-yard dive by Johnny Morales. The tough sophomore had 90 yards on 21 carries for the night, and broke some big plays that had the Eagles’ defense on their heels at times.

“We stopped the run most of the night, but they made some good plays,” Fuller said.

Another one-yard Morales run put the Rams ahead early in the second half, but Decatur answered with a 10-yard touchdown strike from Myers to Gunnar Parker and they never trailed again.

Eddie Martinez finished off an Eagle drive with a one-yard run with 10 minutes to play, but Acosta found Braxton Allen on a six-yard touchdown strike and it was 21-18 with half of the fourth quarter left to play.

Three touchdowns in the last 93 seconds ramped up the stats and the scoring. A 30-yard run by McAlister seemed to break it open at the 1:33 mark as the Eagles tried to run out the clock.

Eagle linebacker Matt Cedrone picked an Acosta pass 27 seconds later and took it back 48 yards for a touchdown, making it 35-18.

“I was really proud of the turnovers we got there late,” Fuller said.

But the Rams weren’t through. Acosta guided his team down the field with a 1-minute drill worthy of Payton Manning, hitting Carlos Gray in the back of the end zone after time had expired to make the final margin 35-24.

“It’s hard to be at your best every game, but when you’re not hitting on all cylinders it’s good to still get a win,” Fuller said. “Being inconsistent, but still being good enough to win against a good football team, we can build on that.”


Decatur … 7 … 0 … 7 … 21 … – … 35
Mineral Wells … 0 … 6 … 6 … 12 … – … 24


Decatur – 8:02, Payton McAlister 8 run, Brandon Garza kick.


Mineral Wells – 10:44, Johnny Morales 1 run, run failed.


Mineral Wells – 9:20, Morales 1 run, run failed.

Decatur – 7:07, Gunnar Parker 10 pass from Myers; Garza kick.


Decatur – 10:07, Eddie Martinez 1 run; Garza kick.

Mineral Wells – 7:46, Braxton Allen 6 pass from Acosta; run failed.

Decatur -1:33, McAlister 30 run; Garza kick.

Decatur -1:06, Matt Cedrone 48 interception return; Garza kick.

Mineral Wells – 0:00, Carlos Gray 21 pass from Acosta; run failed.


Rushes-Yards … 46-200 … 39-142
Passing Yards … 116 … 236
Total Yards … 316 … 378
Comp-Att-Int … 9-20-1 … 14-29-2
Punts-Average … 6-34 … 4-28
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 2-0
Penalties-Yards … 12-80 … 15-107


Rushing: Decatur, McAlister 19-116. Mineral Wells, Morales, 21-90

Passing: Decatur, Myers 9-20-1-116. Mineral Wells, Caleb Acosta, 14-29-2-236.

Receiving: Decatur, Felix Guerrero, 1-38, Ryan Durdon, 2-30; Mineral Wells, Jordan Duckett, 6-72

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Football: Bobcats scathe Bulls http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-bobcats-scathe-bulls/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-bobcats-scathe-bulls/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:22:57 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82223 It was rough going for the Bridgeport Bulls Friday night against Celina in their second District 3-4A II matchup of the season. The Bobcats held the Bulls to just 6 points, forcing Bridgeport to punt on 5 of 6 first half possessions.

Celina, on the other hand, scored on all but one of their possessions in the first half, where they scored a majority of their 52 points.

Running Room

RUNNING ROOM – Celina’s Jarren Alexander tries to escape Bridgeport’s Jacobe Martinez and other Bulls in the Bobcat victory Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Bridgeport didn’t score until receiver Keenan Holdman caught a 25 yard pass from Trey Cook to make the score 35-6 late into the second quarter.

The Bulls’ score wouldn’t change after that, but the Bobcats kept at it.

Celina quarterback Nathan Elliott threw for 388 yards and five touchdowns, not letting up until the third quarter, when both of Celina’s touchdowns were scored on runs from Jarren Alexander and Trace Young. The team would go on to earn 658 yards on the night, 270 of which were rushing yards. “It was going to be difficult to try to win in that game, just because their running game is so powerful, and you can’t really match up with their lineman,” Bridgeport head coach Danny Henson said. “They’re good. They were able to completely shut down our offense, and we weren’t able to run or throw effectively.”

The Bulls managed to pull together 121 yards on offense, but failure to convert on downs and a few interceptions doomed them in the end.

Henson said he is still optimistic about the rest of district play, though.

“We’ve got three games left, and the chance to get second place in our district and go 7-3, and those are great things, especially considering where we came from to start this season,” Henson said.


Celina … 14 … 21 … 14 … 3 … – … 52
Bridgeport … 0 … 6 … 0 … 0 … – … 6


Celina – 3:18, Nathan Elliott 17 pass to Chase Marler; Eduardo Paulino kick.

Celina – 1:47, Elliott 27 pass to Braydon Watson; Paulino kick.


Celina – 11:43, Elliott 79 pass to Jarren Alexander; Paulino kick.

Celina – 5:03, Elliott 20 pass to Watson; Paulino kick.

Celina – :50, Elliott 15 pass to Trace Young; Paulino kick.

Bridgeport – :14, Trey Cook 25 pass to Keenan Holdman; Luna kick no good.


Celina – 10:55, Alexander 8 run; Paulino kick.

Celina – 3:16, Young 42 run; Paulino kick.


Celina – 7:15, Paulino field goal.


First Downs … 29 … 7
Rushes-Yards … 52-270 … 18-11
Passing Yards … 388 … 110
Total Yards … 658 … 121
Punts-Average … 0-0 … 6-34.5
Fumbles-Lost … 3-0 … 1-0
Penalties-Yards … 7-58 … 3-15


Rushing: Celina, Alexander, 14-80, Young, 6-56; Bridgeport, Grayson Mathes 6-14, Brazier Talley 7-10.

Passing: Celina, Elliott, 25-32 388; Bridgeport, Cook 8-24-2 80.

Receiving: Celina, Marler 6-121; Bridgeport, Holdman 4-43.

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Football: Texans edge Byron Nelson http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-texans-edge-byron-nelson/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-texans-edge-byron-nelson/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:21:59 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82220 The Northwest Texans will have bragging rights for the next year.

The Texans claimed the first-ever meeting between Northwest and Byron Nelson 38-36 at Northwest ISD Stadium Friday night.

Quick Exit

QUICK EXIT – Texans quarterback Jesse Drummer scrambles to avoid Byron Nelson defenders Friday night in Northwest’s 38-36 win over the Bobcats. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Northwest kicker Chase Hamilton drilled a 31-yard field goal with just more than a minute to play to give the Texans a two-point lead.

Byron Nelson drove inside Northwest territory and attempted a 55-yard field goal as time expired, but came up short as the Texans picked up their first district win.

The victory kept the Texans in the tight race for a playoff spot out of District 5-6A and ended their four-game slide as they improved to 3-4 and 1-3 in their league.

Northwest running back Quentin Thorpe rushed for 122 yards and four touchdowns,

Thorpe, who managed only one carry last week against Keller Central, gave Northwest a 14-7 lead in the first quarter with his second 1-yard run.

He added a 3-yard dash to the end zone in second as the Texans took a 21-14 lead into the locker room. Thorpe’s final touchdown run from 2 yards out came at the end of the third quarter.

Northwest quarterback Jesse Drummer passed for 356 yards, completing 25 of his 35 attempts. He hit Syrus Moore for a 56-yard touchdown. Syrus Moore caught five passes for 97 yards. Emmanuel Moore hauledin seven catches for 160 yards but was held out of the end zone.

The Texans defense had its trouble slowing down Byron Nelson’s Courtney Miles. The Bobcats’ back rushed for 275 yards and four touchdowns. He opened the scoring with an 87-yard dash to the end zone.

Miles added a scoring runs of 62 and 1 yards in the second quarter. His final touchdown down tote put Byron Nelson up 36-35.

Out of Reach

OUT OF REACH – Northwest defender Blake Smith leaps for Byron Nelson’s Preston Haire Friday night, but is inches short. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford


Northwest … 14 … 7 … 14 … 3 … – … 38
Byron Nelson … 7 … 7 … 13 … 9 … – … 36


Byron Nelson – Courtney Miles 87 run; Mason Shank kick.

Northwest – Quentin Thorpe 1 run; Chris Hamilton kick.

Northwest – Thorpe 1 run; Hamilton kick.


Byron Nelson – Miles 1 run; Shank kick.

Northwest – Thorpe 3 run; Hamilton kick.


Byron Nelson – Miles 62 run; Shank kick.

Byron Nelson – Preston Haire 22 pass to Chase Flickinger; kick failed.

Northwest – Jesse Drummer 56 pass to Syrus Moore; Hamilton kick.

Northwest – Thorpe 2 run; Hamilton kick.


Byron Nelson – Shank 21 field goal.

Byron Nelson – Miles 18 run; 2-point attempt failed.

Northwest – Hamilton 31 field goal.


First Downs … 18 … 16
Rushes-Yards … 37-153 … 37-322
Passing Yards … 356 … 141
Total Yards … 509 … 463
Punts-Average … 4-31.25 … 3-34
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 7-64 … 5-31


Rushing: Northwest, Quentin Thorpe 25-122; Byron Nelson, Courtney Miles 29-275.

Passing: Northwest, Jesse Drummer 25-35-356; Byron Nelson, Preston Haire 13-26-141.

Receiving: Northwest, Emmanuel Moore 7-160, Byron Nelson Pascal Mondombo 6-74.

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Football: Boyd loses in overtime, 34-27 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-boyd-loses-in-overtime-34-27/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-boyd-loses-in-overtime-34-27/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:20:39 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82216 After not catching a pass in regulation, Ponder’s David Faughtenberry hauled in two huge receptions in overtime.

Faughtenberry’s second grab, a 25-yard touchdown from Brady Anderson in the second overtime, lifted the Lions to a 34-27 victory over the Boyd Yellowjackets Friday.

Faughtenberry’s touchdown came on the Lions’ first play in the second overtime after Ponder stopped Boyd on its possession. On a fourth-and-13, Boyd’s quarterback Clay Barnett was stopped one yard short of picking up the first down, leaving Ponder the opportunity to take the game with a score.

The game went to overtime tied at 21 after Ponder missed a field goal from 21 yards out with 2.4 seconds left.

In the first overtime, Anderson hooked up with Faughtenberry for a 26-yard touchdown. Ponder couldn’t convert the PAT, leaving the door open for Boyd to win.

Boyd took advantage of an offsides penalty on Ponder on a fourth-and-six with Qualynn Wells picking up the first on the next play. Jackson Basting then caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Barnett to tie the game at 27. Boyd’s PAT was then blocked, sending the game to a second overtime.

Wells scored a touchdown, rushing for 164 yards on 31 carries.

His 19-yard touchdown with 2:13 left in the third tied the game a 14. Boyd grabbed a 21-14 lead with 8:52 left in the third on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Basting by Barnett.

Barnett threw for 84 yards, completing five of his nine attempts.

Boyd couldn’t protect the lead as Trey Dunlap scored with 7:32 left on a 4-yard run.

Dunlap ran for three scores and 211 yards on 32 carries. His 60-yard tote to the end zone put Ponder up 14-7 at halftime.

Ponder ran for 284 yards and outgained Boyd 379-311.

Boyd fell to 2-5 and 1-1 in 4-3A Division I. Ponder improved to 5-1 and 2-0 in the league.


Boyd … 7 … 0 … 7 … 7 … 6 … 0 … – … 27
Ponder … 7 … 7 … 0 … 7 … 6 … 7 … – … 34


Ponder – 8:02, Trey Dunlap 10 run, Ivan Rodriguez kick

Boyd – 5:37, Clay Barnett 3 run, Spencer Pellegrini kick


Ponder – 5:05, Dunlap 60 run, Rodriguez kick


Boyd – 2:12, Qualynn Wells 19 run, Pellegrini kick


Boyd – 8:52, Jackson Basting 16 pass from Clay Barnett, Pellegrini kick

Ponder – 7:32, Dunlap 4 run, Rodriguez kick


Ponder – David Faughtenberry 26 pass from Brady Anderson, kick failed

Boyd – Basting 12 pass from Barnett, kick blocked


Ponder – Faughtenberry 25 pass from Anderson, Rodriguez kick


First Downs … 13 … 14
Rushes-Yards … 49-227 … 46-284
Passing Yards … 84 … 95
Total Yards … 311 … 379
Comp-Att-Int … 5-9-0 … 4-8-1
Punts-Average … 5-45 … 2-42
Fumbles-Lost … 0-0 … 2-0
Penalties-Yards … 10-53 … 5-40


Rushing: Boyd, Qualynn Wells 31-164. Ponder, Trey Dunlap 32-211.

Passing: Boyd, Clay Barnett 5-9-0-84. Ponder, Brady Anderson 4-6-1-95.

Receiving: Boyd, Xavier Kyle 2-47, Jackson Basting 3-37. Ponder, David Faughtenberry 2-51.

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Football: Buckaroos blank Paradise, 34-0 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-buckaroos-blank-paradise-34-0/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-buckaroos-blank-paradise-34-0/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:20:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82214 The Breckenridge Buckaroos shut down the Paradise Panthers Friday night.

The Buckaroos held Paradise to just 109 yards of offense in a 34-0 victory at Panther Stadium.

The Panthers fell to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in District 4-3A Division I.

Austin Hogan provided nearly half of the Panthers’ offensive output, rushing for 40 yards on nine carries. Nick Loney added 38 yards on the ground.

Paradise managed just two yards passing.

Breckenridge took the lead just more than three minutes into the game on a 1-yard run by Austin Dooley. Dooley added a 8-yard dash to pay dirt with 1:45 left in the opening frame to put the Buckaroos up 13-0.

Dooley led all rushers with 86 yards on 15 carries.

Breckenridge rushed for 182 yards.

The Buckaroos added a pair of scores in the second quarter to take a 27-0 halftime lead. Cade Cornett scored on a 13-yard run and then hit Brandon Hunter with a 43-yard pass.

Cornett threw for 104 yards, completing six of his 11 attempts.

Hunter provided the nightcap with 7:29 left in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 2-yard run.


Breckenridge … 13 … 14 … 0 … 7 … – … 34
Paradise … 0 … 0 … 0 … 0 … – … 0


Breckenridge – 8:49, Austin Dooley 1 run, kick failed

Breckenridge – 1:45, Dooley 8 run, Omar Aguilar kick


Breckenridge – 7:25, Cade Cornett 13 run, Aguilar kick

Breckenridge – 1:40, Brandon Hunter 43 pass from Cornett, Aguilar kick


Breckenridge – 7:29, Hunter 2 run, Aguilar kick


First Downs … 17 … 7
Rushes-Yards … 37-182 … 30-107
Passing Yards … 104 … 2
Total Yards … 286 … 109
Comp-Att-Int … 6-11-1 … 1-10-1
Punts-Average … 2-38.5 … 5-34.4
Fumbles-Lost … 3-0 … 0-0
Penalties-Yards … 6-55 … 5-45


Rushing: Breckenridge, Austin Dooley 15-86. Paradise, Austin Hogan 9-40.

Passing: Breckenridge, Cade Cornett 6-11-1-104. Paradise, Cash Preather 1-10-1-2.

Receiving: Breckenridge, Brandon Hunter 4-87. Paradise, Chris Hill 1-2.

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Football: Bells outpaces Dragons, 40-25 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-bells-outpaces-dragons-40-25/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-bells-outpaces-dragons-40-25/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:19:26 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82212 Chico played tough, but in the end couldn’t overcome Bells, losing 40-25.

The Panthers (5-2, 2-0)struck the first blow with a touchdown midway through the first quarter followed by a kick by Derrick Ponder. The Dragons (4-3, 0-2) answered back with a buzzer beating 65-yard run by Kalan Johnson. Failure to put the PAT kick between the uprights put Chico behind.

The Dragons saw a glimmer of light in the second with a 34-yard pass from Jericoe McGuire to Corbin Blackwood for Chico’s third touchdown of the night. Chico pulled ahead 19-14, but Bells scrambled in the final seconds of the half to take back the lead, leaving the Dragons behind 21-19.

Both teams played close to the vest, each touting 21 first downs. Chico dominated rushing, laying down 366 yard to Bells’ 98, while the Panthers passed for 313 yards to Chico’s 182. All-in-all, Chico had the higher total yardage with 548 to Bells’ 411.

The Dragons’ Johnson helped Chico’s number by rushing 235 yards.

Bells never let the lead slip in the last half, out scoring the Dragons 19-6 to finish the game.


Chico … 6 … 13 … 6 … 0 … – … 25
Bells … 7 … 14 … 13 … 6 … – … 40


Bells – 5:39, 6 run Ethan Standford; Derrick Ponder kick.

Chico – 0:0, 65 run Kalan Johnson; kick failed.


Bells – 9:39, 26 pass from Ponder to Chris Hall; Ponder kick.

Chico – 5:13, 9 run Johnson; Cameron Starnes kick.

Chico – 1:09, 34 pass from Jericoe McGuire to Corbin Blackwood; PAT failed.

Bells – 0:0, 16 pass from Ponder to Standford; Ponder kick.


Bells – 7:40, 15 pass Ponder to Tristan Conway; Ponder kick.

Chico – 7:19, 80 run Johnson; PAT failed.

Bells – 5:57, 42 pass from Ponder to Standford; kick failed.


Bells – 9:53, 5 run by Dillon Gary; kick failed


First downs … 21 … 21
Rushes-Yards … 43-366 … 18-98
Passing Yards … 182 … 313
Total Yards … 548 … 411
Comp-Att-Int … 17-27-1 … 18-45-0
Punts-Avg … 3-15 … 4-40
Fumbles-Lost … 0-0 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 8-90 … 14-135


Rushing: Chico, Johnson 14-235; Bells, Conway 4-49.

Receiving: Chico, Blackwood 7-105, Bells, Stanford 7-142

Passing: Chico, McGuire 17-27-1 for 182; Bells, Ponder 18-45-0 for 313

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Family flock – Lady Eagles share variety of family relationships http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-family-flock-lady-eagles-share-variety-of-family-relationships/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-family-flock-lady-eagles-share-variety-of-family-relationships/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:18:50 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82210 Maclaine Lowery’s light-hearted nature and jokes don’t always sit well with her older sister, Caroline.

“I get annoyed with her,” the older Lowery said. “She’ll also argue with me. I’m a senior and that’s disrespectful. We definitely have our ups and downs.”

We Are Family

WE ARE FAMILY – The Decatur Lady Eagles have a mother and daughter, Brandy and Makayla Mayfield, front, and four sets of sisters – Caroline and Maclaine Lowery, Kelsie, Courtnie and Brittany Roberts, Cooper and Carson Martin, and Morgan and Haleigh Taylor – in the program this year. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

But the opportunity to share the experience on the volleyball court the past two years – including winning a state title last November – makes up for any of the down times.

“I do get annoyed with her but I’m thankful for the experience,” Caroline explains. “There’s not many sisters who can say they’ve won a state title together.”

But this year, the Lowerys are far from unique in a Decatur volleyball program that features more than a couple of family relationships – with four sets of sisters and a mother-daughter combination.

“Because we have so many family bonds it makes us closer,” said senior Cooper Martin, whose freshman sister Carson joined the program this year. “We treat the others like sisters also.”

Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay said those family relations can keep it interesting but have also helped with the program’s winning culture that includes five straight district titles, the 2013 state crown and a current 53-match district winning streak.

“We’ve always stressed that we are a family and rely on each other, not only in volleyball but life,” Benedict-Gay said. “They’ve learned how to hold each other accountable and be there for each other in the tough times.”

Assistant coach Brandy Mayfield and her daughter, senior Makayla, have perhaps the most unique relationship. But early on, the two set perimeters to keep volleyball from tearing them apart.

“We learned to leave it at school,” Coach Mayfield said.

But despite their best efforts, sometimes it becomes dinner conversation.

On the court, Makayla likes having her mother there to talk to.

“During a timeout I can talk to her and she helps me to focus and do better,” she said.

Coach Mayfield enjoys the chance to help her daughter and the opportunity share in the team’s success.

“I get to experience it on both ends as a coach and mother,” she said.

Sophomore middle blocker Courtnie Roberts has a pair of sisters in the program, her twin sister Kelsie, who plays on the junior varsity, and senior manager Brittany.

“We haven’t all three been on the same team together since we were eight and nine,” Courtnie said. “It’s weird for all us to be in the same program.”

Brittany took over as a manager this year to spend time with her younger sisters.

“I wanted to be with them as a senior,” she said.

Brittany and Kelsie are also stalwarts in the Decatur softball program. They are hoping to get Courtnie to join them one the diamond this year.

While Courtnie and Kelsie are twins, they are quite different.

“They have very different personalities,” Brittany pipes in.

On Feb. 22, 1999, Courtnie was born two minutes before Kelsie.

“I’ll forever hold that over her head,” Courtnie joked.

They were also two ounces and two inches apart.

Now, Courtnie towers over both her sisters.

“She’s forever my little big sister,” Brittany said.

Courtnie also happens to be the one the other two sisters turn to.

“We both get along with Courtnie better,” Kelsie said.

Brittany adds: “Her personality is unique.”

Brittany Roberts shares managing duties with Morgan Taylor, who is also helping freshman sister Haleigh find her way as a first-year player in the program.

“It’s been great. It’s something we can share together,” Taylor said. “Before, we were always in different places. This has helped strengthen our relationship.”

Morgan played her freshman and sophomore seasons before stepping into her support role.

“I’m in charge of everything,” she points out as she tells Brittany Roberts what to wear for a photo.

Haleigh adds: “She’s sometimes bossy but most of the time she’s helpful.”

Another senior, Cooper Martin, has welcomed her freshman sister Carson, who is playing on the junior varsity.

“It’s fun getting to take her to practice and having a person to talk to,” Cooper said.

Having her older sister with her, helped her settle in quickly, Carson claims.

“On the first day, I was more comfortable with her,” Carson said. “She’s also my partner in the weight room. She’s been able to show me what do during workouts.”

But as the younger sister of a four-year varsity standout, Carson said there are high expectations.

“I wanted to be in her shoes but also, they are hard shoes to fill,” Carson admits.

Because of her light-hearted nature, Maclaine Lowery is used to jokes at her expense from her older sister and others.

“I’m more of the punching bag, but it’s good. I’m used to it,” she said.

Caroline adds: “We make fun of her a lot because she falls down a lot.”

One thing Caroline especially does not laugh about is being late for workouts in the morning while waiting on Maclaine.

After all the laughs and a few fights the Lowerys, along with others who share family bonds, hope this year ends like last year – with a ring.

“It would be cool to have the two rings together,” Caroline said.


  • As feared, the weather wreaked havoc on the high school football schedule last weekend. Three local teams – Boyd, Bridgeport and Chico – finally got back on the field to finish their games early Saturday morning after delays of more than two hours. Decatur and Paradise were forced to finish their games Saturday afternoon. It was far from an ideal district opener for all, but for Boyd, Bridgeport and Decatur that recorded wins, there were no complaints
  • Of the 4-4A Division I slate last week, the most surprising result was how Graham dismantled Gainesville. The Steers’ 34-0 win makes a large statement. Also, Mineral Wells proved that preseason polls are often useless. Most had the Rams picked to finish last. But after a win over Wichita Falls Hirschi, they are in first place
  • After their loss to Blue Ridge last week, the Chico Dragons’ now get to face one of the state’s top passers this week in Derrick Ponder. The former Iowa Park quarterback is tearing up 2A, throwing for nearly 400 yards per game
  • Watching the Decatur Lady Eagles sweep Lake Worth, I actually found myself comparing setter Stormi Leonard to Peyton Manning as every pass was on target and to the right person to get a point
  • Leonard’s predecessor, Joey Redwine, was on hand for Tuesday’s match after being named the Lone Star Conference’s Setter of the Week for a second time. She handed out 70 assists in a pair of wins over Angelo State and Tarleton State
  • The UIL Legislative Council will convene this weekend with proposals on the agenda including adding a fourth playoff team in Class 2A
  • Which was harder to predict, the Kansas City Royals making the World Series or the Dallas Cowboys starting the year 5-1? Both were extreme longshots
  • I didn’t have a horse in the race, but I doubt there will be a more entertaining game all year than TCU and Baylor. Also doubt there will be others with as many head-scratching decisions.
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