WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:59:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2014’s top citizen developing ‘the greatest town there is’ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/2014s-top-citizen-developing-the-greatest-town-there-is/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/2014s-top-citizen-developing-the-greatest-town-there-is/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:56:50 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82440 The 2014 Citizen of the Year didn’t grow up in Decatur – but he got here as quickly as he could.

Mark Duncum, president of Double Creek Capital Corp., received the honor at the 23rd annual Decatur Chamber of Commerce Auction, held Saturday evening at the Decatur Civic Center.

Top Citizen

TOP CITIZEN – Brian Stephens congratulates Mark Duncum as Decatur’s 2014 Citizen of the Year at Saturday’s annual Chamber of Commerce Auction. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Presenter Brian Stephens characterized Duncum as “a major catalyst for growth in the city” and said he had been described as “Decatur’s premier developer.”

Duncum decribed himself as “shocked” at the honor.

“It’s hard to believe I could be in the same conversation with Judge Wren, the Hendersons, Brian Stephens and so many great people who have received this award in the past,” he said.

“Decatur really is, in my opinion, the greatest town there is. So, to be recognized in the town that’s where you want to be is really special to me.”

Duncum moved with his family to Decatur in the late 1980s, to go into business with his father-in-law, the late Robert Isham. He’s been a positive force in the community ever since, not only helping boost the economy, but also providing leadership to an array of community organizations.

He’s a guy who rarely says no when asked to serve.

Duncum is on the board of Wise Regional Health System and serves the city of Decatur as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He is a board member of Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) and Wise County Christian Counseling and an elder at the Decatur Church of Christ, where he and his wife, Angela, are active members.

Recently, he was named a trustee of Abilene Christian University, where they met.

Duncum’s family moved around a lot when he was a kid, settling long enough for him to graduate from Dulles High School in Sugar Land, southwest of Houston. He earned a degree in accounting at ACU, married Angela, and took a job with Arthur Young – now Ernst and Young – in Fort Worth.

After working there seven years and making manager, he was pulling a lot of overtime and spending far too much time away from his young family. When an opportunity arose to move to Angela’s hometown, they both jumped at it.

They raised their two boys, Cody, 27, and Casey, 24, here. Angela, a mainstay of the church’s teaching program, was also instrumental in helping start The Children’s Place day school at the campus on Farm Road 51 South.

That busy corridor happens to be where Double Creek’s most visible commercial development has taken place.

Duncum and Isham spent several years acquiring property, mostly through the RTC (Resolution Trust Corp.) and the FDIC as the country emerged from the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s. By 1995, that phase was over and Duncum set about developing it.

Double Creek built many of the office buildings that house Decatur’s growing medical community and has developed four residential subdivisions as well: Mustang Creek, Pecan Creek, Hidden Oaks and Briar Crossing.

“This is really where we want to be doing business anyway,” he said. “We have some other things outside of town, but most of what we want to focus on is here.”

Currently, they’re finishing up a building on U.S. Business 380, Park West Court, developed in partnership with David Fuller of FX5. And two more projects on FM 51 South are about to emerge from the ground – The Corner, an office building at Bennett and 51 South, and Chancellor and Jones Funeral Home on Preskitt, just east of 51.

“You need only to drive down FM 51 South and see the ‘Hill Country Style’ office buildings to understand Mark’s commitment to development within the city of Decatur,” wrote Messenger publisher Roy Eaton, who nominated Duncum for the award. “The beautiful Briar Crossing residential development and office buildings in other parts of the city are more examples of his quality work to enhance the economic development of Decatur.”

For Duncum, whether working or serving, it’s all about making Decatur even better.

“Angela and I both really do think Decatur is a wonderful place to live,” Duncum said. “I feel very honored.”

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Motorcycle accident injures 2 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/motorcycle-accident-injures-2/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/motorcycle-accident-injures-2/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:55:59 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82437 A Utah man was seriously injured in a motorcycle collision on the U.S. 81/287 service road in Rhome Sunday morning.

One motorcycle clipped another about 7:45 a.m. on the service road between Pioneer Road and Texas 114. The most seriously injured rider was flown by Air Evac 68 to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Rider Injured

RIDER INJURED – Medics wheel a Utah man to a helicopter ambulance waiting to take him to John Peter Smith Hospital Sunday morning. He was seriously injured in a collision with a fellow rider. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The second rider, Ronald Arthur Lourenco, 67, was treated and released from JPS.

Rhome Police Chief Brandon Davis said there were three motorcycles traveling together.

“They were just doing a cross country trip and enjoying a leisurely ride,” he said. “The front two riders had come abreast somehow. The outside rider wanted to exit onto the highway and hadn’t communicated that with his partner … they must have collided in trying to change lanes, which is what caused the accident.”

The medical helicopter was requested immediately after first responders arrived on scene.

The third rider, 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 hill, and I guess they realized they had to merge and clipped.”

The rider said the group was driving back to Utah. The most seriously injured rider was not wearing a helmet.

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Bridgeport school board pitches soccer program http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-school-board-pitches-soccer-program/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-school-board-pitches-soccer-program/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:55:06 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82434 The Bridgeport school board kicked around the possibility of a soccer program during Monday night’s meeting.

The discussion came toward the end of the meeting as Superintendent Eddie Bland asked the board to talk about the pros and cons of soccer in the district.

“We need to see what the numbers are on students wanting the program, especially if they’re playing other sports like baseball, basketball and softball,” he said. “Those are the ones that will be in direct conflict with soccer season.”

Other possible conflicts that came up were whether the program would be UIL-sanctioned or a club sport, and what would happen if there was demand for a girls’ team, but not a boys’ team.

“What happens with Title IX if we’ve got a bunch of girls who want to play, but not enough boys? Would we still have to have a boys’ team?” board member Scott Stowers asked.

Board member Steve Stanford suggested talking to this year’s seventh and eighth graders, since they would most likely be the first group to experience the program if it happens, given the UIL’s two-year scheduling system.

Other board members pointed out that any Bridgeport soccer program would fall to the bottom 5 percent of the teams in its division due to the district’s student population.

The board decided to conduct a survey among students to see if there was enough interest to commit to the program.

Athletics dominated the last half of the meeting as well. Baseball field renovations are scheduled to begin Oct. 28, and the board agreed to begin speaking with architects soon about construction of a new high school football stadium.

Construction on that should begin sometime this school year.

Academic facility discussions also got a lot of air time, including progress on a new agricultural sciences barn and the installation of electronic signs at all four campuses. The ag barn is still a work in progress, and signs should be going up soon.

The board also:

  • recognized all of the district’s principals and assistant principals, in keeping with Gov. Rick Perry’s declaration of October as Principal’s Month;
  • heard a monthly finance and yearly investment report; and
  • heard a report on the Gomez and Gomez Two-Way Dual Language Bilingual Program, which received high ratings for its implementation and execution.

The board’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, the administration building, 2107 15th St. It is open to the public.

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Audiobook voice actor to perform spooky stories http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/audiobook-voice-actor-to-perform-spooky-stories/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/audiobook-voice-actor-to-perform-spooky-stories/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:54:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82432 The Decatur Public Library will get a little scary Monday for the latest program in its Fall Fine Arts series.

There won’t be any ghosts hiding in the stacks, but voice performer CJ Critt will make sure audience members feel thoroughly frightened.

Critt is a renowned audiobook recorder and theater performer who will be reading her “Tales From the Critt: Halloween Tales from the Masters” show Monday night at 6:30. She chose a selection of scary and dark-humored pieces to read, including pieces from Janet Evanovich, Alfred Noyes’ poem “The Highwayman,” Texas poet Lori Wilde’s “Christmas at Twilight” and David Sedaris’ “It’s Catching.”

“It’s a diverse selection of genres, and that’s what I really like about it,” Critt said.

Critt has been doing voice work for authors, such as Wilde and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum detective novels, for more than 20 years, and has done stand-up and other performance arts as well. She said the challenge of making each voice unique is also what makes it fun.

“It’s always great to channel the voices of different characters, and it’s challenging to do all of them on the same page, but it’s a joyful challenge to do an accurate reading of the author’s words,” Critt said. “You have to balance being a big ol’ ham with being a good reader.”

Another challenge Critt enjoys is sticking to the script, a talent that’s not too easy to do, since she started her career in theater and radio.

“You can’t deviate from the author’s words or ad-lib like you can on a play or a movie, so you have to get it right from the page,” she said.

Many of the selections Critt will read are from modern literature because that’s the style she performs best.

“I like to do contemporary, funny stories,” she said. “I excel at that. I’m pretty funny, and I used to do stand-up – and I also like mystery and suspense because I have a serious edge to my voice, a quality that lets readers know that something is about to happen.

“It gives them a kind of, ‘Oh, did I lock the door? Am I sure I shut the garage door?’ feeling – and I love that.”

Decatur librarian Pat Peters expects the program, which is the last one in the Fine Arts series, to be a hit with audiences.

“We’re looking forward to CJ’s program,” Peters said. “It should be really fun.”

“Tales from the Critt: Halloween Tales from the Masters” starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday Oct. 27, in the Jones Meeting Room. This program may contain language unsuitable for children under the age of 13.

For information, call the Decatur Public Library at 940-393-0290. To find out more about CJ Critt, visit cjcritt.com/cjcritt.com/Welcome.html.

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Paradise ISD sets canvassing date http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-isd-sets-canvassing-date/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-isd-sets-canvassing-date/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:53:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82430 The Paradise school board will canvass this year’s election results Nov. 17.

The board has two at-large places on the Nov. 4 ballot. Place 3 is held by Kevin Howerton, who is challenged by Vann Wakefield, while Place 4 is held by Carrie Preather, who drew opposition from Jim Taylor.

Early voting for the Paradise school board election started Monday and is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 24, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27-31 at three locations:

  • Decatur City Hall, 201 E. Walnut St.
  • Rhome City Hall, 105 1st.
  • 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 Comunity Center, 161 CR 3571, Cottondale
  • Precinct 23 – Boyd Community Center, 420 E Morton Ave., Boyd.
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Paradise City Council addresses billing concerns http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-city-council-addresses-billing-concerns/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-city-council-addresses-billing-concerns/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:52:54 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82428 The Paradise City Council approved three motions Monday night that were later nullified after council members consulted with City Attorney Walt Leonard.

The motions made were in response to public outcry over a recent disruption in water service. In September, water services were disconnected for 26 people following non-payment. Some of the citizens affected complained their bills had not arrived on time.

Currently, Paradise mails out water utility bills on the first of each month and payment is required by the 15th. After the 15th, a late fee is charged and payment is then required by the end of the month or water services are shut off.

According to the city, materials required for the billing process were not delivered to the city secretary Teresa Moody on time and bills were sent on the 15th. Late fees were waived but final payment was still required by the end of the month.

Several complained their water was shut off without enough notification and couldn’t be turn back on for 24 hours. The current process for shutting off water is to do so at the end of the city’s business day. It can turned back on the next day after 3 p.m.

The reason for the 24-hour delay is that the city does not employ water service personnel, but instead shares one part-time person through an agreement with the Walnut Creek Special Utility District.

In response to these complaints, councilmen Brad Largent and Bill Schneck suggested adjusting the time of cutoff and adding a part-time employee to return services immediately upon payment. They also suggested the city send out a final letter informing customers their services would be stopped for non-payment.

Paradise accepts payment via check, money order or online debit.

Motions to enact those changes were made and voted on, but since they were not specifically on the agenda, they were later invalidated. November’s agenda will have a properly worded item to allow the council to discuss and vote.

Other business:

  • The council approved street closures for a church-sponsored fall festival this Sunday and PISD’s annual Jingle Run Dec. 7.
  • Paradise city staff was authorized to negotiate a right-of-way agreement for construction of Dollar General.
  • The renewal of the road repair interlocal agreement with Wise County was tabled, citing needed clarification on whether any services will be rendered by the county.
  • The council also tabled any discussion on altering what day it meets. Steel suggested the meeting return to Thursday nights. Council meetings were changed to Monday nights to accommodate Schneck’s schedule, but he plans to leave the council at the end of the year.
  • The council requested information on possibly hiring a code enforcement officer or police officer. The council wanted to understand what cost they would incur and whether a court would be needed to enforce the officer’s actions.
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Early voting off to mediocre start http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/early-voting-off-to-mediocre-start/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/early-voting-off-to-mediocre-start/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:52:20 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82426 Early voting for the Nov. 4 general election started Monday and drew more than 400 people to the Wise County polls.

PROUD TO VOTE – A poll worker hands out stickers to every person that casts a ballot. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Interim Elections Administrator Jim Parker said 443 people cast ballots, which does not include limited or provisional ballots.

The breakdown is as follows:

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

Parker said 46 people voted Monday in the Paradise school board election.

“In 2012, the last real big race with a presidential race, we had 1,000 [voters] on the first day,” he said. “So we’re running about half.”

He said traffic was slow Tuesday with 351 voters. Seventy-six cast ballots in Rhome, 86 in Bridgeport and 189 in Decatur.

Twelve people voted in the Paradise school board election Tuesday.

Early voting at all three locations continues 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 24 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27-31.

This weekend, Decatur City Hall will be open for early voting 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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

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13-year-old struck by car http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/13-year-old-struck-by-car/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/13-year-old-struck-by-car/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:51:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82423 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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Historical societies to preview museum http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/historical-societies-to-preview-museum/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/historical-societies-to-preview-museum/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:51:02 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82421 The Paradise Historical Society will host a countywide historical society meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Sagebrush Cafe, 1020 Halsell St., in Bridgeport.

The meeting will include a presentation and a prelude visit to the soon-to-be-open Wise County Veterans Memorial Museum, The Forgotten Wars.

Col. Robert C. “Bob” Johnson, USMC-Ret., will give a presentation, and volunteers will escort small groups to and from the new museum, just a block away. Col. Johnson said this is a “sneak-peak” into what the museum will offer to Wise County citizens.

Though certain areas will be devoted to World War I and World War II, the majority of the displays will be designated to more recent wars and conflicts often forgotten in traditional museums. Donations to support the museum will be accepted during the tour. For information, contact Donna Weeden, dgweeden@yahoo.com, 940-859-3691.

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Decatur EDC, hospital look to cooperate on splash park http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-edc-hospital-look-to-cooperate-on-splash-park/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-edc-hospital-look-to-cooperate-on-splash-park/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:50:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82419 The city of Decatur is going to build a water park, funded by the Decatur Economic Development Corp., and they hope to have it open by next summer.

Where it will be remains a topic of discussion.

At last week’s EDC board meeting, Executive Director Mary Poche told her directors she had met with Travis Fulton, director of administrative services for Wise Regional Health System, about the possibility of locating the “splash park” somewhere on the hospital property.

The hospital is currently developing plans to build a new Fit-N-Wise fitness and therapy facility just to the north of the hospital. That facility will have a pool, workout space and other recreational and fitness facilities.

A splash park nearby might be a good fit.

“The idea was, if we were going to do a splash park just half a mile down the road at Renshaw Park, maybe it’s something we look at doing, potentially, in conjunction with them – because they have a lot of land,” Poche said.

“I wanted to bring this before you because I think it’s a pretty good idea.”

She asked her board for direction, and if she should pursue this further. The reaction was positive.

“It would be part of their overall water project, which would include the pool,” she said. “What they’re looking at doing is creating some kind of destination across from Candlewood Suites there.

“It goes along with some of the student initiatives they’ve been doing for sports, general health and fitness.”

Decatur City Manager Brett Shannon and board member Jason Wren, who serves as the health system’s in-house legal counsel, both encouraged her to pursue it further.

“At first blush, it looks like a better fit [than Renshaw park],” Shannon said. “It’s a shorter walk, and it’s more handy.”

Shannon pointed out that the Hospital Authority is actually a political subdivision of the city of Decatur, which appoints its board members. Cooperation between the two entities should not be a problem, he noted.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Poche said. “We’re at the very, very beginning stages of it, so what I would propose is that we put the whole Renshaw Park idea on hold and pursue this a bit further.”


In a brief meeting Thursday morning, the board heard reports on several other items:

  • Poche detailed approval of a $50,000 incentive grant to Energy WorldNet, a Decatur company that is planning to expand its headquarters on U.S. 81/287 Business and hire additional personnel. The grant, which is for software and training, was approved by the city council.
  • Board memories voted to have Poche work with the EDC’s attorney to put together a Performance Agreement for Project Freedom, to reimburse the cost of relocating a sewer line, estimated at about $66,000 by Decatur’s Public Works department. No further details were released pending the purchase of property, but Poche said it is a retail business putting in its 14th location in the DFW area, a building of about 25,000 square feet.
  • Shannon noted sales tax income was slightly down for the month – “hopefully a one-time occurrence.”
  • Poche noted that H2X is scheduled to move into its new facility near the end of October, with the city planning to do some work on Stratton Street to facilitate that. “When they get a certificate of occupancy, we’ll owe the balance of their performance agreement incentive grant,” she said.
  • Poche also reported on Project Soapsuds, a chemical solution and onsite services company that is looking to purchase 5 to 10 acres in Decatur and combine a production facility with an existing sales office in New Fairview. With a total of 60 employees and about a $5 to $8 million capital investment, she is working with the firm on site selection.
  • She reported she is also working with companies on workforce development programs, enlisting the help of Decatur ISD and Weatherford College Wise County in creating programs to train workers in response to companies’ needs.

At last month’s meeting, Poche had her annual evaluation and was granted a year extension on her contract and a 4 percent raise.

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Riders vie for world title http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/riders-vie-for-world-title/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/riders-vie-for-world-title/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:49:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82417 Several Wise County riders are chasing a world title this week as the 2014 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals gets underway in Las Vegas.

Brazilians Fabiano Vieira and Silvano Alves, who call Wise County home, are within 511 and 516 points, respectively, of the No. 1 ranked rider, Joao Ricardo Vieira.

J. Vieira was the 2013 Rookie of the Year and is on a hot streak, having ridden seven of his last nine bulls in the last three events. He took over the No. 1 post five weeks ago and sits atop the board with 9,520.25 points.

Vieira recently won in Allentown, Penn., going three-for-three and moving 785 points closer to No. 1, despite having an injured shoulder. He leads the BFTS with a 57.75 riding percentage.

Alves, in third, is seeking his third PBR world title. He made history in 2012 when he became the first world champion to win back-to-back titles. His riding percentage is 51.16.

Mike Lee of Decatur is the only other local rider in the top 10, and he’s currently ranked No. 5, 1,433.44 points behind the leader.

Lee started the second half of the BFTS with great momentum, winning both outdoor events – Thackerville, Okla., and Laughlin, Nev. He then fell off his game for four events, failing to register a qualified ride.

His ride in Huntington Beach, Calif., last weekend at the Bulls on the Beach event was his first success since Laughlin.

Other Wise County riders among the 35 finalists are Marco Eguchi (11); Valdiron de Oliveira (13); Emilio Resende (14); and Renato Nunes (19).

The action kicks off today and runs through Sunday at the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. To advance through the rounds, the riders must rank in the Top 15 in the event average after each round.

The World Finals offers a total purse of $2.2 million, including a $1 million bonus to the world champion, who also receives the coveted world champion belt buckle.

The champion will be the rider who has accumulated the most Built Ford Tough Series points during the 2014 regular season and the World Finals.

There are a potential 5,500 points available at the World Finals, so most of the top-ranked riders have a shot at the title.

CBS Sports Network will broadcast every round live at 8 p.m. Oct. 22-25 and 3 p.m. on Oct. 26. For information, visit worldfinals.pbr.com.

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New high school to fuel big dreams http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/new-high-school-to-fuel-big-dreams/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/new-high-school-to-fuel-big-dreams/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:49:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82415 Under radiant sunshine, contractors swung the final beam for the future V.R. Eaton High School into place last Wednesday.

“This is a great day,” said Northwest Superintendent Karen Rue. “We recognize a significant point in the construction of the third high school in our district. It’s a day we visualize kids learning in a setting second to none.”

Family Signing

FAMILY SIGNING – Eaton family members Barry, Jeannine, Brian and Roy Eaton sign the last steel beam for the future V.R. Eaton High School. The school, named for Roy’s father, will open in August 2015. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The massive Eaton High School will open in August 2015. It’s located on 79.5 acres off U.S. 81/287 on Willow Springs Road. It will be 524,602 square feet – 20,000 square feet bigger than both of NISD’s current high schools, Northwest and Byron Nelson.

The number of bricks that will be used in the building would reach 85 miles tall if stacked on top of each other. Its 1,960 tons of steel could produce 2,177 cars. The Eaton gym will seat 1,300 fans.

Spacious Gym

SPACIOUS GYM – Guest check out the future Eaton High School gym Wednesday during a tour of the building still under construction. The gym will seat 1,300. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

And although its size is impressive, the design and plans for its use are equally remarkable.

“The students here will be our future,” said Dr. Karen Eddy, Eaton’s principal.

NISD is going to great lengths with the design and construction of the $91 million school to meet the demands of education in the future. It will feature an 800-seat auditorium, large lecture hall, two-story library connected to the Java City and flexible classroom space. As Eddy points out, the classroom is being turned around with teachers now helping to facilitate and help students use the information at their fingertips.

“Before, teachers had the knowledge and regurgitated it,” she said. “Now, teachers are the facilitators of the knowledge. Children are discovering how they can learn and become critical thinkers and contributors.”

No section of the building illustrates the changing classroom and Eaton’s trailblazing mission more than the business and entrepreneurship academy, which will be the first of its kind in the state. NISD officials, including Eddy, have visited classes in New York to learn about the academy, which will be far more than just students learning about business.

“It’s not going to look like a school, but an office,” Eddy explained. “It will give a taste of the real world.

“The capstone of the academy students will be running a firm and selling a product. They will not only run a business but also be determining what they can sell to other students. It’ll go beyond knowledge to application.”

Eddy plans to start adding staff soon, starting with hiring of the associate principals, head football coach and band director. She hopes to have all the professional staff in place by May.

“You don’t do it all on your own. That’s why you hire good people,” Eddy said.

It’s those teachers and students that will establish new traditions and forge a place forever in NISD’s burgeoning future. As Rue pointed out, the district is only at 15 percent of its eventual build out.

“People in our future will look at the buildings and the names on the buildings,” Rue said. “This is about building a community and schools that will matter in the future.”

EHS is named in memory of Wise County resident and rancher V.R. Eaton. He is the father of Messenger publisher Roy Eaton.

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Outdoor Learning Center makes nature the classroom http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/outdoor-learning-center-makes-nature-the-classroom/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/outdoor-learning-center-makes-nature-the-classroom/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:48:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82411 CyLynn Braswell offers one bit of advice for students planning to attend a session at the Northwest ISD’s Outdoor Learning Center.

“It’s not the place to try on new clothes,” said Northwest ISD’s Outdoor Learning Center coordinator. “You’re going to get dirty.

“For [students] it’s shocking when they are given permission to get dirty. When [students] are doing activities it’s great to watch them get dirty.”

Filling a Need

FILLING A NEED – GE employees build stream tables while volunteering at Northwest ISD’s Outdoor Learning Center last month. The 193-acre facility offers an opportunity for students to apply classroom lessons in the outdoors. Submitted photo

The district’s Outdoor Learning Center is located in Northlake, on Mulkey Road, on the 193 acres of the former Texas Lil’s Dude Ranch. It’s the outdoor laboratory for students to come out and test theories they’re learning in the classroom.

“We believe in experimental learning,” Braswell said. “We are taking the inside and bringing it outside.

“These are things our students are tested on that you really can’t learn by reading about in a book. They see it here, they are more empowered and impacted.”

As Braswell puts it, NISD has made a commitment to helping students get back in touch with nature while developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

“What we try to teach is not to look for the nearest electrical outlet,” Braswell said. “We’re helping kids reconnect with nature.”

Last year, more than 12,000 people visited the center. Braswell is hoping to break the 20,000 barrier this year.

“We’re open during the summer and have all types of curriculum plans,” Braswell said.

She adds that her goal in writing curriculum for students from elementary through high school is to “push the envelope of failure” and teach critical problem-solving through experimental learning.

Recently, more than 50 employees from the GE plant off Texas 114 and Farm Road 156 near Justin volunteered at the Outdoor Learning Center, building stream tables and helping with other needed labor.

“The stream tables turned out great,” Braswell said.

“We have three people here,” she said. “Something this labor intensive – it would be difficult for us to do. We’re blessed to have someone step in and help.”

The stream tables replicate erosion and weathering.

“It’s a mini-version of the Grand Canyon,” Braswell said.

Fifth graders, who visited the center this week, made predictions of how water would flow through the table, flooding the model homes on the board.

“It shows how that occurs in nature, like the Mississippi River flowing from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico,” Braswell said. “And we all like the destruction with the little houses getting flooded.”

Another popular lesson for students is building the seed bombs with different wildflower seeds that are planted at the center.

“They plant, make predictions and see if they are going to come true,” Braswell said.

The district is in the planning stages of building new facilities at the center. The district has allocated $10 million for updates, including construction, furniture, equipment and fees.

It’s a small investment for a lifetime of lessons for students that also comes with a few dirty clothes.

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Education Briefs for Wednesday, October 22, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-october-22-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-october-22-2014/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:46:57 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82408 BRIDGEPORT

READING NIGHT – Bridgeport ISD will host the “iRead at the Field” event 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, at Bull Memorial Stadium. Families are invited to bring books and blankets to read with students at the communitywide event. Book readings will be done by Bridgeport cheerleaders, theater students and principals. Events include a half-price book fair and free hot dogs. The campus with the most in attendance will win a Readathon, or one full day of reading.

BRIDGEPORT ENGINEERING – The Bridgeport High School’s robotics club competed at the Heart of Texas BEST competition in Waco Saturday with its robot “The Knucklehead.” Five students competed in the event: J.D. Garrett, Gus White, Keaton Harveson, Timmy Tamplen and Elizabeth Highlander. The team won the best rookie team award, took second place in the head-to-head competition and qualified to go compete at the state tournament, Texas BEST, where they will compete against teams from Texas and New Mexico. Texas BEST is Nov. 14-15 at the Curtis Caldwell Center in Garland.

BMS GOES RED – The Bridgeport Middle School Student Council is selling RED shirts for $10 and is asking everyone to wear red on Fridays in support of men and women in the military. Proceeds from the shirt sales will be used to purchase and send goody baskets to military men and women with ties to our community.

MEET THE SISSIES – The Bridgeport girls’ basketball team will have a team introduction and high school scrimmage to kick off the season 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Bridgeport High School. There will be free ice cream and possibly an alumni scrimmage. If you are an alum and would like to play, call Kayce Keener at 940-389-1496.


READING NIGHT – Boyd Elementary will host the Title I annual parent meeting and reading night 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4.


BONFIRE – The Chico High School senior class will host the homecoming bonfire Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 325 CR 1667. Hot dogs will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the bonfire will be lit at 7:30.

HOMECOMING – Chico schools will release at noon Friday, Oct. 24, for homecoming activities. The homecoming parade will be on the square at 1 p.m. This year’s theme is “Chico: Champ At Every Game.” Following the parade, there will be a pep rally on the square and a community barbecue dinner 5 to 7 p.m. at Chico Middle School on Farm Road 1810, next to the football field. The dinner is hosted by the Ex-Students Association, but everyone is welcome. Cost is $7 per plate, and proceeds benefit the association’s scholarship fund. There will be a cake auction at 6 p.m., and class years ending in “4” will be recognized. Chico alumni will also vote for coming home king and queen at this time. They will be honored prior to the start of the game against Trenton at 7:30 p.m.

GT PROGRAM – Chico Elementary School will have a fall informational meeting for all parents and/or students interested in learning more about the gifted and talented program and requirements at Chico Elementary School. The meeting is 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in the elementary library. If you can’t attend the meeting, call 940-644-2220, ext. 2013, or come by the elementary office.

TEXT MESSAGES – Parents who would like to receive text messages through the district’s all call notification system must “opt in” to begin the process. Text YES to 68453 to show your willingness to receive texts. For information, call Traci Umphress in the administration office, 940-644-2228, ext. 0, or visit the Chico ISD website, www.chico.k12.tx.us.


VACCINATION CLINIC – A Movax vaccination clinic will be offered to underinsured students and their parents Wednesday, Oct. 29. Flu shots/flu mist will be given. Insured students must receive vaccinations through their private doctor. Times and locations are as follows: Young Elementary, 8-9 a.m.; Rann Elementary, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; Carson Elementary, 11 a.m.-noon; Administration Building, 12:30-1 p.m.; High School, 1:30-2:30 p.m.; DISD Multipurpose Building, 3-5 p.m. (all MMS students and general public). Cost is $12 for students (children) and $23 for parents (adults). Pay with cash or check. Make checks payable to Movax. Turn in consent forms and money to the campus nurse by Oct. 24.


UIL – Paradise High School will be hosting an Academic UIL Extravaganza 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the PHS cafeteria. This will be a time for parents and students to become acquainted with what UIL academics has to offer at the high school level. All the academic coaches will have a table, so it will also be an opportunity for students to sign up for the events in which they’re interested.

DRUG FREE – Paradise Junior High starts its Red Ribbon Week Monday, Oct. 27. Students start off the week with a pledge to remain drug free and are encouraged to wear red. For a full list of Red Ribbon Week activities, go to www.pisd.net/pisd/jh/counselor/redribbon.pdf. Paradise Intermediate School will also participate in Red Ribbon Week, for information and dress up rules, go to www.pisd.net/pisd/inter/counselor/redribbon-dressup.pdf

NEW PLAYGROUND – The Paradise Intermediate School has secured a $15,000 grant to update its playground, along with an additional $11,000 in donations. It is still more than $23,000 shy of the $50,000 goal. To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/e65mis.


GT NOMINATIONS – Slidell ISD is accepting nominations for the Gifted and Talented Program now through Oct. 24. Nominations forms are available in the elementary and secondary offices. Call Melissa Fitzgerald, 940-466-3118, ext. 241.

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Northwest Student Spotlights for Wednesday, October 22, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/northwest-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-october-22-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/northwest-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-october-22-2014/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:46:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82406 Prairie View Elementary


Chloe Sisk

Grade: 5th

Parents: Craig and Seiley Sisk

Favorite subject: Writing

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: Newspaper Staff, choir, softball, writing, painting and enjoying nature.

Why this student was chosen: “Chloe is exemplary student. She is a member of our Hawk Talk newspaper staff, Prairie View Elementary Choir and most recently the founder of our PVE Green Team. She manages all of her extracurricular activities while maintaining an A average in all of her classes and is a student of great character. We are proud to honor Chloe.” – Principal Yolanda Wallace

Seven Hills Elementary


Ashley Polson

Grade: 5th

Parents: Mona and John Polson

Favorite subject: Math

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: Riding horses, training dogs, and 4H of Wise County.

Why this student was chosen: “Ashley is a Star Guard representative and greets Seven Hills families every morning with a smile and something positive to say. She works hard to meet her academic goals every day.” – Principal Michelle Pawski

Chisholm Trail Middle School


Garrett Vanetten

Grade: 8th

Parents: Tim and Mary Vanetten

Favorite subject : Orchestra, Algebra One and PAP Science

Hobbies or extracurricular activities : Listening to music, playing the Cello, viola, mini-harp, and guitar, reading books about physics and biology, playing online strategy games and spending time with family and friends.

Why this student was chosen: “Garrett is a leader on campus and exemplifies what it means to be a Chisholm Trail Bulldog. He works hard and is a role model to other students. Garrett has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to him making a difference in the world.” – Principal Todd Rogers

Northwest High School


Bailey Brown

Grade: 12th

Parents: Rhonda and Eddie Brown

Favorite subjects: Broadcasting

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: NHSTV, NHS president, and Orange Out Founder.

Why this student was chosen: “Bailey is one of the kindest students I know. From her work with the Orange Foundation, to her academics, as well as her involvement in NHS, she is a great student leader.” – Principal Jason Childress

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News Briefs for Wednesday, October 22, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-october-22-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-october-22-2014/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:44:32 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82398 BRIDGEPORT

FALL FESTIVAL – 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 zip line, 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.

GOLF TOURNEY – The Bridgeport Women’s Club’s 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament benefiting the Bridgeport Spirit of Christmas is Sunday, Oct. 26, at Bridgeport Country Club. Registration is 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Call Susan Miller, 940-366-0186.

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.


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.

GT PROGRAM – Chico Elementary School will have a fall informational meeting for all parents and/or students interested in learning more about the gifted and talented program and requirements at Chico Elementary School. The meeting is 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in the elementary library. If you can’t attend the meeting, call 940-644-2220, ext. 2013, or come by the elementary office.

NO FINES – October is Fine Forgiveness Month at Chico Public Library. Individuals who owe fines for late or lost items may have their fines removed by donating new or gently used shoes. Each pair of shoes is worth up to $10 in fines. All donated shoes will go to the Wise Choices shoe drive. Call Michelle, 940-644-2330.

FOOD DRIVE – Chico 4-H is having a canned food drive now through Friday, Oct. 31. Donations can be dropped off at Chico Butane or Chico Middle School. All food items will be donated to WARM. Call Kelly Martin, 940-210-2506.


GOLF TOURNAMENT – The Decatur Junior Woman’s Club will host the 23rd Annual Park Classic golf tournament Friday, Oct. 24, at Decatur Country Club. Lunch and registration is at noon with tee time at 1 p.m. Entry fee is $300 per team. Mulligans are $5 (limit of two), and a poker run option is $15 per person. An all-inclusive team cost (which includes the mulligans and poker run for each member) is $400. Call Megan Nichols Adams, 940-626-0586; Kelsea Bieser, 940-399-9711; or Andrea McKinnon, 940-389-0541.

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, not to mention 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 us to some classic spooky fare and a lively question-and-answer session. Suggested age is 13 and up.

CHAMBER LUNCHEON – Acclaimed rodeo announcer Bob Tallman will be the featured speaker at the October luncheon of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, to be held 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Decatur Civic Center. Tallman, who announces rodeos coast-to-coast, from the Fort Worth Stock Show to the Calgary Stampede to the National Finals in Las Vegas, has been the PRCA’s announcer of the year eight times. His voice, which has become synonymous with professional rodeo, is familiar to generations of rodeo fans. Luncheon reservations are $12 per person. Call the Chamber, 940-627-3107.

FALL FESTIVAL – Governor’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.

FABRIC DONATIONS – Senior Care in Decatur is seeking fleece fabric donations for resident projects. Donations of 1-yard increments may be made at the facility, 701 W. Bennett. Call Kathy, 940-626-2817.


GOLF TOURNAMENT – Paradise Ag Supporters Golf Classic is Monday, Nov. 10, at The Club at Runaway Bay with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Cost is $100 per golfer, which includes lunch, a goody bag and cart use. To register to play or for information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Vann Wakefield, 817-454-9082, vwakefield@ci.southlake.tx.us.


HALLOWEEN FUN – The city of Rhome is hosting Halloween in Family Park 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. Residents are invited to wear costumes and bring candy, along with table and chairs. Call Jo Ann Wilson, 817-638-2388.


FIRE DEPARTMENT RAFFLE – Runaway Bay volunteer firefighters are selling raffle tickets for a gun. Cost is $20 a ticket, and only 300 will be sold. Tickets are available at Bridgeport Guns and Ammo, where the drawing will be held Saturday, Nov. 1. Contact Brian, 940-391-9158; Alex, 940-440-0382; or J.D., 940-577-7101. Proceeds will be used to purchase fire department jackets.


GIFTED AND TALENTED NOMINATIONS – Slidell ISD will be accepting nominations for the gifted and talented program through Friday. Nomination forms are available in the elementary and secondary office. For information, call Melissa Fitzgerald at 940-466-3118, ext. 241.


FREE MAMMOGRAMS – The Mary’s Gift program at Wise Regional Health System is offering free mammogram screenings for eligible women Wednesdays, Oct. 22 and 29, by appointment only. Call 940-626-1384 to apply.

BASKETBALL TRYOUTS – Tryouts for Muscle Basketball, select teams for second through sixth graders, are 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, or Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Chico City Gym. Cost to play is $325. Email Wendell Berry at wendell.berry@wiseregional.com. Call 940-627-2708 or 940-393-2698.

EARLY VOTING STARTS TODAY – Early voting in the Nov. 4 election is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27-31 at the Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, Decatur City Hall and Rhome City Hall. This weekend Decatur City Hall will be open for early voting 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Anyone registered to vote in Wise County can cast a ballot at any of these locations. Voters should bring a photo ID, along with their voter registration card.

DISTRICT SINGING – The fall session of the District Singing Convention is 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, and 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Miller St., in Decatur. Lunch is provided. Contact Susan Bollman, 817-975-1666, susan.bollman@att.net; Vic Cox, 817-599-9024, victorlcox@gmail.com; or Ava Barlow, 972-658-7608, ava@skytex.net

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Wise County Special Needs Baseball needs volunteers 8:30 a.m. to noon each Saturday through Nov. 1. Come be a buddy to one of the group’s nearly 100 baseball players. For information, call 940-577-1848, www.wcspecialneeds.com.

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Cross Country: Golden Run – Boyd brings home title http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cross-country-golden-run-boyd-brings-home-title/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cross-country-golden-run-boyd-brings-home-title/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:43:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82396 It took Marco Martinez less than a half-mile to leave the field in his dust Monday.

Martinez pulled away and ran most of the course by himself on the way to winning the 9-3A title at Kiwanis Park in Wichita Falls. He completed the 5K course in 17:01.

Pulling Away

PULLING AWAY – Boyd’s Marco Martinez leaves his teammate Nathan Martinez and the rest of the field behind Monday on his way to winning the 9-3A cross country title. The Yellowjackets also claimed the team crown. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

“It means everything to me,” Martinez said. “It’s everything I’ve worked for. It’s my senior year and I had to work hard for this.”

Martinez also paced the Yellowjackets to the 9-3A team title. Boyd held off a charge from Paradise to win by five points, 44 to 49. Both teams advance to the Class 3A race at the Region II championships Nov. 1 at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.

“I’m so proud of them. It’s been a heck of a year,” said coach Oscar Hernandez. “We’ve won three meets and finished 15th at Round Rock. It’s my most successful year as a coach. But with the leaders like the Hammett (Cameron and Aaron) and Marco, it makes it easy.”

Marco Martinez passed his teammate, Nathan Martinez, a quarter-mile into the race and never looked back, cruising through the first mile with a substantial lead.

“I was running comfortably,” he said. “No one was pushing me.”

Through the first mile-plus, Boyd had runners in first through third place with Nathan Martinez and Aaron Hammett behind Marco.

But in the last mile, the field started to shake up behind Marco Martinez. Paradise’s J.D. Pearson and Sam Robinson charged in front of Nathan Martinez.

Pearson and Robinson then battled each other until the final stride with Pearson nudging past his teammate for second in 17:45. Robinson was third in 17:46.

“I hit a wall on the backstretch and then saw Sam,” Pearson said. “That gave me a push to get ahead of the Boyd kids. I was just trying to move up to help us place higher.

“I wanted to go out with a bang. I realized today that it’s close to being over.”

Nathan Martinez held on for fourth in 17:51.

“In the final mile I started getting a side stitch but I knew I had to keep fighting,” he said.

Aaron Hammett said he also was struggling with a side stitch in the final mile, but he was able to hold his ground to take sixth in a personal-best 17:56.

“I’ve been at 18:01,” he said. “That three seconds is a big difference for me.

“It’s awesome. We’ve been working our entire career for this,” Aaron Hammett said about the team title.

Cameron Hammett finished ninth in 18:36. Corban McDonald crossed the finish line as Boyd’s fifth runner in 20:11 for 25th, securing the league title for his team.

Keaton Ford took 30th in 20:44, and Aaron Roberts-Wright 36th in 21:35.

Running on a broken toe, Paradise’s Landry Norwood gave the Panthers a third runner in the top 10, finishing eighth in 18:28.

Dalton Sanders took 15th in 19:08. Garrett Schneck finished 21st in 19:53 as Paradise’s fifth runner.

Spencer Forsyth was 33rd in 21:14, and Joseph Eisen 40th in 22:13.

“I’m pleased overall,” said Paradise coach Cody Chandler. “It was a great team effort.

“J.D. and Sam really stepped up and narrowed the gap the last mile.”

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1 killed in 2-vehicle accident http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/1-killed-in-2-vehicle-accident/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/1-killed-in-2-vehicle-accident/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:43:21 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82307 WednesdayFatal

A woman was killed and a child was seriously injured about 9:30 Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle accident on Farm Road 51 at Farm Road 455 near Slidell. The child was flown to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. Their identities will not be released until family has been notified. Department of Public Safety Trooper Ray Wallace said a passenger car  stopped at the stop sign on 455 (on the east side of 51), but then pulled out in front of an 18-wheeler traveling northbound on 51. The truck driver, who works for Targa Resources, was not injured. “It was like a movie,” said witness Charles Shouse of Paris. “The car was in the air. There are no tracks in the grass.” The car came to rest on the west side of the road, just north of the intersection. The witness said the truck also went airborne before crashing into RVs parked nearby and landing on its side. According to Shouse, the driver of the truck said he was carrying saltwater. The road was temporarily shut down so the helicopter ambulance could land on 455. Wise County’s Medic 1, Medic 4 and Rescue 1 were called to the scene. Greenwood/Slidell and Decatur fire departments were also on scene, as well as sheriff’s deputies and several state troopers.

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Cross Country: Paradise’s Norwood takes 8th on broken toe http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cross-country-paradises-norwood-takes-8th-on-broken-toe/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cross-country-paradises-norwood-takes-8th-on-broken-toe/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:42:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82393 During a basketball workout last week, Paradise’s Landry Norwood broke his toe.

But the Panther refused to let the injury knock him off the course Monday at the 9-3A cross country championships.

While in pain, Norwood fought his way around the Kiwanis Park 5K course to finish eighth in the boys’ race in 18:28.

Norwood said he didn’t want to let his team down.

“I could feel it, going around the first turn,” he said. “Then it numbed up and I was able to push through it. I just knew this could be my last race.”

In fact, Norwood’s performance assured that it wouldn’t be his last race, as he qualified for the 3A Region II race as an individual. Also, as the third Panther in the top 10, he helped the Paradise squad take second in the team rankings and earn a regional team bid.

“I wanted to make it to regionals as an individual and I did that by getting eighth,” Norwood said. “We also did great as a team.”

Norwood’s gutty race impressed his teammates.

“Landry came through big, running injured,” said J.D. Pearson.

Paradise coach Cody Chandler also offered praise to Norwood.

“You could see he was hurting,” the coach said. “He just pushed through the pain. Some kids wouldn’t have tried it. But we wouldn’t have advanced without him running.”

He now has a week to let his foot heal before the regional meet Nov. 1.

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Cross Country: Decatur makes run at district http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cross-country-decatur-makes-run-at-district/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cross-country-decatur-makes-run-at-district/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:42:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82391 After months of training and six meets, the season for the Decatur cross country teams comes down to the next two weeks.

“Basically, when we wake up Thursday all our work is done,” said Decatur coach David Park. “It all comes down to the next 16 days – the time between district and state.

“All the things we’ve done have been building up to this. We now have to be on that day.”

Thursday’s 9-4A championships at Joe Wheeler Park will be the first hurdle in a three-race journey. Both Decatur squads hope that journey ends in Round Rock Nov. 8. The district races start at 1 p.m. Thursday with the girls’ 3,200 race. The boys’ 5K will follow.

In the girls’ race, Jessica Kyle will be looking for a second straight district title. She turned in a 12:02 last year to claim the crown.

“I feel strong. I feel like my training has improved,” Kyle said.

“If I’m up there, I’m going to try to push for it. I’m going to try the best I can.”

Park said Kyle’s challenge for the crown may come from her teammates, who have been running strong. In the Reunion Run at Joe Wheeler Park Oct. 4, the Lady Eagles finished one through six. Taylor Butler was second followed by Nicole Neighbors, Georgina Palomo, Elizebeth Culpepper and Paola Palomo.

In the boys’ race, Tyler Wilson enters with the fastest time. The senior is hoping to bring home his first crown.

“My legs feel better than they have all season,” Wilson said. “My mindset is right. I want it pretty bad. I also want to set a PR.”

Last time on the course, Wilson ran a 16:16 to win the Reunion Run.

“I’m gunning for that time, if not better,” he said.

Parker Cullop finished third at Reunion in 17:23, and Allen Rangle fourth. Charles Doubrava, Bryse Hoyt and Hunter Helm also posted top-10 finishes in that race.

“We’ve come from just a bunch of boys running, into men,” Wilson said. “Our times keep getting better.”

The Decatur squads have not competed since Oct. 4. The two teams pulled out of their scheduled race Oct. 11 due to a sloppy course.

“It feels like forever since our last race,” Kyle said. “We’ve never skipped a meet. Hopefully it’ll give us some fresh legs.”

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