WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:46:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Monday, August 31, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-august-31-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-august-31-2015/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:19:01 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94790

FRIDAY WRECK – An accident on the Farm Road 51 overpass crossing U.S. 380 slowed traffic on the bridge Friday evening. A Chevy Equinox struck a Nissan Acura on the overpass. Wise County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Wes Hughes said the passenger of the Equinox reported the driver in the vehicle was experiencing medical issues prior to the wreck. The driver of the Equinox was unconscious when officers arrived and was transported to Wise Regional Health System. Hughes said the driver of the Acura was conscious and may have suffered a minor head injury. No names have been released at this time.

FOOTBALL SCORES – Decatur 40, Springtown 29; Corsicana 34, Northwest 28; Nocona 26, Alvord 18; Gunter 30, Boyd 14; Bridgeport 42, Mineral Wells 41; Red Oak Life 28, Paradise 21; Chico 55, Frost 21; Victory Christian 53, Trinity Christian JV 7

LADY EAGLES FINISH SIXTH – In the elite field at the Marcus I Invitational Saturday, the Decatur Lady Eagles cross country team finished sixth. Jessica Kyle turned in the team’s best finish, 36th in 19:56. Taylor Butler was 61st, Elizabeth Culpepper 62nd, Paola Paloma 65th and Georgina Paloma 68th. The Decatur boys were 25th. Allen Rangle ran 18:05 for 113th. Hunter Helm was 118th, Luke Cobb 143rd, Rodrigo Carrillo 146th and Grant Seckel 155th.

WEEKEND RAIN – Showers Saturday evening brought rain to parts of Wise County. Rainfall totals included 1.5 inches in Cottondale, 0.5 in Paradise and 0.04 in Decatur.

OFFICE CLOSED FOR TRAINING – The Wise County Elections/Voter Registrar office will be closed today through Thursday to attend the Texas Secretary of State conference in Austin. The office will reopen 8 a.m. Friday. In case of emergency, call Elections Administrator Sabra Srader at 940-577-7601.

ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP – The Alzheimer’s (and related dementia) support group will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom at the Wise Regional Health System west campus in Decatur. The group is for the people who are caring for folks with dementia. Call Richard, 940-255-0244.

GOSPEL SING-ALONG – The monthly Gospel Opry sing-along program is 6:30 tonight in the second floor G.C. Rann Theater of the Wise County Heritage Museum at 1602 S. Trinity St. in Decatur. Admission is free, and an offering will be accepted toward the expenses of the museum.

BULLDOG MANIA – The Alvord Booster Club will hold Bulldog Mania 6 p.m. Thursday at the high school football field.

SCAM ALERT – Decatur High School has issued a possible scam alert for a company that is not authorized to act on its behalf. “Dennis from Touchdown Sports” has been contacting local businesses to solicit donations supposedly on behalf of Decatur High School. DHS is not affiliated with this business and has not approved this company to act on its behalf.

MEET THE TEACHER – Decatur High School will host Meet the Teacher night 6:30-7:30 tonight.

CUB SCOUT ROUNDUP – Cub Scout Pack 115 Roundup is 6:30 tonight at the Wesley Center of the United Methodist Church in Decatur. All new or returning boys in first through fifth grades interested in joining Cub Scouts are invited.

PUBLIC HEARING – The City of Decatur will hold a public hearing at 6 tonight on the proposed 2015-2016 budget and tax rate.

FUNERALS – Graveside services for Dorothy Wilkerson, 86, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at Bellevue Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Debbie Womack, 59, of Bridgeport is 2 p.m. Tuesday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Boonsville Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Doris Lucille Hoyl, 90, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Tuesday at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Decatur. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

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Child injured in house fire http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/child-injured-in-house-fire/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/child-injured-in-house-fire/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:38:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94784 An 11-year-old boy was badly burned in a fire that destroyed a mobile home on County Road 4875 in Newark just after 2 a.m. Friday.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the boy suffered burns to 35 percent of his body. He was transported by helicopter to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Total Loss

TOTAL LOSS – A Newark home was destroyed in a fire early Friday morning. An 11-year-old boy suffered serious burns before being pulled through a window by his grandfather. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

As of 5 p.m. Friday, Beard said the child’s condition had improved, and the family was hopeful he would be released this weekend.

Beard has not yet released names related to the incident, but he said two adults and their three grandchildren, ranging in age from 5 to 11, lived in the house.

He said the grandfather suffered minor cuts and burns while pulling the 11-year-old out of a window. The grandfather did not require medical attention.

Beard said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“I can tell you it was a total loss,” the fire marshal said. “Hopefully we can get the family back over here so we can talk to them and tie up some loose ends. The fire doesn’t look suspicious.

“We have an area of origin in the laundry room.”

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From start to finish: Kindergartner starts school as brother begins final year http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/from-start-to-finish-kindergartner-starts-school-as-brother-begins-final-year/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/from-start-to-finish-kindergartner-starts-school-as-brother-begins-final-year/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:37:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94781 On the first day of school, Brianne Boyd found herself at Decatur High School at 5:30 in the morning, helping with her oldest son’s senior breakfast, only to turn around and take her younger son to his kindergarten class at Carson Elementary at 7:30.

HE’S MY BROTHER – Jaxon Boyd, who just started kindergarten, hangs on the back of older brother Bryson Allen, a senior at Decatur High School. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Bryson Allen, Boyd’s oldest child, is starting his last year of school while his younger half-brother Jaxon Boyd is just beginning his school career. Brianne Boyd also has a 3-year-old daughter, Kaydence, who will be in kindergarten in a few years.

“They’re either going to keep me young or they’re going to make me really old,” Boyd said.

Having kids in different age groups keeps Boyd busy, and she admits the family doesn’t have a lot of free time. But she makes the most of her time with her children regardless. Boyd said the age gap helped her realize what she wanted to do differently with her younger kids.

“I probably don’t take time for granted as much,” she said. “You don’t realize how fast time flies.”

Jaxon, just a few days into kindergarten, currently still enjoys the novelty of homework. He goofed around at the high school after his older brother’s football practice, climbing on trash cans and imploring, “Watch, Bryson, watch me!” Jaxon wants to be a fireman and a bull rider when he grows up.

Bryson, who wants to attend Texas State University and go into law enforcement, plays running back and linebacker for the Decatur Eagles, with his little siblings in the stands supporting him.

“He’s always had a built-in cheering section,” Boyd said.

And even though Boyd says the brothers fight like, well, brothers, Jaxon denied this.

“Pretty much we don’t fight,” he said, before calling out for big brother’s attention once again.

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Citizen seeks Rhome council position http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/citizen-seeks-rhome-council-position/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/citizen-seeks-rhome-council-position/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:35:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94778 The City of Rhome approved a petition for a new council member Tuesday night and hired a new city official.

Sam Eason collected 107 signatures for his petition to be appointed to the vacant city council spot. Rhome resident Kemp Akeman spoke in favor of appointing Eason in front of the council and a full crowd.

“The number of signatures Sam Eason obtained for his petition is evidence that Rhome’s residents see the need for some diversity on the council,” Akeman said.

Eason himself spoke on the need for different viewpoints on the council.

“Almost without fail the citizens of Rhome recognized the need for a change in city government,” Eason said.

The council voted 4-0 to accept Eason’s petition. Eason cannot be formally sworn in until the next council meeting, Sept. 10.

The council also voted unanimously to remove Rhome’s city engineer with a vote of no confidence and then approved hiring the engineering firm of Jacob and Martin for the position. City Attorney Walt Leonard explained that city engineer is a city official position, and either the entire firm or a representative of the firm will hold that position.

The city hired Bureau Veritas as its new inspection services firm, a position that councilwoman Jo Ann Wilson said might fill the city’s need for a city administrator. The agenda item calling for discussion of creating a city administrator position was tabled.

Talk then turned to whether the city should look at other law firms and replace Leonard, who has worked for Rhome for 17 years.

“Personally, I don’t trust you,” councilman Ronnie Moore told Leonard. “I don’t think you represent the council; I think you represent one person.”

“I represent the city,” Leonard replied.

Moore said Leonard has represented Mayor Michelle Pittman and not the city by coming to the July 28 meeting with no quorum established on Pittman’s behalf.

“No, Walt does not represent me personally,” Pittman said. “…He represents the city. He was here in that capacity.”

Council members voted 3-1 to table a decision on the city attorney position until the Sept. 10 meeting.

In other action, the council:

  • voted 3-1 to repair the city’s broken vacuum truck at the cost of $38,000, with Dawn Davis against;
  • approved a $4,000 concrete certification for the city pavilion, 4-0; and
  • granted a variance to Rhome Fall Festival vendors to waive health inspections for the festival if the vendors already have state health permits.
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Rock steady: Student enrollment adds up http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/rock-steady-student-enrollment-adds-up/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/rock-steady-student-enrollment-adds-up/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:34:32 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94776 Wise County students returned to school Monday, and throughout the week, superintendents evaluated enrollment numbers, all of which either increased or held steady.

Decatur ISD’s first day enrollment was 2,955, which represented a 20-student increase over first day numbers from 2014. The numbers continued to increase throughout the first week of classes.

“I was disappointed the first day, but Tuesday and Wednesday it got back to where it was supposed to be,” Superintendent Rod Townsend said. “I think we picked up 30-something kids in one day and continued to climb.

“Historically, it’s going to continue to climb until the week after Labor Day, and then it will kind of level off.”

He said he believes enrollment should climb to around 3,010 to 3,020.

The 2,992 students enrolled as of Thursday also represent a 30-student increase over the end of last school year, with more students expected to enroll in the coming days.

“If you can have a 40- to 50-kid increase, that’s real good,” he said.

Alvord ISD’s first-day enrollment was 705, a 14-student increase over the first day in 2014.

“We’re feeling good,” said Superintendent Randy Brown. “We’re up a few students from the year before so that’s always a good sign. We’ve had a really good first week.”

Brown said he felt like AISD enrollment was stable.

“As a general rule, you hope not to see a steep decline,” he said. “On the other end, you hope not to see a huge increase where you have more students than you can accommodate.”

Chico Superintendent Mike Jones said enrollment was a bit higher than expected in his district.

“We have around 200 at the high school and right at 300 at the elementary school,” he said. “It all is in a little bit of flux right now, but the numbers are holding pretty steady.”

First-day enrollment was 606, compared to 585 on the first day in 2014.

Jones said sometimes enrollment will grow by several students in one day, especially at the beginning of the year.

“It happens in a lot of schools … we opened up the doors and were at 295 at the elementary, and we ended up with 300 at the end of the day,” Jones said. “Yesterday we were at 299 and hit 300 later in the day. Wise County is pretty fluid in that regard with so many schools and campuses.”

Slidell ISD also saw an enrollment increase. On the first day, 270 students enrolled compared to 248 on the first day in 2014. Although that was a significant increase for the first day, Superintendent Greg Enis said they ended last school year with about 270 students.

“We were up about 20 to 25 from where we started last year, but that’s where we ended the year last year,” he said. “We gained so many kids during the 2014-15 year, about a 10-percent increase.

“This is kind of where we expected to be based on information we knew from the end of the year last year.”

Enis said unlike some other school districts, they don’t see much change in student population after Labor Day.

“That used to be the case,” he said, “but I haven’t noticed it during my time at Slidell.”

Enis said what does affect enrollment in the rural district is gas prices.

“Truthfully, what we have found is if gas prices stay reasonably affordable and flat, our enrollment goes up because people can afford to live in a rural area and drive to work or wherever they need to go,” he said. “When the market crashed in 2008, we lost a lot of kids. It became cost prohibitive to live here and work. That tends to be a defining factor for us.”

Boyd ISD turned in 1,140 on the first day, which Superintendent Ted West said was close to the same as the year before.

“We’ve been in this range for a few years,” he said.

By the end of the week, the district’s enrollment reached 1,166.

“We always pick up a few that first week,” West said. “We’re within one or two kids of where we finished last year.”

The district is making a big push to increase its average daily attendance.

“We’re building an incentive program to address our attendance,” West said. “We have them enrolled. That’s half the battle. Now, we need to get them here and prepared.”

Paradise ISD saw an 18-student increase – 1,114 in 2015 vs. 1,096 in 2014, while the Bridgeport school district had six fewer students report on day one with 2,042 in 2015 and 2,048 in 2014.

Bridgeport Superintendent Eddie Bland said the enrollment numbers held steady from May and things were off to a good start in West Wise.

“It’s been a great year so far,” he said. “One week down, 35 to go.”

CITY … 2015 … 2014

Alvord … 705 … 691
Boyd … 1,148 … 1,115
Bridgeport … 2,042 … 2,048
Chico … 606 … 585
Decatur … 2,955 … 2,935
Northwest … 20,530 … 20,000+
Paradise … 1,114 … 1,096
Slidell … 270 … 248

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Decatur school district hits tax rate target http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-school-district-hits-tax-rate-target/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-school-district-hits-tax-rate-target/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:33:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94774 When the Decatur school district proposed a bond project earlier this year, the cost to taxpayers was estimated to be a maximum of a 4.2-cent increase in the property tax rate.

With that expectation, residents of the district approved the $13.5 million bond package in May.

Working with that goal, administrators put together a budget for the 2015-2016 school year that will raise the tax rate by just less than that mark: 4 cents.

On Thursday, the school board approved both the budget and the tax rate, $1.33 per $100 valuation. It did so in front of an empty boardroom during a public hearing on those two items.

Former Deputy Superintendent Gary Micinski, at his last DISD meeting following his hiring by Irving ISD to be its chief financial officer, explained to the board that the budget used an estimated 75-student increase to balance the budget.

But he said the district would still be in good financial shape even without the increase.

“If no (more) kids showed up, I really think, given expenditures, you’d be right about breaking even right now,” Micinski said. “I think you have a solid budget right now.”

The budget, which he described as “pretty bare bones,” does include a $1,200 pay increase for teachers.

Due in large part because of the projects covered in the bond issue, one of the biggest decreases in the budget came in capital expenditures, which is expected to be $332,500 less than last year’s budget.

The budget does use $326,400 out of debt service fund balance, but Micinski said he doesn’t think the district will have to use all of that.

“I’m going to bet you come within $100,000 or maybe even break even,” he said. “I suspect when you are done with that, you will be just fine. You’ll collect enough excess taxes to wash that away.”

Overall, the 2015-2016 budget totals $38 million. Of that total, just over $3 million will be sent to the state for recapture.

While Thursday’s meeting marked the last for Micinski, the district’s newly-hired deputy superintendent and chief financial officer, Cindy Tatum, attended her first board meeting. She is set to begin work at DISD next week.

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Fighting for peace: Bell works to improve race relations http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/fighting-for-peace-bell-works-to-improve-race-relations/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/fighting-for-peace-bell-works-to-improve-race-relations/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:32:59 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94772 As a leader in Wise County’s black community, Mike Bell has seen the demise of race relations throughout the country that have sparked riots, murders and unrest.

STILL GOING – Mike Bell has been the president of the Eastside Alumni Association for 16 years, but he isn’t slowing down. Bell was nominated president for another two-year term earlier this month. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

For Bell, this particular problem in today’s society has more to do with people on both sides of the situation not understanding one another.

“Who would have thought we’d still be talking about this? My thought is, we’ve lost connection with the human being, period,” Bell said. “It’s all about, ‘I’m right, and you’re wrong.’ We don’t know each other.

“We don’t have sympathy for one another,” he said. “It’s all about learning, and we’re not teaching our children the love that we need to have.”

With the goal of improving his community, Bell isn’t going to stand by and let these problems make their way into Wise County without a fight.

“We’re trying to form a coalition in race relationships in Wise County,” Bell said. “J.D. Allen is a pastor in Boyd, and we’re trying to get communities involved in race relations here.”

Bell and Allen hope to get other church and community leaders to join, organizing a day with round-table discussions on race for anyone who would like to join.

“It’s all about talking,” Bell said. “Some people don’t always speak their mind. You can learn a lot more about someone by sitting down with them and visiting. Looking at them tells you nothing. It’s what’s in their heart that tells you who they really are. I think Wise County needs to wake up and get involved in it.”

Until this coalition is formed, Bell will continue his responsibilities in Decatur’s African-American community.

During the Aug. 16 service at St. John’s Baptist Church, Bell was honored for 16 years as the Eastside Alumni Association president.

A TRUE HONOR – Eastside Alumni Association President Mike Bell said it was a “true honor” to be awarded this plaque honoring his 16 years of service during a church service at St. John’s Baptist Church Aug. 16. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The award came a day after the 15th annual school reunion – which Bell organizes – that celebrates the people involved in the Eastside school that educated black students before integration in 1965.

Bell said that he was shocked to receive the award.

“They surprised me!” he said. “I was overwhelmed with them giving it to me. It kind of gives you the strength to go on. It keeps you working and keeps your mind focused.”

For Bell, being president means reaching beyond Decatur and Wise County and staying in contact with families who have moved away but are still connected to Eastside.

“I send them letters. It’s just a communication with people,” he said. “I get ideas from the members of how we can make our organization better. A lot of people that I grew up with don’t live here. They live in Weatherford or Mineral Wells, Fort Worth, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Wichita Falls, Colorado, California, Oregon, North Carolina, you name it. But they have history here, so we keep in contact with them.”

Bell has also formed the Eastside Scholarship Fund, which annually awards a $1,000 scholarship to a Wise County student. The Wise County Democratic Party, as well as Sandford Oil, contribute to the fund.

With all of his responsibilities, Bell continues to bolster communication with the Eastide Alumni Association and Wise County.

“My ideal purpose is that I want to let people know that we’re here,” he said. “We’re part of this city and this county, and we want people to be aware of our existence. I like to see fellowship with people on a good accord. We don’t celebrate life as much as we should. I try so hard to keep it going.”

Bell will keep his work going for at least two more years.

He was recently elected to another term as Eastside Alumni president.

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Rhome City Council proposes budget, tax rate for FY 2016 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/rhome-city-council-proposes-budget-tax-rate-for-fy-2016/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/rhome-city-council-proposes-budget-tax-rate-for-fy-2016/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:31:24 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94768 The City of Rhome approved a proposed budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2015-2016 Tuesday night and will adopt the budget and tax rate at the next city council meeting.

The proposed budget predicts an income of $2,950,157.62 and expenses of $2,917,249.75 for the next fiscal year. The proposed budget would net $32,907.87. The proposed tax rate will remain the same as the previous year’s at 58.33 cents per $100 valuation.

Mayor Michelle Pittman and council members looked over the budget line by line. The largest recommended change was to the city’s street repair budget, set at $25,000 for fiscal year 2014-2015. Councilman Tim Robison suggested putting $250,000 in the street repair budget for 2015-2016.

“That’s going to be a huge difference to make that up, and there’s not going to be enough to make that up,” Pittman said.

To balance the budget, the council and mayor changed the $250,000 to $150,000 for street repairs.

Another large change to the budget was $100,000 set aside for the purchase of new police cars.

“Y’all need at least two (new cars), right now, yesterday,” councilman Ronnie Moore said to Police Chief Brandon Davis.

The Rhome Volunteer Fire Department has discussed becoming independent of the city, and if it does so by Oct. 1, its $48,000 in funding will be returned to the city coffers.

Raises for city employees based on merit and increase cost of living may be added to the budget at a later date.

The next city council meeting is 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at Rhome City Hall, 105 W First St.

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Parsons arrested in Cooke County http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/parsons-arrested-in-cooke-county/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/parsons-arrested-in-cooke-county/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:29:54 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94766 A Chico man who ran from officers trying to serve an arrest warrant on Aug. 3 has been caught.

Earl Wayne Parsons III

Earl Wayne Parsons III, 47, was arrested in Cooke County on the evading arrest warrant Tuesday and remains in the Cooke County Jail.

Since his disappearance on Aug. 3, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office had sent out a Crime Stoppers bulletin asking for the public’s help in locating the fugitive.

Parsons was seen preparing to leave his house in the 900 block of North Texas 101 around mid-afternoon Aug. 3 when he was spotted by Wise County Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Rogers. The deputy knew Parsons had an active warrant for violation of probation on a previous drug possession charge.

Parsons ran, and several law enforcement agencies joined the sheriff’s office in searching for him.

In addition to the warrant that was being served, an additional arrest warrant for evading arrest was filed against Parsons.

According to court records, Parsons pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance 1-4 grams in March of 2011 and was sentenced to 10 years probation. In July, the district attorney’s office filed a motion to revoke the probation and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

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Sales taxes lag behind in county; Receipts down 10.8 percent http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/sales-taxes-lag-behind-in-county-receipts-down-10-8-percent/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/sales-taxes-lag-behind-in-county-receipts-down-10-8-percent/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:28:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94763 Sales tax receipts in Wise County are collectively 10.8 percent behind for the first six months of the year, according to the August report from the Texas Comptroller.

The August report reflects figures from June. The county’s 12 towns brought in $712,743.57, which was down 5.35 percent from June 2014’s $753,046. For the year, the 12 towns have brought in $5.336 million in sales taxes off their 1.5 percent – down $598,000 from the six-month total in 2014. That represents a drop of $39.8 million in taxable sales for the county.

For the year, only Aurora, Paradise and Runaway Bay are showing gains in sales tax receipts. Paradise has brought in $12,300 more than 2014 – a 15.93 percent growth.

Bridgeport, Chico, New Fairview and Newark have seen double-digit drops in sales taxes through the first half of the year.

Bridgeport’s sales taxes were down 30.41 percent – $70,369 – in June from the previous year to $160,968. For the year, the town’s receipts are off 19.34 percent, or $336,660.30.

“In planning for next year, we are taking that loss into account,” said Bridgeport City Manager Jesica McEachern. “We’ve been looking at how do we resolve that deficit and if we should raise [property] taxes. Our staff has done a wonderful job managing expenses.

“This is the unfortunate part of Bridgeport being tied so heavily to the energy sector.”

The loss in sales taxes represents a loss of $24.4 million in taxable sales in the community. Much of that loss can be attributed to a decline in the local oil business with oil prices at $45 per barrel. Oil was trading at $38 just last week.

“You take away the sales tax part, a lot of businesses are family-owned and need the sales and business,” McEachern said. “When you shop at the mom-and-pop shops, the money is going to be circulated within the community.”

Decatur’s sales taxes are 1.92 percent – $52,791 – behind 2014 at $2.691 million. The city did see a spike in June of 6.37 percent – $23,269 – over the same month in 2014, bringing in $388,471.72, representing $25.898 million in total taxable sales.

Decatur Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Mary Poche was encouraged by the June numbers.

“You never know how they will come in. Sometimes there are spikes because of a comptroller correction,” Poche explained.

Poche said the city continues with its “Look Local” campaign to keep sales tax dollars in the community.

“We try to avoid leakage and let people know they can find an item here,” she said.

Sales Tax

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Change in truancy law puts more burden on the school district http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/change-in-truancy-law-puts-more-burden-on-the-school-district/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/change-in-truancy-law-puts-more-burden-on-the-school-district/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:27:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94760 The Texas State Legislature’s House Bill 2398 will go into affect Sept. 1, decriminalizing truancy for students statewide.

Empty Desks

EMPTY DESKS – Students who are declared truant will now be tried in civil court instead of criminal court thanks to a new state law. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Schools and courts in Wise County will handle truancy cases differently than in the past, with a new set of steps to discourage truancy from students 18 and younger. The new law will not apply to students who have turned 19, as they cannot be charged for truancy.

“It’s so new and so different that we’re all wrapping our minds around the process,” Wise County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays said.

Schools will now have to wait until a student has 10 unexcused absences in a six-month period before filing a case against the student and his or her parents in truancy court. Previously schools could choose to file a case after the third unexcused absence but were required to file after 10 unexcused absences. Under the new law, after the student’s third absence, the school must inform the parents that the student is in danger of being truant and request a meeting with the student and parents. The school must also implement truancy prevention measures, which could vary from district to district.

Due to these changes, more pressure is placed upon the school districts to prevent truancy and keep students out of court.

“The goal of the Bridgeport school district for parents, students and school officials is to use written forms of communication to promptly and effectively address attendance issues that may have the potential to become excessive and to utilize court referrals only as a last resort,” Patricia Hernandez, Bridgeport ISD’s truancy prevention facilitator, said via email.

Under the new law, parents may still be charged criminally if it’s determined they contributed to their child’s truancy. Fines for parents convicted of contributing to truancy will now be applied on a sliding scale, starting at $100 for the first offense and increasing by $100 for every subsequent offense until the parent hits the maximum fine of $500.

As truancy charges against students move from criminal to civil court, students going through the legal process will experience the most changes.

If a student misses 10 days or parts of days within a six-month period, and the school determines the absences weren’t caused by pregnancy, homelessness, foster care or because the student is the primary income earner of his or her family, then the school may file a referral with its local truancy court. The court will then send the referral to a truant conduct prosecutor, who will then determine if the school properly implemented truancy prevention measures and if the referral complies with state guidelines.

If the prosecutor decides to file a petition with the court, then the court must set a meeting with the truant student and that student’s parents or appointed guardian. The student may plead true or not true to the charges.

If the student pleads not true, they will be given a jury trial (students may waive their right to jury trial). If the jury finds the student is truant, the court will decided upon remedial action. Students who plead true will also discuss remedial action with the court. The court may order the child to attend school with no further absences, order them to take a high school equivalency exam, attend a non-profit program or counseling.

“If they plead true, we can get to the bottom of it and provide students with the help they need,” Hays said. “A lot of times with truancy there are problems at home … It’s a great opportunity to help families.”

If a student is found in direct contempt of the court’s remedial orders, they may be fined $100 or have their driver’s license suspended by the Department of Public Safety. Students found in contempt of the court three times may be referred to juvenile probation if they are 17 years of age or younger.

Contempt is a criminal offense, not a civil offense, but children may not be confined to jail for contempt of court.

Upon turning 18, students with truancy records are eligible to have those records sealed, and upon turning 21, the student or the court can have all records relating to truancy charges destroyed, as long as the student has not been convicted of a felony.

All truancy convictions dating to 1995 will be expunged under the new law. Any current truancy case open by Sept. 1 will be expunged as well.

Hays expects to see less truancy cases due to the law changes.

“It’s good the schools will be able to take care of it,” she said.

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Business Briefs for Saturday, August 29, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/business-briefs-for-saturday-august-29-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/business-briefs-for-saturday-august-29-2015/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:26:24 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94757 Double Grand Prize

DOUBLE GRAND PRIZE – NASCAR racer Ryan Newman autographs the check for one year of mortgage payments that Angela Rawls of Paradise won in Quicken Loan’s “Drive Home a Winner” nationwide sweepstakes. The driver of the No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet had just given her a spirited ride to James Wood Motors in Decatur to take delivery of her other prize – a new Chevy Colorado pickup – from dealership sales manager Rusty Ford. Rawls described North Carolina-based Newman as “amazing. He was easy to talk to and very professional. I had a ball. And I’m in love with that truck!” The Springtown Elementary School tutor and technology go-to said she is “incredibly thankful to Quicken,” the nation’s second-largest mortgage lender. “For someone who has never won anything, it’s been a totally awesome day!” Both times it has been conducted, a Texan has won Detroit-based Quicken’s online drawing. Messenger photo by Ken Roselle

NEW LOCATION – Boyd Medicine Store moved to 417 W. Rock Island Ave. in Boyd.

NEW LOCATION – Celebrations Florist moved to 107 E. Rock Island Ave. in Boyd.

CHAMBER RAFFLE – Paradise Chamber of Commerce is selling raffle tickets for a chest freezer and 150 pounds of meat from K-Bar Dairy, including steaks, hamburger, roasts and sausage. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at Paradise City Hall, Hometown Tees, K-Bar Dairy, Skin and Body Works or Mann Refrigeration. Email info@paradisetexaschamber.org.

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Football: No Questions – McAlister leads Eagles’ charge to victory http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-no-questions-mcalister-leads-eagles-charge-to-victory/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-no-questions-mcalister-leads-eagles-charge-to-victory/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:24:47 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94754 Going into the week, Payton McAlister was questionable with a rib injury.

Friday night, the Decatur Junior showed no signs of being less than 100 percent, piling up 290 total yards and scoring four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 40-29 come-from-behind victory over Springtown in the season opener at Eagle Stadium.

Breaking Through

BREAKING THROUGH – Decatur running back Payton McAlister crosses into the end zone for the first of his four touchdowns Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

McAlister, who was cleared to play Wednesday, ran for 141 of his 201 yards after halftime. He scored on runs of 20, 11 and 50 yards after the break, bringing Decatur back from a 22-13 halftime deficit.

“In the second half someone had to make plays and I felt like I needed to step up,” McAlister said. “We had success running the ball. The offensive line did very well.

“I felt great tonight,” he added. “I popped my ribs back in and was cleared Wednesday.”

McAlister also caught six passes for 90 yards, including a 43-yard snag that set up his 1-yard touchdown run in the first half.

“He’s a great football player and he’s done that for three years now,” said Decatur coach Mike Fuller. “He’s super smart and a great athlete. But he’d be the first to tell you that he doesn’t do it by himself.”

To complement McAlister’s running, Decatur brought in Tyler Ticknor at quarterback in the second half in place of Jake Kemp. Ticknor ran for 52 yards on 13 carries. He threw for 48 yards, completing five of his six attempts. He also scored Decatur’s first touchdown taking a screen pass from Kemp 71 yards.

“The second half we brought in Ticknor because we felt we needed to run the ball more,” Fuller said. “But I was proud of Kemp. He was an incredible teammate. He did nothing but cheer on the guys in the second half.”

Kemp finished 11-for-22 for 238 yards with an interception and a touchdown.

The Eagles found themselves down 22-13 at halftime. Springtown marched the opening possession into the end zone with Kaleb Chesney hitting Mateo Herrera with a pair of third-down passes covering 50 and 10 yards.

Chesney threw for 360 yards, completing 26 of his 46 attempts.

He hit Austin Bauman for a 25-yard touchdown strike with 3:26 left in the first half on a third-and-10.

Along with giving up big plays on third down, the Eagles turned the ball over three times in the first half. One, a fumble at the 3-yard line was run into the end zone by Springtown’s Fisher Drewry.

When the Decatur defense began to put the brakes on Chesney and the Porcupines in the second half, Springtown still managed a score when Bauman caught a deflected pass and rumbled in from 60 yards to put Springtown up 29-19 with 2:43 left in the third.

Decatur scored the next three touchdowns to fight back and win the season opener.

“The next play is what we preach – Eagle Fight Never Dies,” Fuller said. “You are going to get bad bounces and make mistakes. There’s nothing you can do. You have to play the next play. I’m proud that we did that in the second half.”

Scampering for Yards

SCAMPERING FOR YARDS – Decatur quarterback Jake Kemp heads to the sidelines during the Eagles’ win over Springtown Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

DECATUR 40, SPRINGTOWN 29

Springtown … 14 … 8 … 7 … 0 … … – 29
Decatur … 13 … 0 … 13 … 14 … – … 40

FIRST QUARTER

Springtown – Mateo Herrera 10 pass from Kaleb Chesney, Wriley Russell run, 9:12
Decatur – Tyler Ticknor 71 pass from Jake Kemp, Brandon Garza kick, 6:38
Springtown – Fisher Drewry 3 fumble return, run failed, 3:04
Decatur – Payton McAlister 1 run, kick failed, 0:06

SECOND QUARTER

Springtown – Austin Bauman 25 pass from Chesney, Russell run, 3:26

THIRD QUARTER

Decatur – McAlister 20 run, pass failed, 10:37
Springtown – Bauman 60 pass from Chesney, Russell kick, 2:43
Decatur – McAlister 11 run, Garza kick, 2:10

FOURTH QUARTER

Decatur – Ticknor 16 run, Garza kick, 8:16
Decatur – McAlister 50 run, Garza kick, 4:52

SPRINGTOWN … DECATUR

First Downs … 15 … 20
Rushes-Yards … 29-50 … 37-251
Passing Yards … 360 … 286
Total yards … 410 … 537
Att-Comp-Int … 26-46-0 … 16-28-1
Sacks-Yards lost … 3-29 … 4-33
Punts-Average … 6-40.8 … 4-29.25
Fumbles-Lost … 3-1 … 2-2
Penalties-Yards … 9-65 … 9-65

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Springtown: Tyler White 7-6, Fisher Drewry 3-9, Pryce Morgan 7-15, Kaleb Chesney 11-23, Johnathan Chavez 1-(minus 3). Decatur: Payton McAlister 17-201, Tyler Ticknor 13-52, Jake Kemp 6-(minus 22), Parker Hicks 1-20.

Passing: Springtown: Chesney 26-46-0-360. Decatur: Kemp 11-22-1-238; Ticknor 5-6-0-48.

Receiving: Springtown: Austin Bauman 8-157, Johnathan Chavez 2-31, Brandon Santos 2-27, Mateo Herrera 11-144, Pryce Morgan 1-1. Decatur: Ryan Durdon 2-13, Jorge Martinez 2-20, McAlister 6-90, Addison Nation 1-16, Ticknor 1-71, Hicks 1-14, Moses Ramos 1-55.

Making a Grab

MAKING A GRAB – Springtown’s Austin Bauman reaches up in a crowd of Decatur defenders to catch a pass Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Football: Yellowjackets show fight in 30-14 loss http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-yellowjackets-show-fight-in-30-14-loss/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-yellowjackets-show-fight-in-30-14-loss/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:22:32 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94749 Boyd’s moments of elation Friday night were far too short in a 30-14 loss to Gunter.

Despite the loss, the Yellowjackets showed an incredible ability to fight through adversity that should help them down the stretch.

Trying to Get Free

TRYING TO GET FREE – Boyd quarterback Clay Barnett tries to shake off a Gunter tackler during the Yellowjackets’ loss Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

After getting down 10-0 to Gunter at the half, the Yellowjackets defense made their biggest stand of the day and a missed Gunter field goal gave Boyd the ball at their own 27 yard line.

On first down, quarterback Clay Barnett went deep down the middle of the field to star receiver Xavier Kyle who finished the 62-yard play with some tough yards after the catch.

Justin Milligan took a hand-off 36 yards on the next play to give the Jackets a first-and-goal on the 3-yard line.

Two plays later, Barnett found Kyle again on a back-shoulder fade in the end zone for Boyd’s first points of the game and making the score a reasonable 10-7 after the made extra point.

“Xavier [Kyle] can pretty much beat any corner,” Barnett said. “If there’s no safety over the top, just let it fly. The receivers will go up and get it.”

The Jackets were back in the game with just a three point deficit – at least until Gunter’s Caleb Leach returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, putting Gunter back on top 16-7.

With that said, Boyd showed their willingness to duke it out down the stretch.

On their following possession, Barnett found Garrett Moran down the left sideline and Moran made an incredible move, spinning out of a defender’s clutches before running it in for a 74-yard touchdown.

Unfortunately for the Jacket’s, the play was called back because of a block in the back.

Between Gunter’s kickoff return touchdown and being stifled by the flag on the big play from Moran, Boyd could have easily let the game get out of hand.

But facing a third-and-22, Barnett found Kyle once more for a 37-yard conversion that was followed by a 23-yard Milligan run.

Four plays later, facing a third-and-goal from the 15 yard line, Barnett scrambled to his left and found Moran on a crossing pattern to get Boyd back in the game once again with a two-point deficit at 16-14.

But the Jackets ran out of time, while the Tigers ran the ball efficiently – scoring on their next two possessions to reach the 30-14 final.

“The defense played great throughout,” Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins said. “We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times offensively. Once we got going, it was a heck of a ballgame. The final says 30-14 but it was a lot closer than that.”

Indeed, the opening half featured one major mistake by the Jackets.

On their first drive of the game with the ball moving down the field, Barnett was hit while throwing an out-route and the ball was picked off by Gunter and taken 62 yards into the end zone to put the score at 7-0.

A 42-yard field goal increased Gunter’s first-half lead.

After that, Boyd found their footing but it was just too late.

“They ran that kickoff back and they got that interception as Clay [Barnett] was getting hit and the ball fluttered in the air,” Hopkins said. “I’m very proud of the guys. We don’t have a ton of guys. We’re sitting over there with 21 guys and we showed a lot of heart tonight.”

Kyle – who also had an interception at safety – was proud of the team and said that the loss offered several things that the Jackets could take pride in.

“I felt like if we hadn’t shot ourselves in the foot early on we could have won the game easily,” he said. “We just need to put this one behind us and move on and go win some games. It shows that we can hang with bigger schools despite not having a lot of depth. I wouldn’t want to play with any other group of guys.”

Like Kyle, Barnett saw a lot of hope in the team’s performance, saying that the ability to get themselves back in the game in the second half was something that gave the group confidence.

“We came out in the second half fired up. We got ourselves back in the game. We came together and played really well,” he said. “We’ve got some fight in us.”

Nowhere to run

NOWHERE TO RUN – Boyd’s Justin Milligan looks to get around a Gunter tackler Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

GUNTER 30, BOYD 14

Gunter … 7 … 3 … 6 … 14 … – … 30
Boyd … 0 … 0 … 14 … 0 … – … 14

FIRST QUARTER

Gunter- 9:01, Cade Leach Int, PAT good

SECOND QUARTER

Gunter – 10:50, 42-yd field goal

THIRD QUARTER

Boyd – 3:48, Barnett 6 pass to Kyle, PAT good
Gunter – 3:34, Caleb Leach 90 kickoff return, PAT failed
Boyd – :45, Barnett 15 pass to Moran, PAT good

FOURTH QUARTER

Gunter – 8:05, Carr 5 run, PAT good
Gunter – 1:37, Stoval 10 run, PAT good

GUNTER … BOYD

First downs … 14 … 13
Rushes-Yards … 36-193 … 32-123
Comp-Att-Int … 8-16-1 … 14-27-1
Fumbles-lost … 0-0 … 0-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Boyd, Justin Milligan, 12-76, Clay Barnett, 20-47. Gunter, Trey Carr, 16-78, Jake Whitteker, 1-10, Dylan Jantz, 1-5.

Receiving: Boyd, Xavier Kyle, 6-182, Garrett Moran, 4-30, Judd Smith, 3-29, Dalton Lyon, 1-13. Gunter, Jake Whitteker, 3-25, Edgar Fuentes, 2-16.

Passing: Boyd, Clay Barnett, 14-27-2-254. Gunter, Trey Carr, 8-16-0-66.

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Football: Bulls win opener in OTs – Coleman throws for 2 TDs http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-bulls-win-opener-in-ots-coleman-throws-for-2-tds/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-bulls-win-opener-in-ots-coleman-throws-for-2-tds/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:20:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94745 For a second straight year, 48 minutes was not enough for the Bridgeport Bulls and Mineral Wells Rams to produce a final result.

But unlike last year, the Bulls made the plays in overtime to score the season-opening 42-41 victory.

Bridgeport scored on a 12-yard pass from Corbin Coleman to Keenan Holdman in the second overtime and took a 42-35 lead after an Efrain DeLuna kick.

Mineral Wells responded with a touchdown pass from Tristan Perry to Jordan Duckett. But the Rams couldn’t get the point-after attempt allowing Bridgeport to score the win.

In his first start of his career, Corbin Coleman threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown.

Bridgeport trailed until Brazier Talley’s 13-yard run with 6:04 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls took a lead when Erick Stonecheck intercepted a pass and ran in from 22 yards out.

Mineral Wells tied the score with 39 seconds left on a 8-yard pass from Tristan Perry to Douglas Stevens. Perry threw for 196 yards and five touchdowns.

The two teams combined for 964 yards of offense in the two-overtime affair.

BRIDGEPORT 42, MINERAL WELLS 41

Bridgeport … 7 … 0 … 7 … 14 … 7 … 7 … 42
Mineral Wells … 7 … 7 … 7 … 7 … 7 … 6 … 41

FIRST QUARTER

Mineral Wells – Jordan Duckett 61 pass from Tristan Perry; Zach Gray kick; 6:26
Bridgeport – Colton Waters 53 pass from Corbin Coleman, Efrain DeLuna kick, 0:00

SECOND QUARTER

Mineral Wells – Douglas Stevens 10 pass from Perry, Gray kick

THIRD QUARTER

Bridgeport – Coleman 4 run, DeLuna kick; 9:00
Mineral Wells – Jordan Duckett 33 pass from Perry, Gray kick

FOURTH QUARTER

Bridgeport – Brazier Talley 13 run, Gray kick; 6:04
Bridgeport – Erick Stonecheck 22 interception return, DeLuna kick, 5:54
Mineral Wells – Stevens 8 pass from Perry, Gray kick, 0:39

OVERTIME

Mineral Wells – Trent Guinn 7 pass from Perry, Gray kick
Bridgeport – Mathes 2 run, DeLuna kick
Bridgeport – Keenan Holdman 12 pass from Coleman, DeLuna kick
Mineral Wells – Duckett 25 pass from Perry, kick failed

BRIDGEPORT … MINERAL WELLS

First Downs … 20 … 17
Rushes-Yards … 33-123 … 32-128
Passing Yards … 379 … 334
Total yards … 502 … 462
Comp-Att-Int … 37-53-2 … 27-40-3
Punts-Average … 5-24 … 3-49
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 2-1
Penalties-Yards … 7-40 … 8-48

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Bridgeport: Brazier Talley 11-47, Grayson Mathes 11-47. Mineral Wells: Trent Guinn 9-62.

Passing: Bridgeport: Corbin Coleman 37-53-2-379. Mineral Wells: Tristan Perry 15-24-2-196.

Receiving: Keenan Holdman 13-118. Mineral Wells: Jordan Duckett 8-150.

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Football: Nocona scalps Bulldogs, 26-18 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-nocona-scalps-bulldogs-26-18/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-nocona-scalps-bulldogs-26-18/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:19:12 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94743 The Alvord Bulldogs let a first-quarter lead slip away as they lost the season opener 26-18 to the Indians in Nocona Friday night. Alvord’s initial lead came from a Connor Patterson pass to Jaylon White that covered 36 yards. Nocona briefly tied the score at 6-6 when quarterback Jeremy James tossed a 13-yard scoring shot to Marcus Carter. Ryan Deweese broke out for a 40-yard scoring run with 5:15 left to give the ‘Dogs a lead of 12-6.

The second period saw Nocona tie the score at 12 on another James to Carter TD connection with only 1:00 left in the half. Neither team managed a conversion following their touchdowns in the opening half.

Nocona would outscore their Wise County opponent in the final two quarters with rushing touchdowns of five and 10 yards. Alvord managed to sandwich another Deweese TD run of 65 yards at the 6:45 point in the third quarter, but it would not be enough to overtake the Indians in this contest.

Alvord leaders offensively were Connor Patterson, who completed 7 of his 17 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown with one interception, Ryan Deweese with two carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and Jaylon White with three receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Alvord will try to get on the winning track next week on another road trip – this time to Grapevine Faith with a 7:30 start.

NOCONA 26, ALVORD 18

Alvord … 12 … 0 … 6 … 0 … – … 18
Nocona … 6 … 6 … 7 … 7 … – … 26

FIRST QUARTER

Alvord – Jaylon White 36 pass from Connor Patterson, kick failed, 10:36
Nocona – Marcus Carter 13 pass from Jeremy James, run failed, 6:07
Alvord – Ryan Deweese 40 run, kick failed, 5:15

SECOND QUARTER

Nocona – Carter 12 pass from James, run failed, 1:00

THIRD QUARTER

Nocona – James 5 run, kick good, 7:11
Alvord – Deweese 65 run, run failed, 6:45

FOURTH QUARTER

Nocona – Emmanuel Gayton 10 run, kick good, 4:04

ALVORD … NOCONA

Rushes-Yards … 24-145 … 51-230
Passing yards … 101 … 156
Total yards … 246 … 386
Comp-Att-Int … 7-17-2 … 12-19-1
Fumbles-Lost … 4-3 … 4-3
Penalties-yards … 5-50 … 5-35

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Alvord: Ryan Deweese 2-105. Nocona: Emmanuel Gayton 14-147

Passing: Alvord: Connor Patterson 7-17-1-101. Nocona: Jeremy James: 12-19-0-156

Receiving: Alvord: Jaylon White 3-63. Nocona: Marcus Carter 4-55.

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Football: Texans’ rally falls short http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-texans-rally-falls-short/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-texans-rally-falls-short/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:18:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94741 The Northwest Texans took a road trip to Corsicana looking for a season-opening win and came away disappointed as they fell to the home team by a 34-28 count. The Texans found themselves on the short end of a 25-7 halftime score and tried to pull off a comeback in the second half, but came up six points short.

Northwest had a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a Gavin Holmes’ TD reception of 33 yards from Hunter Johnson and a Samuel Smethers PAT kick. That would be the only lead of the night for the Texans.

The third period would bring Northwest their largest offensive output as another Johnson to Holmes connection, this time from 72 yards out, and a Deon Grayer eight-yard run combined with two more PAT kicks from Smethers would trim the Corsicana lead to 34-21.

The Texans’ final points came when Johnson hooked up with Austin Navarette for a scoring toss of 33 yards and the conversion kick brought the final to 34-28.

Grayer led the Texans rushing with 37 yards. Leading in the passing game with a 24 for 38 performance was Johnson, while Holmes grabbed 15 catches for a total of 219 yards.

Northwest faces Prosper next in another road game.

CORSICANA 34, NORTHWEST 28

Northwest … 7 … 0 … 14 … 7 … – … 28
Corsicana … 6 … 19 … 9 … 0 … – … 34

FIRST QUARTER

Corsicana – John Wood 1 run, kick failed, 4:32
Northwest – Gavin Holmes 33 pass from Hunter Johnson, Samuel Smethers kick, 2:32

SECOND QUARTER

Corsicana – Kishawn Kelley 1 run, kick blocked, 10:52
Corsicana – Quinton Edmerson 8 pass from Kelley, pass fails, 6:20
Corsicana – Trever Denbow 58 pass from Kishawn Kelley, Orlando Zuniga kick, 2:32

THIRD QUARTER

Corsicana – Safety, ball snapped out of end zone, 10:13
Corsicana – Wood 72 run, Orlando Zuniga kick, 10:05
Northwest – Gavin Holmes 72 pass from Hunter Johnson, Samuel Smethers kick, 9:25
Northwest – Deon Grayer 8 run, Samuel Smethers kick, 1:09

FOURTH QUARTER

Northwest – Austin Navarette 33 pass from Hunter Johnson, Samuel Smethers kick, 7:02

NORTHWEST … CORSICANA

First downs … 17 … 16
Rushes-yards … 19-65 … 50-359
Passing … 271 … 126
Comp-Att-Int … 24-38-0 … 8-11-0
Fumbles-lost … 0-0 … 2-1
Punts-Avg. … 2-32 … 3-40
Penalties-yards … 9-50 … 11-105

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Northwest: Hunter Johnson 6-18, Blake Ibarra 3-10, Deon Grayer 10-37. Corsicana; Wood 16-232, JaMicha Polk 19-74, Kishawn Kelley 11-17, Daveon Crawford 2-9, Quinton Edmerson 1-3, Trevor Denbow 1-4.

Receiving: Northwest: Gavin Holmes 15-219, Austin Navarette 3, Syrus Moore 4-21, Jordan Ames 2-13.

Corsicana: Trevor Dembow 1-58, Quinton Edmerson 1-8, Dante Polk 2-46, TJ Sheffield 2-15, Rhett Holcomb 2-18.

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Football: Crawford too much for Panthers http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-crawford-too-much-for-panthers/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-crawford-too-much-for-panthers/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:16:52 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94739 The Paradise Panthers fell to Red Oak Life in a highly competitive, 28-21 season opener Friday night.

Paradise struck first with a Lane Upton 38-yard touchdown run, but Red Oak Life’s Jalen Crawford scored three straight touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

Hands Up

HANDS UP – Paradise tight end Hunter Anthony runs past a ball during the Panthers’ 28-21 loss to Red Oak Life Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The Panthers didn’t let Red Oak’s start to the second quarter decide the half.

In a matter of 29 seconds, Paradise scored two touchdowns- one, a Cash Helton two-yard run, and the other a Lane Upton two-yard run to end the half.

With the final Paradise push at the second quarter, the two teams went to the locker room at halftime tied at 21.

When play resumed, a Red Oak Life touchdown on a 21-yard run proved to be all that the Panthers’ opposition needed as both teams went scoreless in the fourth quarter, and Red Oak Life took home the victory.

Red Oak’s Jalen Crawford proved to be the star of the game with his three consecutive touchdowns and 168 yards rushing.

Paradise’s biggest individual performance came from Lane Upton who carried the ball 21 times for 147 yards and a two-yard touchdown.

RED OAK LIFE 28, PARADISE 21

Red Oak … 7 … 14 … 7 … 0 … – … 28
Paradise … 7 … 14 … 0 … 0 … – … 21

FIRST QUARTER

Paradise- 7:59, Lane Upton 38 run, Gonzales kick
Red Oak- 6:07, Jalen Crawford 65 run, Gonzales kick

SECOND QUARTER

Red Oak- 11:27, Crawford 22 run, Gonzales kick
Red Oak- 5:25, Crawford 27 run, Gonzales kick
Paradise- :29, Cash Helton 2 run, PAT failed
Paradise- :00, Lane Upton 2 run, Valentine 2-pt run

THIRD QUARTER

Red Oak- 11:08, Bryson Shull 21 run, Gonzales kick

RED OAK … PARADISE

First downs … 15 … 16
Rushes-Yards … 41-253 … 41-218
Passing Yards … 49 … 66
Total Yards … 302 … 284
Comp-Att-Int … 2-8-1 … 4-7-0
Punts-Avg … 3-37.3 … 3-38.6 … Fumbles-Lost … 2-1 … 5-2
Penalties-Yards … 6-40 … 6-55

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Red Oak, Jalen Crawford, 26-168. Paradise, Lane Upton, 21-147.

Receiving: Red Oak, Matt Hippshire, 2-49.Paradise, Darian Satomi, 1-36.

Passing: Red Oak, Jalen Crawford, 2-8-1-49.Paradise, Cameron Chasteen, 4-7-0-56.

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Back at his post – Six decades later, O’Neal remains sidelines fixture http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-back-at-his-post-six-decades-later-oneal-remains-sidelines-fixture/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-back-at-his-post-six-decades-later-oneal-remains-sidelines-fixture/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:14:54 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94736 Friday night, Coy O’Neal will be back in the same place he’s spent the past 68 years – the Decatur sidelines.

BACK TO WORK – Coy O’Neal planned to start another season on the sidelines at Decatur games Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

For more than six decades, O’Neal has been a mainstay, working the chains at Eagles football games. Though he admittedly moves a little slower these days, the 82-year-old still looks forward to taking his spot on the sidelines under the Friday Night lights.

“I enjoy it,” O’Neal said.

But it’s not just varsity games. He also works the middle school and subvarsity games.

“There’s Thursday night and Tuesday nights,” he said.

O’Neal got his start as a teenager being pulled from the stands to help a shorthanded chain crew and has never left the post. His niece, Roxie Gernand, said he’s missed only a handful of games since, and every week his routine is the same.

He works the game, returns home to call people and share details of the action, then watches TV to find out the scores from other schools.

His dedication to the football team and community has earned him quite a following over the years. He was given a key to the city on his 80th birthday. He’s been featured on “Texas Country Reporter” and in American Profile’s “Hometown Heroes.”

“To know him is to love him,” Gernand said.

His niece also recalled when he needed surgery on his knee, the surgeon recognized him.

“(The doctor’s) daughter was a cheerleader, and he recognized him from the games. He said, ‘We’ve got to get this fixed,'” Gernand said.

O’Neal agrees he has a good seat on Friday nights from the sidelines, but it’s one that has put him in harm’s way. Last year he was knocked down. But 6’2″ O’Neal refused to stay down. He got up and has continued his work on the sidelines.

Last spring a scholarship in his honor was presented for the first time. Dustin Ridge Reynolds was awarded the $1,000 Coy O’Neal Athletic Scholarship.

To help support the fund, cans are now being collected at Decatur parks.

While O’Neal has had a few health concerns in recent years, Gernand said her uncle is doing well and is looking forward to being on the sidelines for years to come.

“I don’t think he’ll stop. This is his thing,” she said. “I used to be concerned about him. But now I don’t worry about him. He’s doing really well.”

O’Neal said he’s planning a 69th season: “If my legs hold me up.”

Starting a New Year

STARTING A NEW YEAR – Decatur players take the field at the start of the 2014 season. The Eagles lost the opener but came back to win seven of their final 10 games to make the playoffs and go 7-4. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

SIDEDISHES

  • After nine months without football, Wise County teams get back on the field Friday night for the season openers. While months of preparation have gone into getting ready for Friday, let’s not be too quick to judge teams on this opening week. Last year proved that first impressions may not be representative of what the season holds. Decatur lost handily to a Springtown team that ran away from it in the second half. The Eagles rebounded to go 6-3 the rest of the way, with a pair of those losses to preseason top-three teams in overtime. Boyd and Bridgeport both lost in the opening week last year and ended up playing in the second round of the playoffs. On the opposite end, Chico and Northwest scored the most impressive wins of week one last year and ended up out of the postseason.
  • Two Wise County cross country teams, Paradise and Decatur, began the season ranked in the Cross Country Coaches of Texas preseason poll. Both did little to show those rankings were wrong in their first meets of the season. Decatur took on an elite field in Carrollton and finished third. Paradise dominated the Cowtown Challenge, winning with 24 points.
  • When Abilene Christian takes the field for the season opener next weekend at Fresno State, Bridgeport’s Jace Hudson will be one of five three-year varsity lettermen in the lineup for the Wildcats. Hudson is coming off a strong season where he caught 31 passes for 451 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Northwest graduate Tyler Collins got an at-bat for the Detroit Tigers against the Texas Rangers during last weekend’s series. Collins is hitting .257 in 113 at-bats for the Tigers.
  • Speaking of the Rangers, I have no idea about what the last month of the season will hold for this team. Every time I count them out, they put together a streak to get back in the race for the postseason.
  • TCU and Baylor are the darlings of the Big 12 these days, expecting to battle for the league title and the College Football Playoff. But my guess is that this year will be the return of Big Game Bob and the Sooners will win the Big 12. I expect a repeat for Ohio State for the national title.
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Volleyball: No. 1 Peaster rallies past Decatur http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/volleyball-no-1-peaster-rallies-past-decatur/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/volleyball-no-1-peaster-rallies-past-decatur/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:05:09 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=94732 Trailing 22-17 in the third set, the Decatur Lady Eagles fought back to steal the game from Class 3A’s top-ranked Peaster Lady Greyhounds.

But the Lady Eagles couldn’t erase similar deficits in the next two games, falling in five sets at Decatur High School gym.

Behind 20 kills from Kennedy Warren and 12 from Taryn Cast, Peaster won 25-16, 22-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-10.

Setting a Block

SETTING A BLOCK – Decatur’s Kelsie Worley and Satasha Kostelecky attempt to block a shot during the Lady Eagles’ loss to Peaster. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It’s not fun to always be trying to fight back,” said Decatur coach Claire Gay. “They had two good middles, and we couldn’t slow them down.”

Warren put down six kills in the fourth game. But it was her work at the service line that put the Lady Greyhounds up 20-10. Decatur fought back to get within two, 22-20, on a Dylana Hutchins kill.

A kill from Cast regained the momentum for Peaster on the way to the five-point win, knotting the match at two.

In game five, Decatur took a 4-2 lead on a Carson Martin kill – one of her 10. That lead proved short-lived. Peaster took advantage of five straight Decatur errors to take an 8-4 advantage. Decatur never got within two the rest of the way.

“Right now it’s all in our heads with the errors and it’s causing more and more,” said Decatur senior Dylana Hutchins, who finished with 14 kills. “We have to get out of our funk. We’re close. We need to come out with more heart into the game.”

Emily Oxford and Kelsie Worley added eight kills each.

Peaster took game one 25-16.

Martin led the Lady Eagles back in the second set. Her four early kills put Decatur up 11-3. Decatur led 23-18 before Peaster rallied within, 24-22. Satasha Kostelecky ended the set with a kill.

In game three, Peaster jumped out to 13-7 lead and held the 22-17 advantage after a Warren block.

But Decatur refused to let the game get away.

A kill from Hutchins pulled Decatur back within four and brought Maclaine Lowery to the service line. She served up an ace. Blocks from Emily Oxford and Kostelecky and then a pair of Hutchins kills gave Decatur a 25-22 lead. Two Peaster errors gave the Lady Eagles the set and a 2-1 advantage.

“We were all talking and working together more,” Hutchins said. “We got too comfortable after that game.”

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