WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Thu, 05 Mar 2015 17:57:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thursday, March 5, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/thursday-march-5-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/thursday-march-5-2015/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:30:56 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88194

ANOTHER SNOW DAY – Freezing rain began falling in Wise County yesterday afternoon, creating a thin glaze of ice on most everything, including roads. The precipitation transitioned into snow, which fell heavy at times, around 9:30 or 10 p.m. Snowfall reports included 4 inches in Decatur and 1.5 in Alvord. A fallen tree limb caused more than 500 Oncor customers in Chico to lose power for about three hours before power was restored at 10:40 p.m., according to Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley. Other outages were reported in Runaway Bay and Boonsville, but those outages only lasted about half an hour. Wind speeds over 20 mph and temperatures in the mid 20s made for a chilly evening for anyone outside. Roadways began to ice over after 5 p.m. in Wise County. An 18-wheeler was reported jackknifed around 8 p.m. at U.S. 380 and FM 1658. According to our WCM Weather 1 team in the field, a few icy spots were reported on FM 407 this morning, and U.S. 81/287 from Rhome to Decatur was slow but passable this morning around 7. To check road conditions, go to www.drivetexas.org or call TxDOT at 1-800-452-9292. The winter weather caused many closings, cancellations and delays. See the list below, and visit wcmess.com/closings for a list we will update throughout the day.

CLOSINGS/DELAYS – Here is the list of closings/cancellations/delays as of 8 a.m. Thursday:


  • Weatherford College (all campuses) – closed
  • Alvord ISD – closed
  • Boyd ISD – closed
  • Bridgeport ISD – closed
  • Chico ISD – closed
  • Decatur ISD – closed
  • Northwest ISD – closed
  • Paradise ISD – closed
  • Slidell ISD – closed
  • Victory Christian Academy – closed


  • Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) – closed
  • Wise Hope Crisis Center – closed
  • Chico Public Library – closed


  • Wise County offices and Rhome City Hall and municipal courts are closed today.
  • Decatur City Hall will open with a 2-hour delay
  • City of Bridgeport will open at noon
  • Wise County Appraisal District – closed


  • Bond Family Eye Care will open at 1:30 p.m.
  • Learning Ladder – closed
  • SignWise Texas – closed
  • Victory Kids Care – closed
  • Fit-N-Wise is open, but all outpatient services are canceled.


  • First United Methodist Church of Decatur has canceled all Thursday morning activities.


  • Wise County Youth Fair will delay all Thursday arrivals and show times by 2 hours:
  • Arrival of ALL Rabbits 9-10 a.m.
  • Market Swine Show 9:30 a.m.
  • Arrival of 4-H & FCCLA entries 9:30-12
  • Meat Pen of Rabbits judged 10 a.m.
  • Market Goat Show 4 p.m.
  • Viewing of 4-H & FCCLA 7 p.m. Ag Mech begin moving in (Must be in place by 8 a.m. Friday)
  • Legal Aid Clinic at First United Methodist Church in Decatur – CANCELLED

MEETINGS – The Decatur Rotary Club has canceled its noon meeting.

FREE SCHOOL BREAKFAST – In honor of School Breakfast Week, Decatur ISD is allowing all students to eat breakfast in their school cafeteria from 7:30-8 a.m. Friday at no charge.

RETIRING TEACHER – Denise Joseph of Decatur is retiring after almost 40 years in education. Past co-workers, parents, former students and anyone impacted by Joseph’s teaching is invited to stop by Carson Elementary, 2100 S. Bus. 287, in Decatur now through March 6 to record a video message for her, or they can send their video message to Jennifer.terrell@decatur.esc11.net. Call 940-393-7500. Joseph’s retirement reception will be Thursday, March 26. A related story was featured in the midweek Wise County Messenger.

SPRING CLEANING – Alvord Spring Clean Up is 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 7 and March 9-14 at the City Public Works Facility, 915 W. Bypass U.S. 81/287 (next to the high school). Must have a current water bill and your driver’s license. No hazardous materials are allowed, including oil, batteries, paint, a/c units, refrigerators and tires. Dispose of unwanted items and tree limbs for free.

MOVIES FOR SPRING BREAK – Bridgeport Parks and Recreation presents showings of “Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good Day” Tuesday, March 10, and “Big Hero 6″ Thursday, March 12. Showings will take place at 1 and 7 p.m. both days at the Bridgeport Stage, 1009 Halsell St. The movies are free, and concessions will be available at all showings. Call 940-683-3480.

PASTURE MANAGEMENT – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Wise County is hosting a pasture management workshop Tuesday, March 10, at Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave. Pre-registration is $15. Cost is $20 at the door. Topics will include: overseeding bermudagrass, sandbur control, gopher management and fertilizer options. Speakers are soils and crops consultants from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation: James Locke, Eddie Funderburg and Jim Johnson. Lunch is sponsored by Boyd Feed Store. To sign up, call the Extension office, 940-627-3341.

SPECIAL NEEDS BASEBALL – Registration for Wise County Special Needs Baseball runs through Saturday. Cost is $20. Individuals with special needs over 3 years old are invited to participate. No previous baseball experience is required. Registration forms can be downloaded at wcspecialneeds.com. Call 940-577-1848.

FUNERALS – Service for Rubin “R.V.” “Sonny” Martin, 84, of Bridgeport is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Asie Lee Rhodes, 91, is 2 p.m. Friday at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

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

FUNERAL for Charles Gordon King, 75, of Alvord is 10 a.m. Saturday at Coker-Hawkins Chapel with burial at Hopewell Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Coker-Hawkins.

MEMORIAL MASS for Ann Jolley, 74, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Saturday at Assumption of the Blessed Mary Catholic Church in Decatur. Rosary will be said at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the church with visitation to follow. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Araceli Gregory, 40, of Decatur is 3:30 p.m. Friday in Greenwood Funeral Home Chapel in Fort Worth with interment at Greenwood Memorial Park. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Greenwood.

MEMORIAL service for Edith Ann Cage, 77, of Bowie is 11 a.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Alvord with burial at Pleasant Grove No. 3 Cemetery in Alvord. White Family Funeral Home in Bowie is handling arrangements.

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School/business/event closings, delays and cancellations for Thursday, March 5 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/schoolbusinessevent-closings-delays-and-cancellations/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/schoolbusinessevent-closings-delays-and-cancellations/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87614 Due to the possible accumulation of snow or ice on area roadways Wednesday, March 4, and Thursday, March 5, due to a winter storm, the following schools, businesses and events will be closed, delayed or canceled. (Note: We’ll be keeping this page updated as the night/morning progresses, so check back often.)


  • Weatherford College (all campuses) – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • Bridgeport ISD – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • University of North Texas – CLOSED until 5 p.m. THURSDAY.


  • Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • Wise Hope Crisis Center – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • Chico Public Library – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • Decatur Public Library – OPENING AT NOON THURSDAY
  • Decatur trash pickup – Normal Thursday pickup will be on Friday, normal Friday pickup will be on Saturday.


  • Wise County offices – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • City of Decatur – TWO-HOUR DELAY THURSDAY
  • City of Bridgeport – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • Rhome City Hall and municipal courts – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • Wise County Appraisal District – CLOSED THURSDAY


  • Bond Family Eye Care – CLOSED at 1 p.m. Wednesday and will re-open at 1:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Learning Ladder – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • SignWise Texas – CLOSED THURSDAY
  • Fit-N-Wise Outpatient Services – CANCELED THURSDAY


  • First United Methodist Church of Decatur – ALL Wednesday night and Thursday morning activities canceled
  • Victory Christian Academy and Victory Kids Care – CLOSED THURSDAY


  • Wise County Youth Fair – ALL Thursday arrivals and show times have been delayed 2 hours.
    Arrival of ALL Rabbits 9-10 a.m.
    Market Swine Show 9:30 a.m.
    Arrival of 4-H & FCCLA entries 9:30-12
    Meat Pen of Rabbits judged 10 a.m.
    Market Goat Show 4 p.m.
    Viewing of 4-H & FCCLA 7 p.m. Ag Mech begin moving in
    (Must be in place by 8 a.m. Friday)
  • Decatur Rotary Club – MEETING CANCELED
  • Legal Aid Clinic at First United Methodist Church in Decatur – CANCELLED


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Inclement weather causes power outages, dangerous road conditions http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/inclement-weather-causes-power-outages-dangerous-road-conditions/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/inclement-weather-causes-power-outages-dangerous-road-conditions/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 04:14:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88175 Oncor power outage

By Jimmy Alford


UPDATE: Power was reported restored at about 10:40 p.m. Oncor state a fallen tree was removed and the power line was repaired. Power was out for more than three hours.

Wind speeds over 20 mph and temperatures in the mid 20s caused more than 500 to lose power Wednesday night in Chico.

At about 7:30 p.m., Oncor representative Sabrina Easley said crews were tracking down the cause of the outage. Residents’ power was still listed out as of 10 p.m.

“It’s pretty much affecting the whole town of Chico,” Easley said.

Even Wise County Judge J.D. Clark tweeted his home’s power was out. Other outages were reported in Runaway Bay and Boonsville, but those outages only lasted about half an hour. People can track outages by going to http://stormcenter.oncor.com/default.html.

Roadways began to ice over after 5 p.m. in Wise County, prompting the Bridgeport Fire Department Twitter feed to advise followers that roads were becoming slick. An 18-wheeler was reported jackknifed around 8 p.m., according to the same Twitter feed. To check road conditions, go to http://www.drivetexas.org or call TxDOT at 1-800-452-9292.

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Christmas Eve robber pleads guilty http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/christmas-eve-robber-pleads-guilty/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/christmas-eve-robber-pleads-guilty/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:30:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88147 One of three people charged with the Christmas Eve robbery of a Bridgeport convenience store has pleaded guilty to his crime.

Julio Edwardo Betancourt

Julio Edwardo Betancourt, 18, of Bridgeport pleaded guilty last Thursday in 271st District Court in Decatur to a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery in exchange for deferred adjudication. He was sentenced to 10 years of probation/community supervision and a $2,500 fine. He was also ordered to perform 240 hours of community service, according to court records.

Betancourt was arrested on Christmas Day and had remained in the Wise County Jail until he was released last Thursday.

The teen was one of three people arrested for the robbery which occurred at West Side Grocery in Bridgeport on the evening of Dec. 24. Investigators believe Betancourt and Pedro Ibarra, 18, of Bridgeport entered the store brandishing handguns and demanding that the clerk hand over the money. They also stole a case of beer.

The two were found hiding behind a house nearby less than an hour later.

Uriel Betancourt, 17, was also arrested for evading arrest and later for aggravated robbery when investigators discovered he drove the getaway car at the crime scene. Court records show Uriel Betancourt pleaded guilty Monday to the misdemeanor evading arrest charge in county court in exchange for 68 days of time served in county jail. The status of his felony robbery charge was not known by Tuesday press deadline.

Ibarra is awaiting prosecution on his aggravated robbery charge as well as two drug charges. He remains in the Wise County Jail.

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Wintry weather not over yet http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wintry-weather-not-over-yet/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wintry-weather-not-over-yet/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:28:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88144 The old standby for March weather is always “in like a lion, out like a lamb,” and that statement certainly rang true for Wise County this past weekend. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be any better this week, either.

More Winter Weather

MORE WINTER WEATHER LIKELY – Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins directs traffic on U.S. 81/287 Friday afternoon after an 18-wheeler stuck in the road caused a traffic backup. Wise County residents might see more of the same kind of road conditions Wednesday night. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth is predicting a cold front for North Central Texas Wednesday afternoon, bringing in freezing rain and sleet with a high of 28 degrees by 4 p.m. Sleet isn’t expected to accumulate, but ice accumulation is possible. There is also a 40 percent chance of snow near midnight Wednesday.

Friday, the second round of wintry precipitation in a week caused most of the roads in the county to be covered in snow and ice by 9:30 a.m., resulting in travel hazards and multiple school and business closures.

Some parts of the county saw up to 7 inches of snow fall within 72 hours.

The snowy weather also didn’t bode well for motorists – Wise County Dispatch recorded 65 accidents over the weekend, with most due to cars driving in inclement conditions. Almost half of those wrecks occurred before 4 p.m. Friday.

The highest snowfall total of 7 inches came about three miles west of Decatur, according to National Weather Service. Boonsville and Cottondale both saw 6 inches.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said Saturday morning that areas close to Bridgeport saw about 5 inches of snow.

The temperature didn’t rise above freezing until midday Saturday.

High School Roadway

HIGH SCHOOL ROADWAY – A Decatur policeman prepares for a sand truck to drive through the road leading to the Decatur High School parking lot Friday afternoon. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Judge unveils incentive program http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/judge-unveils-incentive-program/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/judge-unveils-incentive-program/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:26:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88140 County Judge J.D. Clark is issuing a call for money-saving ideas, and he wants to hear from county employees.

He unveiled his program – Wise Innovations, Solutions, and Efficiency (WISE) – last week that received unanimously approval from commissioners.

The program solicits money-saving ideas from employees and offers a financial reward for employees whose ideas actually result in cost savings.

“This is obviously something really new,” Clark said. “Lonnie Hunt (with the Texas Association of Counties) said it’s probably breaking new ground in Texas counties because they can’t find any other counties doing anything like this.”

Here’s how it works:

An employee submits an original idea or suggestion to his or her department head. If it’s accepted by the department head, the employee is recognized with a certificate at a commissioners meeting.

If the employee’s suggestion also results in a financial savings in the 2015-2016 budget, that employee will receive an incentive award that is 10 percent of the savings.

Clark said the incentive must be at least $50 – 10 percent of a $500 savings – but it can’t exceed $500 – 10 percent of a $5,000 savings.

If an employees suggests a change that helps the department become more efficient but does not result in a cost savings of at least $500, the employee will be recognized with a certificate at a commissioners meeting but will not receive a monetary incentive award.

All Wise County employees are eligible to submit ideas except department heads and elected officials. Ideas that will be considered include those that reduce costs, improve the quality of services, eliminate delays, increase efficiency, improve office procedures and generally improve the quality of government in Wise County.

Ineligible ideas are those that affect employee pay, health or retirement benefits, complaints or ideas that are already under consideration.

Employees will submit their ideas to their respective department heads. If the department heads decide that the idea is viable, they will submit the idea to Clark.

Clark will then take ideas to the Wise Review Committee, which includes him, Auditor Ann McCuiston and commissioners attorney Thomas Aaberg.

Clark said employees may submit more than one idea, but if more than one person submits the same idea, only the proposal received first will be considered. If two or more ideas are similar, but not identical, the WISE Review Committee could decide to split the financial reward between the employees.

Clark said because potential financial savings from an accepted idea wouldn’t be official until the new budget is approved and implemented by commissioners, financial incentives and certificates will be issued at the first commissioners meeting after the new budget takes effect Oct. 1.

The rewards will be paid from the savings.

Clark told commissioners that he thinks the elected officials and department heads work to make the county more efficient, but “it always helps to get a new sets of eyes on things.”

“I think this way we’re tapping into a knowledge pool or talent pool in the county that doesn’t always get tapped when we’re working on a budget,” he said. “Maybe some people that have been working on something for a long time say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a better way to do something, but they don’t know where to bring it up, how to bring it up or if we want them to bring it up.”

“We might not get any response,” Clark said, “but we might get some really good ideas.”

Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns spoke in favor of the program.

“We hire consultants to look over IT and other things to save us money, so this would be in line with it and would be someone that has their hands on many of the same documents and processes that we do,” he said.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Gaylord Kennedy also said he thought it was a good idea.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Danny White made the motion to approve the program, and Kennedy made the second.

The deadline to submit an idea to department heads is Friday, April 3. Department heads have until Friday, May 1, to pass viable ideas on to the county judge.

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Cowboy earns back-to-back PBR titles http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/cowboy-earns-back-to-back-pbr-titles/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/cowboy-earns-back-to-back-pbr-titles/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:25:22 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88137 Despite the ice storm that brought North Texas to a halt Saturday, nearly 30,000 fans packed AT&T Stadium in Arlington to watch Joao Ricardo Vieira of Decatur earn his second consecutive Iron Cowboy title.

Hats Off

HATS OFF – Decatur’s Joao Ricardo Vieira was the lone cowboy of 40 to successfully ride three bulls at Saturday’s Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Choctaw Casino Resort Iron Cowboy in AT&T Stadium. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Vieira went 3-for-3 on the night and was the only rider to cover his bull in the third round. His 88.5-point ride on Crack The Whip sealed his victory and won him more than $194,000.

As the first of four PBR Majors, Iron Cowboy offered increased prize money with a total purse of $250,000 and increased world points.

Face to Face

FACE-TO-FACE – Decatur’s Silvano Alves was thrown in the second round by the bull Walk Off. Alves finished 14th overall. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The 2013 PBR Rookie of the Year earned 900 event points with the win, launching him into the Top 10 of the PBR world standings at No. 5. With his second Iron Cowboy title, Vieira has earned almost $250,000 inside AT&T Stadium.

SHOOTING STAR – Mike Lee made it to the second round, only to be grounded by the bull Asteroid in 1.61. Lee finished 12th overall. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The Iron Cowboy was a tournament-style single-elimination event. With each successful ride, a cowboy advanced to the next round and riding scores determined overall finishing places.

Forty cowboys entered the arena in round one and 16 advanced to the second round. Local riders competing in round one included Kaique Pacheco, Fabiano Vieira, Valdiron de Oliveira, Marco Eguchi, Eduardo Aparecido, Guilherme Marchi, Mike Lee and Silvano Alves.

Lee finished 12th. Bailing off Kiss Animalize after eight seconds, Lee had successfully made it past round one.

In a surprise boost of energy, Lee hopped up and started running across the arena.

The crowd started laughing when he climbed onto the awards stage, running past the Iron Cowboy trophy and into another arena. Eventually, running to the opposite end of AT&T Stadium. Some joked Lee could try out to be a Dallas Cowboy football player.

The joke ended in round two for Lee when he faced retiring bull Asteroid. Lee was only able to hang on for 1.61 seconds before hitting the dirt with one of Asteroid’s hooves planted squarely on his back. Lee looked shaky while making his way out, helped by event personnel. He held a fist high, assuring the crowd he was all right.

Alves was the last to compete in round one, riding Fire Bender. He took a hoof to the midsection, causing him to walk away hunched, but eventually he straightened out to move on to round two.

Again the last to ride, Alves was thrown by bull Walk Off and finished 14th.

Vieira was the only Wise County cowboy to make the third round.

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Schools plan make up days http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/schools-plan-make-up-days/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/schools-plan-make-up-days/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:23:21 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88131 The visit to Wise County by Old Man Winter gave students at least one day off last week.

But as a result of using a “bad-weather day” students will now have to make up the day or days this spring.

Alvord, Boyd, Chico and Paradise schools closed for three days last week because of poor road conditions in the sleet and snow.

Bridgeport, Northwest and Slidell were closed two days.

Decatur, which had a teacher in-service on Feb. 23, missed only one day.

All schools are required by the Texas Education Agency to build two bad-weather days into their calendar. The districts are making plans to use those days.

Districts that missed more than two days are planning to file for waivers for additional days.

With winter weather in the forecast for Wednesday, local administrators know plans could change and they could be asking for additional days to be waived.

The plans for the eight local districts are as follows:

ALVORD – Students will now attend class on April 3 and May 15. The district will ask for a waiver for any additional days.

BOYD – Students will now have school on April 3. Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West plans to ask the board about going to class either May 25 (Memorial Day) or June 5. The district used one of its bad-weather days Feb. 16.

BRIDGEPORT – Students will now be in class on Good Friday (April 3) and Memorial Day (May 25).

CHICO – Classes will be held April 3 and May 8. The district plans to seek a waiver for Friday.

DECATUR – The May 11 holiday will become a regular school day.

NORTHWEST – The district will hold class April 3. The district will ask for a waiver for the other day.

PARADISE – April 3 and May 15 will now be regular school days. The school board will consider asking for a waiver for the third day at its next meeting.

SLIDELL – The district will be the first to make up one of the missed days as students will attend class Friday (March 6), which was originally a student holiday. The other make-up day is May 1.

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Public invited to participate in video tribute to teacher http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/public-invited-to-participate-in-video-tribute-to-teacher/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/public-invited-to-participate-in-video-tribute-to-teacher/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:22:28 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88129 Carson Elementary teacher Denise Joseph has taught students for nearly four decades.

She’s now retiring, and a couple of her former students want to let her know how much she has meant to generations of Decatur students.

Praise for a Teacher

PRAISE FOR A TEACHER – Brothers Carson and Caylen Wicker record a video tribute under the watchful eye of Jennifer Terrell, who is helping organize the project honoring retiring teacher Denise Jospeh. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Jennifer Terrell said she and Carson Principal Stephanie Quarles tried to come up with a way to honor Joseph by giving people the chance to tell her how much she meant to them on video.

“Our ideal was to get someone from every year – that would be ideal so she could have a compilation of remembrances from every year she had here in Decatur,” said Terrell, ESL coordinator at Carson.

They haven’t met that goal yet, but they are hoping for more people to contribute prior to this Friday’s deadline.

A station has been set up in the Carson office for people to record their video, or they can record their own video and send it in.

Terrell said these types of tributes are usually seen when an educator passes away.

“That’s when you would see former students and co-workers stand up and talk about the impact she had on them, and I thought it would be neat to do that now so she could hear what an impact she had and really see the impact she had on the students and education,” she said.

Terrell will be making her own video soon. She will be joined by her husband and two boys – all former students of Ms. Joseph.

More than just former students or co-workers may contribute to the project.

“It’s for anybody in the community who has had any interaction with her or she’s had an impact on or left an impression,” Terrell said.

On Monday, fifth-grader Carson Wicker left a quick message for his former teacher.

“Ms. Joseph was always a great teacher. She was astonishing,” he said.

For those who might not be comfortable in front of the camera, Terrell said they could send written comments as well.

In order to have the video ready before a retirement reception March 26, the deadline for video, comments or photos is this Friday (March 6). Stop by Carson Elementary, 2100 S. Business U.S. 81/287, in Decatur to record a video message, or send a video message to Jennifer.terrell@decatur.esc11.net. Call 940-393-7500 for information.

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Clark IDs water, transportation as top issues http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/clark-ids-water-transportation-as-top-issues/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/clark-ids-water-transportation-as-top-issues/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:18:55 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88126 County Judge J.D. Clark identified water and transportation as two of the biggest issues facing Wise County during a question-and-answer session at Tuesday’s Decatur Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Decatur Civic Center.

Clark said you only need to look at Lake Bridgeport for a visual reminder of the importance of water.

CLARK TALK – County Judge J.D. Clark, right, answers questions from moderator Carey Williams at Tuesday’s Decatur Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We pray of course for rain and that the lake will fill up, but we also need to be praying for some really innovative ideas and some new ways of doing business when it comes to water,” Clark said.

As for transportation, the judge said he had a meeting with Parker County Judge Mark Riley about the issue earlier in the day.

“We talked about what they’ve done planning wise, what we can learn from what they’ve done,” Clark said of Wise’s neighboring county. “That’s going to be an issue as well because we are a fast-growing county.”

He added that it’s important to stay on top of the issue rather than just react to whatever transportation issues arise in the future.

Carey Williams asked Clark 10 prepared questions during the Q&A session, with topics ranging from the importance of county government to people living in cities, to the possibility of a new county office building, to the county’s commitment to Weatherford College Wise County.

With the Wise County Youth Fair in full swing, Clark was asked about the improvements and future of the Wise County Fairgrounds.

He pointed out that improvements have been made with new pens in the pig barn, skylights and a new public address system. But the Fairgrounds have uses beyond the annual Youth Fair, he pointed out.

“The Fairgrounds are an economic development tool, rather than just a nice place to have a livestock show,” he said. “That’s evident with the PBR bullriding event which sold out in a day.”

When asked by Williams about the possibility of a covered rodeo arena, Clark replied, “I’d love to see a covered arena, too, but it all comes down to dollars and where does it fall in your priorities. I do think something like that is a perfect opportunity for some private/public partnerships for some folks who are interested in getting involved and seeing the value of a covered arena rather than just saying, ‘Hey county, make this happen.’ I would like to see that develop.”

Williams wrapped up the session by asking Clark if he could make one new thing appear with the county at the snap of his fingers, what would it be?

“An ever-increasing revenue stream not created by increased tax rates,” he said, drawing applause from the Chamber members in attendance.

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May election filing closes http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/may-election-filing-closes/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/may-election-filing-closes/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:17:56 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88123 The filing period for the May 9 city council and school board elections ended Friday, Feb. 27. The places on this year’s ballot, and the people who filed are listed below.

Incumbents are denoted with an “I” following their names.


Mayor – Roy King (I)
Place 1 – Robert Carpenter
Place 2 – Clint Mercer (I)


Place 1 – Kevin Wood (I), Rusty Rice
Place 2 – John Schedcik (I)


Mayor – Rodney Scroggins (I)
Place 2 – Tim Hammonds (I)
Place 3 – Vince Estel
Place 4 – Mark Culpepper (I)


Place 4 – Bill Childress (I)
Place 5 – Trae Luttrell (I)


Place 3 – Jimmy Meyers (I), Kevin Lopez
Place 4 – Bobby Brazier (I)
Place 5 – Billy Fred Walker (I), Vicki Stokes Holder


Place 1 – Tom Talley (I)
Place 2 – Charles Mauldin (I)
Place 3 – Alan Powers


Mayor – Euell Gale Rackley, Greg Taylor and Karen Garrison, Roger Mead
Two at-large seats – Gary Fatheree (I), Colleen Self


Place 1 – James “Pancho” Redwine (I)
Place 2 – Mark Tate (I)
Place 4 – Lori Clark (I)


Place 2 – Susan Cocanougher (I)
Place 4 – Margaret Doubrava
Place 6 (at-large) – Randy Bowker (I)


Place 5 – Ashlee Bohn, Matt Joiner
Place 6 – Kevin Haney
Place 7 – Marsha Hafer


Mayor – Gary Van Wagner
Place 2 – Nobody filed
Place 4 – Mark Wondolowski (I)
Place 5 – Dan Sessler (I)


Place 1 – Josh Wright (I)
Place 2 – Mark Schluter (I)


Mayor – Michelle Pittman, Joann Wilson
Three at-large seats – Ronnie Moore (I), Flann Bailey, Zachary Grimes, Tim W. Robison, Dawn Davis


Three at-large seats – Berry White (I), Dan Ticer (I), Jerry St. John (I)

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Decatur ag students win at San Antonio Stock Show http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-ag-students-win-at-san-antonio-stock-show/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-ag-students-win-at-san-antonio-stock-show/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:17:16 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88121 Decatur agriculture science students brought home several awards from the San Antonio Stock Show last weekend.

The ag mechanics classes received blue ribbons for two of their projects: a 24-foot gooseneck lowboy trailer and a restored 1962 John Deere 4010 tractor. Students have worked on both projects since the beginning of the school year.

During the competition, students were judged not only on their work but also on their ability to explain their knowledge of the projects. Judges, who are experts in their respective fields, evaluated each project and interviewed the students.

The students who restored the tractor are Scott Gogniat, Jake Cobb and Cody Reed. The trailer team includes Garrett Blevins, Carsen Medlin, Marcos Morales, Tanner Burks, Addison Nation, Zachary Groom and Trevor Rhoades.

Seth Byers, a junior, won reserve champion Simbrah with his steer. He received a $10,000 scholarship and showed his steer in the Grand Drive, which took place inside the AT&T Center during the rodeo performance.

Trailer Construction

TRAILER CONSTRUCTION – Members of the ag mechanics team who earned a blue ribbon for their gooseneck lowboy trailer are Garrett Blevins, Carsen Medlin, Marcos Morales, Tanner Burks, Addison Nation, Zachary Groom and (not pictured) Trevor Rhoades. Also pictured is ag teacher Joey Brooke. Submitted photo

Tractor Restoration

TRACTOR RESTORATION – Members of the tractor restoration team include Scott Gogniat, Jake Cobb and Cody Reed. Submitted photo

Reserve Champ

RESERVE CHAMP – Seth Byers won reserve champion Simbrah and received a $10,000 scholarship. Submitted photo

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Slidell ISD reaches out with distance learning class http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/slidell-isd-reaches-out-with-distance-learning-class/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/slidell-isd-reaches-out-with-distance-learning-class/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:15:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88116 ”Hola!”

Deborah Buchanan greets her Spanish students Monday morning, and they respond from within the walls of Slidell High School and beyond.

For three years, Slidell ISD has facilitated a Spanish distance learning program, providing language classes for not only its own students, but also those in Gold-Burg ISD about 50 miles away.

Breaking Down the Distance

BREAKING DOWN THE DISTANCE – Spanish teacher Deborah Buchanan starts her class Monday from Slidell High School that also includes Gold-Burg students through a distance learning program. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Slidell Superintendent Greg Enis said many people associate distance learning with large school districts, but it’s an endeavor that greatly benefits small districts.

“At some point in my 11 years here we had trouble finding a Spanish teacher,” he said. “There were some small schools in our area that had distance learning programs and so we explored those opportunities.”

Although the district ended up eventually finding a teacher of its own, the research paid off since they were then in a position to offer a Spanish class to others.

“We actually used it to recruit Spanish teachers,” Enis explained. “They’re hard to come by, especially for small schools, so you’re essentially recruiting someone to come.”

He said they have to offer a salary package comparable to other districts, and one way they make it more appealing is by using the money charged to Gold-Burg ISD as a stipend for the Spanish teacher.

“It’s a way to create a better salary compensation plan for teachers,” he said.

Gold-Burg is charged according to the average number of students enrolled in the class each semester.

Buchanan said there are 17 Gold-Burg students enrolled in Spanish I and 11 in Spanish II. She has 13 and 12 Slidell students, respectively, in each of those classes.

She said although it’s an enriching experience, it can sometimes be difficult to keep both classes on the same pace. She teaches from her classroom in Slidell, and the Gold-Burg students watch her present the lessons on a screen in their classroom in Montague County.

They are able to interact and talk to each other via the video feed – all of which is done through the Region 11 and Region 9 service centers.

There is a facilitator in the Gold-Burg classroom to keep order and run the classroom.

Although this is Buchanan’s first time to teach a distance learning course, the concept isn’t new to her. When she was a high school student in West Texas, she took a class in a similar format. Back then they could see the other class, but the only way they could talk to each other was with a big, blocky satellite phone.

She said sometimes the noise level is a challenge because there are two different rooms of teenagers in two different locations. She said another challenge is not seeing their work in person.

“The main thing is I can’t see their work on a daily basis,” she said. “Here, if they have a remote idea of what they’re doing, I’ll give them a little credit, but the facilitator in Gold-Burg isn’t a Spanish speaker, so she’s just grading off keys.”

She hopes to have the Gold-Burg students visit Slidell for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, allowing an opportunity to meet face to face. She said although the students don’t interact with each other a lot, they do sometimes discuss sports and other extracurricular activities.

Enis said he knows of at least one district that teaches a class to six or seven school districts via distance learning, but he felt like that was overwhelming for the instructor.

“It’s a difficult task to manage your own classroom, but more than two we felt like our own kids would suffer,” he said. “It requires a little different take on instruction. It’s pretty neat, but it does require thoughtful preparation.”

Enis said he plans to continue the distance learning program, but obviously it could evolve as the needs of his district and Gold-Burg change. He said the program benefits all the students and even prepares them for learning environments they may encounter in college.

“It’s the way things are going more and more,” he said. “(The students) understand the technology. They’re the tech geniuses; that’s how they live.”

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Slidell ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/slidell-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-march-4-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/slidell-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-march-4-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:14:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88112 SLIDELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Christian Torres

Christian Torres

Grade: 2nd

Parents’ Names: Luis and Maricela Torres

Favorite Subject: Math

Activities: Soccer, reading, playing outside, playing with my little brother

“Christian is a very hard-worker in everything he does. He gives 100 percent effort in all academic areas, as well as our AR Club, Mileage Club, and UIL competition. Christian was a member of the 3rd spelling and 2nd creative writing teams. He is also leading the 2nd grade class with the most AR points. We are very fortunate to have Christian as part of our Greyhound Team.” – Principal Greg Ennis


Aurora DeLuna

Aurora DeLuna

Grade: 7th

Parrents’ names: Christina and Toby Smith

Favorite subject: Math

Activities: Basketball, 4-H, one-act play, cross country, and track

“Aurora is a busy middle school student. She stays involved in school activities, works hard in the classroom, and supports her siblings in all they do.” – Principal Marty Hair


Francisco Martinez

Francisco Martinez

Grade: Junior

Parents’ names: Antonio and Rosa Martinez

Favorite subject: Science

Activities: Track, cross country, basketball, spear fishing, and tennis

“Francisco has a positive attitude and strong work ethic. He is active in school and community activities and is always willing to help other. Francisco never seeks recognition but always performs to the best of his ability, excelling through hard work and dedication.” – Principal Marty Hair

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Education Briefs for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-march-4-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-march-4-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:12:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88107 BRIDGEPORT

PUBLIC SCHOOLS WEEK – March 2-6 is Public Schools Week, where parents are encouraged to visit their children’s campuses to see what they are learning. “Learning Walks” will be scheduled at every BISD campus every hour on the half hour.

SPRING BREAK – Bridgeport ISD’s spring break will be March 9-16.


EARLY RELEASE – Chico ISD will have an early release Friday. Buses will run at noon.

SPRING BREAK – Chico ISD’s spring break will be March 9-16.


SURVEY SAYS – Ninety-two percent of the 2,053 parents that responded to the Northwest ISD survey in December said they feel their child receives instruction preparing them for the next level of eduction. The Education Service Center Region XI conducted the survey from Dec. 5-19, 2014. Survey topics included school climate, safe and orderly environment, instructional practice, student support, support services and campus/district communications. Highlights of the survey: 93 percent of parents feel welcome at their child’s school; 95 percent agree their child feels safe at school; 97 percent believe their child’s school is clean and well-maintained.

ADMINISTRATORS RECEIVE NEW CONTRACTS – Administrators at Northwest High School, Chisholm Trail Middle School, Seven Hills Elementary and Prairie View Elementary received contract renewals at the Feb. 25 meeting.

CAREER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR NAMED – CyLynn Braswell has been named the new director of career and technical education. Braswell has worked in NISD since 2010 as an agricultural science instructor and the coordinator at NISD’s Outdoor Learning Center. She is a Texas Master Florist and is a former Project Lead the Way engineering instructor. Braswell will begin the transition into her new role this spring.


SPRING BREAK – Paradise ISD’s spring break will be March 9-16.

INTERNET SAFETY – Paradise Junior High will have an assembly on internet safety and sexting for all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders Tuesday, March 17. The Wise County Juvenile Probation office will present the program. Parents can opt their children out by contacting the Junior high office at 940-969-5034.

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Northwest education foundation awards grant money http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/northwest-education-foundation-awards-grant-money/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/northwest-education-foundation-awards-grant-money/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:11:58 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88105 The Northwest Education Foundation gave out 32 grants totaling $99,856.27 during its Grant Brigade Feb. 20.

Here are the grants given to Wise County schools within the district:

  • Northwest High School – Jacqueline DeLong, Bridge and Tower Breakers, $1,538.20; Frank Gonzalez, Pump Up The Volume!, $4,973.84; Nick Kougias, Moving from Edison to LED, $4,400; Nick Kougias, The Finishing Touch, $3,616.90
  • Seven Hills Elementary – Jovanne Kiser, Let’s Get Moving!, $1,668.02; Missy Woods, Play is Serious Learning, $999.82
  • Prairie View Elementary – Cindy Ford, Raspberry Pi, $4,799.50; Cindy Ford, Making Learning Unique, $2,499.50; Sarah Thomasson, #2ndGrade Innovate, $4,991.84
  • Chisholm Trail Middle School – Jennifer Allen, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens Book Study, $664.80; Sheila Green, Fueling the Future, $2,878.20; Sheila Green, i-H2GO – Students Explore Energy, $4,782.15; Sheila Green, Building STEM Students, One Robot at a Time, $4,199.40; Sheila Green, The Real Stuff: Hands-on Learning in Earth Science, $4,814.25
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News Briefs for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-march-4-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-march-4-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:11:21 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88103 BRIDGEPORT

CHAMBER LUNCHEON – The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce luncheon is 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Bridgeport Community Center. Cost is $10. RSVP by noon Wednesday, March 18 to donnamann@bridgeportchamber.org or 940-683-2076.

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.


RETIRING TEACHER – Denise Joseph of Decatur is retiring after almost 40 years in education. Past co-workers, parents, former students and anyone impacted by Joseph’s teaching is invited to stop by Carson Elementary, 2100 S. Bus. 287, in Decatur now through March 6 to record a video message for her, or they can send their video message to Jennifer.terrell@decatur.esc11.net. Call 940-393-7500. Joseph’s retirement reception will be Thursday, March 26.

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

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.

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.


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.

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.


SOFTBALL UMPIRE – The Wise County softball league needs an umpire. Call Mike Maxson, 940-577-1297.

SPECIAL NEEDS BASEBALL – Registration for Wise County Special Needs Baseball runs through March 7. Cost is $20. Individuals with special needs over 3 years old are invited to participate. No previous baseball experience is required. Registration forms can be downloaded at wcspecialneeds.com. Call 940-577-1848.

GOLF ASSOCIATION – The Oil Belt Senior Men’s Golf Association opens its 2015 season on March 9. Men 50 years of age or older are invited to join the association, which is beginning its 24th year. The initial enrollment fee is $20, and play is handicap. Members play approximately three to four times per month, if desired, rotating play on different golf courses in the area. There is a nominal fee each time you play. Call T.S. Ferguson, 940-389-9879.

PASTURE MANAGEMENT – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Wise County is hosting a pasture management workshop Tuesday, March 10, at Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave. Pre-registration is $15. Cost is $20 at the door. Topics will include: overseeding bermudagrass, sandbur control, gopher management and fertilizer options. Speakers are soils and crops consultants from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation: James Locke, Eddie Funderburg and Jim Johnson. Lunch is sponsored by Boyd Feed Store. To sign up, call the Extension office, 940-627-3341.

FEEL GOOD – Cosmetologists will give a free workshop to cancer patients noon to 2 p.m. Friday, March 13, in the boardroom at Wise Regional Health System’s Cancer Center, 2010 S. Ben Merritt Dr., in Decatur. Participants will learn how to look good and feel better about the skin and hair changes that cancer treatment can cause. Lunch is provided, and reservations are required. Call Laura Tanner, 940-626-2300.

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. Vendors are being registered now. Contact Dena Silvers, 940-627-5080, silvers@embarqmail.com.

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 at 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.

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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Basketball: Trophy hunting – Bulls shoot down Hawks in area round http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-trophy-hunting-bulls-shoot-down-hawks-in-area-round/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-trophy-hunting-bulls-shoot-down-hawks-in-area-round/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:10:40 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88101 The Bridgeport Bulls were off to a slow start halfway through the opening quarter of their Class 4A Region I area game with the Iowa Park Hawks Monday.

MOVING AHEAD – Bridgeport’s Keenan Holdman goes up for a contested layup over an Iowa Park defender. Holdman and the Bulls beat Iowa Park 70-40 in the area game to move on to the regional quarterfinal. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Junior guard Ethan Chapman then drained three 3-pointers to get the Bulls rolling in their 70-40 victory.

“He really got us going with his shooting,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green. “We were really in a poor mental state and he got us out of that. Devonte Patterson did a great job in the second half with his shooting as well.”

The coach thought his team will need to learn from their sluggish opening.

“We have to be better mentally at first,” Green said. “We have to make sure that we’re focused early-on in games. Every minute on the court from here on out will be more intense.”

After missing his first three tries, Patterson rattled in his next three attempts from beyond the arc, while making seven straight shot attempts.

At the half, the Bulls held a 39-20 lead and increased that to 58-29 after three quarters.

Patterson and Keenan Holdman each scored four points in the fourth to finish the game.

Bridgeport faced a quick turnaround, catching Kennedale Tuesday in the regional quarterfinal game.

“We plan on winning defensively,” he said. “It will all be about keeping them from second-shot attempts. All about defense and rebounding.”

For Chapman and his teammates, it is all about playing together and continuing toward their goal of a state championship.

“We just have to play as a team,” Chapman said. “It will be hard for us to go out on the court as individuals if we want to accomplish our goals this season.”


Iowa Park … 9 … 11 … 9 … 11 … – … 40
Bridgeport … 16 … 23 … 19 … 12 … – … 70

Iowa Park- Cole Oxford 4, Bailey Hale 14, Bryce Skinner 8, Jakob Garcia 6, Keaton Jackson 8

Bridgeport- Jacob DelAngel 4, Devonte Patterson 20, Ethan Chapman 14, Keenan Holdman 6, Caleb Smith 14, Andrew Horton 8, Chayton Stotts 4

Rebounds: Bridgeport 31; Iowa Park 20.

Field goals: Bridgeport 15-28; Iowa Park 12-34.

3-pointers: Bridgeport 9-21; Iowa Park 3-14.

Free throws: Bridgeport 14-19; Iowa Park 7-11.

Turnovers: Bridgeport 15; Iowa Park 16.

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Track: Ready for next hurdle – Kevetter eyes return trip to Austin http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-ready-for-next-hurdle-kevetter-eyes-return-trip-to-austin/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-ready-for-next-hurdle-kevetter-eyes-return-trip-to-austin/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:09:40 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88098 Out in the lead in the 300 hurdles last April at the 3A 9/10 Area meet, Decatur’s Jacob Kevetter stumbled over the seventh hurdle and tripped.

But that didn’t stop the then-junior, who got up off the track to rally and earn a third-place finish and a spot at regionals.

Up and Over

UP AND OVER – Decatur’s Jason Kevetter ran in the 2014 regional track meet where he earned a trip to the state meet. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It didn’t bother me. I just got up and kept running,” Kevetter said.

“That was the race I got to go to state in.”

Now a senior and as Decatur’s lone returner from the Class 3A state runner-up three-man squad, Kevetter is looking to return to Austin and end his career with a medal.

“My goal is to go back to state and break the school record,” Kevetter said.

Last year, Kevetter narrowly missed joining teammates Taylor Clayton and Brandon Rivera on the medal stand, finishing fourth in the 3A 300 finals at the University Interscholastic League track and field championships. Kevetter ran 39.43 with Caldwell’s J.J. Jackson edging him out for the bronze medal with a 39.4.

“It was really close. He got me with a lean at the end,” Kevetter said.

“I could’ve done better. I was really nervous. I’d never felt that before. It was really fun.”

Kevetter started running hurdles in junior high.

“It just came natural to me,” he said. “In seventh grade, I was one of the few that could jump them.”

As a freshman, Kevetter finished fourth at district in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 300s. The following year, he qualified for regionals in both events, coming a stumble over the ninth hurdle in the 110s from earning a state bid.

At the regional meet last spring, Kevetter again came up short of advancing to state in the 110s after a late-race fall. He quickly regained his composure to earn a regional silver in the 300s.

Kevetter knows the risks with hurdles and that a fall is only a slight misstep from happening. But it doesn’t deter him.

“It’s not really something I think about,” Kevetter said.

Heading into his senior year, Kevetter will be busy aside from his two hurdle events. He will also run on the mile relay and long jump.

“He’s our returning veteran leader,” said Decatur boys track coach Jim Cain. “We’re going to get points out of him in a lot of events.”

Kevetter’s season is off to a slow start as he is battling an ankle injury. Cain expects him to be strong by the championship portion of the season, beginning with the 8-4A meet April 15.

“He won’t peak too early,” Cain pointed out.

And the peak Kevetter wants to climb at the end of the year is the medal stand at state.

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Softball: Snow forces change of plans – Bad weather forces teams off field http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-snow-forces-change-of-plans-bad-weather-forces-teams-off-field/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-snow-forces-change-of-plans-bad-weather-forces-teams-off-field/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:08:41 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=88095 The recent weather has left Wise County baseball and softball coaches scrambling for games and hoping for a chance to get back on the field.

For a sport so reliant on decent conditions and dry fields, several local teams have missed games and tournaments in the past week.

Softball in particular has had to scramble, mainly because schools like Paradise and Boyd begin district softball Tuesday.

Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins could see a situation where his team doesn’t get a chance to play until the 9-3A opener March 10 against Paradise.

“There’s a worst-case scenario where we have only played six games when district begins on Tuesday,” Hopkins said. “I don’t think that will happen, but it’s possible.”

The Lady Yellowjackets are scheduled to play at a tournament in Denton starting Thursday, which Hopkins said should be possible because the field has a tarp.

For Paradise almost all of the practices have been held in the gym.

“We have gym workouts,” said Paradise coach Karin Essig. “Our cages are flooded. The worst part is that there’s only so much you can do in a gym. You can do drills but you can’t go live.”

On the other hand, Boyd has been able to work on the football field thanks to the field turf that dries much faster than real grass. While the Lady Panthers haven’t been able to get into their batting cages due to flooding, Boyd’s cages have been available to the Lady Yellowjackets.

Both coaches kept positive attitudes about the cancellation of tournaments and echoed each other in noting that every team in the area is dealing with the same problems.

Decatur baseball had to cancel their tournament, which not only ruined its plans, but also the plans of Bridgeport who was scheduled to play in the tournmaent.

For Decatur, losing the tournament also includes losing a good amount of funds for equipment, maintainance and other necessities involved in a baseball season.

“I can’t tell you a figure,” said Decatur coach Brian Tickell. “In years past we have raised $300 to $500 in concession and $500 to $1000 at the gate. That varies from year to year. Of course you have to pay umpires and stuff but you usually have some left over for equipment and things that help your team. Not getting the at-bats and reps on the mound is the main thing. That’s really what you miss, but making money is a bonus.”

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