WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:16:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Monday, June 29, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-june-29-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-june-29-2015/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:16:22 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92579

SLOW BURNING FIRE DESTROYS HOME – Fire destroyed a home just east of Decatur around midday Saturday. Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said it was actually the second fire at the house in a three or four day time frame. He said he thinks the original fire in the single-side mobile home started Wednesday or Thursday and was discovered on Friday. The Decatur Fire Department came out and extinguished the fire Friday afternoon, and Beard said that although it had sustained heavy heat and smoke damage, it was still salvageable. Then, the department received a second call around noon Saturday that the fire had rekindled. Decatur responded along with Greenwood/Slidell and Bridgeport fire departments and Wise County EMS. The second fire resulted in the trailer being a total loss, Beard said. He said both fires were caused by electrical malfunctions. The home’s occupants had been gone for about a week-and-a-half. The home is owned by Martha Bible.

WEEKEND RAINFALL – Rainfall totals from over the weekend included 1.15 inches in Alvord, 0.5 in Greenwood and 0.26 in Bridgeport and Decatur. Today’s forecast calls for a slight chance of rain with a high of 92.

GOSPEL OPRY – The regular monthly Gospel Opry sing-along program is 6:30 tonight in the G.C. Rann Auditorium at the Wise County Heritage Museum, 1602 S. Trinity St. in Decatur. Admission is free. An offering will be accepted to be used toward museum expenses.

TRACK RESURFACING APPROVED – The Alvord School Board last Thursday voted to approve the estimated $148,800 resurfacing of the high school track. The project is expected to be completed by July 28 of this year and comes with a five-year warranty. Read more in the weekend Wise County Messenger on newsstands now.

CLASS REUNION – The Chico High School Class of 1955 will have a luncheon at Julio’s in downtown Chico 11 a.m. July 11. Bring photos, stories and money for your own lunch. Any upper or lower classmates are also welcome to join them or stop by.

PENMANSHIP CLASS – The Decatur Public Library is having a penmanship class 6-7:15 p.m. Mondays June 15 through July 27. Writers of all ages are welcome, and supplies will be provided, including modern fountain pens. The class will teach American cursive and make your handwriting more legible. The class is free, but space is limited. Reserve a spot at www.decaturpubliclibrary.com or by calling 940-393-0290.

TRANSPORTATION FACILITY – Northwest ISD hopes to break ground next month on a transportation complex on the site of its future Wise County high school in Rhome. The district is planning to build a complex to house up to 50 buses and to build a pair of offices, a meeting room, gas pumps and a shop on the two acres located off County Road 4651. The district is also working with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, which will use the facility as a substation. Read more in the weekend Wise County Messenger on newsstands now.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for Flora Mae Shelton, 53, of Poolville, formerly of Chico and Paradise, will be private at a later date. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

GRAVESIDE service for Alice Frances Conner, 81, of Decatur is 1:30 p.m. today at Aurora Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Addie Ruth Green-Steele, 77, of Bridgeport is 6 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Bridgeport. Family visitation is 5-6 p.m.

SERVICE for Ruth Ezzell, 75 of Bridgeport is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Paul Ed Anderson, 52, of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Faith Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

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Fire scorches NRS warehouse http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/fire-scorches-nrs-warehouse/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/fire-scorches-nrs-warehouse/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:17:17 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92574 Firefighters responded to a fire at the new National Roper’s Supply store south of Decatur on US 81/287 just before 7 Wednesday morning.

Initial reports indicated black smoke rising from the shipping and receiving warehouse. Firefighters on scene had the flames put out by 7:10 a.m.

Deputy Fire Marshall Joe Washburn said the fire started in the area of a battery-operated floor scrubber, but his investigation is still ongoing and has not ruled that as the final cause at this time.

While the fire itself was confined to the warehouse, 100 percent of the building sustained smoke damage, Decatur Fire Chief Mike Richardson said. NRS hadn’t moved inventory into the store yet, but some of the offices were occupied. The warehouse sustained severe fire and structural damage, Richardson said.

A water pipe burst during the fire, leading to reports that a sprinkler system had doused the flames. Richardson said the building has no sprinkler system, and the burst pipe did little to ease the fire.

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Townsend to pick architect; Decatur School Board gives go-ahead in practice facility planning process http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/townsend-to-pick-architect-decatur-school-board-gives-go-ahead-in-practice-facility-planning-process/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/townsend-to-pick-architect-decatur-school-board-gives-go-ahead-in-practice-facility-planning-process/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:16:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92572 Preliminary work started on Decatur ISD’s multipurpose indoor practice facility with the school board last week giving Superintendent Rod Townsend the authority to pick an architect for the project.

He plans to present them with his selection in July.

Townsend explained to the board at its June 15 meeting that architects are paid a percentage of the overall cost of the project.

“Sometimes when you ask an architect to build something, they add things to it just so their fee will be higher,” he said. “If we need to, let’s set a fee and not build a Taj Mahal, but let’s build something usable, durable and cost effective.”

Townsend said three firms have expressed interest in the project – WRA Architects in Dallas, VLK Architects in Fort Worth and Claycomb Associates Architects in Austin.

He noted that WRA designed Rann Elementary for the district, and Claycomb designed Carson and Young elementaries, the high school and the transportation building.

“The three I’ve talked to, they have a set of plans to start with. You just have to tell them what you want,” said Townsend. “It’s not like they’re going to be starting from scratch.”

Board member Wade Watson asked if they could get the plans of a facility they like and use them, avoiding the architect’s fee.

“I don’t know why we have to spend that much money if the design is already done,” he said.

Townsend reminded him that if the project is “over so many dollars it has to have an architectural stamp, by law.”

Board member Jeff Elder asked if athletic director Mike Fuller could just pick what he wanted.

“What if Coach Fuller could find an indoor practice facility exactly like he wanted and said, ‘this is what I want right here?'” Elder asked, wondering if those plans could be acquired.

Townsend said even if plans of an already-existing facility were acquired, it wouldn’t eliminate the architect expense because some changes would need to be made.

“An option is ‘design-build’ where they work with the architect through the entire process, so they’re drawing it and the construction people are involved in it at the same time from the very beginning,” he said.

“Based on our experience with the ag building,” Watson said. “Claycomb wanted us to build this, and we had to scale it back to this to get it reasonable.”

Board member Matt Joiner, who is associate dean of Weatherford College Wise County, spoke up, saying VLK designed the college, and “it was a remarkable experience.”

“You know what Claycomb does. WRA comes with a good recommendation, and you have a good recommendation from VLK here,” Townsend said. “I believe all three are reputable people.”

He told the board they could choose an architect, they could send out a request for qualifications, or they could give him the authority to pick an architect.

Board members also had questions about when a construction company would be chosen and how that would work.

Deputy Superintendent Gary Micinski suggested they give Townsend the authority to make the decision.

“If you could give Mr. Townsend direction on an architect where he can select one, that architect might be able to give you guidance as to what’s the best way to build this building,” he said. “Usually in the past the architect has come in here and discussed the various types of construction.”

Townsend said he’d like to use an architect that has already built several of these types of facilities and get input from them as to whether it would be best to use the design-build method or a general contractor.

“What are you leaning toward as far as architects?” the superintendent asked the board. “Claycomb has done the last few projects … or do you want to look at some of these other guys?”

The board members didn’t respond.

“I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I’d lean toward WRA or VLK,” Townsend said. The board voted unanimously to let Townsend decide.

OTHER BUSINESS

Townsend said the parking lot project at Carson Elementary will not be completed this summer.

“I did talk to TxDOT out there and showed them a hand drawing of what we wanted to do, and I’ve filled out an application,” he said.

There is also survey work that needs to be completed first. Townsend said the new construction, a parking area between the current lot and Business 81/287, won’t impact any of the current driveways and shouldn’t cause a problem if work begins after school starts.

In other business, the board recognized McCarroll Middle School teacher DeDe Diaczenko as June Educator of the Month and David Jackson, from the technology department, as Support Staff Employee of the Month.

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Fireworks to light sky at 4th Fest http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/fireworks-to-light-sky-at-4th-fest/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/fireworks-to-light-sky-at-4th-fest/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:15:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92570 With Independence Day falling on a Saturday, coupled with Lake Bridgeport being full, it’s hard to predict just how many people might attend Runaway Bay’s 4th Fest next weekend.

“We have no idea,” said Jackie Ishmael, president of the Greater Runaway Bay Alliance. “I would imagine it will be a really nice turnout.”

The Alliance puts on the annual Independence Day celebration, usually held on the Saturday closest to the Fourth of July.

The day’s activities will start the morning of Saturday, July 4, with the Firecracker Scramble golf tournament at The Club at Runaway Bay. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. with tee off at 9. Cost is $75 per person.

Hole sponsorship is $100, and team sponsorship is $300.

The golf tournament is put on by the Greater Runaway Bay Alliance and the Ladies Golf Association. Proceeds are used to fund the fireworks show and other projects of benefit to the community.

The patriotic-themed golf cart parade is at 5:30 p.m. Line-up begins at 5 at the city barn, and the parade will end at The Bay Church.

Festivities at the church will include food – including hamburgers, hot dogs, candy, chips and snow cones – a bounce house from Jump Party Texas, giant water slides, a novelty table, music and an honor guard.

Fireworks over the lake will begin at dusk.

Ishmael said a new company will be providing the show this year – Extreme Pyrotechnics.

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True Aim http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/true-aim/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/true-aim/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:15:21 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92568 A woman with the commanding voice of a drill sergeant paced between the row of archers and their targets, yelling instructions.

“Behind the line!” she shouts. “How we doing troops?”

Her troops were all armed forces veterans, lined up in an orderly manner, bows and arrows next to them, one wheel in front of the white line, one wheel behind. Another round of the archery event at the Veterans’ Wheelchair Games was about to begin in Dallas.

Laura Jeanne of Decatur sat ready to fire at the target, 50 yards away. Her wheelchair, painted purple and pink, matched her pink feathered arrows.

Right on Target 1

RIGHT ON TARGET – Laura Jeanne, a competitor in the Veterans Wheelchair Games, likes archery because she finds it soothing. Jeanne sets the target in her sight. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The temperatures were creeping into the 90s out in the open sun on the archery range, but that didn’t stop the veterans from letting their arrows fly as soon as the whistle blew.

“The only thing that stops an archery meet is lightning,” Jeanne said. “Hail, rain, fog, we shoot. One hundred degrees, we shoot.”

The Wheelchair Games were Jeanne’s fourth paralympic competition of the year, and she’s traveled across the country to compete.

Right on Target 2

RIGHT ON TARGET – Laura Jeanne relaxes between rounds. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“There’s just something soothing, calming about shooting and getting it in the center,” Jeanne said of her favorite event. She also competed in javelin, rifle and bowling.

Jeanne, an army veteran paralyzed six years ago after being thrown from a horse, started practicing archery three years ago, although she said the first year doesn’t count in her mind because “I didn’t really have the right equipment.”

Receiving help from other archers, including M.J. Rogers, a coach for the US paralympic team, Jeanne has advanced her skills. She’s competed both in wheelchair-only events and against other athletes with a variety of disabilities, which she said is “more of a challenge.”

She brings one constant companion to every competition. Jilly, a small mixed breed service dog, slept in a basket under Jeanne’s wheelchair during archery, occasionally poking her head between Jeanne’s legs.

Shooting Straight 2

SHOOTING STRAIGHT – While Jeanne shoots, her service dog, Jilly, sits in a basket under her wheelchair. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“She goes everywhere with me,” Jeanne said. “The only time she’s not with me is when she’s at the groomer.”

Between rounds, Jilly sat on Jeanne’s lap or next to her wheelchair while Jeanne greeted fellow competitors. Jeanne said competing is half of the reason she enjoys coming to events like the Wheelchair Games, while camaraderie is the other half.

“Here, you’re normal,” she said. “Everybody is in a wheelchair.”

At the Veterans’ Wheelchair Games Jeanne won gold in bowling and archery and took home silver in rifle and javelin. She was aiming to score 600 points in archery to qualify for a paralympic stipend, but came up shy at 516. She plans to work more on her 50 yard shooting.

“It’s something you can improve on,” Jeanne said. “If it’s something you like and you’re good at, you can keep improving.”

Shooting Straight 1

SHOOTING STRAIGHT – Laura Jeanne said archery makes her feel like Katniss Everdeen of “The Hunger Games.” Jeanne pulls back on her bow, eyes on the target. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Gregg honored for 50 years of service http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/gregg-honored-for-50-years-of-service/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/gregg-honored-for-50-years-of-service/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:13:06 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92562 In the past 50 years, Wise County has changed considerably, but Rosalie Gregg remained a constant presence.

Gregg was honored Thursday with a plaque outside the Wise County Heritage Museum in Decatur for her 50 years of service to the county’s historical commission.

Dedicated Public Servant

DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANT – Rosalie Gregg was honored Thursday for her 50 years of service to the Wise County Historical Commission. Gregg thanked the crowd after a plaque in her honor was unveiled by her daughters, Sherry Harris, Jill Eder, Dana Brooks and Robbie Weaver. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Gregg joined the Wise County Historical Survey Committee, now the Wise County Historical Commission, when it was first established in 1965. She’s remained a driving force in the organization ever since, spending 47 years as its commissioner and helping to establish more than 100 historical markers in the county.

“She’s kind of slowing down a little, but don’t think she doesn’t have a hand in the good things that happen,” Kerry Clower, the chairman of the historical commission, said in his speech at the plaque unveiling. “She’s always involved.”

Gregg received many honors for her service over the years, including once being named Historical Society Chairman of the Year for the entire state of Texas. In some circles, she’s known as “the infamous Ms. Gregg.”

Her influence is still felt today at Dallas Baptist University, formerly Decatur Baptist College. Gregg’s leadership led to the old Decatur Baptist College building’s transformation into the museum it is today, and she helps coordinate reunions for graduates of DBC.

DBU sent a representative, Dennis Linman, to speak on Gregg’s importance to the university, past and present.

“When you think of Rosalie, you know somebody who always thinks of others before herself,” Linman said. “… Thank you for being a servant-leader in our midst.”

Gregg thanked the crowd for their support, then accepted a certificate from Wise County Judge J.D. Clark that declared June 25 Rosalie Gregg day.

“This could not have happened if it hadn’t been for the people who came before me,” Gregg said. “… I thank you all so much for this honor.”

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Pct. 2 commissioner details road damage http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/pct-2-commissioner-details-road-damage/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/pct-2-commissioner-details-road-damage/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:12:18 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92559 A large crowd packed Alvord City Hall for the mobile county commissioners meeting Tuesday night.

Most of the discussion centered around road conditions following more than 20 inches of rain in the last 45 days.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns said there are still four roads that are “completely impassable” in his precinct, and the weather derailed his normal road maintenance.

“We had great plans of paving or seal coating about 17 miles in the Chico and Crafton area. That’s where we’re missing the most pavement, and that all changed about five weeks ago,” he said. “It put us way behind.”

Burns said it will likely take three to four weeks to repair the impassable roads.

“The water’s got to recede before we make the repairs,” he said. “We still have water running across 1790, 1590, 3250, and Precinct 4’s portion of 3390.”

Burns passed photos of road damage among the crowd, and he warned drivers to be careful because there are still 75 holes in Precinct 2 marked only with a cone. He said some of those have a 20-foot drop-off.

Wise County Democratic Party Chair Tracy Smith asked Burns, outside the federal and state aid, how much money is coming out of the county budget for repairs.

“It’s all coming from the county budget right now,” he said. He explained that the county will end up covering 25 percent of the cost because the federal aid is a 75-percent match.

Burns said perhaps the most extensive damage in his precinct is a portion of County Road 2560 that washed away. Several families are driving five or six miles out of the way to reach their homes while awaiting its repair.

Burns said the road was damaged and repaired four weeks ago, but it washed out again during last week’s torrential rainfall as Tropical Depression Bill hit the county.

The commissioner reported that the Trinity River is still a mile wide in some places of south Wise, even though we’re “kicking up dust on some of our county roads already.”

Alvord city councilman Clint Mercer asked in public forum what the county officials learned from the weather events in May and early June.

“I learned you can’t afford to engineer for this type of event,” Burns said. “We’d like to think that our grand plans will take care of something like this, but it doesn’t.

“We’re totally unprepared, and we realize how small we are and meek we are,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of shortcomings, but as far as mitigating it in the future, some of those places that are a flood issue, we can’t afford to fix.”

Other speakers at Tuesday night’s meeting included: County Judge J.D. Clark, County Tax Assessor/Collector Monte Shaw and state Rep. Phil King. Read more in an upcoming edition of the Wise County Messenger.

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Northwest ISD to build transportation complex; Facility planned in Rhome http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/northwest-isd-to-build-transportation-complex-facility-planned-in-rhome/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/northwest-isd-to-build-transportation-complex-facility-planned-in-rhome/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:11:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92557 Northwest ISD hopes to break ground next month on a transportation complex on the site of its future Wise County high school.

The district is planning to build a complex to house up to 50 buses and to build a pair of offices, a meeting room, gas pumps and a shop on the two acres located off County Road 4651 in Rhome.

Dana Chandler, the district’s outsourced operations manager, said in an email that the district has allotted $700,000 for the facility that is expected to be finished in September.

“The main benefit of the facility will be to help with on-time arrival for our buses on the west side of our school district,” Chandler said. “Placing the facility in Rhome will give us closer proximity to the westside campuses and keep our buses off of [Texas] 114 where there is an unusual amount of traffic and construction.”

Northwest ISD is also working with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, which will use the facility as a substation.

Sheriff David Walker said he looks forward to working with the district, where his deputies currently serve as school resource officers on Wise County campuses.

“They’ve talked to us about if we’d like to put in a substation, which will be perfect,” Walker said. “It’ll give our guys a place to use a computer or do interviews without having to come back [to Decatur]. We already use the Rhome PD or Boyd. This would give used another building to use.”

Walker said his deputies could also park vehicles at the complex.

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Alvord School Board gets renovation proposals http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/alvord-school-board-gets-renovation-proposals/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/alvord-school-board-gets-renovation-proposals/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:10:52 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92555 The Alvord school board was presented with two options for elementary school and gymnasium renovations Thursday night at its meeting.

The need for renovations were brought to light earlier this year when the PTO exhibited concerns about the facilities to elementary principal, Bridget Williams, who then brought those concerns to the school board.

Two major problems with the facilities were the disintegration of older buildings, and the lack of room for students at the elementary level.

“We do an annual walk-through to look at facilities,” board president Vic Czerniak said. “Alvord is growing like crazy. We have 23 transfers coming in this year. The needs that the PTO presented to Mrs. Williams were pretty clear, so we wanted to look at what it would take to fix these things.”

Czerniak believes that the growth is based on the academic success of the school district.

Alvord’s success was highlighted in an April article by “Nerd Wallet” that named Alvord the ninth-best school district in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Jeff Westhoff and Mark Travis of the architecture firm Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford out of Fort Worth did their own walk-through and determined that the former middle school building, the physical training building and the old gym were all in “poor” condition.

Westhoff and Travis provided the board with for renovation options.

Alvords Options 1

ALVORD’S OPTIONS – The top picture shows Option 1 presented by architects to the Alvord school board. That option would involve renovations to the old middle school building (3,1) that would become the new home for Alvord’s fourth and fifth graders. Submitted photo

Alvords Options 2

ALVORD’S OPTIONS – Option 2 would involve building a new wing to the current elementary school (3) and using the old middle school building as an administration office/weight room. Submitted photo

The first option proposed would move the fourth and fifth grades from the elementary school to the old middle school.

That would require a satellite kitchen and dining facility be built at the old middle school building, along with extensive roof renovations, interior finishes and mechanical/electrical systems installed.

Despite the old middle school’s description as “poor,” the architecture firm believes that the building has a sound frame and foundation.

“The building’s proximity to the highway is not ideal. However, moving these two grades to this building will help to alleviate some of the traffic congestion that exists at the elementary school,” Travis said.

Westhoff said the proposal would cost the district roughly $4.6 million, or $5.627 million with the optional landscaping, audio/visual improvements, geotechnical reports, etc.

The second option would require the construction of a new addition to the elementary school, similar in size to the previous addition made in 2000.

This would allow the weight room and administrative offices to be moved to the old middle school building, and offer the demolition of the current weight room, metal storage building and old gym to make room for future developments like parking or academic buildings.

The second option could occur as time and budgets allow, and the cost would be approximately $2.502 million, or $3.8 million with the construction of a new gymnasium.

Trustees will meet again Tuesday to discuss the superintendent search process with a TASB consultant.

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Alvord School Board agrees on track resurfacing http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/alvord-school-board-agrees-on-track-resurfacing/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/alvord-school-board-agrees-on-track-resurfacing/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:09:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92551 The Alvord trustees agreed in a 7-0 vote to approve the estimated $148,800 resurfacing of the high school track Thursday night at their meeting.

Alvord athletic director Pete Hart conducted a presentation that featured samples and price estimates for the resurfacing.

According to Hart, the current track is in desperate need of attention.

Back on Track

BACK ON TRACK – The Alvord track has areas that have been worn down to the asphalt. The Alvord school board voted unanimously Thursday to spend approximately $148,800 on a new track surface. Messenger photo by Travis Lisle

“The track is eight years old and most of it is sitting on the football field,” Hart said. “What happened is a lot of schools just put the base down in 2008 with plans to add the top layer later on.

“That top layer never got added and people were running on the base.”

Hart said that the base was never meant to be run on and that the wear and tear has greatly eroded several areas.

“Now, we have to fully resurface the track by clearing out what’s left of the base from 2008, and re-doing the whole thing,” he said. “If we do this right and maintain the track like we should, with the top coat, it will last longer and be considerably cheaper by the time we need to re-coat it.”

Hart also explored the cost of adding an eighth lane, which would allow Alvord to host district championships in their current eight-team district.

But with the added cement, asphalt, track materials and other expenses, the price for an eighth lane increased the cost another $300,000.

The board decided on allowing Texas Sports Builders to take on the project of a full resurface that includes the structural spray.

The project is expected to be completed by July 28 of this year and comes with a five-year warranty.

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Decatur moves forward with hotel plans http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-moves-forward-with-hotel-plans/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-moves-forward-with-hotel-plans/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:08:31 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92548 Decatur is moving into the next phase of the project that will bring a hotel to the Decatur Civic Center.

On Monday, the city council approved a couple of expenditures related to that project.

Three months ago, the city approved entering into a 3-month agreement with Gatehouse Capital, the developer and majority owner of the hotel, for preliminary work. The council agreed to extend that agreement another three months and pay $25,000 a month toward those costs.

EDC Director Mary Poche said the EDC will be reimbursed at closing the money paid during the initial period study.

“Our EDC board believes this is a good project for the city and Decatur’s future growth, especially along that 380 corridor and helping to spur growth that we believe will happen along 380,” Poche told the council.

Poche said the hotel should be ready in about 1 1/2 years.

The council also agreed to pay the $50,000 Marriott franchise fee for the Fairfield Inn. Poche explained that by paying the franchise fee now, Marriott can consider the franchise application at their August committee meeting.

In other business, the council:

  • approved a lease agreement with FX5 Construction for two hangars at Decatur Municipal Airport, including a hangar for a corporate-sized plane.
  • approved a request by the Decatur Main Street program to close Main and Walnut streets for the AGVantage Farm and Ranch Chisholm Trail Days Rodeo Parade from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22.
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Wise County Win Supply http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/wise-county-win-supply/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/wise-county-win-supply/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:07:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92546 Address: 1044 CR 1300, Bridgeport

Phone: 940-683-6242

Fax: 940-683-6251

Email: mcschoville@winsupplyinc.com

Website: winsupplyinc.com

Hours: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Services: wholesale plumbing supplies

Owner: Mike Schoville

Wise County Win Supply

RIBBON CUTTING – The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting May 28 for Wise County Win Supply. Pictured are J.J. Dunaway, owner Mike Schoville and Brian Hatzenbihler. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Clinical Care Pediatrics http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/clinical-care-pediatrics/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/clinical-care-pediatrics/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:06:56 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92543 Address: 2202 U.S. 380 Ste. 110, Bridgeport

Phone: 940-683-3014

Fax: 940-683-3017

Website: clinicalcarepediatrics.com

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday

Services: Pediatric care

Clinical Care Pediatrics

RIBBON CUTTING – The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting June 24 for Clinical Care Pediatrics. Pictured are Kelly Kemp, Janear Anderson and Courtney Canth. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Golf: Shooting for top – Read ties for seventh at T.O. Junior http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/golf-shooting-for-top-read-ties-for-seventh-at-t-o-junior/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/golf-shooting-for-top-read-ties-for-seventh-at-t-o-junior/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:58:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92540 Bridgeport’s Lexi Read battled through the wind to post four solid rounds and finish in the top 10 at Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament in Wichita Falls.

Read, a three-time University Interscholastic League state of qualifier, posted a final round 80 Thursday to tie for seventh with Plano’s Hanna Harrison. Both girls shot a 314.

Online

ON LINE – Bridgeport’s Lexi Read hits an approach shot Tuesday in the second round of the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Open in Wichita Falls. Read tied for seventh in the junior tournament. Photo courtesy Torin Halsey, Wichita Falls Times Record News

“The fact I did better than last year, I was pretty happy with it,” Read said.

“It was different every day. I’d have one problem one day and not the next and there’d be an opposite problem. I finished out good.”

Lexi Read

Read opened the tournament with a 76 Monday to grab a share of the lead with Wichita Falls’ Savanah Snyder and Elizabeth Freeman of Edmond, Okla.

“I felt really good on Monday,” Read said.

She posted another 76 in the second round. In the third round, Read shot an 82 before her closing 80.

“On the back nine, I had a rough time Wednesday and Thursday,” Read said.

“I didn’t putt real good but I was hitting my driver really good.”

Read plans to play Monday in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Qualifier at Raveneaux Country Club in Spring.

In a tough boys tournament, none of the local golfers made the cut after the third round.

Decatur’s Bryce Elder posted a three-round total of 244, shooting 82, 81 and 81.

Cade Lamirand shot 246, bouncing back from an opening 88 with two rounds of 79.

Ty Reed of Runaway Bay shot 256, carding rounds of 87, 83 and 86.

Hayden Bennett had a 262, shooting 89, 83 and 90. Blake Boyd shot 297 and Clay Gillispie 302.

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Football: Bulldogs hire offensive coordinator http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-bulldogs-hire-offensive-coordinator/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-bulldogs-hire-offensive-coordinator/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:57:02 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92536 A new man will calling plays for the Alvord Bulldogs this season.

The Alvord school board agreed to hire Valley View offensive coordinator Jeff Alexander Thursday night.

“We never filled my spot from last year,” athletic director Pete Hart said. “I got hired so late that we couldn’t find an adequate replacement or somebody we felt comfortable with. We’re kind of mix and matching the sports.”

Alexander will coach track and powerlifting, along with helping with football.

Hart said that Alexander brings over 20 years of experience to the job and has a lot of attributes that the Bulldogs will utilize.

“He’s a very knowledgeable football coach,” Hart said. “He works well with kids. I was fortunate enough to watch him coach against us at Valley View. He brings a lot of respect. I know coach Donaldson at Valley View had nothing but great things to say about him.”

The Bulldogs must move on from a team and a star running back, making room for the next crop of talent.

Hart said that Alexander will help them adapt to the players stepping in.

“Our offense will be different just because of personnel,” Hart said. “We graduated a great group of seniors, especially with a running back like Joe Randall. We’re going to be different and what Jeff brings will work well with the talent we have.”

Randall carried or caught the ball 50 percent of the time in Alvord’s offense last season.

He accounted for 54 percent of their total offensive yards and 58 percent of their touchdowns with 32.

At Valley View, Alexander called a balanced offense that finished the 2014 season with 250 passing attempts, while running the ball 254 times.

Hart still has a couple of spots to fill on his staff even after hiring Alexander.

He lacks one more boys assistant coach and a head volleyball coach who can also be a basketball assistant and help with track.

Hart said he hopes to get a young coach for the boys assistant.

“We’ve got another spot open that will be a straight assistant in football, basketball and baseball,” Hart said. “We’re looking for maybe a young guy to come in and bring a lot of energy there. I think that it’s good to have as many experienced coaches as you can have, but I also think it’s good to have guys who are young and energetic. So I’m looking for a young guy with a little pep in his step.”

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Sentimental shot – Photographer lands picture in magazine http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-sentimental-shot-photographer-lands-picture-in-magazine/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-sentimental-shot-photographer-lands-picture-in-magazine/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:56:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92534 The daughter of a football coach, Kelly Basting and her siblings waited each July for their father to return from the annual coaching clinic with the latest edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

“Back in the day it didn’t come out until the end of July,” Basting said. “We’d wait until the end of the coaches school for him to bring it home and start looking through it.”

Good Shot

GOOD SHOT – Local photographer Kelly Basting landed a two-page spread in Texas Football with her sunset picture from last fall. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

This year, flipping through the 400-page publication, Basting came upon an unexpected surprise – a photo she took spread across two pages. Her photo of the sunset at the Ponder and Boyd football game last fall was featured in the first few pages.

“It’s very sentimental with the history of it with my dad to be a part of it,” Basting said.

“They had thousands of pictures to pick from. The fact they chose mine is really awesome.”

Since shortly after she was born Friday nights have been part of Basting’s life.

“I was born in July and probably was out at a football game when I was a couple months old,” she said.

Her father, Tommie Paddock, coached at several stops in North Texas, including Comanche, Lake Worth, Bridgeport and Paradise. He was a head coach at Crosbyton.

“He didn’t like being a head coach,” Basting recalled. “It took time away from the kids.”

While her father introduced her to football, it was an uncle that set her up with her first camera in high school.

A former member of the Wise County Messenger staff, Basting started shooting digitally in the last 10 years. She now shoots Boyd football games, where her husband John coaches.

Last season, she began shooting for Texas Football’s website on Friday nights along with shooting other sports throughout the year.

Though she enjoys shooting sports, she admits it’s not her favorite.

“I’m more apt to be taking pictures of sunsets or sunrises,” Basting said. “That’s what’s ironic is the picture that makes it is a sunset.”

When she first got her copy of this year’s magazine, Basting said she started at the back to see the information about Boyd and other local teams.

“I read through that three to four times before I saw [the photo],” Basting said.

Adding to the surprise for Basting was the fact that it came out Father’s Day weekend.

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Football: Bulls picked second in district – Bridgeport, Decatur, Boyd, Northwest, Alvord pegged for playoffs http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-bulls-picked-second-in-district-bridgeport-decatur-boyd-northwest-alvord-pegged-for-playoffs/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/football-bulls-picked-second-in-district-bridgeport-decatur-boyd-northwest-alvord-pegged-for-playoffs/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:54:41 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92531 Last season, the Bridgeport Bulls were picked in the first poll of the season to finish last in District 3-4A Division II.

The Bulls went on to prove those predictions wrong, going 8-4 and making the second round of the playoffs.

This year, the Bulls are picked by the Texas Football Magazine to finish second in the league behind defending champion Celina.

“It is picking it the same as we finished last year,” said Bridgeport coach Danny Henson. “You have to be careful. Last year, when picked at the bottom we said it didn’t mean anything. This year, picked that high is nice but it means the same. Polls are polls, and it’s their opinion. You have to go out and prove it on the field.”

The annual publication released last week also picked Bridgeport defensive lineman Chance Pierce as the preseason defensive MVP.

“He had a great year last year, and we’re expecting a big year again this year,” Henson said. “We have quite a few players coming back on defense, including our two leading tacklers.”

The Bulls were among a pack of Wise County teams picked by the magazine to make the playoffs.

In their second season under Mike Fuller, the Decatur Eagles are picked to finish second in 4-4A Division I behind Graham. The Eagles, who went 7-4 last year, also were ranked No. 20 in the Division I 4A poll.

In 3A Division I, the Boyd Yellowjackets were tabbed for third behind Brock and Breckenridge.

“Brock has a lot coming back, and so does Breckenridge,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “Third makes sense. We’ve still got a chance to win the thing, but it won’t be easy.”

Paradise is picked to finish at the bottom of the league behind Bowie and Ponder.

In 5-2A Division I, Bells is expected to supplant Alvord as the league champion. The Bulldogs are picked second in the district.

“We have a chance to be up there,” said Alvord coach Pete Hart. “With the amount of starters we lost, we’ll have to get together quick. One thing that will help is we played so many sophomores last year in meaningful roles.”

The Chico Dragons, who will be under first-time head coach Lane Wilson, are tabbed fourth behind Blue Ridge.

Chico lineman Tyler Melton was a preseason all-state selection.

The Northwest Texans are picked to return to the playoffs out of 5-6A. The publication picked the Texans fourth behind Denton Guyer, Keller and Denton Ryan. The Texans finished just out of the playoffs last year, falling short on a tiebreaker.

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SSSSSSummer friends http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/photo-features/ssssssummer-friends/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/photo-features/ssssssummer-friends/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:53:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92529 Scaly Friends 1

SCALY FRIENDS – Children and their parents had the opportunity to hold snakes at an event for Decatur Public Library’s summer reading on Wednesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Scaly Friends 2

SCALY FRIENDS – Jessica Dyfee holds out a snake to her kids, Ray and Leah. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Reptile Demonstration

REPTILE DEMONSTRATION – Clint Pustejovsky of Texas Snakes Inc. showed the children a variety of snakes as they sat spellbound. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Shock and Surprise 1

SHOCK AND SURPRISE – Some weren’t so charmed by the slithering snakes. Hannah Coffman holds the snake far away from her body. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Shock and Surprise 2

SHOCK AND SURPRISE – Some weren’t so charmed by the slithering snakes. A little boy moves away from another snake’s wandering head. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Flagged down: Skipping town for better lunch http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/opinion/columns/flagged-down-skipping-town-for-better-lunch/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/opinion/columns/flagged-down-skipping-town-for-better-lunch/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:50:13 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92520 On a much-needed vacation, my wife and I finished a trip in the Ozarks in Arkansas.

After a few days enjoying the hospitality of Southwest Missouri, including nightly cobbler, we were looking forward to the quaint charm of Eureka Springs.

Soon after crossing the border into Arkansas, we drove into a little nondescript town of just a few hundred people. Rounding a corner, the first sight was a rundown house with the Stars and Bars waving proudly in the front yard. It was almost like a welcoming sign.

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

My wife and I quickly agreed, “I don’t think we’ll stop for lunch in this town.”

Our trip through the Arkansas burg was just a few hours before Dylann Roof carried out the massacre in a Charleston, S.C. church.

Now, I’ll be first to admit it’s unfair to paint this town with a broad brush based on this one flag. But as a journalism teacher told me many moons ago, “perception is reality.”

While some point to heritage and history as the reason that flag is flown, the history associated with it is not positive, especially for anyone of varying ethnicity or beliefs.

In the past week, there’s been momentum toward taking down the Stars and Bars at the South Carolina capitol, and some major retailers have elected to stop selling items with the flag.

Even close to home, there’s been a new push in Denton to take down the Confederate soldier monument.

These efforts should be applauded as governments should not include these divisive images in or around buildings and grounds they maintain. Yes, it’s history, but so are many other regrettable decisions, incidents and events that are not on display as painful reminders of the past.

But as for individuals, they should be protected to fly the flag and do as they please. Just as it’s legal, though I don’t condone it, to burn the American flag.

That’s one of the pillars our nation is founded on, the freedom of speech and expression. Though those speaking or making a public display of their beliefs may be spreading hate or just plain ignorance, it’s not our government’s role to police. That’s for the court of popular opinion.

But those individuals should not be offended by the reactions of others, including skipping town for lunch down the road.

Richard Greene is sports editor of the Wise County Messenger.

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Hate is poisoning the air we breath http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/opinion/columns/hate-is-poisoning-the-air-we-breath/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/opinion/columns/hate-is-poisoning-the-air-we-breath/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:49:26 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=92518 In the past week, this country has seen remarkable things – a violent attack on peaceful churchgoers, millions turning their backs on a flag, a terrorist was sentenced to death and the highest court in the land has given a 5-4 decision in favor of gay marriage.

I know this has been splashed all over the news for days. If you’re the type of person who is tired of hearing about all of this, listen up. You have a responsibility to pay attention.

Jimmy Alford

Jimmy Alford

I have been in dozens of conversations circling around the issues, and some of the comments I’ve heard have turned my stomach.

We have monumental problems in the U.S., the scope of which can’t be boiled down into a consumable form.

They’re all poisons overlapping and pooling around our necks as we attempt to stay afloat.

Hate is the single largest and most complicated of the bunch.

The inner 5-year-old within us wants to think hate is something tangible, something we can switch off, or maybe doesn’t exist at all. Hate at a certain level is so immature. You may “hate” broccoli, but that’s not really hate is it?

If you said no, you’re right, but probably not for the reasons you assume.

Hate is less overt and more overt at the same time. It’s a slimy, sticky mess that is impossible to see from a distance but becomes disgusting and pungent the closer you get.

Hate will always surprise you. It swells into an “us versus them” mentality that victimizes some and turns good people into monsters.

I was talking with a good friend of mine about gay marriage. I’ve written on the subject in the past, and I think two people getting married is none of my business unless I’m invited. At that point, let’s have cake.

He told me I would be remiss to ignore thousands of years of morality. I was wrong to think the way I did.

I think it’s inappropriate to deny people happiness because of a literal interpretation of the Bible. That thinking assumes you’re right. That thinking assumes you are speaking and acting on behalf of God. It assumes you’re the authority. It also assumes those who would not do as commanded have no control over their own lives. They are slaves to the will of a few. Their thoughts, their beliefs and their rights are forfeited in the face of your supreme power.

You can believe whatever you want. It’s your life, just as it is their life.

My friend is a good man. I don’t believe he hates anyone. He has beliefs, and many share them. Unfortunately, not all who share his beliefs are as good as he.

There are all sorts of belief systems with followers who take things too far. Their pride and their beliefs cross an invisible line in the sand.

Suddenly there is hate.

As a child, I was told to have faith like a mustard seed. It was a popular thing to say at the time. It comes from Matthew 17:20

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Just as faith can blossom from the smallest and slightest ideas, so can hate.

It can start out as simple as spreading the faith. Then maybe it turns to “We need to make them believe.” Suddenly it can be twisted into, “If they don’t believe, as we do, they are evil.”

Something good has become hate.

The willingness to deny a minority what is basic to others is central to the hate problem, not necessarily the issues we obsess over.

A man was willing to walk into a church and kill as many as he could because of the color of their skin. His hate boiled over and took lives.

Another man and his brother had hatred so powerful they were willing to slaughter en masse at the Boston Marathon.

America’s hateful heritage is so strong that it caused brother to fight brother, leaving a scar so deep we are still waving flags of divisive and vengeful pride.

I’m not innocent of this.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the hate within me. At times, I even hate myself.

I’m suspicious; I’m paranoid and fearful. I feel I’ve been unjustly treated.

I’m human.

I am trying to be better. I am trying to accept others. I don’t have to agree with everyone. I don’t have to see eye-to-eye with everyone. I just have to think. I have to be willing to let them have their own beliefs. I have to let go of my hate.

I’ve had tragedy in my life, and I’ve had people do me wrong. I don’t want to hold a grudge. It’s hard to turn away the poison. It’s addictive.

I don’t want to hate, and I don’t want to be hated.

Jimmy Alford is a human being at the Messenger and completely broken. He hopes he can become a better person.

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