WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:27:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Saturday, November 1, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/issues/saturday-november-1-2014-early-edition/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/issues/saturday-november-1-2014-early-edition/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 01:05:00 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82769

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Weekly Specials for Saturday, November 1, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/weeklyspecials/weekly-specials-for-saturday-november-1-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/weeklyspecials/weekly-specials-for-saturday-november-1-2014/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:38:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82765 ]]> http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/weeklyspecials/weekly-specials-for-saturday-november-1-2014/feed/ 0 Friday, October 31, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/friday-october-31-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/friday-october-31-2014/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:17:17 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82761

ESCAPEE CAUGHT – Brian King, 32, of Alvord was caught yesterday on Hudspeth Street in Bowie. He had been sought by police since evading arrest Oct. 21 in Chico. King ran from local officers who tried to stop him on Hickory Street in Chico after following him from Sunset. He jumped from his vehicle without putting it in park, and the vehicle struck an officer’s vehicle. His escape led to a city-wide manhunt in Chico. King has a felony warrant out of Montague County as well as a warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

EARLY VOTING ENDS TODAY – Today is your last chance to vote before next Tuesday’s general election. Yesterday, 495 people cast votes, bringing the early vote total to 4,064. Early voting continues 7 a.m.-7 p.m. today at three locations: Decatur City Hall, 201 E. Walnut St.; Rhome City Hall, 105 1st St.; and Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, 1000 Thompson St.

ALVORD, CHICO BATTLE – The Chico Dragons head to Alvord to take on the Bulldogs at 7:30 tonight. The Decatur Eagles host the Gainesville Leopards. The Bridgeport Bulls play their home finale against the Anna Coyotes. Follow our live blog of the action at wcmessenger.com/scores. In other action, Boyd hosts Breckenridge, Paradise plays Brock, and Northwest takes on Denton Ryan.

FREEZE WARNING – The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for parts of north Texas, including Wise County, from 3-9 a.m. Saturday. Temperatures are expected to be near or below 32 degrees for several hours. Tender plants that are unprotected may be killed.

CHAMBER LUNCHEON – The Paradise Chamber of Commerce luncheon is Monday, Nov. 3. RSVP via email to info@paradisetexaschamber.org.

ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS – Rabbi Marty Cohen of Bedford will bring ancient Old Testament manuscripts to the 10 a.m. service at the Bay Community Church in Runaway Bay Sunday. The public is invited.

HARVEST CARNIVAL – Senior Care Health and Rehabilitation Center in Bridgeport will hold a Harvest Carnival 3:30-4:30 p.m. today. It will feature games, a cake walk and more. Kids can dress in costumes and go trick or treating.

HELL HOUSE – The Rock Church, 1012 Halsell St. in Bridgeport, is holding a Hell House 6-10 p.m. Saturday and 6-9 p.m. Sunday. It is a faith-based alternative to a haunted house. It is strongly encouraged that children under 13 be accompanied by a parent.

HARVEST FESTIVAL - Bible Baptist Church is having a Harvest Festival 4-6 p.m. Saturday. There will be games, candy, a bounce house and cake walk. The church is located at 184 Cuba Rd. in Bridgeport. Call 940-683-2552.

FRIEND TO FRIEND – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Wise County and the Friend to Friend Coalition are hosting a Friend to Friend-Staying Healthy Together free event at 6 p.m. Monday at the Bridgeport Estates meeting room, 1481 Senior Place. Attendees will learn the importance of mammograms and pap tests. They will also find out how to access financial resources and fully funded area services. Educational exhibits, refreshments, door prizes and fellowship combined with speakers and discussion groups will make for an informative evening for ladies in Wise County. Call the Extension office to register, 940-627-3341.

COSTUME PARADE - Bridgeport Main Street’s Suit Up and Say Boo Halloween Costume parade down Halsell Street is 5-6 p.m. today. It begins at Bridgeport Stage, 1009 Halsell St.

MARRIAGE SUPPORT – Covenant Keepers is holding its annual Yellow Ribbon Day conference 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at 658 School Oaks Road in Alvord. At the Conference William Cothron and the Covenant Keepers offer support and guidance to help heal broken marriages or to those already divorced. Call 940-399-7651.

DON’T FORGET TO FALL BACK – You might want to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday as Daylight-Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday.

FUNERAL - Service for Arvel Hubbard, 75, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Sycamore Cemetery. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/thursday-october-30-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/thursday-october-30-2014/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:10:40 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82757

RHOME BANK ROBBED – Woodhaven National Bank in Rhome was robbed around noon Wednesday. Rhome Police Chief Brandon Davis said a man entered the bank and handed the teller a note that said hand over the money and no one will get hurt. He kept his hands in his pocket and did not display a weapon during the robbery. He took an undisclosed amount of cash, and he and a second suspect driving a black, four-door newer model Chevrolet pickup with paper tags headed north on U.S. 81/287. The suspect who entered the bank is described as around 5-foot, 10-inches tall, early to mid-30s, heavy build, wearing a ball cap with a logo on it and a burnt orange University of Texas shirt. He was also wearing sunglasses on the cap and had about a day or two of facial hair growth. Security cameras were able to capture images of the man, and photos can be viewed below. A description of the get-away driver was not available. Anyone with information should call Wise County Crimestoppers at 800-643-TIPS (8477) or 940-627-TIPS (8477) 24 hours a day. You may remain anonymous, and a reward of up to $1,500 is available to information leading to an arrest.

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TRICK OR TREAT NIGHT IN DECATUR – Decatur City Council voted to move the city’s trick or treat observance to tonight to avoid a conflict with the Eagles’ final home football game Friday. The council agreed to designate Deer Park Road as one-way, northbound, between Eagle Drive and Preskitt Road from 5:30-10 tonight to help ease traffic problems in some of the city’s more popular trick or treating areas.

OPEN HOUSE – The Cancer Center at Wise Regional will host an open house 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. today. The Cancer Center has undergone extensive remodeling, including the installation of the Varian Clinac iX Linear Accelerator, which allows staff to treat cancers in Decatur much more efficiently and with the most advanced equipment. The facility is located at 2010 S. Ben Merritt Drive, in front of the main hospital off Farm Road 51 South in Decatur.

ALVORD TRUNK OR TREAT – Alvord Booster Club is hosting trunk or treat at the AHS softball field starting at 5 p.m. Friday. Pizza will be provided by the First Baptist Church of Alvord.

CHURCH TRUNK OR TREAT – Alvord United Methodist Church will hold trunk or treat at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

CHICO TRUNK OR TREAT – Morris Memorial United Methodist Church, 302 S. Weatherford St. in Chico, will hold Trunk or Treat 6-8 p.m. Friday. The event will feature candy and hot dogs.

GOVERNOR’S RIDGE FALL FESTIVAL – Governor’s Ridge in Decatur will hold its annual Fall Festival 5:30-7 tonight. The event will feature trick-or-treating, a bounce house, games and prizes, merry-go-round, goblin walk, hot dogs and drinks.

THE HILLS FALL FESTIVAL – The Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation, 201 E. Thompson St. in Decatur, will hold a Fall Festival 4-6 p.m. Friday featuring indoor trick-or-treating, a bounce house, hot dogs, booths, popcorn, a cake walk and more.

BELL RINGERS NEEDED – Salvation Army Bell ringing at Wal-Mart in Decatur starts Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 24. Friends and families, churches, civic organizations, students needing community service hours, youth groups, sports teams, Boys and Girls Scouts, all give a couple of hours of their time to help Wise County residents in need. Call Tana at 940-627-5859 to set up a time.

MEAT FUNDRAISER – Grace Baptist Church in Decatur is selling smoked meats Nov. 14-15 to benefit the church’s benevolence fund. To order turkeys, hams or briskets, call 940-627-7558. Turkeys and hams may be picked up after 6 p.m. on the 14th. Briskets may be picked up 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the 15th.

SUNSET TRUNK OR TREAT – Sunset will host a Trunk or Treat Festival 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Sunset Fire Hall. The churches of Sunset will host free game booths rewarding kids with treats. Free hay rides and antique cars will be on display with treats for kids. The Sunset Community Park Board will have concessions.

FUNERAL – Service for Arvel Hubbard, 75, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Friday at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Sycamore Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

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Rhome bank robbed http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/rhome-bank-robbed/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/rhome-bank-robbed/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:47:57 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82739 Woodhaven National Bank in Rhome was robbed around noon Wednesday. Rhome Police Chief Brandon Davis said a man entered the bank and handed the teller a note that said hand over the money and no one will get hurt. He kept his hands in his pocket and did not display a weapon during the robbery. He took an undisclosed amount of cash, and he and a second suspect driving a black, four-door newer model Chevrolet pickup with paper tags headed north on U.S. 81/287. As of mid-afternoon, the two suspects were still at large. The suspect who entered the bank is described as around 5-foot, 10-inches tall, early to mid-30s, heavy build, wearing a ball cap with a logo on it and a burnt orange University of Texas shirt. He was also wearing sunglasses on the cap and had about a day or two of facial hair growth. Security cameras were able to capture images of the man. A description of the get-away driver was not available. Anyone with information should call Wise County Crimestoppers at 800-643-TIPS (8477) or 940-627-TIPS (8477) 24 hours a day. You may remain anonymous, and a reward of up to $1,500 is available to information leading to an arrest.

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Sisk gets 4-year sentence for burying body http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/sisk-gets-4-year-sentence-for-burying-body/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/sisk-gets-4-year-sentence-for-burying-body/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:11:40 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82734 A Boyd man has been sentenced to four years in prison after Tarrant County prosecutors said he helped bury the body of a murder victim in south Wise County.


Joseph Daniel Sisk, 24, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors Page Simpson and Kevin Boneberg a couple of weeks ago. He pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence, according to a news release from the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.

Sisk’s father, William Farris Sisk Jr., 53, of Springtown, also pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence and was sentenced to four years in prison.

The two are accused of concealing the body of Arturo Torres. Javier Hernandez, 38, of Fort Worth pleaded guilty to Torres’ murder and received a 20-year prison sentence.

The investigation into Torres’ death began Aug. 2, 2012, when Torres’ mother went to Fort Worth Police saying she had not seen her son for several weeks. Several months later, witnesses were located who began to shed light on what had happened.

“The witnesses told police that Torres and Hernandez had gotten into an argument at a residence in the 2300 block of Irion Avenue (in Fort Worth) and that Hernandez had shot Torres,” according to the district attorney’s office news release. “Hernandez ordered another man to cut Torres’ throat and finish him off. When he refused, Hernandez strangled Torres with a coax cable.”

The Sisks had come to the house that night to buy drugs, according to the news release, and Hernandez ordered them to take the body back to their property on County Road 4698 in Wise County.

“In the early morning hours of June 26, 2012, the Sisks arrived at a dumpsite off County Road 4698 in Wise County, where they dug a hole for several hours by flashlight. Then they buried the body,” according to the statement.

According to Wise County jail records, Joseph Sisk listed a home address of 1347 CR 4698 when he was booked into jail on an unrelated charge in April of 2012.

Investigators continued to gather information and obtained a search warrant for the property on County Road 4698, a couple of miles east of Farm Road 51. On Jan. 29, 2013, a Fort Worth homicide detective working with the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s anthropology team, Wise County Sheriff’s Office and Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays searched the location and found human remains that were later identified as Torres.

Hernandez’ girlfriend, Rocksan Winterberg, 33, also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and was sentenced to two years in prison.

According to the news release, Winterberg and another woman were told by Hernandez to follow Sisk’s truck back to Wise County the night the body was transported to “become a distraction” if police tried to stop the truck.

Winterberg was also later instructed to help dispose of the gun, the release stated.

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Trick or Treat http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/trick-or-treat/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/trick-or-treat/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:10:59 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82731 In Costume 2

IN COSTUME – Yucely Meza’s face paint replicates a sugar skull, a Mexican treat created and sold in the days and weeks leading up to one of the country’s most famous holidays – Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Meza, 11, attended Spooktacular in Bridgeport Saturday evening. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


HAUNTED HOUSE – The Alvord High School Halloween haunted house is open indefinitely Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, starting at 10:30 p.m. on the 31st and 6 p.m. on the 1st. All proceeds benefit Alvord Project Graduation.

TRUNK OR TREAT – Alvord Booster Club is hosting trunk or treat at the AHS softball field starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. Pizza will be provided by the First Baptist Church of Alvord.


FALL FEST – The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport will have a Family Fun Fall Fest 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the church’s Family Life Center. There will be free food and candy, a bounce house, obstacle course, games and prizes. Wear costumes. The church is at the corner of Texas 114 and Cates Street.

COSTUME PARADE – Bridgeport Main Street’s Suit Up and Say Boo Halloween Costume parade down Halsell Street is 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. It begins at Bridgeport Stage, 1009 Halsell St.

HALLOWEEN NIGHT – Various streets will be closed 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in the Oakland Heights Addition for trick-or-treating.

FEARAPHOBIA – The Fearaphobia Haunted House at 1407 Carpenter St. in Bridgeport is open 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays until Nov. 1. Tickets are $15 and $10 at the door for adults and children under 12, respectively, and $10 and $5 online at www.fearaphobia.com/tickets.html. There is also a children’s haunted house for those who feel they might get too scared going on the actual tour. If the event breaks even, designer Robert Chaney plans to give the proceeds to a local charity.


HAUNTED HOUSE – The Chico Community Volunteer Fire Department will have a haunted house 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October at the Old Chico Middle School, 400 S. Hovey St. Admission for 12 and under is $3 and 13 and older is $5. All proceeds will benefit the fire department. The haunted house will also have a “kid’s hall” for smaller children.


LIBRARY CARNIVAL – Decatur Public Library’s annual Halloween carnival is 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30. There will be Halloween games with prizes, trick-or-treating for books and seasonal crafts. This special event is for grade-schoolers and families with young children. Call 940-393-0290.

TRUCK OR TREAT – First Baptist Church, 1200 Preskitt Rd., in Decatur is having Truck or Treat 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. There will be a hay ride, games, prizes, hot dogs and candy.

FALL FESTIVAL – Eagle Drive Baptist Church, 1301 Eagle Dr., in Decatur is having a fall festival 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. There will be a bounce house, ponies, live music, carnival games and free food.

FALL FESTIVAL – Governor’s Ridge Fall Festival is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30. There will be a bounce house, games and prizes, a merry-go-round, goblin walk and a hot dog supper, plus trick or treating.

TRUNK OR TREAT – Victory Family Church in Decatur is having a fall festival 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. There will be bounces houses, food, games, vendors and trunk or treat.

TRICK OR TREAT NIGHT – Decatur City Council voted to move the city’s trick or treat observance to Thursday, Oct. 30, to avoid a conflict with the Eagles’ final home football game Oct. 31. The council agreed to designate Deer Park Road as one-way, northbound, between Eagle Drive and Preskitt Road from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the 30th to help ease traffic problems in some of the city’s more popular trick or treating areas.

SPOOKY FRIDAY – Decatur Public Library’s Spooky Friday Fun is 10:30 a.m. Oct. 31. Librarians will build reading readiness with stories, songs and puppet play. This special storytime event is for preschoolers and families with young children. Call 940-393-0290.

FALL FUN – The Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation, 201 East Thompson, in Decatur is having a fall festival 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. There will be indoor trick-or-treating, a bounce house, hot dogs, booths, popcorn and a cake walk. Call 940-627-2165.


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


FALL FESTIVAL – Slidell ISD’s annual fall festival is 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at the Junior/Senior High building. Doors open at 5 p.m., and ticket sales begin at 5:30 p.m. Drawings will be at 8:15 p.m.


TRUNK OR TREAT – A Trunk or Treat Festival is 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at the Sunset Fire Hall. The event is hosted by the Sunset Volunteer Fire Department, the Community Park Board and several local churches. There will be games, candy and a hay ride. The hay ride will tour the developing community park where treats will be handed out in the haunted goblin park. The Park Board will also have concessions at the fire hall.

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Alves wins PBR world title http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/alves-wins-pbr-world-title/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/alves-wins-pbr-world-title/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:01:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82728 Silvano Alves of Decatur made bull riding history, winning his third PBR world title Sunday in Las Vegas.

The 26-year-old went 6-for-6 at the Built Ford Tough World Finals for the first time in his career, securing the event average on top of the title – 2014 PBR World Champion.


CHAMPION – Silvano Alves of Decatur holds the cup over his head after winning his third PBR world title Sunday in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy Andy Watson/Bullstockmedia.com

He’s only the second rider to ever win three titles, joining Adriano Moraes, and he’s one of only four to win the world title and the event average in the same year.

Alves, a native of Pilar do Sul, Brazil, was presented a key to the city at the Decatur Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday. He greeted the crowd with a quiet, humble smile and thanked them for their support.

“I’m very happy about the three titles,” he said. “I love it here. It’s my home like in Brazil. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Alves lives in Decatur with his wife, Evelin, and their children, Hanyelle and Eduardo.

Although he’s only been competing in the Built Ford Tough Series for five years, he’s reached legendary status with earnings over $5 million. He was the fastest to hit the $1 million, $2 million, $3 million, $4 million and $5 million marks in the history of PBR.

To top it off, Sunday afternoon he rode Asteroid, breaking the 2012 World Champion Bull’s streak of 30 consecutive buckoffs, for 87.25 points – capping off a near-perfect performance in Las Vegas.

The exuberant Alves celebrated with friends and was dogpiled in the arena, but Tuesday he said the accolades and success are more than he ever expected.

Although he trains hard, he said his focus is to simply ride bulls. It’s an attitude that has paid off.

Decatur Proud

DECATUR PROUD – Silvano Alves holds a key to the city of Decatur that was presented to him at Tuesday’s Chamber luncheon. Decatur Mayor Martin Woodruff (left) and Decatur Chamber President Brennan Williams congratulate the three-time champion. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Alves has said the 2014 season was his most difficult. He started the year nursing a separated shoulder and was in a bit of a slump before coming back and entering the finals as the No. 3 rider, trailing leader Joao Ricardo Vieira by 511 points. It was the farthest back he had ever started a finals – but he eventually passed Vieira, who finished in second place, and ended the year in front by 1,938.06 points.

Alves led the BFTS this season with 50 rides and a riding average of 54.35 percent. He placed in the top five seven times and posted 12 top-10 finishes.

Now, it’s time to rest and relax, his wife said Tuesday.

Alves said it’s hard to put his feelings into words, but he’s simply happy.

“Just to be one of the two to win three titles,” he said, “that is very exciting.”

The only other Wise County riders to finish in the top 10 were Fabiano Vieira in fifth and Mike Lee in seventh.

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Going Green: Slidell student elected to 4-H council, receives coveted jacket http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/going-green-slidell-student-elected-to-4-h-council-receives-coveted-jacket/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/going-green-slidell-student-elected-to-4-h-council-receives-coveted-jacket/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:00:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82724 No, she didn’t win the Masters, but Caitlin Pruett recently donned a green jacket she had coveted for a long, long time.

It’s not for golf, but for her leadership in the Texas 4-H program.

Balancing Act

BALANCING ACT – Senior Caitlin Pruett was recently elected to the State 4-H Council. She works hard to balance those responsibilities with her school work, athletics and academic extracurricular activities. The green jackets worn by state officers first caught her eye as a seventh grader. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Pruett, a senior at Slidell High School, was elected to State 4-H Council over the summer and received the treasured green jacket, along with a state 4-H ring, in September at the State Fair of Texas.

She said being elected to a state office was a longtime goal, sparked by the first time she spotted those jewel-colored jackets at a Texas 4-H Roundup when she was in seventh grade.

“I saw all the green jackets and thought, ‘That’s pretty cool,'” she said. “I saw them all week, and (the officers) were so involved and so nice, and they had a purpose for what they were doing, so I set a goal for myself to get a green jacket one day.”

Pruett is one of only four Wise County 4-Hers ever elected to the state council. As a state officer, she’s on the community service committee and will help plan a statewide community service project. She’s also on the marketing committee that will promote State Roundup in June and a committee for healthy lifestyles for the junior leadership retreat, an event planned by the state council for young 4-Hers.

She said State Roundup, the grand finale of the 4-H year, and the junior leadership retreat are the council’s two biggest events. State officers meet throughout the year at various events and supplement those meetings with video chats as needed.

State Ring

STATE RING – Caitlin Pruett wears her state 4-H ring every day. She was given the ring, along with a green jacket, as a newly elected state 4-H officer. She takes the 4-H club motto to heart: “To make the best better.” Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

They’re elected according to a point system that includes posters, speeches, interviews, an application and of course, votes. The 2014-15 state council was elected this summer and took office right away. It’s the pinnacle of a 4-H career that started in third grade.

Club leader Kim Dunlap said she’s watched Pruett grow from a giggly little girl into a poised young woman through 4-H.

“She’s always been really enthusiastic in whatever she’s doing,” Dunlap said. “She’s gone from needing to have a script to knowing how to handle herself on her feet.

“She’s an achiever, she’s highly competitive and she has a willingness to do anything,” she said.

Pruett joined 4-H when she was 9 and was elected to her first club office as a fifth grader. In addition to holding state office, she’s also vice president of the Greenwood/Slidell 4-H Club, vice president of the Wise County 4-H Council and president of District 3.

Her current 4-H projects include food and nutrition, clothing and textiles, consumer education and leadership.

She’s also active in Slidell ISD, playing basketball and running cross country and track, and is a leader in student council and Beta Club. She participates in UIL academic events and one act play and is also an active member of her youth group at the First Baptist Church of Slidell.

Before she pursued a state office, she had to give serious consideration to her other commitments and how she would fit this into her schedule.

“Looking into it, I knew I had a busy schedule, but I went with it because I made a set of goals for myself my senior year, and one of my main goals was to make a difference.

“I felt like being part of this council was going to be one of the ways I could make a difference in the program, the community and the state that has given so much to me,” she said. “This is my way of giving back.”

Pruett said 4-H has taught her life lessons and the program has given her confidence and helped build her leadership skills so that she can better communicate and work with others.

“There’s so much diversity within the 4-H program that you learn how to present yourself and how to cooperate with different types of people,” she said. “It’s helped me decide a career path. 4-H and athletics has done that.”

Although she hasn’t yet decided where she’ll attend college, she plans to become a sports dietician.

“So food and nutrition being my favorite project has sparked the nutrition side of that and having a passion of and love of sports has helped me,” she said.

Pruett said she hopes to be a good example to younger 4-Hers and wants to inspire them to pursue their interests. “I want to be the person that helps someone else start their goal, like I got mine when I was younger,” she said.

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Grand jury indicts 29 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/grand-jury-indicts-29/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/grand-jury-indicts-29/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:59:25 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82720 A Wise County grand jury met Oct. 16 and returned the following felony indictments:

Darren Alan Berkley, possession of a controlled substance – methylone, 4-400 grams

Latasha Deann Berrier, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Leanne Bradley, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams

Jennifer Lyn Carroll, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams

Denise Anne Handy, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams

Martin Gutierrez Hernandez, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Bobbi Jo Hill, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams

Laura Ann Hollis, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Ronald Lynn Marlett, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon

Tyler William Mitchum, possession of a controlled substance – cocaine, 4-200 grams

Gilbert Ray Morales, possession of a controlled substance – cocaine, 4-200 grams

David Klatt Smith, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 4-200 grams

Megan Joe Houston, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (one count); injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury (two counts); abandon endanger child by omission

Aurelo Tabuyo, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Leslie Dawn Johnson, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (one count); injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury (two counts); abandon endanger child

Edwian Eugene Baker, assault family/household member with previous conviction

Joshua Chase Draper, assault family/household member impede breath/circulation

Leslie Dawn Johnson, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (one count); injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury (two counts); abandon endanger child criminal negligence (two counts)

James Pier Kimbro, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon

Chet Allen Benson, injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury (one count); attempt to commit abandon endanger child criminal negligence (two counts) and injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury (one count); abandon endanger child criminal negligence (two counts)

Sergio Raul Morado-Romo, assault family/household member impede breath/circulation

Jeff William Walker, injury to a child reckless bodily injury

Daniel Ches Fuller, burglary of a building (one count); credit card or debit card abuse (four counts)

Brian Jadin Crowley, burglary of a building (one count); credit card or debit card abuse (four counts) and theft of property $1,500-$20,000

Daniel Ches Fuller, theft of property $1,500-$20,000

Kyle Edwin Honeycutt, unauthorized use of a vehicle

Lakisha Nicole Roberts, fraudulent use/possession of identifying information number of items less than five

Adam Mathew Morgan, theft of property $20,000-$100,000

Richard Kent Brock, theft of property $20,000-$100,000

Latasha Deann Berrier, theft of property $20,000-$100,000

Kevin Roger Musick, forgery financial instrument

Billy London Hughes, forgery financial instrument

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Wildfire plan to take shape http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/wildfire-plan-to-take-shape/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/wildfire-plan-to-take-shape/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:58:47 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82718 With a new specialist on board from the Texas Forest Service, the Decatur Fire Department got the go-ahead Monday night to put in place a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that has been “on the map” for several years.

In a nutshell, it’s about keeping rural wildfires out of populated areas.

“The need for this especially came to light during the fires of ’09 and ’11,” Fire Chief Mike Richardson told the city council. “This plan protects our community in that interface between wild land fires and where the community begins.”

Richardson said firefighter Jed Boyd is working with Luke Kanclerz of the Texas Forest Service, who is now stationed at Decatur and using an office in the Decatur fire station.

Kanclerz, a wildland urban interface specialist, will work with Boyd to assess fire danger in places “where the city meets the country,” Richardson said.

“They’ll be figuring out which areas are the highest risk, using mitigation strategies and informing citizens of ideas that can help mitigate that,” he said.

Kanclerz said the key is looking at what’s around rural homes.

“We’ll be looking at surrounding vegetation – the fuels around people’s homes,” he said. “It’s important to see what these homes are constructed of. Fences, for example, often can act as a fuse or a wick leading right up to the home.”

There are ways to reduce that risk, he said.

“We’ll be trying to work with people, encourage and educate them,” he said. “The goal is to find the high-risk areas and work on fuels reduction, do some projects to teach homeowners what they can do.”

He said it should take about six months to complete the plan.

Richardson said grants are available for mitigation projects – but completing the plan, with the help of the Texas Forest Service, shouldn’t really cost the city anything.

“It’s things we’re already doing and have been doing since 2011,” he said. “Now we’ll do it on a more formal basis so it can actually be put into this plan.”

The council approved a motion to proceed with the wildfire plan, then issued a proclamation that allows the city to prepare the plan with the help of the Texas Forest Service.


A pre-council workshop that was scheduled for a half-hour stretched into an hour prior to Monday’s official meeting, as city department heads brought several reports to the council’s attention.

Among the highlights:

  • Planning Director Dedra Ragland updated the council on meetings with developers and business owners who are planning to develop property within the city.
  • Interim Public Works Director Greg Hall told the council about the installation of the disc golf course in Melba Doyle Park, as well as street work going on around the new H2X facility on Stratton and Collins Street where several houses have just been completed.
  • Hall said wastewater treatment for September was more than 2 million gallons less than in August, and raw water treatment was 44.4 million gallons, down from 47.1 in August.
  • He noted Lake Bridgeport is now 38.8 percent full, 23.66 feet below conservation pool level.
  • Also, the TxDOT project on U.S. 81/287 south of town is ahead of schedule, and wayfinding signs proposed by the city have been approved by the TxDOT Area Office in Decatur and submitted to the District Office in Fort Worth.
  • Fire Chief Richardson also gave a monthly report on calls, response times and staffing for the fire department.
  • Technology Services Manager J.B. McKenzie gave council an update on the city’s new web site, decaturtx.org, which combines eight web addresses and gives visitors a gateway to the city’s array of services. The new site allows each department to make its own changes, keeping the site more up-to-date and interactive.
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From Brazil to Bridgeport http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/from-brazil-to-bridgeport/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/from-brazil-to-bridgeport/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:58:20 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82716 Sao Paulo, Brazil is a long way from Bridgeport, Texas – but Bridgeport High School exchange student Raquel Vale says she is right at home in the Lone Star State.

The 17-year-old Brazilian student came to Bridgeport in August as a part of the high school’s foreign exchange program, where she stays with Principal Jaime Sturdivant, Sturdivant’s husband, Steve, and daughter Megan.

Right At Home

RIGHT AT HOME- Raquel Vale, holding the jersey, poses with her host family, (from left) Bridgeport High school Principal Jaime Sturdivant, her daughter Megan Sturdivant and husband Steve Sturdivant, who also teaches at the high school. “We watched the World Cup a lot to learn about where Raquel was from,” Jaime said. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“There’s been a lot of differences, but it’s been fun,” Raquel said of her stay in America so far.

Raquel will stay with the Sturdivants for the entire school year, and will then return to Brazil to graduate from high school in Sao Paulo.

“One of the stipulations of the program is that she can’t go home during the entire year because they believe that will hinder her experience,” Sturdivant said.

Sturdivant was first approached to host an exchange student two years ago, but passed because that was the year her son Jared started college at the Air Force Academy.

“But, they kept calling, and last spring, we started the process and selected our student.”

Studying is the Same Everywhere

STUDYING IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE- Megan Sturdivant and Raquel Vale go over notes for class. “In Brazil, we have 11 classes, so the workload is heavier,” Raquel said. “There’s not as much emphasis on sports at my school.” Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Raquel hit the ground running, she said. Her first day in Texas was spent shopping at Target (she had never been to one before), trying Mexican food and exploring the Fort Worth Stockyards. The next day, she started two-a-days for volleyball.

“We don’t focus that much on sports in Brazil,” Raquel said. “We mostly just study, so all that enthusiasm took some getting used to. But it’s nice how everyone just teams up and supports each other.”

Sturdivant said the biggest thing she’s taken away from hosting Raquel is that teenagers are the same no matter where they’re from.

“We got to communicate with Raquel through Facebook and Skype for a while, and her and Megan were in constant contact before she got here,” she said. “Megan had planned out concerts they wanted to attend, and they like so much of the same stuff, and that’s been an interesting thing to realize that all teenagers have the same interests.”

“And the same problems,” Raquel added.

Megan, also a junior, said having Raquel around helps her focus more on her own schooling.

“She’s really smart, so she goes home and does her homework, so it makes me think, ‘Oh, I should do my homework too,’ and it pushed me to do better,” Megan said.

Raquel said the biggest differences she’s seen so far are how spread out Bridgeport is compared to Sao Paulo, and how busy American culture is compared to Brazilian culture.

“The driving age in Brazil is 18, so it’s weird to see people younger than me behind the wheel, but I get why they have to drive – walking everywhere is hard to do here,” she said. “And the pace is so quick. Sao Paolo is the fastest-paced place in Brazil, and it’s still way more laid-back than America.”

Sao Paulo, with a population of more that 11 million people in 588 square miles, is the largest city in Brazil – quite the opposite of the stereotype of South America many Americans have.

“When I first got on the volleyball team, they were wondering if I was going to be taller or darker-skinned,” Raquel said. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that we’re all from the Amazon or something. We have public transportation and huge buildings.”

Sturdivant added that hosting Raquel wasn’t just a great experience for her family, but beneficial to other high school students, too.

“It’s a great way for the students to learn about other countries as well, and kind of break down those stereotypes, so the kids have been very accepting of her,” Sturdivant said.

Raquel, while away from home, keeps in touch with her family through Skype and Facebook and said the thing she misses the most about Brazil is her friends and family. But she’s enjoying her stay in Bridgeport.

“I like all the different foods, like Whataburger and Mexican food,” she said. “And I’ve started to finally understand football. At first I was confused, but now I know most of the rules.”

And the Sturdivants enjoy hosting Raquel. Sturdivant said they don’t know if they would host a student again, but they would be open to it since this has been such a great experience.

“We just really lucked out and we got a great exchange student that we treat like one of our own. I really do consider her a part of the family now.

“Hopefully we can keep in contact for a long time.”

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Problem Solvers take on identity theft http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/problem-solvers-take-on-identity-theft/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/problem-solvers-take-on-identity-theft/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:57:09 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82712 According to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, more than 25,000 Texans every year say they are victims of identity theft.

This year, the Bridgeport Middle School Problem Solvers group hopes to reduce that number in Wise County.

The group won third place in the middle division of the civic/cultural category at the Future Problem Solving Program International Conference in Ames, Iowa last summer, and is already hard at work on their next project.

With 25 6-8th graders taught by Paula Shepherd, the team is seeking to educate the county about identity theft, and how citizens can eliminate their risk by shredding important documents like bank statements or credit card bills.

Called Team WISE (Wise County Identity Safety Education), the group wants to set up a “Shred day” in the county to let people come and safely get rid of all of the important documents they no longer need.

“We know we won’t be able to stop all identity theft, but we can offer a service to let people know they can choose to shred their stuff, if they want,” said Emily Casper, a student in the program.

The project involves students being on one of eight committees: Scrapbook, Photography, Public Relations, Fundraising, Research, Reporters, Inspectors and Supervisors. All will work together to help put the finished project together in February.

The group is already starting to examine ways to implement their goal.

“One way we want to figure it out is if it is measurable – we were thinking about measuring it by counting how much paper was shredded and recycled, and see if we could go from there,” student Kirby Russell said.

“We’re also going to start working with the police so they don’t have to do as much work with combating identity theft,” student Zach Eubanks said.

For many of the Problem Solving students, the project is an opportunity to learn more than they can get in the average classroom.

“It helps me be creative and think outside the box – this class is more talking to people, being creative and finding out new ways to solve the problem,” student Jacob Marshall said.

For others, the joy lies in simply finding out a new way to provide a community service.

“I think it’s cool just being able to help out the community,” student Camden Hand said.

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Wise Regional takes over nursing operations http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/wise-regional-takes-over-nursing-operations/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/wise-regional-takes-over-nursing-operations/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:56:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82710 The directors of Wise Regional Health System voted Monday night to affiliate with seven nursing facilities in the area – at their request.

Hospital CEO Steve Summers said the move was requested by those facilities to allow them to qualify for a higher reimbursement rate, under new laws that make more funds available to facilities that are affiliated with a public entity.

The Decatur-based health care system will take ownership of three facilities owned by Sava Senior Care, three owned by Kindred Health Care and one, DFW Rehab, that is owned by Ken Broussard. All are within about an hour of Decatur, mostly in the Fort Worth area.

“We’ve been approached by these entities to be involved with them, to help them secure additional funding,” Summers told the board. “We’ve visited with them, vetted all that, looked at it, and we felt like it’s a reasonable approach to consider being involved with these facilities.”

Wise Regional’s Donna Stowers will oversee them and report back to the board.

“They all have quality standards in place,” she told the board. “It’s in their best interest to have the best quality they can.”

WRHS attorney Jason Wren said the Hospital Authority would actually become the owner of the skilled nursing operations.

“We’ll lease the facilities, then enter into a management agreement with the folks who are operating them now,” he said.

The board approved unanimously.


The board also approved another affiliation – this one with Somnus Healthcare sleep lab.

“We’ve been in discussions for a while now,” Summers told the board. “This is an organization that’s located in Decatur.

“We have an existing lab service, and we thought we would fold in those labs together and offer one service, on the West Campus,” he added. “This way we can offer more services in one setting instead of them being split between the two different organizations.”

Summers said the short-term contract, which calls for a flat payment every month, had been looked at and vetted by the hospital’s legal staff. The sleep lab will continue to be located on the West Campus.

It was approved unanimously.


The board also:

  • approved the purchase of a portable EEG unit for $75,419, making that service available in-house 24 hours a day rather than having to contract with a mobile service and schedule those procedures during the hours it is on campus;
  • approved the revised succession planning and development policy;
  • approved five new appointments to the medical staff;
  • approved 17 bi-annual reviews; and
  • approved three first-year reviews.
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Stepping out: Paradise’s Emeralds leave a lasting impression http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/stepping-out-paradises-emeralds-leave-a-lasting-impression/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/stepping-out-paradises-emeralds-leave-a-lasting-impression/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:56:14 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82708 More than a bunch of pretty faces, the Emeralds embody discipline, hard work, and talent. They strive to be the best, and to represent Paradise High School accordingly.

Emeralds dance coach Kylie Stegman said like life, dance isn’t easy. Stegman has directed the Emeralds for two seasons.

Its Routine

IT’S ROUTINE – Paradise High School Emeralds (from left) Kaitlynn Godwin, Hannah Nelson, Jada McCoy and Sara Huitt teach young Rhinestones a dance move Oct. 17. The Emeralds and the Rhinestones performed together at the football game later that night. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Aside from the hours of practice, the 20 girls who make up the Emeralds go to dance competitions and perform at Paradise football games. While their dance number might last about two minutes, the performance is actually much more.

“We’ll spend 30 minutes to an hour before that, making sure everyone is ready to go – to the point that we are all wearing our bags the same way,” said Jessica Meeks, Emeralds Captain. “Once you’re in the stands, it’s no food and no drinks. There is no talking to boyfriends, friends or parents. You have to sit there and make sure you’re listening to the band and paying attention.”

The team has to stay in sync with the band, as they also do standing routines with the music.

Senior Dancers

SENIOR DANCERS – For six Paradise High School Emeralds, this is their final year. Together (from left) Brianna Richardson, Jada McCoy, Reagan Taylor, Lainee Hasty, Jessica Meeks and Kelby Meadows have led their fellow dancers and helped teach the Rhinestones. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

“When we walk anywhere we are smiling, because we aren’t just representing ourselves – we’re representing our school and the student body.”

The work and discipline don’t bother Meeks, who has been on the team for four years. For her, dance is an outlet, it’s fun and fulfilling. Meeks said she gets much more from being an Emerald than she ever did from other extracurricular activities.

“Dance is different,” Meeks said. “It’s a lot of fun, but we get to perform and I love to perform. Before I started dancing, I tried all kinds of sports. I never really found that thing where I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I love it!’ When I tried out for the junior high dance team, I thought, ‘This is it!'”

She said it helps that her team is filled with great girls who are willing to work and have fun while doing it.

Emeralds co-captain Lainee Hasty has only been with the Emeralds two years, but danced at Alvord High School before she moved to Paradise. She said she had been dancing for 13 years, when she changed schools.

“I got hooked when I got to high school,” Hasty said. “I was like, ‘Heck yeah, I’m going to dance!’ Then in my sophomore year, I moved. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I thought, ‘Man, I’m going to lose all of that.’ But God blessed me with this awesome opportunity and got my foot back up there.”

The Moves

THE MOVES – Brooklyn McKenzie learns some of the moves for her performance with the Rhinestones. The Emeralds teach and encourage these girls, as they make up Paradise’s future dancers. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


Stegman and her Emeralds also work to build the program’s future by teaching young girls to dance. These much younger performers are called the Rhinestones.

“Kylie has given us both opportunities to teach at her studio, and those little girls look up to you so much,” Hasty said. “You walk down the hall and they’ll yell, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s an Emerald!’ They love it, and as long as you see a smile on their faces, our work and our energy and our time – it’s worth it.”

Meeks said teaching the Rhinestones is helping train her for her own future, too. While she wants to continue dancing in college, and maybe as a profession, ultimately she wants to open her own studio.

“I want to teach little girls dance,” Meeks said. “Our instructor has a dance studio in Bridgeport and she teaches ballet, jazz, tap, and she has a competition team. And for me to keep dancing, that is something I want to do.”

Stegman owns Miss Twister Dance Company, which is in its third season. She is also a professional dancer and performed on the University of North Texas’ dance team. And of course, she cut her teeth as an Emerald while in high school.

She said she knows what to look for in prospective dancers and how to build talent, even if it’s not readily apparent.

“I’ve been dancing for so long – basically my whole life – so I can quickly tell, especially in their stature or maybe in how flexible they are,” Stegman said. “Sometimes it takes longer. A lot of what we do is memory, so if a girl has a good memory, she is going to be good on the drill team. The other stuff will come later.”

She said the structure and discipline in place at Paradise is essential. The hard work and dedication is tradition.

“Drill team can be serious,” she said. “There are exact moves and exact placement. This is dance, yes, and they want to be the best, but it’s also life lessons. There have to be incentives and consequences because that is life.”

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Student Spotlights for Wednesday, October 29, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/student-spotlights-for-wednesday-october-29-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/student-spotlights-for-wednesday-october-29-2014/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:54:57 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82703 Paradise Elementary

Mavis Read

Grade: 3rd

Parents: Brian and Alison Read

Favorite subject: Reading (sometimes science)

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: Cheer with PYRA, church activities, loves to paint, and enjoys playing the piano.

Why this student was chosen: “Mavis always has amazing character in all she does. She exhibits the character of a true Paradise Panther.” – Principal Robyn Gibson

Paradise Intermediate

Levi Goodman

Grade: 5th

Parents: Clint and Erika Goodman

Favorite subject: Science

Hobbies or extracurricular: Reading, riding his bike and being on the Paradise Intermediate Student Council.

Why this student was chosen: “Levi demonstrates the character we hope to see in each student. He has a great attitude and is always dependable. Levi cares about his studies and the students around him. He is always going above and beyond what is expected. Levi is respectful, polite and always willing to help others. It is refreshing to see him as a role model and leader inside and outside of the classroom.” – Principal Kristen Gage

Paradise Junior High

Colby Cox

Grade: 8th

Parents: Scott and Mindy Cox

Favorite subject: U.S. History

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: He is in Beta Club, plays football and baseball, loves to bow and rifle hunt, and fish. He also loves to go on vacation to Red River, N.M. His favorite kind of hunting is hog hunting. He also likes to hang out with friends. He hopes to someday have his own hog hunting business.

Why this student was chosen: “Colby is an outstanding young man. He is very polite, respectful, and well-mannered. He is the kind of student every principal and teacher would want. He represents Paradise Junior High very well and takes a lot of pride in being a Paradise Panther.” – Principal Greg Fletcher

Paradise High School

Courtney Kerr

Grade: 12th

Parents: Mary Beth and Chris Kerr

Favorite subject: Bible History

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: Basketball, riding horses, reading and football.

Why this student was chosen: “Courtney is not only an outstanding student at Paradise High School, she also runs the sound system for all home volleyball games. She created the playlist for warmups and organizes cheers to lead the student body. She is one of the leaders of the school spirit squad for activities and events. Courtney goes above and beyond what is asked of her. She is a tremendous asset to Paradise High School.” – Principal Mark Mathis

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Education Briefs for Wednesday, October 29, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-october-29-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-october-29-2014/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:53:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82696 BRIDGEPORT

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


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


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


JAZZ AMBASSADORS – Northwest High School’s Vernon Solomon Performing Arts Center will host a free concert by the U.S. Army Field Band’s “Jazz Ambassadors” 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3. The band will play big-band swing, popular tunes, Dixieland, bebop. Latin and patriotic tunes, with vocals as well. Northwest Band Director Paul Elder said the group’s presentation will be an evening of fun for the whole family.

GLOBETROTTER VISIT – The Harlem Globetrotter’s Sweet J Ekworomadu will visit four Northwest ISD campuses Wednesday, Oct. 29, including Prairie View Elementary and Chisholm Trail Middle School. Ekworomadu’s visit is part of National Bullying Prevention Month and the Globetrotters’ ABCs of Bullying Prevention program. It focuses on action, bravery and compassion with students from 6 to 14 years old. The 45-minute presentation will end with a demonstration of Globetrotter basketball tricks. Ekworomadu will be at Prairie View at 1 p.m. and Chisholm Trail at 3:45 p.m.


VOLUNTEERS – Paradise High School junior class parents are needed to help with the basketball concession stand. To volunteer, email Erien Lee at elee@pisd.net. For a list of concession stand shifts throughout the basketball season, go to www.pisd.net/pisd/hs/home/parentform.pdf.

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

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News Briefs for Wednesday, October 29, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-october-29-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-october-29-2014/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:51:57 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82693 BRIDGEPORT

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS – Bridgeport Spirit of Christmas applications will be available Monday, Nov. 3, at the public library. Applications should be returned to the library by noon Tuesday, Nov. 11.

CHAMBER LUNCHEON – The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce luncheon is 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Bridgeport Community Center. Lunch will be catered by Pronto’s Italian Restaurant and cost is $10. RSVP by noon Wednesday, Nov. 12, to donnamann@bridgeportchamber.org or 940-683-2076.


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

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


MEAT FUNDRAISER – Grace Baptist Church in Decatur is selling smoked meats Nov. 14-15 to benefit the church’s benevolence fund. To order turkeys, hams or briskets, call 940-627-7558. Turkeys and hams may be picked up after 6 p.m. on the 14th. Briskets may be picked up 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the 15th.


CHAMBER LUNCHEON – The Paradise Chamber of Commerce luncheon is Monday, Nov. 3. RSVP via email to info@paradisetexaschamber.org.

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


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

ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS – Rabbi Marty Cohen of Bedford will bring ancient Old Testament manuscripts to the 10 a.m. service at the Bay Community Church in Runaway Bay Sunday, Nov. 2. The public is invited


EARLY VOTING CONTINUES – Early voting in the Nov. 4 election continues this week and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, Decatur City Hall and Rhome City Hall. Voters should bring a photo ID, along with their voter registration card.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY – A countywide historical society meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Sagebrush Cafe, 1020 Halsell St., in Bridgeport. The meeting will include a presentation and a prelude visit to the soon-to-be-open Wise County Veterans Memorial Museum, The Forgotten Wars. Col. Robert C. “Bob” Johnson, USMC-Ret., will give a presentation, and volunteers will escort small groups to and from the new museum, just a block away. Donations to support the museum will be accepted during the tour. For information, contact Donna Weeden, dgweeden@yahoo.com, 940-859-3691.

IMMUNIZATION CLINIC – The Texas Department of State Health Services will host an immunization clinic 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the First Baptist Church, 1200 Preskitt Rd., in Decatur. A parent must be present and the children must be VFC eligible. Cost is $10 per child or $20 per family, and parents are urged to bring the child’s immunization records.

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Football: Good move – Bulldog finds success in new spot http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-good-move-bulldog-finds-success-in-new-spot/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-good-move-bulldog-finds-success-in-new-spot/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:50:49 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82691 Last spring after a 7-on-7 workout, Alvord coach Pete Hart approached Brett Martin with an idea.

“He asked if I’ve ever played defensive end and said he was thinking about trying me there,” Martin recalled.

Positive Move

POSITIVE MOVE – In making the transition from strong safety to defensive end, Brett Martin has piled up 10 tackles for losses, including six in the past three games. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

After playing safety all through high school, Martin was puzzled by the request to move to the line of scrimmage at first. But eight games later, after a team-leading 10 tackles for losses – including a safety last week against Valley View – the senior agrees with Hart that it was the right move.

“I guess it’s worked out,” Martin said.

PLAYING BIG – Despite being undersized at the line, Brett Martin has a pair of sacks for the Alvord defense. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

From his defensive end spot, Martin has recorded 25 solo tackles, two sacks and five hurries. He’s also recovered a fumble for the Alvord unit that will try to hold Chico’s potent offense in check at 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium in a District 5-2A Division I showdown.

Hart explains the move of Martin from strong safety to the end of the defensive line was part of the Bulldogs’ effort to get more speed on edges for their defense. Though only 5-8, 150 pounds, Martin’s 4.5 speed fit the bill of what was needed.

“He’d always been a strong safety and did a good job at safety,” Hart said. “But to run the defense we want to run, we’ve got to have fast ends. The natural progression is to move safeties to linebacker. But we play our defensive ends like linebackers with their hand on the ground.”

The experiment immediately started paying dividends. Martin made an impact in the season opener against Nocona with a pair of tackles for losses and a sack.

“He’s hard to block because he’s so fast,” Hart said. “He’s also hard to hook, and it allows us to run a lot of stunts and blitz combinations.”

He has made the change look seamless, but Martin admits it’s been an adjustment.

“I’m trying to do my best and figure it out,” he said. “Last year, I was standing up and now I’m in a three-point stance. It’s a whole new perspective. At safety, you’re in the back of everyone. At defensive end you have someone in your face hitting you.”

Instead of trying to wrestle down receivers his size in the secondary, Martin is now fighting to get around big offensive tackles and tight ends.

“Weight-wise, all the tackles are bigger than me, and I don’t think I’ve gone against any my height,” Martin said. “I just try to compete.”

Though worried about sounding cocky, Martin said he turns to his speed to win the battles at the line of scrimmage.

“It’s speed and quickness,” Martin explains. “I see the ball out of my periphery and try to get there.”

With each game, Martin admits he gets more comfortable. In the last three games, he has six tackles for losses for a total of 34 yards.

“Each game there’s a new thing I figure out,” Martin said.

Last week, his tackle of Valley View quarterback Riley Willis in the end zone for a safety was one of the highlights of the year.

“I saw the quarterback in the end zone and he wasn’t looking. When he fell and still had the ball it was great,” Martin said. “It was the first [safety].”

Hart points out that Martin’s progression has helped the overall defense, which has held its own against the potent offenses of Blue Ridge and Valley View in district play.

“It’s helped our linebackers that he can turn things back inside,” Hart explains. “Anytime a quarterback rolls to his side, he’s disrupting the passing game because he’s coming off the edge so fast.

“He’s had a huge impact on our defensive left side.”

Martin has no reservations about taking on a new role his senior year.

“Coach Hart thought it could help the team and I was totally fine with it if it helped the team,” he said. “It’s our last year. I’ve got to do everything I can for the team. You can’t be selfish when it comes to the team.”

Hart added: “Brett’s a fine example of the seniors we have this year. We’ve asked others to change positions. They’ve done so willingly to help the team.”

This will be a big week for Martin, playing Chico. He attended school there until moving to Alvord in sixth grade.

“This is a big game for me,” he added.

After eight games in his new spot, Martin only wishes Hart would have suggested the move sooner.

“I love it. I wish I’d been playing it previously so I knew more,” Martin said.

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Football: ‘Dogs go for 4th win over Dragons http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-dogs-go-for-4th-win-over-dragons/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-dogs-go-for-4th-win-over-dragons/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:49:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=82687 After picking up a third straight win to open 5-2A Division I play last week, the Alvord Bulldogs accomplished their first goal of securing a playoff spot.

With eyes on trying to bring home the league title, the Bulldogs (5-3, 3-0) now face a team playing for their postseason lives in the Chico Dragons. The Dragons (5-3, 1-2) come to Bulldog Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“There is nothing more dangerous than someone backed into a corner,” said Alvord coach Pete Hart. “They are in a situation where they need to win. We expect a good game.”

The Dragons ended a two-game skid to open district play last week with a 76-21 win over Trenton. After losses to Blue Ridge and Bells to open 5-2A play, Chico coach Stephen Carter admits his team still has ground to make up to end the program’s playoff drought that dates back to 2001.

“If we win out, we’re in,” Carter said. “We can still get in by Valley View beating Blue Ridge and then beating Valley View. We’ve got to take it one game at time.”

The Dragons returned two key pieces to their offense last week – guard JD Brown and running back Crese Redman. Redman rushed for 98 yards last week on nine carries.

“We’re close to 100 percent,” Carter said.

The Dragons’ potent offense will match up against an Alvord defense that has held Blue Ridge and Valley View in check in back-to-back weeks. Hart admits it’ll be another tough task this week.

“We’re playing well. We still have a lot to fix,” Hart said. “Our kids are doing a good job of getting an understanding of what the other team is trying to do.

“Chico has the ability to score a lot of points. It’ll be a good challenge.”

Carter knows his offense will need to be in top form to make plays against Alvord’s speedy defense with ends Brett Martin and Mason Clower. The Bulldogs also have inserted 6-6, 300-pound Jonah Hancock in the middle of the defensive line.

“They are well-coached and so fast off the edges,” Carter said. “Even last week we started preparing for Alvord. We’ve had two full weeks to prepare.”

The Bulldogs’ offense piled up 518 yards last week against Valley View. It was their second straight game of more than 400 yards.

Joe Randall followed his 300-yard performance against Blue Ridge with 251 yards against the Eagles.

“He’s a great kid and athlete,” Carter said. “He’s their go-to guy. He’s going to get some yards. We have to slow him down a little bit.”

CHICO (5-3, 1-2) AT ALVORD (5-3, 3-0)

7:30 p.m. at Bulldogs Stadium

Chico: Harris Rating 183

Notable: Crese Redman returned full time last week and ran for 98 yards on 9 carries.

Alvord: Harris Rating 190

Notable: The Alvord defense contributed eight points last week.

Harris line: Alvord by 7

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