WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:30:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Friday, March 27, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/friday-march-27-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/friday-march-27-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:23:08 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89008

HEALTH FAIR – The 8th Annual Wise County Health Fair is 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, at the Decatur Civic Center. The theme for this year’s event is Heroes for Health. The event will feature free health screenings, activities for kids and more. Contact Dena Silvers, 940-627-5080, silvers@embarqmail.com.

SOCCER PLAYOFFS – The Decatur Eagles and Lady Eagles will start the 4A playoffs tonight. The Lady Eagles play Abilene Wylie at 5:30 at Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium. The Eagles play host to Brownwood at 6.

BRIDGEPORT, DECATUR MEET ON DIAMONDS – The Decatur baseball and softball teams will head to Bridgeport for 8-4A matchups tonight. The Eagles and Bulls play at 7:30. The Lady Eagles and Sissies start at 6:30. In other action, the Alvord baseball team goes to Olney and the Lady Bulldogs take on Chico at home. The Chico Dragons take on Graford at home. The Boyd baseball and softball teams play Jacksboro at home. The Paradise squads go to Holliday. The Northwest Lady Texans take on Denton Ryan at home. The Texans head to Denton Guyer.

LIFTERS HEAD TO STATE – Decatur and Bridgeport lifters will travel to Abilene Saturday to compete for state titles in powerlifting.

TEXAS RELAYS – Decatur’s Gunnar Parker and Jacob Kevetter and a large contingent of Northwest athletes will compete at the 88th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays today and Saturday in Austin.

BOND TOWN HALL – The Decatur school district will hold a series of town hall meetings to share information about the upcoming school bond issue on the May 9 ballot. The meetings are 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 31; noon Thursday, April 9; and 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16. All meetings will be at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates.

EDC KICKS OFF BUSINESS RETENTION PROGRAM – Decatur Economic Development Corp. is hosting a business and industry breakfast 8:30-10 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, at the Decatur Civic Center. Pat Boutier with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center will present “The Tactics of ‘LEAN,'” which is a strategy often used in manufacturing. This is the first quarterly forum of the EDC’s business retention and expansion program, which will provide the opportunity for attendees to support each other, network and learn from practical workshops to enhance business performance. RSVP to iburnett@decatur-edc.com, 940-393-0350.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE EGG HUNT – The Wise County Sheriff’s Office annual Easter Egg Hunt is 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 31. The event is for kids ages 5 and under. Hot dogs, snacks, chips and drinks will be provided. Bring a camera for photos with the Easter Bunny.

MEET AND GREET – Wise County Special Needs Baseball will host a meet and greet 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, at Community Church, on U.S. 380, just west of Decatur. Coaches and players for the upcoming 2015 season are invited, as well as other special needs children and adults who would like to play. Coaches and registered players will meet their teammates, receive their jerseys and enjoy carnival-style games. Call Margette Harle, 940-577-5530; or visit wcspecialneeds.com.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE – Morris Memorial Methodist Church, 302 S. Weatherford St. in Chico, will present “Alleluia! The Praise Continues” at 6 p.m. Sunday. A time of food and fellowship will follow the performance. Call 940-644-5186.

EGGSTRAVAGANZA – Join the Easter Bunny and Bridgeport Parks and Recreation on Sunday for the annual egg hunt and carnival. The event is 2-3:30 p.m. with the egg hunt at 2. It will include inflatables, face painting, games, candy, balloon animals, and more. Call 940-683-3480.

EGG HUNT – Senior Care in Decatur will hold an Easter egg hunt 2-3 p.m. Saturday. The event will include the Easter bunny, bounce house, popcorn and refreshments. The facility is located at 701 W. Bennett Rd. Call 940-626-2800.

BOYD REUNION – The Boyd High School All-Class Reunion is 3-8 p.m. Saturday at the Boyd High School cafeteria. Pot luck dinner is at 5. Call Judy Wilson at 940-255-9235.

FUNERAL – Service for Rex Vilas Powell, 72, of Lake Bridgeport is noon today at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Bluebonnet Hills Cemetery in Colleyville.

FUNERAL for Lorita Jean Tomlinson Wright, formerly of Bridgeport is 3 p.m. today at Big Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Malvern, Ark., with burial at Big Creek Cemetery in Malvern. Hawkins-Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Rose Earlene (Hall) Williams, 77, formerly of Bridgeport is 3 p.m. Saturday at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at New Hope Cemetery in Boyd. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Larry McGahey, 65, of Boyd is 10 a.m. Monday at Watts Funeral Home in Madill, Okla., with burial at Powell Cemetery. Family visitation is 12-2 p.m. Saturday at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

SERVICE for Sue Peterson Vaughn, 79, of Alvord is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Elizabeth L. O’Neal is 1 p.m. Saturday at Coker-Hawkins Chapel with burial at Fairview Cemetery. Family visitation is 5 – 7 tonight at the funeral home.

MEMORIAL service for Royce A. Prater, 73, of Bridgeport is 3 p.m. today at Faith Baptist Church in Decatur. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Doug Wood, 56, of Paradise is 2 p.m. today at Jones Family Funeral Home with burial at Cottondale Cemetery. Family visitation is 1 p.m. prior to the service.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/thursday-march-26-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/thursday-march-26-2015/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:19:51 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89003

HIGH WINDS CAUSE PROBLEMS – Strong straight line winds were responsible for three electric issues/outages in Decatur last night, Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley reported. A streetlight pole fell across the road on Park Street, but no customers were affected. Strong winds blew trees into the line in the Melba Doyle Park area causing power to be out for just over two hours for 20 residents. An electric line was pulled down in the Collom Street area by a tree limb. Tree trimmers and crews worked to restore power to the 18 customers affected. A wind advisory will remain in effect for Wise County until noon today. Sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour are expected with gusts of up to 35 miles per hour. Very little rain accompanied a cold front’s arrival last night, with Bridgeport recording just 0.02 of an inch of rain.

COMMISSIONERS HIT THE ROAD – The first Wise County commissioners mobile meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, in the Slidell school cafetorium. County Judge J.D. Clark will give a report on upcoming county issues, and Commissioner Danny White will talk about projects in Precinct 1. Sheriff David Walker will give a presentation on the county’s K-9 program, and community members will have the opportunity to address commissioners during open forum.

AMPUTEES IN MOTION – Amputees In Motion will meet at 6 tonight at Catfish O’Harlie’s in Decatur. Guest speaker will be Dr. Childers. Call 903-746-5091.

CLAY SHOOT – Wise Choices Shoot 4 Life clay shoot at Fossil Pointe Sporting Grounds is Friday. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the shoot at 9. Cost is $500/5-man team. The event will feature games, prizes, a live auction that includes two hunts and a fishing trip and raffles for three guns and a Snap-On Toolbox. Breakfast and lunch provided. All proceeds benefit Wise Choices PRC. Register online today at www.wisechoicesshoot4life.com or come Friday for the auction.

MEET AND GREET – Wise County Special Needs Baseball will host a meet and greet 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday at Community Church, on U.S. 380, just west of Decatur. Coaches and players for the upcoming 2015 season are invited, as well as other special needs children and adults who would like to play. Coaches and registered players will meet their teammates, receive their jerseys and enjoy carnival-style games. Call Margette Harle, 940-577-5530; or visit wcspecialneeds.com.

EGG HUNT – Senior Care in Decatur will hold an Easter egg hunt 2-3 p.m. Saturday. The event will include the Easter bunny, bounce house, popcorn and refreshments. The facility is located at 701 W. Bennett Rd. Call 940-626-2800.

SPRING STORYTIME – A Spring Friday Fun Preschool Special at the Decatur Public Library is 10:30 a.m. Friday. Storytime will feature stories with puppets, songs and spring themed movement play. All library programs for children are free. Visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE – Morris Memorial Methodist Church, 302 S. Weatherford St. in Chico, will present “Alleluia! The Praise Continues” at 6 p.m. Sunday. A time of food and fellowship will follow the performance. Call 940-644-5186.

LIBRARY EGG HUNT – Decatur Public Library’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt for kids is on April 1. Reserve your spot at 10:15 or 11:15. Sign up at the library, by phone, 940-393-0290 or on the website: www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING – The regular monthly meeting of the Wise County Historical Society Inc. is noon today at the Wise County Heritage Museum, 1602 S. Trinity Street in Decatur. Lunch will be served, so RSVP to the museum at 940-627-5586.

HEALTH FORUM – The Wise County Health Forum meets 9 a.m. today in the main lecture hall at Weatherford College Wise County on U.S. 380.

RETIRING TEACHER – Denise Joseph of Decatur is retiring after almost 40 years in education. Joseph’s retirement reception will be 3:30-5:30 p.m. today at Carson Elementary.

FUNERALS – Service for Rex Vilas Powell, 72, of Lake Bridgeport is noon Friday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Bluebonnet Hills Cemetery in Colleyville. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Rose Earlene (Hall) Williams, 77, formerly of Bridgeport is 3 p.m. Saturday at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at New Hope Cemetery in Boyd. Family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

SERVICES for Larry McGahey, 65, and Donald Hatosy, 75, both of Boyd are pending at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

SERVICE for Sue Peterson Vaughn, 79, Alvord is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

MEMORIAL service for Royce A. Prater, 73, of Bridgeport is 3 p.m. Friday at Faith Baptist Church in Decatur. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Doug Wood, 56, of Paradise is 2 p.m. Friday at Jones Family Funeral Home with burial at Cottondale Cemetery. Family visitation is 1 p.m. prior to the service.

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WRHS unveils new fitness facility plans, budget http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wrhs-unveils-new-fitness-facility-plans-budget/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wrhs-unveils-new-fitness-facility-plans-budget/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:26:18 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88998 The footprint of Wise Regional Health System in Decatur will soon grow even larger with the construction of a new fitness facility.

The Decatur Hospital Authority Board Monday put its stamp of approval on plans and budget for a $13 million new structure to house Fit-N-Wise. The 72,000-square-foot facility will be built just north of the WRHS East Campus on Medical Center Drive.

“It’s almost three times as big as what we have now,” said Travis Fulton, administrative director of therapy services.

The new facility will have two floors with separate areas for physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports medicine and general fitness.

Fulton said this will allow them to offer more services in the various types of therapy, while preventing patients and gym members from utilizing the same space.

“We will no longer have to mix community members with patients,” he said. “All the HIPAA violation risk will be removed. We’re no longer exposing our patients and community members at the same time.”

The facility will also boast two swimming pools – one outdoor and one indoor – and two gymnasiums.

On the second floor, or mezzanine level, an indoor track on one side will overlook the gymnasiums below and the other side will have bleachers overlooking the indoor pool.

This level will also have cardiovascular equipment as well as rooms for fitness classes.

The main workout floor will be on the first level, along with locker rooms, a nursery and a small cafeteria, which will also be accessible from the outdoor pool via a service window.

The board also approved, at the recommendation of the construction committee, appointing Dwayne Hodges with the Skiles Group as construction manager.

Board member Mark Duncum, who is chairman of the construction committee, said after narrowing a list of candidates, they interviewed Hodges and Frank Dale of Decatur with the Frank Dale Group.

“Both were impressive and presented well,” he said. “At the end of the day we believed both were very capable to work on the project, but our recommendation is we select the Skiles Group, based primarily on our long, successful history with Dwayne Hodges. He was involved in the construction of this hospital …”

Duncum went on to say they were “very impressed” with Dale’s group.

“… we believe he’ll have a presence in Decatur for a long time, and we wish him nothing but the best,” he said.

Duncum said the committee has been working on the fitness facility project for several months.

“Our final thoughts were we need to build something to not only satisfy needs now, but also in the future,” he said. “We believe it’ll be useable for a long time and be a great amenity for Decatur.”

There was no discussion of how the current Fit-N-Wise facility will be used, but it was mentioned that moving the fitness center is “necessary to add another wing to this hospital.”

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Kitchen fire doused http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/kitchen-fire-doused/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/kitchen-fire-doused/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:25:42 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88996 An oven inside Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes on the Decatur Square caught fire early Saturday morning, but firefighters extinguished the flames before it caused major damage to the restaurant.


STEAMED – A Decatur firefighter keeps an eye on a recently-extinguished fire in an oven at Sweetie Pie’s restaurant on the Decatur Square early Saturday morning. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Decatur Fire Chief Mike Richardson said a next-door neighbor saw smoke and called the fire department around 1 a.m.

“When firefighters arrived, they found black smoke coming out around the door to the kitchen,” he said. “When they went inside, they saw flames around the oven.”

He explained that the oven was apparently left on. It eventually caught pine rosin, used for the restaurant’s baked potatoes, on fire, and flames spread to the adjoining space.

Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames. Fans were brought in to help clear out the smoke, and the restaurant was able to open later that day.

Richardson said the restaurant does not have a sprinkler system.

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Hotel in civic center expansion plans http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/hotel-in-civic-center-expansion-plans/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/hotel-in-civic-center-expansion-plans/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:24:49 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88993 The Decatur Civic Center could soon get a new neighbor in the form of an upscale motel.

The city council Monday approved, upon recommendation of the Economic Development Corp., moving into the next phase of the initial period study to include a Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott as part of expansion plans for the Decatur Civic Center.

Looking to the Future

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE – A conceptual artist rendering of what the Fairfield Inn and Suites would look like situated next to the Decatur Civic Center shows the new facility located east of the civic center. Submitted illustration

Initial plans for the four-story, 107-room facility show the motel being built just east of the facility, where the east parking lot is currently located. It would connect to the civic center by a covered breezeway.

Civic Center Director Lori Sherwood said the addition of the motel will open up new opportunities at the facility that are not available now.

“It’s very hard for me to book multi-day events,” she said. “… This will change my dynamics so much with my Christmas parties, with Swap Meet, things going on at the fairgrounds, there is just a lot of opportunity there.”

EDC Director Mary Poche said the EDC has been working on the project with Gatehouse Capital on the initial study since last summer.

The total cost of the motel project is estimated at $13.2 million. A third of those costs, $4.4 million, would be funded in the form of a loan by the city.

City Manager Brett Shannon said taxpayers shouldn’t feel the burden of paying off those bonds.

“We firmly believe it will be self-supporting and provide the funding necessary to make those payments so that the taxpayers of Decatur will not see an increased property tax,” he said.

The loan is expected to be paid back in eight to nine years.

Another $2.2 million would be used to remodel the existing civic center facility. Shannon said that plan includes taking out the stage area and dressing rooms, which he said have been underutilized over the years, in order to expand the Great Hall. The kitchen area will also be doubled in size.

According to an economic impact study of the motel addition and civic center expansion project as performed by Stone Hospitality and Real Estate, the total estimated economic impact on the city over the first 10 years is $54.7 million. That includes 62 jobs from construction, 23 jobs from operations and a city tax revenue impact of nearly $3.9 million.

Poche said the expansion project will help showcase what Decatur already has to offer.

“We know what we have here, and we just need to get it where others can see it,” she said. “… I really believe this is something that will push us to the point we get noticed.”

The council unanimously voted to move forward with the project.

In other business, the council approved upon second reading the city’s rewrite of the zoning ordinances and zoning change request for several lots in the South Martin Branch subdivision. It also approved an amendment to the Sand Hill and Oaklawn Cemetery rules adding wording that prohibits “cement slabs, or any other type of covering” to the list of items that may not be placed over a grave or lot.

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H2X shutters operation http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/h2x-shutters-operation/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/h2x-shutters-operation/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:23:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88990 After moving into its Decatur office just four months ago, H2X Hydro-Excavating Co. has closed its doors.

Although the Messenger has not yet verified if the company has filed for bankruptcy, a March 22 USA TODAY article said 60 employees were laid off when the company shut down in February.

H2X President Mike Clark could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

The company, which operated a fleet of trucks that excavate with high-pressure water rather than mechanical digging equipment, moved its national headquarters to Decatur in 2012 and secured a $200,000 incentive grant for performance from the city of Decatur’s Economic Development Corp.

Following months of delays, the building permit for the 12,000-square-foot facility was finally issued in January of 2014, and H2X moved into a newly constructed building 10 months later.

C.L. Gage, who built the facility for H2X east of downtown, recently received an email from Clark.

“He said the $40-a-barrel oil shut them down,” Gage said.

In the USA TODAY article, which documents the current slump of the oil and gas industry in America, reporter Trevor Hughes visited a heavy equipment auction last week in Longmont, Colo.

Several of H2X’s hydro excavator trucks were being sold, along with equipment from many other companies.

The article quotes Clark as saying he didn’t know how much his trucks sold for and wasn’t sure that he wanted to know.

“The oil and gas companies pulled in their horns really fast,” Clark told USA TODAY. “Everyone I talk to, they’re stunned at how fast everybody reacted.”

Craig Talley, owner of Talley Communications in Decatur, installed the company’s telephone system and said he is still owed money.

“They paid me for some of the work at first, but now they won’t even return my phone calls,” he said. Talley said he’s talked to several other business owners who are owed money by H2X.

Decatur EDC Director Mary Poche said the EDC’s attorney has sent a letter to Clark notifying the company that by closing it is in violation of its performance agreement.

The company received half of its $200,000 grant immediately in 2012, and they were to receive the other half when the building on Stratton Street was completed and certain employment goals were met.

Due to the delays with the building permit, Poche said the EDC board approved giving H2X the second half of its money in $25,000 increments to coincide with steps in the construction process – when the slab was poured for the building, when the steel was erected, when the building was “in the dry” and when the certificate of occupancy was issued.

The city of Decatur was in the middle of an $80,000 paving job to make sure the streets around H2X could withstand the heavy traffic of the water-laden trucks.

This work was also being paid for with an EDC grant, but Poche said the road improvements would have been made if any business had moved to that location. The work was not tied specifically to H2X or its agreement with the EDC.

While street crews were working on the paving project this week, large wreckers began arriving to haul off the H2X trucks stored at the site.

The Messenger has not been able to verify if the company’s other locations are also closed.

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Bleacher, parking lot project approved http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/bleacher-parking-lot-project-approved/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/bleacher-parking-lot-project-approved/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:22:20 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88988 Despite a couple of concerns, the Decatur School Board Monday approved a project to add a section of bleachers and add parking spaces at Eagle Stadium.

The bleachers will be added to the north side of the home bleachers, providing 160 seats for the band and drill team. The parking lot improvements would add spaces north of the stadium.

With the project expected to take 120 days, the board needed to make a decision at this month’s meeting in order to have the work done before football season. If the work began around April 1, it would be complete around Aug. 1.

The district received four estimates for the project, and Superintendent Rod Townsend recommended awarding the project to the company that provided the lowest estimate of $158,221: J&D Dodd Construction.

At least a couple of board members were concerned.

“If we go with the contractor you recommended, I’d like to see the penalty clause raised up substantially because we got snake bit on that last project. It’s imperative that this thing is done by football season,” board member Jeff Elder said.

He was referring to the agricultural science facility at the high school, which was also built by J&D Dodd Construction. That project ended up taking several months longer than expected.

The penalty clause includes a dollar amount penalty per day for every day the project goes past the alloted 120 days. Elder recommended the penalty be increased to $200 per day.

Board member Marsha Hafer said she was in favor of moving forward with one part of the project but not the other.

“This is just my opinion, but I’m personally more comfortable at this point in time going forward with the bleachers as opposed to everything at once,” she said.

She cited concerns over added costs for the parking work and the need to make sure the work is finished in time for football season.

The board ended up agreeing to offer the job to J&D Dodd Construction with the increased penalty of $200 per day. If the company does not agree to the contract, the board will offer the job, with the same penalty clause, to FX5.

The board also honored senior Katy Rowden for reaching the state finals in swimming all four years of high school and the ag mechanics team on its recent success.

High school English teacher Jennifer Smith was honored as educator of the month and Kristy Hammons as support staff employee of the month.

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Bridgeport School Board refuses construction bids http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/bridgeport-school-board-refuses-construction-bids/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/bridgeport-school-board-refuses-construction-bids/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:21:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88986 Potential renovations to Bull Memorial Stadium are on hold after the Bridgeport School Board Monday night shot down a motion to award a construction bid.

Board members Tom Talley and Dr. Scott Stowers wanted to award a $2.1 million construction bid to Imperial Construction out of Weatherford, but the other five board members voted against it, saying they wanted to pursue other options before making a decision.

Imperial was the lowest-rated contractor that the board considered, but not the cheapest – that award went to MEGA Contractors out of Fort Worth, with a $2.1 million bid. Buford-Thompson Co., also of Fort Worth, was the highest-rated contractor and most expensive bid at slightly more than $2.5 million.

“I like the idea of doing this, but I have a hard time putting $2.5 million into a dilapidated structure,” board member Steve Stanford said.

The renovations would add more seating to the stadium while also adding a new press box and an elevator to make the facility ADA compliant.

Board President Jim Bost didn’t think adding the seats was cost-efficient since the bleachers at the current stadium weren’t being filled on a weekly basis anyway.

“What’s the point in building more seats if we can’t fill the ones we have now?” Bost asked.

Ultimately, the board voted against Talley and Stowers and will continue to pursue other renovation options.

In other sports news, athletics director Danny Henson recommended Ben Parks for the boys soccer coaching job.

Parks is currently a history teacher with the district and an assistant football coach at the high school. He was a place kicker at Baylor University for four years. “He’s had an extensive background in soccer before he went to Baylor, and I think he’s a great person to start the program,” Henson said at the meeting. “Even if we looked elsewhere for a coach, I’d want to look for someone like him.”

Henson announced Parks’ hiring Tuesday morning in an email, writing “[Parks] is very excited to get the program started.”

The AD said the department will continue to look outside for a district soccer coach.


The board also:

  • voted to award compensation to district employees who had to miss work because of inclement weather conditions last month;
  • awarded a bid to Mann Refrigeration to replace heating and air conditioning units at the elementary, intermediate and middle schools for a total of just more than $1.4 million; and
  • formally congratulated the boys and girls basketball teams for their winning seasons.

The board’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, April 20, at 2107 15th Street. It’s open to the public.

Follow live updates of this meeting and others on Twitter @JakeHarris4.

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Building, one code at a time http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/features/building-one-code-at-a-time/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/features/building-one-code-at-a-time/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:20:58 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88984 Thanks to the donations of a Boyd school board member, high school students will have the opportunity to run a machine that they could see in the workplace.

Boyd Builders

BOYD BUILDERS – Boyd ISD School Board member Bill Childress, Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West, Boyd High school teacher Dawn Caddell and Boyd High School Principal Scott Nedrow stand in front of Caddell’s engineering class as they show off their new Computer Numerical Control machine that Childress donated to the school. The machine will help the students learn computer automated design in the future. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The new Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine that school board member Bill Childress donated to the district will soon be operated by BHS engineering students.

“It’s basically just a computer run machine to cut parts out of metal,” student Dustin Boyd said.

The machine is one of the first of its kind to be put into a Wise County school.

With a CNC machine, the students will be able to plot blueprints and map designs for things ranging from car parts to furniture.

“It’s limitless, really,” Boyd said.

Computer Reflection

COMPUTER REFLECTION – Bradley Tedrow and Ashley Sellers stand in the foreground examining the school’s new Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine while their classmates look on in the background. The machine will soon be a vital part of the Boyd engineering program’s studies. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The students won’t be making anything just yet, though. First, they’re learning how to make blueprints and memorize the g-codes that tell the computer what to do.

G-codes operate like coordinates on a map or HTML codes on a computer – they’re a series of codes that start with the letter “g” that can be used to tell the CNC computer which direction to cut, what direction to move in, how far to cut and so forth.

“You have to know the operations of it, and each code has a certain meaning, like how to spin a drill bit a certain way or at a certain speed,” Boyd said.

Right now, the students mostly learn from YouTube videos since there is no other curriculum in place.

The students said they liked online learning better than traditional lectures.

“It’s been different for the YouTube thing, but I like it better, actually,” Bradley Tedrow said. “They dumb it down for us a lot, which helps.”

A lot of the students’ parents work with CNC machines for their jobs, which also makes it easier to take the work home and learn, teacher Dawn Caddell said.

“They can actually see how the machines work, and they bring that skill here, and that’s helped me a lot,” she said. “We’re working on partnering with the workforce commission and some other businesses to set up some internships for the kids, so they can see how to run the machines and … pad their resumes.”

Many of the students said they want to go into engineering jobs in the future, and enjoy coming to Caddell’s class every day.

“It’s pretty good money,” Tedrow said.

Caddell said while this group is the inaugural class, they will be able to start building next year and then impart their knowledge to other students.

“It’s a big deal for a school of our size to have a program like this, and I’m excited we get to use this type of technology,” she said.

Within a few years, the students will have built a program of which they can be proud.

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Boyd ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, March 25, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/boyd-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-march-25-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/boyd-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-march-25-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:19:40 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88980 BOYD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

William Anderson

William Anderson

Grade: Kindergarten

Parents: Laura Platt and William Anderson

Favorite subject: Gym

Activities: Playing games outside and at home

“William is a good role model to other students in class. When William came to kindergarten, he wasn’t sure about letters and sounds and what to do with them. As the weeks have gone by, he has hung in there and picked up all his letters and sounds. He is now beginning to blend sounds together to read! William didn’t let this challenge get in his way. His determination and focus helped him conquer each challenge ahead of him.” – Principal Anke Bracey


Sadi Wilson

Sadi Wilson

Grade: 6th

Parents: Dandy and Tatia Wilson

Favorite subject: Writing

Activities: Riding horses and playing volleyball

“Sadi is a hard worker. She is committed to all she does. Sadi has a positive attitude and is always nice to everyone. She is a joy to know.” – Principal Nina Coody


Matthew Oldham

Matthew Oldham

Grade: 8th

Grandparents: Rachael and Matt Oldham

Favorite subject: Science

Activities: Football, soccer, weight lifting, track, drawing

“Matthew is a smart, good-hearted young man. He is the biggest fan at every sporting event, unless he’s on the field.” – Principal James McDonald


Tommy Tilson

Tommy Tilson

Grade: 9th

Parents: Lamar and Brenda Tilson

Favorite subject: World geography and integrated physics and chemistry

Activities: Band, academic UIL, fishing

“Tommy is always helpful, participates regularly and gets involved in all discussions at BHS. Tommy works hard and always goes above and beyond expectations and is very respectful toward his peers, teachers and all staff.” – Principal Scott Nedrow

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Education Briefs for Wednesday, March 25, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-march-25-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-march-25-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:18:08 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88974 BOYD

WALK AND TALK FRIDAY – Parents and grandparents are invited to spend time walking and talking with Boyd Intermediate students during their P.E. class Friday, March 27. If the weather is nice, the event will take place at the track behind the intermediate school.


YEARBOOK PHOTOS – Bridgeport Elementary School PTO is looking for photos of students and events from this school year. Parents are encouraged to upload them at www.community.lifetouch.com. The access code is BAGVXI.

PROBLEM SOLVERS WIN COMPETITION – Team W.I.S.E. (Wise-County Identity Safety Education) placed first in the Leadership category of the Middle Division of the Community Problem Solvers state competition. The team’s project will be on display at the Texas Future Problem Solvers’ State Bowl in Austin on April 24-26. The group will also host a shred day this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brookshire’s in Bridgeport.


KINDER ROUNDUP – Pre-k and kindergarten roundup at Chico Elementary is 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Parents should bring their driver’s license, proof of residency and their child’s birth certificate, Social Security card and shot record. Call 940-644-2220.


BOOK FAIR – The Spring Scholastic Book Fair runs through today at Carson Elementary and the end of the week at Young Elementary.


HOUSTON WINNERS – Paradise High School students Channing Hamilton and Raeann Reid won for their exhibits recently at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Hamilton had a third place pig and eighth place steer. Reid had a first place pig.

PREVIEW DAY – Weatherford College will play host to its third annual Wise County Senior Preview Day 8:30 to 10:30 am. Thursday, April 16. Breakfast will be provided.

EMERALDS WIN – The Emeralds drill team won several awards at the Showtime International Beach Blast Dance Competition last weekend in Corpus Christi. For a list of awards, go to wcmess.com/drillteam


KINDER PREP – Prairie View Elementary is hosting Kinder Prep, a program for parents and soon-to-be kindergartners in April. There are three sessions – April 7, 14, and 21 – 4 to 4:45 p.m. Families can meet PVE staff, ask questions and gain insight into the kindergarten routine. Families who attend all three sessions will have a chance to win a kindergarten prep gift basket. Call 817-968-1569 after 3 p.m. or email Kharwell@nisdtx.org.

WINNING COMMUNICATORS – The Northwest ISD communications department received 12 Star Awards from the Texas School Public Relations Association. The department received three Best of Category awards for – 2014 Annual Report, Nora Flynn Video Documentary Feature and Source Staff Newsletter.

BAD WEATHER DAY – Northwest students will attend classes April 3 – Good Friday – to make up one of the days missed for inclement weather. The district is seeking a waiver from the state for the other two days missed.

BIG EVENT – The fourth annual Big Event is April 18. More than 900 students will assist six surrounding communities with projects for residents and organizations.

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Pi Kappa meets for annual Program’s Day http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/pi-kappa-meets-for-annual-programs-day/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/pi-kappa-meets-for-annual-programs-day/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:17:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88972 The Pi Kappa Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met at the home of President Jean Early for its annual Program’s Day March 14.

Brunch was served by Early, Carolyn Marlett and Janice Sivley prior to the programs, the first of which was presented by Evelyn Lewis on the “Art of Knitting.” Lewis displayed several historical pictures of types of knitting from the early 1900s and before.

She also had several pieces that she was in the process of knitting, and she explained the different patterns.

The second program was presented by Erika Reid and Kimberly Deleann on Essential Oils. They explained the benefits of using the oils, and samples were shared. Reference books were provided and a history of the oils was presented, as well as information on where the different plants are grown and the amount needed to make the oils pure.

A covered dish luncheon was served, and then the third program of the day was given by Kathy Early, director of surgical nurses at USMD Hospital in Arlington. She explained the differences between heart attack symptoms in men and women and gave instructions for calling 911 when experiencing those symptoms – take an aspirin, unlock the door and remain either sitting or lying down near the front door.

Program’s Day was closed with a short business meeting conducted by Jean Early.

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News Briefs for Wednesday, March 25, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-march-25-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-march-25-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:16:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88970 BRIDGEPORT

MOBILE HEALTH PROGRAM – The Texas Health Wellness for Life Mobile Health Program will be at Bridgeport City Hall, 900 Thompson St., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 26. They will be doing well-woman exams, mammograms and giving out take home colon cancer screenings kits. To schedule an appointment, call 1-855-318-7696. They will see patients both with and without insurance.

CLAY SHOOT – The Barnett Shale Sporting Clay Shoot is Thursday, April 2, at Northwest OHV Park, 2914 Texas 101, in Bridgeport. The morning flight is at 9 a.m., and the afternoon flight begins at 1:30 p.m. Cost is $100 per person or $500 for a five-person team. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Call the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, 940-683-2076.

BUTTERFIELD STAGE DAYS – The Butterfield Stage Days Festival is 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9, at Harwood Park in Bridgeport. Booth space and sponsorship opportunities are available. Call the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, 940-683-2076.

FIREFIGHTERS NEEDED – The Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department is searching for new members. Applicants must be 18 years or older, live in Bridgeport and have a high school diploma and a clean record. Call Bridgeport Training Captain Tanner Reeves, 940-577-0930.


COMPUTER CLASSES – A beginning Excel class is 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. Monday, March 30, at Decatur Public Library. The class is open to anyone. To register, call 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

LEARN TO CROCHET – Decatur Public Library is offering free Learn to Crochet and Learn to Knit classes Thursday evenings in March and April, 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. Crochet classes are in March, and participants should bring their own crochet hook and skein of yarn. Knitting classes are in April, and participants should bring a pair of knitting needles and yarn. The classes are free and open to all ages. No registration necessary. Call 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

GLITZY GIRLS – The second annual Glitzy Girls Trailer Park is Saturday, April 11, on the Decatur Square, and they are seeking vendors. Call 940-577-3487 or email toollady1@aol.com.

BACK THE BLUE – The Decatur Police Department’s Back The Blue Scholarship forms are now available for all Wise County seniors going into a criminal justice related field of study. Students can pick up forms from their school counselor or come by the Decatur Police Department at 1601 S. State St. Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by April 17.

LITERACY CLASSES – Decatur Public Library Early Literacy Classes have resumed. Join children’s librarian, Ms. Kristin, for a variety of storytime classes designed to foster your child’s love of learning. Visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com or call 940-393-0290 to find out which classes are best for your family.


GOLF TOURNAMENT – The Paradise Chamber of Commerce is seeking sponsors for its first golf tournament Saturday, May 16. Call Deborah Mann, 940-393-1434.


BOOK BLOWOUT – The Rhome Public Library is having a book sale through the end of March. Hardbacks are $1, and paperbacks are 50 cents. The library is open 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

EGG HUNT – The Rhome Easter egg hunt is 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at Family Park, 400 S. Virginia. There will be egg hunts for different age groups, prizes, free raffle tickets and a bounce house. Cookies and punch will be served, and the Easter bunny will be available for photos. Call Jo Ann Wilson, 817-638-2388.

LIBRARY STORY TIME – The Rhome Public Library will host story time 1 to 2 p.m. every first and third Wednesday, February through May, for preschool-age children. Call 817-636-2767.


FIREFIGHTERS NEEDED – The Runaway Bay Volunteer Fire Department is searching for new members. Applicants must be 18 years or older and pass a background check. Call Runaway Bay Fire Chief Brian Bernardo at 940-391-9158 or City Hall at 940-575-4745.


HEALTH FORUM – The Wise County Health Forum meets 9 a.m. Thursday, March 26, in the main lecture hall at Weatherford College Wise County, 5180 U.S. 380.

SLEEP WELLNESS – The Wise Regional Sleep Wellness Center, on the West Campus, will have a sleep wellness class 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Dr. Syed Rizvi will give a presentation on how to sleep better and wake more rested. The class also will cover symptoms and treatments for common sleep disorders. It’s free and open to the public. Call Rhonda Beam, 214-980-3128.

SURVIVOR DINNER – The Relay for Life survivor dinner is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 26. To register, call Kathy Hughes, 940-255-2944; or Amy Tyler, 940-255 9078.

FREEDOM TEXAS – Freedom Texas will hold its monthly public meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the meeting room at Pizza Hut, 501 S. Washburn St., in Decatur. This is a group that educates people about the sovereignty, security and self-sufficiency of Texas and promotes its eventual independence. Call Brenda Vaughn, 940-748-2535; or go to freedomtexas.org.

MEET AND GREET – Wise County Special Needs Baseball will host a meet and greet 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Community Church, on U.S. 380, just west of Decatur. Coaches and players for the upcoming 2015 season are invited, as well as other special needs children and adults who would like to play. Coaches and registered players will meet their teammates, receive their jerseys and enjoy carnival-style games. Call Margette Harle, 940-577-5530; or visit wcspecialneeds.com.

HEALTH FAIR – The 8th Annual Wise County Health Fair is 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 28, at the Decatur Civic Center. The theme for this year’s event is Heroes for Health. Contact Dena Silvers, 940-627-5080, silvers@embarqmail.com.

MONCRIEF MOBILE UNIT – Moncrief Cancer Institute will have its new mobile unit at the Wise County Health Fair 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 28. Most services are provided at no cost and include one-on-one exercise sessions with a fitness trainer, nutrition planning to promote healing and restore energy, help with emotional and financial challenges, cancer screening and genetic counseling and risk assessment for families with a history of cancer.

GOLF TOURNAMENT – The Wise Area Business Women’s Network annual golf tournament fundraiser is Saturday, March 28, at the Bridgeport Country Club. For an entry form, contact Beth Landers, landers0@msn.com or 901-270-1018.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY – The Desk and Derrick Club of Wise County is offering scholarships to Wise County high school seniors. Applications can be obtained from the high school counselors or by contacting Crystal Watkins at Crystal.Watkins@dvn.com. The application deadline is Monday, March 30.

COOP TOUR – The fifth annual chicken coop tour is Saturday, May 2. If you have a chicken coop that you would like to put on the tour, call Extension agent Chrissy Karrer by March 31 at 940-627-3341.

MEDICAL SCHOLARS – Wise Regional Health System-Bridgeport volunteers will award five $1,000 scholarships to continuing education students, high school students, employees and children of employees of WRHS and individuals with a Wise County address. The Virginia Wood Memorial Scholarships are to encourage individuals to further their education in the medical field. Applications are available online at www.wiseregional.com/scholarship and must be returned by April 1. Call Scholarship Chair Rachel Gasperson, 940-210-2452; or Evelyn Lewis, 940-393-1372.

GRANGER RESCHEDULED – The “Conversation with Congresswoman Kay Granger” luncheon has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 8, at the Decatur Civic Center. An earlier event was canceled because of the weather. Reservations can be made by calling Kristi or Donna at the Messenger, 940-627-5987. Advance reservations are required.

CASINO NIGHT – CASA of Wise and Jack counties is hosting a casino night, “Playing from the Heart,” Saturday, April 25, at the Decatur Civic Center. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m. with dinner and a presentation to follow at 6:30. Casino games will start at 7 p.m. There will be a live auction, silent auction and door prizes every 15 minutes. Tickets are $90 per couple, $50 for an individual and $1,000 for a high roller package, which includes reserved seating for eight. CASA is also seeking sponsors for the event. Call 940-399-3291 or email kayla.prock@casawise.org.

DEAF COFFEE CHAT – The deaf community is invited to a Deaf Coffee Chat 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Starbucks in Decatur.

RELAY FOR LIFE – Relay for Life of Wise County is 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. April 24-25, 2015, at McCarroll Middle School track on Thompson Street in Decatur. The annual American Cancer Society event raises funds for cancer research and education. Visit www.relayforlife.org/wisecotx or call Kathy Odell, 940-255-2944.

SONFLOWER CAMP – Sonflower Camp for Kids with Disabilities will be June 8-10 at Joe Wheeler Park in Decatur. Mark your calendars now and plan to come as a camper or as a helper. Call Andrea Duwe, 940-395-3356; or Elaine Huff, 940-627-4222.

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Baseball: Weatherly, Chico stops Bulldogs – Pitcher regroups after homer http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-weatherly-chico-stops-bulldogs-pitcher-regroups-after-homer/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-weatherly-chico-stops-bulldogs-pitcher-regroups-after-homer/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:15:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88968 With a run in the first inning and another off of a Clay Baker home run in the fourth, the Alvord Bulldogs had a 2-1 lead late in their game against the Chico Dragons Monday night.

Out at Home

OUT AT HOME – Alvord’s Conner Patterson was tagged out at home by Chico’s Jeremy Blanks in Friday night’s 5-2 Chico victory. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Chico pitcher Cameron Weatherly could have hung his head after giving up the solo blast, but instead he regrouped and allowed only one more hit for the rest of the game as his team rallied for the 5-2 victory.

“We preach routine,” Chico coach Brian McBeth said. “Don’t play too high or too low, just play on that even line. He did a good job of trusting himself and his routine and staying in the moment.”

Alvord’s Kegan Branum began to struggle with control in the bottom of the fourth, walking the bases loaded with no outs that ultimately led to three Chico runs in the inning.

“He struggled there in that one inning,” said McBeth, referencing Branum’s fourth inning. “Our key is we need people on base. When we get people on base, we’re pretty deadly.”

The Dragons managed another run in the fifth inning.

After the game, McBeth kept the even-keel mentality when talking about his team’s win.

“It’s just another win,” he said. “I’m not saying that to be arrogant, but it’s just another day at the park. We’re here to take care of business and go play another one tomorrow.”

Alvord coach Chris Staley said his team could have done a better job at the plate, and that the young Bulldogs will focus on their approach in upcoming practices.

“He did a great job all night with keeping his pitches around the plate,” Staley said about Weatherly. “He had a great breaking ball. I didn’t think we had a good approach at the plate tonight. We were swinging at balls out of the zone and in the dirt. We got behind in counts and didn’t put the ball in play.”

As for his team’s place in the district and playoff race, Staley says the Bulldogs are still in the thick of things.

“Chico is one of the best teams I’ve seen so far,” he said. “They’ll be tough to beat but I think we’re right there. We need to take care of business tomorrow and Friday and continue to get better and I think we’ll be fine.”

Making a Sacrifice

MAKING A SACRIFICE – Chico’s Jaston McBee lays down a bunt during the Dragons’ win Monday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


Alvord … 010 … 100 … 0 … 2
Chico … 001 … 310 … X … 5

WP: Cameron Weatherly; LP: Kegan Branum

Alvord: Clay Baker 2-3, RBI, HR

Chico: Jerod Blanks 2-2, RBI

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Baseball: Strong return – Bridgeman turns in solid starts after arm surgery http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-strong-return-bridgeman-turns-in-solid-starts-after-arm-surgery/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-strong-return-bridgeman-turns-in-solid-starts-after-arm-surgery/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:13:41 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88964 John Bridgeman dominated Henrietta hitters, allowing a single hit in five scoreless innings of work Friday night.

For Bridgeman, the showing was more than just a victory for him and the Paradise Panthers. It was a significant milestone that proved he was fully back after missing an entire season following arm surgery.

READY TO FIRE – Paradise’s John Bridgeman has allowed just one run on two hits in 10 innings for the Panthers this season after returning from Tommy John surgery. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It felt good. I had pitched in a tournament but going into Friday I was nervous that I wouldn’t be where I needed,” Bridgeman said.

After helping the Panthers in relief as a freshman, Bridgeman had hoped to become a part of the rotation as a sophomore. Then during a throwing session in December, Bridgeman felt something give in his elbow.

“I heard a pop,” Bridgeman recalled.

The pitcher received the dreaded diagnosis that he had torn the ulnar collateral ligament. He underwent Tommy John surgery, the operation to repair the UCL named after the former major league pitcher who was the first to undergo it.

“It was bad. It hurt more mentally knowing I was going to miss a full year of baseball,” Bridgeman said.

While the Panthers fought their way into the playoffs last spring before falling to eventual state champion Sunnyvale, Bridgeman went through an intensive rehab.

“You do a lot with bands and a lot of leg workouts to get your whole body stronger,” Bridgeman said. “It’s hard and intense. But it’s worth it to get back to where you were.”

Bridgeman actually returned stronger, picking up three to four mph on his fastball.

“I’m actually stronger,” he said.

The showing against Henrietta was Bridgeman’s second impressive start of the season. He held West, ranked No. 7 in 3A, to one run on one hit in five innings, striking out seven.

Bridgeman has allowed one run on two hits in 10 innings of work. He’s struck out 13 and walked five.

“I’ve been impressed. He’s worked hard to get where he is,” said Paradise coach Mike Fehler.

“He came out and threw the ball well against West. That was a real confidence boost. He’s got good velocity and his offspeed stuff really helps his fastball.”

Fehler said Bridgeman is not on a strict pitch count. He threw 82 pitches in the five innings against Henrietta.

“The 82 in five innings is good for us,” Fehler said. “It allowed us to get to the bullpen.

“Mentally that’s the biggest thing to get over. But he’s not worried about [the arm]. I asked him the day after he threw and he said he felt great.”

Bridgeman’s comeback provides depth to a Paradise pitching staff that lost its top arm – senior Dillon Meadows. The TCU-signee underwent Tommy John surgery last summer and is not expected to throw this spring for the Panthers.

“We lost a huge asset and another kid stepped up,” Fehler said.

Bridgeman has also tried to give Meadows, who is playing first base for the Panthers, advice.

“I’ve just told him he’s got to keep up with the therapy,” Bridgeman said. “It’s worth it.”

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Powerlifting: Seniors close careers at state http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/powerlifting-seniors-close-careers-at-state/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/powerlifting-seniors-close-careers-at-state/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:12:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88961 Wise County will have four lifters heading to the state powerlifting meet at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene Saturday.

Dakota Williams and Jacob Hartsell will be competing from Decatur, while Tyler Jennings and Bronson Burks will represent Bridgeport.

All four of the lifters are seniors and will be making their state debuts.

“They’ve worked hard since they were freshmen and it kind of worked out this year,” said Decatur coach Scott Warner about his two lifters. “It’s special. They’re excited about going.”

Williams and Hartsell are close friends and played on the Eagles offensive line together.

Their friendship has made the accomplishment even more special.

“They’ve always lifted together since they were in seventh grade,” Warner added. “They always do everything together, so it’s nice that they have this to share with each other.”

In last year’s regional meet, Bronson Burks’ third-place finish was only 15 pounds away from the gold medal. The small difference between a state meet appearance and the end to the season was heartbreaking.

Bridgeport coach Davis McAlister is proud of his seniors’ determination after missing the cut last year.

“They made regionals last year and Bronson in particular was not happy with his results,” he said. “I’m proud of him because he told me that he was getting to state almost immediately after finishing third in the region last year and missing the cut. He set his goal and made it.

“Tyler has worked very hard. He had never voiced that it was his goal but he’s worked hard and set new milestones for himself.”

Also attending the meet with Decatur will be seniors Ricky Roberts and Graham Cowdrey.

Roberts and Cowdrey are also seniors who finished third and fourth in their respective weight classes.

They will be attending to help with wrapping and to support their friends in the competition.

Warner said the four have been playing offensive line together since pee-wee football and are all close.

For Bridgeport, the weeks’ work will include normal workouts but also the addition of adding weight. McAlister said that he wants Jennings and Burks to feel the weight of their goals so that they aren’t unfamiliar with it when they get to the meet.

Decatur’s Williams and Hartsell will work out with medium weight for all three lifts this week. In their final workout before heading to Abilene, the two lifters will put on their suits and go through the process of simulating their opening lifts.

The dress rehearsal is not only meant to familiarize them with the opening weight, but also a chance to check all equipment and make sure that everything they need will be on the bus to Abilene.

For Bridgeport, the accomplishment of getting to the state meet just adds to the schools’ historic sports year.

“We think these are the first two boys from Bridgeport to make it to the state meet,” McAlister said. “That’s exciting in itself, especially with the boys basketball team winning state, and the success of the girls basketball team and the solid football season we had. This has been a great year for Bridgeport sports and we’re getting to add to that.”

Lifting will begin at 8:45 and will continue throughout most of the day.

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Powerlifting: Paradise’s Beck takes eighth at state meet – Redwine finishes fourth http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/powerlifting-paradises-beck-takes-eighth-at-state-meet-redwine-finishes-fourth/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/powerlifting-paradises-beck-takes-eighth-at-state-meet-redwine-finishes-fourth/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:12:07 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88959 Paradise senior Mikeala Beck closed out her career with an eighth-place finish at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting championships Saturday.

Beck lifted 690 pounds in the 123-pound class in her second state appearance.

“She finished in eighth place and ended with her best career total,” said Paradise coach Jonathan Ryle. “It was an amazing run, and she is one of the best competitors I have seen come through Paradise – boy or girl.

“Mikeala has had a stellar powerlifting career.”

Beck recorded a squat of 255 pounds. She had a bench press of 120. Her deadlift was 315.

Beck was one of three Paradise lifters at the state meet.

Carressa McCasland finished 19th in the 114-pound division with a tally of 565. She squatted 200 with a bench press of 105 and deadlift of 260.

Kailyn Carwile took 21st in the 123-pound class with a total of 620. She finished with 250 on squat, 120 on bench and 250 on deadlift.

Chico’s Haley Pollard finished eighth in the 114-pound 2A division with a total of 605. She posted lifts of 215 on squat, 130 on bench press and 260 on deadlift. Ali York was 10th in the class with a total of 560. She lifted 220 on squat, 105 on bench and 235 on deadlift.

Jorden Vidal was 10th in the 132 division and Raven Leal 11th. Vidal had a squat of 185, bench press of 110 and deadlift of 225 for a 520 total. Leal lifted 175 on squat, 115 on bench and 205 on deadlift for a 495 tally.

Jessica Redwine garnered fourth in the 220-plus division, lifting 805. She posted a squat of 310, bench press of 170 and deadlift of 325.

Alvord’s Natalie Hofsiss took 10th in the 181 class with her total of 690. She squatted 280, benched 130 and pulled 280 on deadlift.

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Track: Parker gets chance to run on big stage http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-parker-gets-chance-to-run-on-big-stage/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-parker-gets-chance-to-run-on-big-stage/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:11:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88957 Decatur sprinter Gunnar Parker narrowly missed advancing to the state meet last spring, finishing fourth in a tight 100 race at the 3A Region II meet.

Friday, the Decatur junior will get his shot to run at the site of the state meet during the prestigious Texas Relays at Mike Myers Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin.

Taking Center Stage

TAKING CENTER STAGE – Decatur’s Gunnar Parker will run in the 88th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays Friday. He finished fourth at regionals last year in the 100. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It’s an amazing opportunity to run there,” Parker said. “I’m a little nervous but once I get down there and get the number on, the shakes will work out.”

Parker is one of two Decatur runners that will take part in the 88th Clyde Littlefield Relays with some of the top high school, college and pro runners. Senior Jacob Kevetter will run in the 110 hurdles race.

Northwest will send a contingent of athletes. The Texans will field 4×800 and distance medley relays. Jacob Suchors will compete in the 1,600. The Lady Texans’ Emalee Wright will run in the 100 and 100 hurdles Division II races. The Northwest girls will also field relays in the distance medley, 4×800, 4×400 and 4×100.

Parker ran an 11.08 last year at regionals in the 100. He turned in an 11.23 last week at the Double B Relays in Bridgeport.

“I’m running good. I’ve been bad getting out of the blocks and been working on correcting it,” Parker said. “I’ve been staying in the weight room getting stronger.”

Along with the 100, he ran the 200 and 4×100 at regionals last year. Parker is considering moving from the 100 to the 400 to give him a shot at making it to the state meet.

“I’ve missed it by a hair each year,” Parker said. “I hope to get there this year in the 100, 200 or 400 – whatever gets me there.”

Parker will need to be in the top nine out of prelims Friday to earn a spot in Saturday’s finals.

“I’ve never been in front of a crowd this big,” Parker said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Northwest graduate and North Texas junior standout Troy Taylor will run in the Jerry Thompson Mile Invitational. Taylor won the Conference USA Indoor title in the 3,000, running 8:35.58. He finished third in the mile at the conference indoor championships in 4:07.06. In the fall, Taylor took 145th at the NCAA Cross Country Nationals, finishing the 10K in 31:54.2.

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Baseball: Panthers shut out Henrietta http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-panthers-shut-out-henrietta/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-panthers-shut-out-henrietta/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:10:41 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88954 A masterful pitching performance and steady offense fueled the Paradise Panthers in their dominant 8-0 win over the Henrietta Bearcats Friday night.

Paradise starter John Bridgeman pitched five innings, allowing a single hit and no runs, while also going 1-for-2 at the plate and driving in a run for the Panthers.

Paradise opened with a 2-0 lead out of the gate and scored six runs over the final four innings.

The Panthers managed 10 hits and no errors in the rout.

Bryson Meyers picked up where Bridgeman left off after coming in relief.

Meyers threw two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and walking none.

Austin Hogan and Skyler Black were the two offensive stars for the Panthers.

Hogan drove in three runs, going 3-for-4 at the plate, while Black hit a two-run homer.


Paradise … 200 … 121 … 2 … 8 … 10 … 0
Henrietta … 000 … 000 … 0 … 0 … 2 … 2

WP: John Bridgeman 5 IP, 6 K, 5 BB, 0 ER

LP: Max 4.1 IP, 3 K, 5 BB, 2 ER

Paradise: Austin Hogan 3-4, 3 RBI; Sam Robinson 2-3; Skyler Black 1-2, 2 RBI, HR

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Baseball: Boyd doubles up Nocona http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-boyd-doubles-up-nocona/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-boyd-doubles-up-nocona/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:10:06 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88952 Boyd’s Spencer Pellegrini was near untouchable in the Yellowjackets’ 8-4 win over Nocona Friday night.

Pellegrini struck out 10 batters and walked none in his seven innings on the mound.

The pitcher also drove in a run.

Boyd got down 1-0 to Nocona in the first inning but tied things up in the top of the fourth.

The Yellowjackets’ offense exploded for five runs in the fifth inning and another two in the seventh.

Errors were a problem for both teams as Nocona had five and Boyd four. The hitting was clearly in favor of the Yellowjackets, who led Nocona 12 to five in hits.

Dylan Powers was particularly solid at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.


Boyd … 000 … 150 … 2 … 8 … 1 … 2 … 4
Nocona … 100 … 012 … 0 … 4 … 5 … 5

WP: Spencer Pellegrini 7 IP, 10 K, 0 BB, 2 ER

LP: Jeremy James 6.1 IP, 4 K, 3 BB, 5 ER

Boyd: Colten Bruce 4-4, RBI, 2B; Dylan Powers 2-3, 2 RBI; Cameron Clark 3-4, RBI

Nocona: Zach Trentham 1-3, RBI; Ryder Nobile 0-3, RBI

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