WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:20:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thursday, December 18, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/thursday-december-18-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/thursday-december-18-2014/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:20:03 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84833

MORNING WRECK – A southbound 18-wheel gravel hauler rolled off U.S. 81/287 just south of Decatur Thursday morning, spilling its load and snarling traffic headed toward Fort Worth in misty, wet conditions. One lane of the highway was shut down shortly after the accident, which was reported at 5:13 a.m. in construction zone just past Zimmerer Kubota. A Decatur Police officer said the truck, driven by Leonel Marquez, 33, of Fort Worth, was headed south in the outside lane when the trailer started fishtailing. The driver lost control and rolled it off into the ditch, causing extensive damage to the tractor and trailer and dumping gravel over the roadway and shoulder. Marquez was cited for failure to control speed. Decatur Police, Wise County Sheriff’s deputies, Decatur Fire Department units and Wise County EMS were called to the scene, although Marquez refused medical treatment. Texas Dept. of Transportation was called to bring a bucket loader to get the gravel off the road.

RAINFALL – Rainfall totals from yesterday included 0.63 of an inch in Bridgeport, 0.5 in Rhome and Cottondale, 0.45 in Alvord, 0.4 in Paradise and Greenwood and 0.38 in Decatur. Today’s forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain overnight, increasing to 40 percent tomorrow.

Santa-on-the-Streets.jpgSANTA ON THE STREETS – The Decatur Fire Department’s Santa on the Streets tour is expected to resume tonight, weather permitting. Yesterday’s tour had to be rescheduled due to rainy weather. If conditions allow, Santa will be visiting neighborhoods south of Hale Ave. and east of U.S. 81/287 including the Brookhollow neighborhood, beginning at 5. Watch Update to see when last night’s tour will be rescheduled.

TEEN ADVISORY BOARD – Decatur Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board is hosting a Stuffed Animal Sleepover Stop 3 to 6 p.m. Friday. Say goodnight to your stuffed buddies, and they’ll spend the night at the library with their teen babysitters to play and read the night away. Arrange for pickup on Saturday morning between 10 a.m. and noon. Call 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

ADOPT A GRANDPARENT – Laura Shaffer is seeking the public’s help in making donations of hand lotion to local nursing home residents. She will make a dollar-for-dollar donation with the purchase of each $12 bottle of hand lotion to give to residents at Governor’s Ridge, Decatur Nursing and Rehab, Senior Care in Decatur and Bridgeport and The Hills. Call or text Laura at 940-595-1437.

RODEO WELCOME HOME - A Welcome Home reception is 5-7 tonight at the Decatur Visitor Center, at 106 S. Trinity, for returning rodeo champions and NFR participants Trevor Brazile, Tuf Cooper, Clint Cooper and K.C. Jones.

BLOOD DRIVE – Wise Regional Health System will host a blood drive 8 a.m.-5 p.m. today. Call 940-626-0167.

FUEL FOR A CURE – The Cancer Center at Wise is collecting gas cards in increments of $25 or $50 to help cancer patients pay for gas. Many patients travel long distances every day. Donated gift cards can be dropped off at the Center Monday through Friday throughout December. For more information, call 940-626-2300. The Bridgeport Women’s Club is sponsoring the initiative.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for Deborah Eslinger-Sawyer, 58, of Springtown is 11 a.m. Saturday at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Decatur. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

NO SERVICE is scheduled for Denise Demory, 60, of Boyd at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

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Pre-dawn wreck slows traffic on U.S. 287 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/pre-dawn-wreck-slows-traffic-on-u-s-287/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/pre-dawn-wreck-slows-traffic-on-u-s-287/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:50:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84830 A southbound 18-wheel gravel hauler rolled off U.S. 81/287 just south of Decatur Thursday morning, spilling its load and snarling traffic headed toward Fort Worth in misty, wet conditions. One lane of the highway was shut down shortly after the accident, which was reported at 5:13 a.m. in construction zone just past Zimmerer Kubota. A Decatur Police officer said the truck, driven by Leonel Marquez, 33, of Fort Worth, was headed south in the outside lane when the trailer started fishtailing. The driver lost control and rolled it off into the ditch, causing extensive damage to the tractor and trailer and dumping gravel over the roadway and shoulder. Marquez was cited for failure to control speed. Decatur Police, Wise County Sheriff’s deputies, Decatur Fire Department units and Wise County EMS were called to the scene, although Marquez refused medical treatment. Texas Dept. of Transportation was called to bring a bucket loader to get the gravel off the road.

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Brazile tears up record books http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/brazile-tears-up-record-books/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/brazile-tears-up-record-books/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:02:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84824 Trevor Brazile continues to rewrite the Pro Rodeo record books.

The Decatur cowboy captured his 12th all-around gold buckle last week at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Back on Top

BACK ON TOP – Decatur’s Trevor Brazile won his 12th all-around title last week at the National Finals Rodeo. Photo courtesy of nfrexperience.com

Brazile upped his record for most world championships to 21 with his ninth straight all-around and fifth steer roping titles. His total career earning surpassed $5.5 million.

Brazile finished 2014 with $494,369 in earnings. He finished second in tie-down roping with $210,315 and second in team roping with partner Travis Graves with $176,182.

Decatur’s Tuf Cooper won the tie-down world title with $241,734 in earnings. He also won the NFR title with a total average through the 10 rounds of 89.7.

Clint Cooper finished 12th in the world standings with $108,316.

Decatur steer wrestler K.C. Jones finished 12th with a season total of $101,057.

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Welty joins city council http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/welty-joins-city-council/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/welty-joins-city-council/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:01:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84821 Chad Welty, associate pastor at the First Baptist Church of Paradise, was appointed Monday night to fill the vacant seat on the Paradise City Council.

Chad Welty

Welty and former council member Chris Harris were the only two nominees for the post, which has been vacant since Bill Schenk opted not to seek re-election in November.

The two candidates responded to several general questions on their backgrounds and skills, put forward by council member Terrie Ward.

Harris said his priorities would be seeing that everyone gets water service, improving the city’s roads and bringing new businesses to town.

“Paradise has a lot to offer, but right now, not many businesses want to come to Paradise,” he said. “We should do everything we can to bring in other businesses and build up the tax base.”

Welty agreed.

“I think providing water, continue exploring options on providing sewer service and making the community more business-friendly would be my priorities,” he said. “Also just listening to the citizens to find what their needs are – like a park – just to make the community a more family-friendly place.”

Harris, who has lived in Paradise 14 years, has been active in coaching youth baseball and serves on the volunteer fire department. He was on the city council for eight years and approached council member Brad Largent about the appointment when the opening came up.

“I’m very familiar with what’s going on in the city,” he said. “Paradise is my home. I want to see good things come to this town.”

Welty said several city council members approached him about seeking the appointment.

“They said there’s a need, an open spot for service here in the community,” he said. “I’ve always thought when a need arises, we ought to be servants to our community. That’s why I showed up here.”

Both men said they would be able to attend meetings on a regular basis, although council member Bob Gayan pointed out that Harris had missed several meetings when he was on the council in the past.

Harris defended his record.

“I’ve sat here when a lot of those seats were empty,” he said. “Things happen. We all have families, people are going to get sick. If you’re going to hold missing a meeting against me, you might want to look to your left and right also.”

When the vote was called, only Largent voted for Harris, while Gayan, Ward and Roy Steel all voted for Welty.

“I’ll do my best to work with you guys and serve the community, until the community decides they don’t want me,” Welty said.

He will be sworn in at the council’s January meeting.


The council held a required public hearing on applying for a Community Development Block Grant through the Texas Department of Agriculture.

City Secretary Teresa Moody reviewed the process, but the discussion eventually turned to water service – and whether the residents in the targeted area even want to go on city water.

Past grants in Paradise, totaling just shy of $1 million, have been used for a water well, water lines, planning and water storage. Moody said a water project is the only one likely to fit the city’s needs.

“Out of the remaining areas of town that do not have water service, probably the most likely to be funded is going to be Old Town,” she said. “It’s a low- to moderate-income area, and there are more senior citizens, more houses on that road than any other areas.”

Largent said the city might have a hard time getting residents of that area to connect to the city’s water system.

After a brief discussion, it was decided the city should poll the eight or so residents to determine if they want water service before spending the funds – the grant and whatever matching fund the city would have to come up with – to install the water line.

Moody said the public hearing was only the first step – that it would probably two years or more before the city actually applies for the grant.

“This is something to be thinking about, so if there is something other than that that y’all would like to see pursued, we’re going to need to know that,” she said.

Mayor Sam Starr will appoint a committee to develop a specific project that fits the community’s needs.


The council also:

  • appointed Stinnett to do disconnections for late payment as part-time employee of the water department. The late notices will say disconnections will be at 3 p.m., and City Hall will be open until 6. He will be paid an additional $50 for the task.
  • noted that election law training is in January and that Moody will attend a required Public Fund Investment Act training in April for small cities.
  • discussed repairing or replacing a malfunctioning fire hydrant. Moody said one of the contractors who is putting in the Dollar General store specializes in municipal water services and will work on the hydrant while they are in town.
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Lake Bridgeport still short of historic low http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/lake-bridgeport-still-short-of-historic-low/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/lake-bridgeport-still-short-of-historic-low/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:00:43 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84818 Earlier this month, Lake Bridgeport crossed a significant milestone: the lake is more than 24 feet low.

As of Tuesday, the lake level was just under 812 feet. That is having a major impact on those who live on the lake. as well as fishing, recreational boating and other activities.

But it’s not a historic low.

Hydrologist Laura Blaylock of the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) noted Tuesday that back in 1980, the lake was almost 11 feet lower than it is now, at 801.04 feet.

“This is the lowest it’s been since then, but 1980 is the absolute low,” she said.

The lake’s normal water level is 836 feet above sea level.

TRWD manages the lake and supplies water to the communities that surround it, including Decatur and Bridgeport. The water district stopped releasing water from Lake Bridgeport in June of 2013.

Since then, the lake’s steep drop has slowed, with conservation and a milder summer in 2014 playing a role. Over the past 12 months, Lake Bridgeport has fallen only four feet.

TRWD spokesman Chad Lorance said the district has no plans to release water from Lake Bridgeport in the foreseeable future.

“We are holding that water there for municipal purposes, as well as the power generation plants up there,” he said. “That’s why we essentially stopped those releases.”

Blaylock noted that Walnut Creek Special Utility District, which supplies water to smaller cities and rural areas in Wise and Parker counties, recently completed a barge to float their water intake farther out into the lake – into deeper water.

“Walnut Creek and the Brazos generating plant were both facing their intake becoming dangerously close to the water surface,” she said. “They built a barge, and now they have another 10 or 12 feet or so of depth.”

The other four intakes, including the cities of Bridgeport and Decatur, are near the dam, in the deepest part of the lake.

“Nobody’s in any danger of their intake coming out of the water,” she said.

Lorance said the water district’s plan is to stay the course, using water from its East Texas reservoirs, which can be pumped all the way up to Eagle Mountain Lake as needed.

“Fortunately, they’ve seen more rain than these reservoirs have in the west,” he said. “We have been pumping, and are currently pumping water into Eagle Mountain Lake. We’ll have to stop in January due to pipeline maintenance, but just for a short period.”


It wasn’t that long ago that Lake Bridgeport was full – in fact, it started 2011 at full capacity. That year, however, saw historic lows in rainfall and the start of what is now a three-year drought. The lake’s decline has been steady since then.

Periodic rain, while welcome, has had little impact over the past three years. The line flattens occasionally, but it does not rise, instead continuing a steady decline.

From October 2010 to November of this year, rainfall in Bridgeport is 37.7 inches below normal and in Decatur, it is nearly 42 inches below normal. Both cities have seen about 75 percent of their normal rainfall over that time.

A year ago, Lake Bridgeport was just more than 20 feet low, sitting at 45 percent capacity. Last week it was at 38 percent of capacity.

Nothing but rain can fill it back up.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s website, enhanced warming throughout the central Pacific suggests a shift to El Ni o – a weather pattern that typically brings more rain. The site said the likelihood of an El Ni o event this winter has increased to 65 percent.

That means the outlook for this winter favors above-normal precipitation – but those chances are greater along the Gulf Coast and into Central Texas, and much less significant along the Red River and in the western portions of North Texas.

The site also says this should be a cooler-than-normal winter – but notes that analysis is based on heavier cloud cover keeping daytime highs lower, not extreme weather events.

In fact, it says, the “predominant zonal flow actually reduces the incidence of arctic intrusions. As a result, extreme cold is less likely during El Ni o winters, and there are typically fewer freezes than normal.”

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Bridgeport School Board looks at soccer, drug testing http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-school-board-looks-at-soccer-drug-testing/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-school-board-looks-at-soccer-drug-testing/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:00:08 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84816 A three-hour meeting yielded very little action Monday night at the Bridgeport ISD administration building.

The board heard several presentations on school activities, including the elementary school’s art club, the high school’s FFA and agriculture sciences groups and the middle school’s student council – none of which required a vote.

They did, however, approve a local textbook selection committee and the hiring of Roni Smith, a new high school teacher who joined the faculty Dec. 8.

The textbook committee is made up of 17 teachers from all four campuses.

Board members also discussed a soccer questionnaire designed by Athletic Director and head football coach Danny Henson. The survey will be given to students in the coming weeks, to see if there is enough interest for a soccer program.

Other items of discussion included revisions to the school’s drug testing policy and updates on facility renovations.


The soccer questionnaire, which will go out as soon as this week, asks students which sports they already participate in and if they would continue their participation in that sport if soccer were offered. The goal, Superintendent Eddie Bland said, is to simply gauge interest and to see if other programs could survive with the addition of soccer.

“Basically, we’re looking at what programs the kids would give up if they could play,” Bland said.

Results of the survey should be released in January, Bland said.

The district’s student drug-testing policy got kicked around a lot as well. The policy, written in 2004, doesn’t reflect the changes in today’s technology, such as cell phones, that might affect the way students hear about random drug screenings.

“There’s a whole bunch of scenarios that we would need to look at in today’s light to re-write the policy,” Henson said.

Typically, any student involved in an extracurricular activity is tested at least once every six-week instructional period, with state drug testers coming in at least once a month, high school principal Jaime Sturdivant said.


Speaking of sports, renovations to the football stadium are progressing, with plans to make the press box into one story.

Baseball field renovations are also in full swing, and contractors recently met with faculty members to discuss logistics for the new agricultural sciences barn.


Another presentation the board heard Monday night was on dual-credit and AP classes from high school guidance counselors.

Bridgeport High School’s class of 2014 graduated with a combined total of 117 class hours that could be eligible for college credit, as well as 195 dual-credit classes.

The board’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Jan 19 at 2107 15th Street, and is open to the public.

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New judge leads first meeting http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/new-judge-leads-first-meeting/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/new-judge-leads-first-meeting/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:59:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84814 County Judge J.D. Clark led his first commissioners meeting Monday.

The 28-year-old started a new tradition by saying the Pledge of Allegiance and having a moment of silence at the top of the agenda.

Members of the Wise County Veterans Group ceremoniously installed the U.S. and Texas flags in the courthouse’s third floor conference room and then led the group in the pledge.

Also on the agenda for the first time was a community forum. Boyd citycouncilman Tim Hammonds addressed commissioners and asked why, as part of their interlocal agreement, the city is charged $50 for every animal picked up by Wise County Animal Control, but people outside the city limits are not charged for the service.

Commissioners are not allowed to discuss or vote on issues brought up in public forum, but those topics can be placed on a future agenda.

The bulk of the meeting – the last to be held in 2014 – was routine business.

Clark outlined a timeline for hiring an elections administrator and told commissioners the deadline to apply for the job is Friday. The elections commission will decide which candidates to interview and would like to hire someone by the first of the year.

“The goal is to hire an elections administrator by January, and Jim can go on back to the house,” he said with a smile, referencing interim EA Jim Parker.

The county is also looking for a systems coordinator, and commissioners approved creating a hiring committee, which includes Judge Clark, Special Projects Manager Glenn Hughes, Sheriff David Walker, Fire Marshal Chuck Beard and Court Coordinator Debbie Barnett.

In other staff-related issues, Clark announced that Becky Dear retired from the county attorney’s office after 25 years, and he had received a letter complimenting veteran service officer Laura Spain.

He also presented a plaque to Hughes, thanking him for his service as interim county judge and interim commissioner, in both Precinct 3 and 4, over the last four years. Clark also recognized Gary Potts, who recently served as interim Precinct 4 commissioner. Potts was not present.


Commissioners accepted Warner Radio’s $10 bid to purchase equipment on a radio tower near U.S. 81/287 and County Road 4228. The fire marshal said the equipment is 15 years old and is no longer being used by the county.

“It’s outlived it’s life expectancy,” he told the Messenger. “It was going to cost us more money to take the equipment off the tower than to just auction it off.”

The equipment sold includes runs of cable and three or four antenna on top of the tower. Beard said the cheapest bid to remove the equipment was $5,800, which didn’t include disposal. He said there is some county equipment remaining on the tower that is currently in use.

Commissioners also approved the installation of aluminum bleachers at the show arena on the Wise County Fairgrounds. They accepted a $26,215 quote from the Texas Department of Corrections as presented by Public Works Director Tom Goode.

Goode said his crews will tear down the current bleachers, and the installation of the new bleachers will be done by state jail inmates. He hopes the job will be complete before the Wise County Youth Fair in March.

Commissioners tabled a vehicle request from County Court-at-Law No. 1, as presented by Sheriff Walker.

They had recently approved the purchase of a new vehicle for the district court bailiff, and Walker said the county court was now asking to replace its bailiff’s car. A 2014 Tahoe has been ordered for the district court bailiff, and the county court was requesting the same.

“They’re driving a Dodge Charger now … they’re low-mileage, about 50,000,” he said.

Walker said if commissioners decided to purchase the vehicle, his department would take the bailiff’s current car and use it to replace one of their high-mileage cars.

Judge Clark questioned why the bailiffs need Tahoes, and he said he’d like to look further into the issue before taking any action.

In other business, commissioners:

  • tabled bids on 3/4-ton pickups at the request of Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns;
  • renewed the red flag burn ban
  • tabled increases for Tyler Technologies maintenance
  • approved purchase of a pickup from a co-op for the Public Works Department
  • approved selling an asphalt distributor truck at the request of Burns
  • approved appointing Ken Murray to fill the remaining term of a post on the Wise County Emergency Services District No. 1’s board of directors
  • approved Judge Clark’s bond

Look for more from the Dec. 15 commissioners meeting in the weekend Messenger.

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Voters might have multiple bond choices http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/voters-might-have-multiple-bond-choices/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/voters-might-have-multiple-bond-choices/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:58:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84812 Around this time next month, the Decatur school board is expected to take action on a proposed bond issue.

There are still several decisions to make before then.

At Monday’s meeting, the board and Superintendent Rod Townsend continued to look at items to include in a possible bond package. Those items have been prioritized, and up to three packages might be considered by voters.

A proposed package #1 contains items that are considered to be the most pressing need or highest priority for the district. That includes $2.75 million for 25 new buses and other vehicles; $1.2 million for security upgrades such as card readers at all campuses, security cameras and related technology infrastructure; $3.2 million for technology including one “refresh” of computers districtwide, wireless network enhancements and fiber optic cable replacement; and nearly $2.5 million for “priority one” items related to facilities.

Those priority one facility items include motion sensors for lighting, roof and gutter repairs or replacement, plumbing repairs, numerous upgrades at the support services building, resurfacing of the high school and middle school tracks, a baseball/softball pressbox and restroom at the baseball/softball complex.

Proposed packages #2 and #3 each contain additional facility-related items.

Proposed package #2 includes nearly $6.2 million for items such as field turf at Eagle Stadium, two additional tennis courts and concession stand/restroom facility at the high school tennis courts, restrooms/concession stand at Thompson Street track, and an indoor multipurpose center at the high school.

Proposed package #3 includes nearly $3.7 million for items such as field turf at the high school track, track fencing and parking lot at Decatur High School and a separate gym at Rann Elementary.

The items included in the bond are subject to change, and Townsend said he expects some of the items might not make it into the final bond packages.

Some of the items in a package might be contingent on the passage of another package. For instance, if field turf at Eagle Stadium is approved by voters, then junior high games can be held there instead of the Thompson Street field, eliminating the need for the restrooms/concession stand project there.

The merits of presenting a single bond package rather than multiple bond packages was also discussed.

Jeff Robert, financial advisor with First Southwest, said it is rare to see more than two packages presented to voters.

“If you could package them together and you feel that it could pass, I would rather see you do that,” he said. “But if you’ve got those items that are maybe less critical that could defeat the whole package, a multiple proposition is probably the way to go.”

It is still up to the board to decide if the bond issue features one, two or three packages. Trustees are expected to vote on calling a bond issue at the January meeting.

In other business the board:

  • approved the annual audit report;
  • honored the Decatur High School volleyball team on their state championship;
  • honored the winners of the district’s Christmas card contest;
  • honored Jami Petty, a first grade teacher at Carson Elementary, as the district’s educator of the month;
  • honored Ann Boyles as the support staff employee of the month; and
  • recognized the work of Learning Ladder daycare.
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Not all cities invited to sales tax party http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/not-all-cities-invited-to-sales-tax-party/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/not-all-cities-invited-to-sales-tax-party/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:58:15 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84810 Of the 12 Wise County cities that collect a sales tax, nine showed gains during 2014, compared to the previous year.

That makes the news three-quarters positive, right?

But the three cities that lost money, lost more than the gainers gained – leaving the county overall just under a half-percent short of last year in sales tax collections.

In a year when the state’s 1,149 cities gained 7 percent, and most of the counties around Wise County came close to that amount, having a negative number feels a bit like being out in the yard while there’s a party going on in the house.

When the December numbers were released this week by the State Comptroller’s office, Wise County’s 12 cities had collected $728,946 for the month – down 8.7 percent compared to the $798,480 they took in last December.

That left them with $8,846,832 for the year, down .41 percent or $36,786 compared to last year’s $8,883,618.

Tax Dollars

The winners were:

  • Newark, up 62.2 percent (from $94,487 to $153,281) +$58,794
  • Lake Bridgeport, up 41.8 percent (from $19,486 to $27,646) +$8,160
  • Alvord, up 17.1 percent (from $139,010 to $162,784) +$23,774
  • Runaway Bay, up 16.7 percent (from $64,989 to $75,854) +$10,865
  • Chico, up 11.5 percent (from $249,685 to $278,408) +$28,723
  • Rhome, up 7.5 percent ($391,029 to $420,627) +$29,598
  • Boyd, up 6.7 percent ($323,245 to $345,175) +$21,930
  • Paradise, up 6.4 percent ($110,607 to $117,735) +$7,128
  • Decatur, up 1.8 percent ($3,990,278 to $4,063,898) +$73,620

Those nine cities took in a combined $262,592 more than they collected last year, all with a sales tax rate of 1.5 percent.

But here come the losers:

  • New Fairview, down 20 percent ($363,870 to $291,212) -$72,658
  • Aurora, down 19.4 percent ($46,193 to $37,221) -$8,972
  • Bridgeport, down 7 percent ($3,090,734 to $2,872,985) -$217,749

Those three lost a total of $299,379 compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the counties surrounding Wise joined the party. Those numbers:

  • Jack County collected about $2 million, up 46.7 percent or $642,340 from last year.
  • Montague County took in $3.24 million, up 14.7 percent or $415,675.
  • Denton County’s $119.9 million was up 9.2 percent or $10.18 million.
  • Parker County’s $16.5 million was up 6.1 percent or $954,177.
  • Tarrant County, which collected $465.5 million, was up 5.5 percent or $24.5 million.

The December totals represent October sales reported by monthly tax filers. Most cities budget on a fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, so their numbers will be different from these.

Sales tax revenue goes into the city’s general fund to support fire and police, libraries and other city operations.

Some Wise County cities also dedicate a half-cent of their sales tax to an Economic Development Corp. (EDC) to be used to attract new businesses, retain existing businesses and promote the community.

In Wise County, the county government collects a half-cent tax in all the unincorporated areas to help offset property tax increases. The county’s December check was $444,441 – up nearly 11 percent from last year’s payment – and for the year the county collected just more than $5 million from the sales tax. That’s a 2.8 percent improvement over 2013.

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Paradise School Board hears academic improvement strategies http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-school-board-hears-academic-improvement-strategies/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-school-board-hears-academic-improvement-strategies/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:57:23 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84807 The Paradise school board Monday night heard strategies to improve math and writing scores, as well as ways to improve the overall performance of special education students.

Campus principals presented those plans, which are aimed at combating weaknesses in several areas, according to Assistant Superintendent Patti Seckman.

Paradise schools are applying vertical teaming – in which educators at various grade levels work together to help students acquire the academic skills they need to succeed. A key element is specialty writing projects that are assessed at an even higher level than the state’s STAAR test.

While the regular meeting was short, board members still heard an audit report from Carl Deaton, CPA, with the firm of Hankins, Eastup, Deaton, Tonn and Seay. They also reallocated $500,000 from the committed fund balance to the unassigned fund balance.

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Cut to the chase: Shears of Steele salon puts students on path to success http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cut-to-the-chase-shears-of-steele-salon-puts-students-on-path-to-success/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/cut-to-the-chase-shears-of-steele-salon-puts-students-on-path-to-success/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:56:47 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84805 Once they’ve passed through the front door of Shears of Steele Salon, clients get few hints that they are in a high school.

“It’s a salon setting all the way down to the Christmas decorations,” said Alicia Flower, Academy of Cosmetology Facilitator and Instructor, during a tour of the salon at James M. Steele Accelerated High School in Roanoke.

Providing Style

PROVIDING STYLE – Crystal Deleon, Reva Killough and Mary Delgadillo are three of the 60 students in the Academy of Cosmetology that work at the Shears of Steele salon at James Steele High School in Northwest ISD. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The haircuts, stylings and manicures from the staff of students combine to make customers feel like they’re in a top-notch salon.

“I’d put my students head-to-head with any stylists I’ve had at any location,” Flower adds.

The salon opened to customers in mid-September after a year of state-mandated training. Its Tuesday and Thursday bookings have filled quickly.

“We’re booked two to three weeks in advance,” Flower explains. “We have 20 stations and on Tuesday afternoons it’s rocking. We’re averaging 20 to 45 clients on Tuesdays.”

Shears of Steele provides students the opportunity for training and hands-on experience as they become certified cosmetologists after completing the study plan. The salon was built using excess bond money at the college- and career-oriented school where half of the 120 students are in the cosmetology program.

“These are students that made the choice to be here,” Flower explained. “We have such a mix of students. It’s open enrollment. We have students from Keller, Grapevine and Colleyville along with Northwest.”

Wise County residents Crystal Deleon, Reva Killough and Mary Delgadillo are among the 60 currently in the academy and working in the salon.

“It’s a big opportunity other high school students don’t get,” Deleon said.

Flower herself is a product of a high school cosmetology program in Cypress-Fairbanks, down near Houston.

“It’s very dear to my heart,” said the 25-year teaching veteran.

Last year when the Northwest program started, there were 27 students.

“We brought a second teacher on board in January, and we’ve been able to grow to 65 in one year – which is phenomenal,” Flower said.

After a fast-paced, intense semester of training with roughly 200 hours under their belt, Flower’s students gave 105 haircuts in just three hours at Northwest’s Back-to-School Fair before Shears of Steele opened.

Along with learning techniques for cutting hair, styling, waxing, facials and manicures, students also learn customer service and business skills.

“This is also pushing business and education,” Flower said.

Killough explained her goal, along with getting her license to style, is to pursue a business degree.

“I want to use this to help pay for college,” she said.

Delgadillo, whose love of art and creativity drew her to the program, is hoping to take the skills she learns to become a pastry chef.

Deleon wants to remain in the field, become a manicurist and attend classes in Mexico.

One of the goals for the program is for the students to have all their licenses through the state completed by graduation. Flower said some of her students already have 900 of their 1,000 hours.

“By February, they can be working in a salon setting,” she said.

Flower added that there is no additional training after their written tests and practical application.

Next year, the program will start with freshmen. Students wanting to join the academy will go through an interview process and submit essays and their grades.

Deleon said the program has been a big help to her as she gets more comfortable and confident working with clients. She’s already had a repeat customer, she notes.

“You get more confident and can talk with them about what looks good on them,” Deleon said. “If they get some compliments on what you did, they will recommend you.”

Killough is hoping to build up a clientele that will follow her to her first real job.

While her students are working to develop careers, Flower reminds them they are not just cutting hair or providing manicures for their customers.

“It’s not just about doing the service. They are touching people’s lives,” Flower said.

The salon will accept appointments each Tuesday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. and each Thursday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Those interested in scheduling an appointment can reach the salon by phone at 817-698-5820 or by email at shearsofsteele@nisdtx.org.

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Northwest ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, December 17, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/northwest-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-december-17-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/northwest-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-december-17-2014/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:55:42 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84802 Prairie View Elementary


Andrew McDaniel

Grade: 1st

Parents: Christopher and Rachael McDaniel

Favorite subject: Writing

Activities: Playing with Legos and reading

Why this student was chosen: “Andrew is a Hawk of great character! He exemplifies good citizenship in everything he does. He works hard in class to make sure he is putting forth his best effort. He is becoming a fantastic reader and mathematician. Andrew has a bright future, and we are proud to call him a PVE Hawk.” – Principal Yolanda Wallace

Seven Hills Elementary


Riley Tucciarone

Grade: 4th

Parents: James and Tabitha Tucciarone

Favorite subject: Science and writing

Activities: Dance team, Creative Writing Club, UIL competition, art and Volleyball Pre-Tejas Club

Why this student was chosen: “Riley is an outstanding student and leader. She cares about her school and classmates. Riley is a student who takes initiative to improve herself and the world around her. She is truly an asset to Seven Hills Elementary.” – Principal Michelle Pawski

Chisholm Trail Middle School


Elise Lebeau

Grade: 8th

Parents: Tammy and Kevin Lebeau

Favorite subject: History and language arts

Activities: Volleyball (school and club), National Junior Honor Society, church, volunteering with NJHS and church, and spending time with family and friends.

Why this student was chosen: “Elise is an outstanding Bulldog student, athlete, role model and leader on campus. She has been an ‘A’ student this year and produces exemplary work. She is highly motivated, organized and a role model for other students. Elise always has a smile on her face and works very hard at everything she does. She demonstrates trustworthiness, loyalty, respect and responsibility daily. Her bubbly spirit is contagious, and she has never met a stranger.” – Principal Todd Rogers

Northwest High School


Luke Hall

Grade: 11th

Parents: Scott and Barbie Hall

Favorite subject: Anything involving math

Activities: Junior class president, NHSTV (television broadcasting program), varsity basketball manager, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Why this student was chosen: “Luke is such a great student leader! He is hardworking, smart and really fun to be around. He is well-respected, and I am certainly looking forward to his senior leadership next year.” – Principal Jason Childress

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Education Briefs for Wednesday, December 17, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-december-17-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-december-17-2014/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:53:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84796 ALVORD

CHRISTMAS BREAK – Alvord ISD will have an early release day Friday, Dec. 19. Classes will resume Monday, Jan. 5.


BAND CONCERT – The annual Christmas band concert is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, in the high school cafetorium. Call 940-433-2327.

HOLIDAY BREAK – Boyd ISD will release school Friday, Dec. 19, for the Christmas break. Students resume classes Monday, Jan. 5.


ADVANCED ACADEMICS – The nomination window for the Bridgeport ISD Advanced Academics program is Dec. 1-19. Referral forms for students in grades K-11 are available online and in campus offices.

BAND CONCERT – The Bridgeport High School band concert is 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, in the high school gymnasium. Call 940-683-5124.

CHRISTMAS BREAK – Bridgeport ISD will release three hours early Friday, Dec. 19. Classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6. Teachers have a professional development day Monday, Jan. 5.


CHRISTMAS BREAK – Chico ISD will release students at noon Friday, Dec. 19, for the holiday break. Classes resume Monday, Jan. 5.


HOLIDAY BREAK – Decatur ISD will release students early Friday, Dec. 19, for the Christmas break. Classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6. Teachers have a staff development day Monday, Jan. 5.


CHRISTMAS BREAK – Students in Northwest ISD will have a two-week vacation. There are no classes Dec. 22-Jan. 5. Classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6.


PAY ONLINE – PISD has changed over to the MySchoolBucks system for online meal payments. To use the system, parents have to register with the website. Go to wcmess.com/mealplan.

HOLIDAY BREAK – Paradise ISD will release students early Friday, Dec. 19, for the Christmas break. Classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6. Teachers have a work day Monday, Jan. 5.


HOLIDAY PROGRAM – Slidell Elementary Christmas program is 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, in the cafetorium on the secondary campus.

CHRISTMAS BREAK – Slidell ISD will release students early Friday, Dec. 19, for winter vacation. Classes will resume Monday, Jan. 5.

WFAA SCHOLAR ATHLETE – Caitlin Pruett will be a featured scholar athlete on Dale Hansen’s Sports Special Sunday, Dec. 21. Hansen and WFAA showcase North Texas high school seniors who have excelled in academics and athletics and have made positive contributions to their communities. The segment will air at 10:35 p.m.

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Breakfast with Santa http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/features/breakfast-with-santa/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/features/breakfast-with-santa/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:53:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84794
Christmas Cheer

CHRISTMAS CHEER – Kalila Rodriguez is all smiles at Breakfast with Santa hosted by the Decatur Fire Department Saturday. She and many others munched on syrupy treats and met with Santa Claus. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Service with a Smile

SERVICE WITH A SMILE – Codie and Camryn Boyd line up for pancakes Saturday at Breakfast with Santa hosted by the Decatur Fire Department. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Finger Licking Good

FINGER-LICKING GOOD – Finn Waltrus demolishes a stack of pancakes and sausage before waiting in line to see Santa. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford


SWEET – Sofia Waltrus smiles and puckers as she munches on pancakes Saturday morning. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Flipping Out

FLIPPING OUT – Decatur firefighters cook stacks of pancakes for hungry kids Saturday. Their cooker produced as many as 40 pancakes at a time and about 1,000 total for Breakfast with Santa. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

All Dressed Up

ALL DRESSED UP – Cody Johnson met Santa dressed as a fireman and accompanied by his teddy bear. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Tis the Season

‘TIS THE SEASON – Kenneth Harding holds baby boy Kaide Harding during Breakfast with Santa. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Making a List

MAKING A LIST – Santa greets four youngsters, each with a special gift request for Christmas. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

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News Briefs for Wednesday, December 17, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-december-17-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-december-17-2014/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:53:15 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84791 BRIDGEPORT

SANTA ON NOTTINGHAM - A Bridgeport neighborhood will host “Santa on Nottingham” 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 19-23. Santa will be on hand, along with a full-sized Olaf, every evening, and there will be a different craft each night. It’s all free. Bring the kids to 137 Nottingham.

CHAMBER LUNCHEON – The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce luncheon is 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Community Center. Lunch will be catered by Dos Chiles, and cost is $10. RSVP by noon Wednesday, Dec. 17, to donnamann@bridgeportchamber.org or 940-683-2076. This month we will be playing BINGO rather than having our usual raffle. Bingo cards will be $5 each and will be available for purchase at the door along with your lunch ticket. Also receive one Bingo card for each un-wrapped toy you bring to add to our holiday toy drive. Bingo Prize Donations are always appreciated! We will also have a box out for the Lion’s Club Coat Drive, so bring your unwanted/unused coats, hoodies and other winter clothing items. RSVP by noon on Wednesday, Dec. 17 to donnamann@bridgeportchamber.org or 940-683-2076

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


CHRISTMAS MUSICAL – First Baptist Church of Chico presents “God is with Us,” a Christmas mini-musical, 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. The church is at 404 S. Weatherford St. Visit www.fbcchico.org.


SANTA COPS – The Decatur Police Department is accepting new, unwrapped toys for Santa Cops through Wednesday, Dec. 17. Drop donations off at the department, 1601 S. State St. Call Ashly DoByns, 940-393-0300.

TEEN ADVISORY BOARD – Decatur Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board is hosting a Stuffed Animal Sleepover Stop 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19. Say goodnight to your stuffed buddies, and they’ll spend the night at the library with their teen babysitters to play and read the night away. Arrange for pickup on Saturday morning between 10 a.m. and noon. Call 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

SANTA IS COMING – Santa is coming to Decatur Public Library’s special Holiday Friday Fun Storytime for preschoolers at 10:30 a.m. Friday Dec. 19. Celebrate the joy of reading and early literacy with seasonal stories, songs and movement. Santa will return to the library at 2 p.m. for photos with school-aged children. Call 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

DONATIONS SOUGHT – Superior Auto Repair in Decatur is collecting canned food for Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) and lap blankets for Meals on Wheels until Saturday, Dec. 20.

YEARBOOK SALE – The Decatur High School yearbook staff has extra copies of past yearbooks on sale at a discount through the month of December. The following books are available for only $10: 1994, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010. Yearbooks for 2011 and 2012 may be purchased for $25. Call 940-393-7231 or email cindy.berry@decatur.esc11.net.


BOOK BLOWOUT – Rhome Public Library is having a Book Blowout Sale 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through the end of this month. Hardback books are $1, and paperbacks are 50 cents. The library is at 265 W. BC Rhome.


ANGEL TREE – Those wishing to sponsor a senior citizen with Integracare’s Angel Tree should call the business at 940-683-8171.

CHRISTMAS ANGELS – Wise Hope Shelter and Crisis Center still has Christmas angels available for adoption. Gifts and donations will benefit children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence. Angels may be picked up 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 608 N. Bus. 81/287 in Decatur. Call 940-626-4585.

WCWC REGISTRATION – Registration for new and returning dual credit, on-campus and online students at Weatherford College Wise County is currently underway for spring classes that begin Monday, Jan. 12. Financial aid and payment plan options are available. Contact the college at 940-627-2690 or wisecounty@wc.edu to schedule a personal advising session. Course schedules and admissions information can be found at www.wc.edu/academics.

CASA TRAINING – Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Wise and Jack Counties will train new volunteers beginning Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. The classes equip participants to provide court advocacy to abused and neglected children who are removed from their homes by Child Protective Services (CPS). Advocates assess, gather information and speak up for the child’s best interest in court, working to ensure they have a safe, loving and permanent home as quickly as possible. Call 940-627-7535 before Jan. 12 to register.

RELAY FOR LIFE DATE SET – Relay for Life of Wise County will be held 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.

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Basketball: Bulls jump into 4A poll http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-bulls-jump-into-4a-poll/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-bulls-jump-into-4a-poll/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:50:13 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84782 The Bridgeport Bulls are no longer flying under the radar.

After winning the Granbury Tournament over the weekend to move to 9-3, the Bulls jumped into the Class 4A rankings at No. 16.

Bridgeport coach Alan Green downplayed the ranking.

“That’s for nothing but coffee shop talk,” he said. “That doesn’t help you win games, get those hustle points or a loose ball. If anything, it should narrow the focus more.”

It also puts a target on the Bulls before a huge week that started Tuesday with a showdown at home against 3A’s second-ranked Ponder Lions. Bridgeport will take on No. 6 Peaster Friday at home before their showdown at American Airlines Center Monday against Wichita Falls Rider.

“It’s a fun week. It’s the reason you’re in it,” Green said. “You play top-10 teams and get to play at the AAC where the Mavs play.”

At Granbury, the Bulls picked up wins over Waco (90-63), Granbury (50-46), Lovejoy (74-46) and Waco University (60-46).

“It was a good weekend,” Green said. “We were disappointed in our effort last Tuesday against Saginaw. We challenged them going into the weekend. You can’t underestimate hustle. We got some confidence from that tournament.”

Devonte Patterson poured in 21 points in the championship game against Waco University. Caleb Smith finished with 16 and Keenan Holdman 13.

Bridgeport went on a 17-8 run in the third to build an 18-point lead.

Smith and Patterson scored 23 each in the win over Lovejoy. Ethan Chapman had 14.

In a grinder against host Granbury, Bridgeport trailed by one going into the fourth and pulled out the win with 21 points from Patterson.

The Bulls held Granbury to just 19 points in the second half.

Smith had 30 points as the Bulls lit up Waco for 90. Patterson added 25 and Jacob Del Angel 13. Bridgeport built a 49-28 halftime lead.

After the big weekend in Granbury, the Bulls moved to 8-1 in tournaments this season.

“We’re 1-2 in regular games,” Green pointed out. “Now, let’s do things right every day and prepare the right way.”

Bridgeport also returned home Tuesday for the first time since the season opener against Kennedale.

“It was good to get out on the road, but I know our guys can’t wait to get on the home floor,” Green said. “We have eight of our next nine on our home floor.”

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Football: Four earn all-state mention – Holdman, Cook receive consideration http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-four-earn-all-state-mention-holdman-cook-receive-consideration/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-four-earn-all-state-mention-holdman-cook-receive-consideration/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:49:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84780 Bridgeport junior wide receiver Keenan Holdman caught 76 passes for 16 touchdowns and 1,069 yards this past season, helping the Bulls to the second round of the playoffs.

WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION – Bridgeport’s Keenan Holdman received honorable mention on the 4A all-state team after catching 76 passes this season. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Tuesday, he earned honorable mention for the 4A Associated Press All-State team.

Holdman was one of two Bulls to receive mention. Bridgeport senior punter Trey Cook, who averaged 41 yards on his 34 attempts, garnered consideration.

Alvord senior running back Joe Randall received mention for the 2A team. He ran for 1,841 yards and 26 touchdowns this season and finished his career with 4,643 yards and 76 total touchdowns, including 11 receiving and five returns.

Chico’s Tyler Melton and Boyd’s Reece Jordan earned consideration as linemen on the 2A and 3A teams. Melton did not give up a sack and made 39 pancake blocks. Jordan did not allow a sack on a team that averaged 400 yards per game.

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Basketball: Inside presence – Strong Thorpe develops into force for Boyd http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-inside-presence-strong-thorpe-develops-into-force-for-boyd/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-inside-presence-strong-thorpe-develops-into-force-for-boyd/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:48:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84777 As a freshman last year, Lindsey Thorpe would fight for a rebound, make a move and give glimpses of her potential in the paint.

Those glimpses are now ever-present as she’s become a force down low for the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets in their 11-0 start.

STRONG FORCE – Boyd’s Lindsey Thorpe has helped the Lady Yellowjackets to an 11-0 start. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Thorpe entered Tuesday’s District 9-3A opener against Bowie averaging 14.3 points in her last six games. That included 24 in a win over Graham at the Chico Tournament. Boyd went 4-0 at the tournament with Thorpe in double figures in every game but one.

“I don’t keep track of that other than winning,” Thorpe said. “Winning is the most important thing.”

While not focused on the numbers, Thorpe won’t deny that she’s playing with more confidence this year as she’s gotten more comfortable with the speed of the varsity game.

“I got my freshman year over and that was my trial run,” she explained. “Now, I’m learning all kinds of new things. I’m staying calm and staying out of foul trouble.”

Though she’s trying to avoid the fouls that plagued her during her first campaign, she’s not shy about mixing it up in the paint.

“It’s what I have to do to win,” Thorpe said. “You have to stay physical. Everything about this game is being physical.”

Not many opponents are going to match Thorpe in strength on the blocks. Thorpe finished eighth in the shot put last year at the Class 2A Region II meet.

“Hopefully I can go to state this year,” said Thorpe, who also plays softball in the spring.

But while her strength helps her inside, she is quick to defer to her teammates, giving them credit for the team’s strong start.

“I know I have my team to back me up,” Thorpe said.

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Basketball: Hix, Eagles take down Indians http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-hix-eagles-take-down-indians/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-hix-eagles-take-down-indians/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:47:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84774 With crisp ball movement, the Decatur Eagles created opportunities and Mason Hix cashed in Monday night.

The freshman big man posted a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Eagles to a 54-35 victory over the Sanger Indians at Decatur High School gym.

Ont he Move

ON THE MOVE – Decatur’s Cade Lamirand crosses halfcourt Monday in the Eagles’ win over Sanger. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We’re doing good things moving the ball, and the one guy that is finding chances to attack is Mason Hix,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “When he got the ball in the high post he was aggressive.

ON THE DRIVE – Decatur’s Aaron Shetter takes the ball to the basket during the Eagles’ win over Sanger. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“He’s getting better. We’ve harped on his defensive play. He’s very talented. But it’s a big transition from eighth grade to varsity. There’s highs and lows. Tonight was definitely a high.”

Hix scored 12 of his 23 points in the third quarter as Decatur opened up a 15-point lead, 42-27.

“I was trying to be more active than I’ve been in the past,” Hix said. “My teammates did a great job moving the ball.”

Hix also got the opportunities to maneuver inside after Decatur came out and punished the Sanger zone with perimeter shots to open the game. Holt Garner and Cade Lamirand hit 3-pointers to start a 16-3 run.

Decatur was 5-for-12 from beyond the 3-point arc.

“When you play a zone, if you can hit those outside shots, it changes the game,” Coffman said. “Then you can get the chances inside.”

Lamirand scored all nine of his points in the first quarter to help Decatur to an 11-point lead, 16-5.

Decatur also tightened up on the defensive end at the start, holding Sanger without a field goal until 2:05 of the first quarter. The Indians managed only 14 points in the first half, turning the ball over 10 times. Decatur led 26-14 at the break.

Monday closed a tough stretch of five games in five days for the Eagles, who finished third over the weekend at their own tournament. Decatur went 4-1 in those games with the lone loss coming to Ponder.

“It feels like an NBA schedule,” Coffman said. “But with young players sometimes the best thing is to play good competition and learn.”

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Basketball: Two teams enter rankings http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-two-teams-enter-rankings/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-two-teams-enter-rankings/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:46:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84770 Two more Wise County basketball teams joined the Texas High School Basketball Association rankings this week.

The Bridgeport Bulls jumped into the 4A boys rankings at No. 16. The Paradise Lady Panthers debuted in the 3A poll at No. 24 after their 12-2 start.

The Decatur Lady Eagles, who dropped a second straight game Monday, were ranked No. 17 in the 4A girls poll released earlier in the day.

Slidell is No. 18 in the girls Class A poll.

Decatur is 21st in the 4A boys rankings.

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