WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:13:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Breaking news: Snow causing accidents in county http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/breaking-news-snow-causing-accidents-in-county/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/breaking-news-snow-causing-accidents-in-county/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:57:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87881 By Richard Greene | rgreene@wcmessenger.com

Winter returned to Wise County Friday morning with periods of heavy snow causing cars accidents on many of the county’s major thoroughfares.

Multiple accidents were reported on Farm Road 51 and U.S. 287/81, including more than one rollovers.
By 9:30 a.m. snow covered most of the roads around the county.

Alvord, Boyd and Paradise schools are closed along with Weatherford College and county offices. Chico ISD is holding students through lunch.

The Bridgeport Bulls’ 4A Region I area basketball game with Iowa Park in Graham was postponed until Saturday.
“Periods of snow are expected now through later this afternoon with accumulation up to two inches,” said Amanda Schroeder, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. “Most of the snowfall will be with the leading edge of the storm.”

Schroeder added that temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing Friday and additional precipitation is expected tonight and into Saturday.

“It will transition overnight into freezing rain,” Schroeder said. “Less than a tenth of an inch is expected. Saturday afternoon temperatures will climb above freezing in the afternoon.”

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/breaking-news-snow-causing-accidents-in-county/feed/ 0
School/business/event closings, delays and cancellations for Friday/weekend http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/schoolbusinessevent-closings-delays-and-cancellations/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/schoolbusinessevent-closings-delays-and-cancellations/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:56:56 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87614 Due to the possible accumulation of snow or ice on area roadways Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28, due to a winter storm, the following schools, businesses and events will be closed, delayed or canceled. (Note: We’ll be keeping this page updated as the night/morning progresses, so check back often.)

SCHOOLS

  • Alvord ISD – CLOSED FRIDAY
  • Boyd ISD – CLOSED FRIDAY
  • Bridgeport ISD – EARLY RELEASE AT 1 P.M. Buses will not run. Staff will remain on all campuses with students until they are picked up.
  • Chico ISD – ClOSED FRIDAY, BUSES WILL NOT RUN
  • Decatur ISD – EARLY RELEASE AT 1 P.M. Buses will run in town, but parents of students who live outside the city are asked to pick up their children. To check your child’s bus route, call 940-393-7200.
  • Northwest ISD – RELEASING EARLY AT 11 A.M. FRIDAY, BUSES RUNNING AT 1 P.M.
  • Paradise ISD – CLOSED FRIDAY
  • Slidell ISD – OPEN, but parents can pick up students early. Final bus run at 2:30 p.m.
  • Weatherford College (all campuses) – CLOSING AT 9:30 A.M. FRIDAY

SERVICES

  • Wise Hope Crisis Center – CLOSED FRIDAY
  • Decatur Public Library – CLOSING AT NOON FRIDAY, FRIDAY FUN EVENT CANCELED
  • Wise Regional Health System – All Wise Regional outpatient services will be closing at noon Friday. Fit-N-Wise will be open until 5 p.m. and will resume regular fitness hours Saturday.
  • Bridgeport Public Library – CLOSED FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

GOVERNMENT OFFICES

  • 271st District Court in Decatur – ALL COURT CASES FOR FRIDAY CANCELED
  • City of Bridgeport – CLOSING AT 10 A.M. FRIDAY
  • Wise County offices – CLOSED FRIDAY
  • Wise County Appraisal District – CLOSED FRIDAY

BUSINESSES

  • Decatur and Bridgeport Farm Bureau offices — CLOSED FRIDAY

CHURCHES

  • To be announced

EVENTS

  • National Wild Turkey Hunting Heritage Banquet (scheduled for Friday) – CANCELED
  • Wise County Youth Fair Parade (scheduled for Saturday morning) – CANCELED

 

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/schoolbusinessevent-closings-delays-and-cancellations/feed/ 0
Friday, February 27, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/friday-february-27-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/friday-february-27-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:18:52 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87871

SNOW, FREEZING RAIN POSSIBLE – As of 8 a.m., light snow was beginning to fall in Decatur as snow began to move in from the west. The National Weather Service is forecasting 2 to 4 inches of snow accumulation is possible today. Precipitation could change over into light snow or freezing rain tonight into Saturday. Less than a tenth of an inch of ice from freezing drizzle is possible. With temperatures expected to remain in the 20s throughout the day today, any snow or rain that falls is expected to cause problems on area roadways. Wise County remains under a winter weather advisory until 6 p.m. Saturday. As of 7:45 a.m., Alvord had canceled classes, and Paradise schools had delayed opening until 10 a.m. this morning. Boyd ISD was opening two hours late. If more schools/businesses/etc. close or cancel activities, we will post them as we are notified at wcmess.com/closings. The Wise County Messenger’s classifieds deadline has been moved to 10 a.m. today due to the possible inclement weather.

DECATUR TRASH SCHEDULE – Due to inclement weather earlier in the week, this week’s trash schedule in Decatur has been changed. Normal Friday pickup will be Saturday.

PLAYOFFS CONTINUE – The Bridgeport Bulls and Decatur Eagles continue the basketball playoffs tonight with 4A Region I area games. The Bulls take on Iowa Park at 7:30 in Graham. The Eagles play Wichita Falls Hirschi at 7:30 in Bowie. Get live updates of the action at @wcmsports on Twitter. A full recap of the action will be posted tonight at www.wcmsports.com. Saturday, the Slidell Greyhounds play the Class A Region III area championship against Avinger at 4 p.m. in Honey Grove.

PBR TICKETS AVAILABLE SOON – Tickets to the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge presented by First State Bank go on sale 8 a.m. Saturday. They can be purchased at wcchallenger.org or on the WC Challenger Facebook page. This year’s event is 7 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Tickets may be purchased at Wise Wireless in Decatur starting Monday.

ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP - The Alzheimer’s (and related dementia) support group will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the boardroom at the Wise Regional Health System west campus in Decatur. The group is for the people who are caring for folks with dementia. Call Richard, 940-255-0244.

RELAY BAKE SALE – Carolyn’s Cookie Monster Relay for Life Team will host a bake sale today at Legend Bank in Decatur. Carolyn’s famous chocolate chip cookies will be among the baked goods being sold.

YOUTH FAIR PARADE CANCELED – The Wise County Youth Fair parade scheduled for Saturday morning has been canceled due to the threat of inclement weather. The Queens Contest, set for Saturday night will go on as planned. It begins at 7 p.m. in the Women’s Building at the Wise County Fairgrounds on 51 South in Decatur. Admission is $5. Children not yet in school may attend for free. Contestants representing 4-H clubs, FFA chapters and FCCLA groups from across the county will participate.

PBR AND PRCA STARS TAKE OVER AT&T STADIUM - Nine PBR riders who call Decatur home will ride in tomorrow’s Choctaw Casino Resort Iron Cowboy at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The action will start at 5:50 p.m., and doors open to the general public at 4:20. Local riders competing include World Champion Silvano Alves, Mike Lee, Guilherme Marchi, Eduardo Aparecido, Marco Eguchi, Valdiron de Oliveira, Fabiano Vieira, Kaique Pacheco and Joao Ricardo Vieira. CBS will broadcast the final rounds at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 1. Alves, Lee, Marchi, Fabiano Vieira and Joao Vieira will also compete in RFD-TV’s The American, the world’s richest one-day rodeo, at 2 p.m. in AT&T Stadium on Sunday. Other local cowboys competing at The American include World Champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur in tie-down roping and team roping, Tuf Cooper of Decatur in tie-down roping and Cade Swor of Chico in tie-down roping. KC Jones of Boyd will compete in steer wrestling. The American will air live on RFD-TV.

VETERANS BREAKFAST – The Wise County Veterans Group will hold its weekly breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Club at Runaway Bay. All Wise and surrounding county veterans are invited.

CLUB MEETING – The Greenwood Extension Education Club meets 11 a.m. today at Greenwood Fire Hall.

FUNERALS – Service for Udella Scales Tucker, 84, of Bridgeport is 1 p.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with burial at Restland Cemetery in Olney. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Jimmy Williams, 82, of Boyd is 2 p.m. Monday at the First Baptist Church in Boyd with burial at Boyd Cemetery. Family visitation is 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

MEMORIAL service for Ingrid Crawley, 78, of Runaway Bay is 12:30 p.m. Sunday in the Chapel at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport. *Changed from earlier post.

MEMORIAL service for Linda Kay (Hindes) Elsom, 69, is 2 p.m. Saturday at Abundant Life UPC in Stillwater, Okla.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/friday-february-27-2015/feed/ 0
Thursday, February 26, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/thursday-february-26-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/thursday-february-26-2015/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:20:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87860

COMMISSIONERS TO HIT THE ROAD – Wise County commissioners Thursday unanimously approved a mobile meetings program as proposed by County Judge J.D. Clark, despite initial pushback from Precinct 1 Commissioner Danny White. Clark proposed that once a quarter commissioners have a meeting outside the county seat, in one of the four precincts. The program would include a presentation by that precinct’s commissioner about current and future projects and a presentation by a county department head or other elected official. There would also be a community forum for citizens. White was the only commissioner who spoke in opposition to the program. “I have concerns about this, and I’m going to be very blunt,” he said. “We get asked occasionally to come to different areas to talk … It gets into more of a gripe session than it does anything. And like I’ve explained to them, if we went somewhere every time people wanted us, then we might as well tell our wives we’re not going to be at home.” White eventually relented, saying it wasn’t “that bad of an idea” and voted in favor of it. Read more in the weekend Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

FILING DEADLINE FRIDAY – Those interested in filing for a position on the May 9 ballot for city and school elections have until tomorrow to throw their hat in the ring. The filing deadline is 5 p.m.

BULLS, EAGLES, HOUNDS ADVANCE – Caleb Smith poured in 29 points as 11 Bulls scored in Bridgeport’s 90-33 dismantling of Venus in the 4A Region I bi-district game. Decatur took down Alvarado 54-35 behind 19 points from freshman Mason Hix. Slidell senior Tyler Maynard tossed in 40 points to lead the Greyhounds to a 90-63 win over Waxahachie Faith Family in the Class A Region III bi-district game.

BRIDGEPORT, SLIDELL GIRLS FALL - The playoff runs for the Bridgeport Sissies and Slidell Lady Greyhounds ended Wednesday with region quarterfinal losses. Abilene Wylie took down Bridgeport 68-29. Landrie Walsh led the Sissies with 10 points. Dodd City shot down Slidell 90-62. Caitlin Pruett finished with 27 points for the Lady Greyhounds.

TECHNO EXPO – More than 1,100 students from kindergarten to 12th grade will serve as presenters during Northwest ISD’s Techno Expo 5:30-8 tonight at Northwest High School. Selected student work will be presented to the community during more than 410 breakout sessions at 6:15. Refreshments and cuisine will be provided by the Byron Nelson High School Culinary Arts and Hospitality Academy from 5:30-7.

SNOW AGAIN IN FORECAST – A few light snowflakes were falling in Decatur at 7:45 a.m., but we are not expected to see much this morning. However, the forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of snow on Friday with a high temperature of 28. Current National Weather Service estimates are 1-2 inches are possible in some places.

YOUTH FAIR PARADE CANCELED - The Wise County Youth Fair parade scheduled for Saturday morning has been canceled due to the threat of inclement weather. The Queens Contest, set for Saturday night will go on as planned. It begins at 7 p.m. in the Women’s Building at the Wise County Fairgrounds on 51 South in Decatur. Admission is $5. Children not yet in school may attend for free. Contestants representing 4-H clubs, FFA chapters and FCCLA groups from across the county will participate.

CHAMBER LUNCHEON RESCHEDULED – The Decatur Chamber of Commerce February luncheon has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 3, at the Decatur Civic Center. The program will be a question-and-answer session with County Judge J.D. Clark. The March luncheon will by Tuesday, March 24.

HUNTING HERITAGE BANQUET – The National Wild Turkey Federation Hunting Heritage Banquet is Friday at the Decatur Civic Center. The event will feature a live auction, silent auction, raffles and games. For tickets call Jennifer Barrow, Cross Timbers NWTF president, at 940-393-8908.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING - The Wise County Historical Society, Inc. meets at noon today in the Wise County Heritage Museum at 1602 S. Trinity St., Decatur. Lunch will be served. RSVP to 940-627-5586.

VETERANS BREAKFAST – The Wise County Veterans Group will hold its weekly breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Club at Runaway Bay. All Wise and surrounding county veterans are invited.

YOUNG SCHOLARSHIP – Applications for the 2015 Roy Young Memorial Scholarship are due Saturday. High school seniors participating in the Wise County Youth Fair are invited to apply for the award, which is sponsored by the Champions and Blue Ribbon Club. To be considered, submit a scholarship application, letter outlining higher education plans and financial need, a high school transcript, and a letter of recommendation from an FFA adviser or 4-H leader. Call Susan Miller, 940-627-7658.

QUARTER AUCTION – Paradise Band Boosters will host a quarter auction 6:30 tonight at Paradise Elementary. Call Erin Cornett for vendor information, 817-319-9720.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for Ingrid Crawley, 78, of Runaway Bay is 10 a.m. Saturday in the Chapel at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

GRAVESIDE service for Mary Beth Brown, 85, of Decatur is 11 a.m. today at Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur. Jones Family Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Pedro SanAgustin, 51, of Bridgeport is 10:30 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery.

SERVICE for Udella Tucker, 84, of Bridgeport is pending at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

MEMORIAL service for Linda Kay (Hindes) Elsom, 69, is 2 p.m. Saturday at Abundant Life UPC in Stillwater, Okla.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/thursday-february-26-2015/feed/ 0
Following Daddy’s lead http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/photo-features/following-daddys-lead/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/photo-features/following-daddys-lead/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:54:09 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87852
Daddys Girl

DADDY’S GIRL – Skyler Rhodes giggles as her dad, Rick Rhodes plants a kiss on her cheek at the Daddy-Daughter Dance in Bridgeport Saturday night. The annual event is put on by Bridgeport Parks and Recreation. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Following Daddys Lead 1

Fathers and daughters shared a special night Saturday at the Bridgeport Parks and Recreation’s Daddy-Daughter Dance. Girls take to the dance floor to do the macarena. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Following Daddys Lead 2

Clay Sparks dances with his daughter, Reece, 8. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Following Daddys Lead 3

James Odea shares a quiet moment with daughter Tezzy, 3, during Saturday night’s event. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/photo-features/following-daddys-lead/feed/ 0
Vehicle thefts tied to suspicious fires http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/vehicle-thefts-tied-to-suspicious-fires/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/vehicle-thefts-tied-to-suspicious-fires/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:52:31 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87846 Two East Wise Fire Department volunteers had their personal vehicles stolen while they were battling three pre-dawn fires Sunday morning.

Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said that all three fires – called in just after 3 a.m. in an area near County Road 4430 and Private Road 4437 southeast of Decatur – are viewed as “suspicious” and appear to be related to the thefts.

Home Burns

HOME BURNS – Firefighters battle a blaze at an unoccupied mobile home Sunday. It was deemed “suspicious” by Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis. It was one of three fires in the same area that started around 3 a.m. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The fires destroyed an unoccupied double-wide mobile home and about 90 round hay bales stacked in an open-sided barn just down the road. Someone also attempted to set fire to a van that had been left on Farm Road 2264 after it broke down earlier in the evening.

“After the guys from East Wise cleared the situation, when they got back to the station, two of them found their personal vehicles had been stolen,” Travis said. “It’s a very weird situation.”

Travis spoke with the van’s owner Sunday morning.

“He said they were driving home Saturday night and a wheel bearing went out around 1 a.m. They pulled over and had someone come get them,” he said. “They came back around 9 a.m. and were dumbfounded.”

Travis said he believes the same people who set the fires also stole the pickups.

“That’s our working theory. It’s just too coincidental,” he said. “The fires were set as a distraction to allow them to steal the trucks, knowing everyone’s going to be out, everyone’s going to be busy.”

Jim Blackney with East Wise FD said the house was fully involved when firefighters arrived on scene.

“It had already blown out the windows when we got here,” he said.

He did have to call a sheriff’s deputy to remove a bystander from the scene. Other fire departments that were called to assist with the blaze include Decatur, Newark, Rhome and Justin.

Investigators from the Wise County Sheriff’s Office were brought in to handle the crime scene at the van and the East Wise fire station.

Sheriff David Walker said they’re working with Travis and the fire department.

“There’s definitely something strange, so we’re looking at all angles,” he said. “It seems to be someone that had to know what areas the fire department responded to and therefore, would have knowledge that the vehicles were left at the station.”

Anyone with information on the fires or the vehicle thefts is encouraged to call the Wise County Fire Marshal’s office at 940-627-5870.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/vehicle-thefts-tied-to-suspicious-fires/feed/ 0
White Out: Winter storm brings county to standstill http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/white-out-winter-storm-brings-county-to-standstill/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/white-out-winter-storm-brings-county-to-standstill/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:51:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87843 After rolling into Love’s Travel Stop in Rhome Sunday evening, Stacey Gross checked the tires on his tractor-trailer Monday morning as sleet pelted the ground.

“I’m just leaving. Hopefully, I’ll make it all the places I have to make,” said the truck driver from Yuba City, Calif. He was about to head east to Tyler and Shreveport.

Hitting the Road

HITTING THE ROAD – Stacey Gross checks the tires on his tractor-trailer before making the treacherous trip out of Love’s Travel Stop in Rhome Monday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Gross was one of the few drivers braving the roads in Wise County Monday morning as the second round of wintry precipitation hit with a fury shortly after 6 a.m. The storm dumped 1/2-inch to 1 inch of sleet, according to Dan Huckaby, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth.

Much of the precipitation wrapped up by noon, but conditions did not improve significantly with temperatures remaining in the 20s throughout Monday and still below freezing most of Tuesday.

Schools and government offices throughout the county were closed Monday and Tuesday.

Winter Wonderland 1

WINTER WONDERLAND – Sleet covered the roads and ground around Wise County Monday. It made the journey over the U.S. 380 bridge over Bridgeport Lake in Runaway Bay slick. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said there had been only a few accidents in the county on Monday.

“It’s not been too bad,” Beard said. “We had a couple of incidents this morning of vehicles sliding off the road. [Sunday] night around Alvord on 287 there were a couple of accidents but no injuries.”

WINTER WONDERLAND – Julie Chemlis (right) shows off her snowman made of sleet Monday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Beard added Tuesday that there were a few additional accidents Monday evening but none with severe injuries.

“There were quite a few cars sliding off the road but nothing major,” Beard said. “The roads are better, and there’s definitely more traffic. It got rough [Monday] night, and early [Tuesday] morning it was a sheet of ice.”

The Wise County Sheriff’s Department reported 30 accidents between Sunday and Tuesday.

Sabrina Easley of Oncor reported no power outages in Wise County.

“Wise County Oncor customers came through the storm without a hitch,” Easley said. “We did not have one customer without power throughout the entire storm. We are continuing to stay staffed up through the next 48 hours in anticipation of the next weather event.”

A few brave drivers made their way to Brookshire’s Monday to pick up a few items. Rosie Lang said her husband drove her to the store from their house south of Bridgeport.

“He won’t let me drive in this,” she said. “He’s from the north.”

The winter weather won’t let up anytime soon, though, according to Huckaby. He said Tuesday morning that a new storm would roll through the county late Tuesday or early Wednesday bringing snow.

“After midnight, we could see the next round starting sometime around 2 and 3 a.m. and tapering off later in the morning [Wednesday],” Huckaby said. “Tonight’s event will be snow, but it’s putting snow on top of ice, which could be quite treacherous.”

Huckaby said Wise County was on the boundary of the area that would be placed under a Winter Storm Warning. Some parts of North Texas could see 4 inches of snow or more.

“Wise County could see 1 or 2 inches, but if the track of the system goes a little further north, by even 30 miles, it could significantly impact the amount,” Huckaby said. “The snow is not in doubt. The amount is unclear.

“There will be a third morning of dicey driving conditions.”

The storm left high school basketball coaches scrambling to reschedule games. The Slidell boys had their bi-district game pushed from Monday to Wednesday. The Slidell girls, Bridgeport girls and boys were postponed from Tuedsay to Wednesday.

The Alvord girls were still hoping to play Tuesday evening as of midday Tuesday.

Among events canceled in the area was Kay Granger’s appearance slated for Monday at the Decatur Civic Center.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/white-out-winter-storm-brings-county-to-standstill/feed/ 0
Wreck leads to gas leak and evacuation http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wreck-leads-to-gas-leak-and-evacuation/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wreck-leads-to-gas-leak-and-evacuation/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:46:59 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87838 A Decatur neighborhood was evacuated briefly Monday afternoon after a single-vehicle accident caused a gas leak.

Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said a city of Decatur truck helping sand the icy roads lost control and slid into a home, hitting a gas meter. The accident occurred about 3:15 p.m. at the corner of Hale and Trenchard streets.

Slick Roads

SLICK ROADS – A city of Decatur truck sanding the streets Monday lost control and slid into a house, hitting a gas meter. The wreck caused a brief evacuation of the area due to a gas leak. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The Decatur Fire Department arrived to find gas spewing and quickly evacuated the block around the home. With temperatures in the 20s, residents were taken to a hotel across the street where they were able to stay in the lobby while they waited for the gas company to arrive and shut off the gas.

Streets in the area were also shut down until the threat had passed.

Around 4:10 p.m., the gas company shut off the gas. By 4:30, the fire department had secured the house, and the vehicle had been removed from the scene.

Because the home did not have gas service, the family – which includes two adults and three kids – were provided temporary lodging for the night, Hoskins said.

Other local residents were able to return to their homes.

The police chief said no one was injured, including the driver of the truck.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wreck-leads-to-gas-leak-and-evacuation/feed/ 0
Saving lions: Charitable giving supports big cat rescue, life-saving efforts http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/saving-lions-charitable-giving-supports-big-cat-rescue-life-saving-efforts/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/saving-lions-charitable-giving-supports-big-cat-rescue-life-saving-efforts/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:45:46 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87835 Peeking through a sliding door, lion cub Zuberi enters CARE’s indoor rehabilitation unit with sibling Araali following closely behind. The pair climb on a mattress surrounded by colorful toys, a scene far different than a few months ago when they were near death.

The Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE) recently built the new addition to its facility to save the lives of two of its lion cubs. Because of people’s love for animals and willingness to give, CARE has built and sustained a facility that not only rescues animals, but also saves their lives.

Youve Got a Friend in Me

YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME – Andrew Rottner of Decatur visits Zuberi (left) and Araali at the Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE) in Bridgeport. Rottner recently spearheaded a fundraising effort to build the lions a space to heal and rehabilitate after being diagnosed with wobbler syndrome. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

First State Bank Decatur Branch President Andrew Rottner said his family has frequented CARE’s annual fall festival the last couple of years.

Last October Rottner met Zuberi and Araali for the first time.

HOME SWEET HOME – Zuberi plays with a toy at the Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE) in Bridgeport. Messenger Photo by Jimmy Alford

“The boys were about four months old,” Rottner said. “They are such beautiful animals and through that initial visit we’ve been coming back out and visiting with CARE directors Heidi and Derek and the boys and established a bond with the cats. What they do here – taking care of the cats – is just amazing.”

Rottner said the sheer amount of work that goes into maintaining the facility, plus the love everyone at CARE puts into their work, is tremendous.

“They take these cats in like they are family, and it’s very obvious over the last several months that is what they are – absolutely family, every one of them,” Rottner said. “If you come out and Heidi or Derek are here, every one of the cats run up and rub on the fence, they know them and obviously they’ve been treated very well.”

All the more traumatic and heartbreaking was the life-threatening setback that afflicted the cubs a few months ago. Seemingly out of nowhere, the lions’ health began to deteriorate, according to CARE Executive Director Heidi Krahn.

“They had brittle bones. They both had broken ribs, and the situation was pretty bad,” Heidi Krahn said. “Some of the video I could show you would break your heart. They were struggling to stand. It was awful. We are guessing that it is genetic.”

Bond with Big Cats

BOND WITH BIG CATS – Andrew Rottner scratches one of the lion cubs on a recent visit to CARE. He has developed a bond with the big cats after first visiting them in October. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

A trip to Texas A&M and several MRIs later put a name to the disorder – wobbler syndrome.

Wobbler syndrome is a disorder that normally affects spines in horses and large breed dogs, like Great Danes, both of which see extensive and quick bone growth during early development.

Heidi Krahn said animals affected by wobbler syndrome are not able to metabolize calcium properly. The symptoms are worse when the animals are still young and growing – when the need for calcium is the greatest. Aside from brittle bones, symptoms also include hypersensitivity and shaky walking, hence the disorder being called wobbler syndrome.

“They had a lot of calcium in their diet,” she said. “This totally snuck up on us and there is no reason for it. It’s got to be genetic. Now that we know about, it we can give them more calcium – loads of calcium.

“That is something we are going to have to maintain throughout their lives because they won’t be able to metabolize calcium like normal lions,” she explained. “I’ve never seen this before. I’ve seen hundreds of cats and never seen this before.”

For Zuberi and Araali, the situation was dire and talk turned to euthanasia as an option. Surgery to ease the symptoms is possible but not until the cats are adults. An intermediate solution was needed and fast.

IMMEDIATE ACTION

Prior to their health problems, Rottner was already formulating plans to raise money for an outdoor enclosure. But that went by the wayside when it became apparent the cubs might not live long enough to need it.

“I did some research on it, and Heidi gave me some information on what it is and what the prognosis is and what the options are,” he said. “The condition that they were in was heartbreaking. They couldn’t even walk.

“I mean he’s trying to crawl across the floor over to you, and everyone is in tears,” he said. “It’s like, we need to at least give them a shot.”

Rottner knew giving the cubs a shot meant 24/7 care as they continue to grow. He said being in the living room would likely not be the best place for them and their keepers.

“We came up with this idea of enclosing the outdoor porch. That way they are accessible and they have safety, and they have access to their outdoor yard until they would hopefully rehabilitate or had to have surgery,” Rottner said. “This seemed like a great solution, but unfortunately, we were coming up on the holidays and the wintertime, so it made it critical for something to happen immediately.”

Rottner called a contractor and plans and estimates began the next day, under the close eye of CARE’s three-legged llama. The idea was to enclose and climate-control a porch that was already in place. It would also have a tunnel leading to the outdoors. The project would cost about $20,000.

“I had brought the bank group out here prior to that and just like I was enraptured with the love of animals, they were, too,” Rottner said. “Several members felt strongly and really appreciated the tour. I said to them ‘Here’s the problem: they need some help, and this is what we’re trying to accomplish.’ Several people at the bank and myself made a contribution toward that effort.”

SUPPORT: LOCAL AND ONLINE

Rottner’s efforts raised nearly half the cost. The rest came through overwhelming online support. Derek Krahn’s Vine account brought in another $15,000, covering the rest of the rehab unit’s costs, as well as the cubs’ expensive medical bills. Framing began on Christmas Eve and was completed three days later.

The cubs’ response has been impressive.

“People really rallied and donated a lot with 21st century tools,” Derek Krahn said. “You look at them now, you’d never know there was anything wrong with them.”

Rottner attributes the great online response to human nature. He said people love animals and love children.

“They look at these babies and see them hurting and want to help,” Rottner said. “People responded to that.”

Heidi said the cubs had been noticeably smaller, but after a couple months of rehab, plus a couple special medical collars donated by Assisi Loop, their growth has completely caught up.

Rottner has continued to visit and become a common face in the lions’ lives and recovery. He said he has enjoyed his time with the lions and knows it won’t last forever. Beyond rehabilitation, CARE’s goal is to let the lions be lions, not pets.

“They’ll know who we are and we’ll have a relationship, but they are not pets,” Heidi Krahn said.

She said eventually the lions would have their own enclosure, which will be the next step. The indoor rehab facility won’t go to waste at that point, though. Heidi said the organization would have plenty of other uses for it and would continue to utilize it to enhance the lives and rehabilitation of animals in their care.

FURRY BACKERS

CARE has more needs than just Zuberi and Alaari. Home to more than 50 animals, CARE is in constant need of funds to continue to operate. One of CARE’s largest contributors is the nonprofit Texas Furry Fiesta, an annual furry fandom convention held in Dallas. The convention, one of the top 10 largest in the world, played host to thousands of furry fans from across the nation and around the globe last weekend. Since 2009, each of those fans has helped feed, house and provide medical care for CARE’s many animals.

ALL SMILES – Dressed as hyenas, furries Jordan McCloud and Kaitlyn Smith attend the Texas Furry Fiesta in Dallas. The convention is a charity event that supports CARE. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

“This is like the seventh year, and we’ve been with them since the very beginning,” Derek Krahn said. “They had us as their featured charity. I thought it was just going to be a one and done kind of thing, but they invited us back year after year and it became this great thing between our respective organizations.”

Convention attendance has grown from 400 to 500 people in 2009 to more than 2,400 this year. Preliminary counts have this year’s donation total at $16,450, bringing the grand total to more than $68,000 donated to date by the Furry Fiesta.

“The amount of support has grown tremendously, and it’s become this big staggering thing,” Derek Krahn said. “It happens at a crucial time of year, too. For nonprofits in general, this time of year is a difficult time to get donations.

“It’s right after the holidays,” he said. “People have just spent all their money on gifts, and it’s difficult for people to find the means to give within their budgets. To have this at that crucial time of year means we can sustain ourselves and our operation without wondering where the money is coming from.”

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/saving-lions-charitable-giving-supports-big-cat-rescue-life-saving-efforts/feed/ 0
Youth Fair events start Saturday http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/youth-fair-events-start-saturday/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/youth-fair-events-start-saturday/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:43:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87829 The 2015 Wise County Youth Fair kicks off Saturday in downtown Decatur and runs through March 7 at the Wise County Fairgrounds.

The 63rd annual event will start with a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, to raise awareness of the fair and encourage families to visit the show. Organizer James Hubbard said Tuesday the threat of inclement weather could cancel the parade, but that decision had not yet been made as of press time Tuesday.

Watching the Show

WATCHING THE SHOW – Youngsters line the edge of the arena at the Wise County Youth Fair horse show. The 63rd annual event will feature livestock shows, as well as craft, baking, photography, horticulture and ag mechanics contests. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Lineup starts at 9 a.m. on Business 81/287 at Sandford Oil in Decatur. The parade starts at 10 a.m., and it will travel west on Walnut Street, south on Lane Street and east on Main Street to return to the start.

This will be the first Youth Fair parade held in several decades. Other events new to the fair in 2015 include a livestock judging contest at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 7, and the Heart of a Champion Show for special needs youth and adults 5 p.m. Friday, March 6.

The traditional lineup of fair events includes the Youth Fair Queens Contest, featuring 4-H, FFA and FCCLA contestants from across the county, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Women’s Building on the fairgrounds. (See this week’s All Around Wise for profiles of each contestant.)

The horse show is 8:30 a.m. Monday and continues Tuesday at the NRS Arena south of Decatur. Shows at the fairgrounds start Tuesday at 8 a.m. with the broilers, followed by breeding poultry; breeding dairy goats at 10 a.m.; the Longhorn show at 2 p.m. and breeding swine at 4 p.m.

The 4-H Parade of Fashion is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Market lambs show at 8 a.m. Wednesday, followed by the dog show at 10 a.m.

On Thursday, the market swine show starts at 7:30 a.m., and meat pen rabbits, followed by breeding rabbits are at 8 a.m. The market goat show is 2 p.m., and the Women’s Building will open at 5 p.m. to view 4-H, FCCLA and horticulture exhibits.

On Friday, the prospect steer show is at 8 a.m., followed by the market steer show and naming of the grand champion steer. The breeding beef heifer show starts at 1 p.m., and the agricultural mechanics contest will be judged beginning at noon.

On Saturday, the pet show is at 10 a.m. A barbecue meal will be served 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and awards will be presented in the arena at 12:30. The grand finale, the Youth Fair Auction, begins at 1 p.m.

—–

A youth rodeo will be held Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7, at the rodeo arena at the Wise County Fairgrounds. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the rodeo starts at 7 p.m. Books will be open 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 2. To enter, call 405-238-0212.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/youth-fair-events-start-saturday/feed/ 0
Education foundation awards almost $100K http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/education-foundation-awards-almost-100k/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/education-foundation-awards-almost-100k/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:42:16 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87826 Wearing a tuxedo and accompanied with oversized checks, David Hester couldn’t deny he felt a little like Ed McMahon Friday as he made his way to different Northwest ISD campuses on the Grant Brigade bus.

“It’s nice,” said Hester, the executive director of the Northwest Education Foundation. “This year, we’re giving out $99,856 in 32 grants. It’s a good day.”

Major Awards

MAJOR AWARDS – The Northwest Education Foundation awarded Chisholm Trail Middle School science teachers Sheila Green, Jill Harris and Jennifer Reynolds with four grants Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The Northwest Education Foundation surprised teachers with the innovative teaching grants on 12 campuses.

“We’re helping a lot of teachers with the innovative teaching grants and helping our students become future ready,” Hester said.

“The grants will help get that equipment that was in the budget already.”

Among the many grant recipients were the sixth-grade science teachers Sheila Greene, Jill Harris and Jennifer Reynolds at Chisholm Trail Middle School. The group received four grants, including its Fueling the Future proposal worth $2,878. The money will be used to buy kits for students to create their own model race car and learn about the future of renewable energy.

The group also received grants for a hydrogen refilling station, rock cycle set and for new robots. The latter had Greene screaming, “We’ve got new robots.”

“It’s all for equipment for the kids to learn,” Greene said. “At the sixth-grade level, we need a lot of hands-on projects.”

Chisholm Trail Principal Todd Rodgers thanked the education foundation for their contributions.

“The grants have such a huge impact on instruction,” he explained. “We’re very fortunate to have an incredible staff. Our teachers are always looking for ways to add to the classroom and get students more excited. We couldn’t do this without the Northwest Education Foundation.”

With this year’s awards, the foundation has now awarded $1.4 million to teachers since 1999.

It also gave out $44,000 in scholarships to students last year, according to Hester.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/education-foundation-awards-almost-100k/feed/ 0
News Briefs for Wednesday, February 25, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-february-25-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-february-25-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:39:51 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87823 BRIDGEPORT

MOBILE HEALTH PROGRAMS – The Texas Health Wellness for Life Mobile Health Program will be in Bridgeport Friday, Feb. 27, at Bridgeport City Hall, 900 Thompson St. They will be doing well woman exams, mammograms and colon cancer screenings. They will see patients both with and without insurance. To schedule an appointment, call Texas Health Resources at 1-855-318-7696. For more information, call Bridgeport City Hall, 940-683-3400.

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

DECATUR

JOB FAIR – A Community Job Fair will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Decatur. This free hiring event held by the Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas will feature 13 local employers with open positions in the Wise County community and is open to the general public. Call 940-323-6712 or go to www.workintexas.com.

BEADING CLASS – Decatur Public Library will host a beading class Thursdays, 1 to 4 p.m. beginning this Thursday. Class members will learn stitches required, and all materials will be supplied to create a triangle cuff bracelet. Register for the class online at www.decaturpubliclibrary.com, by calling 940-393-0290 or by visiting the library, 1700 Farm Road 51 South.

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

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

LITERACY CLASSES – Decatur Public Library Early Literacy Classes have resumed. Join children’s librarian, Ms. Kristin, for a variety of storytime classes designed to foster your child’s love of learning. Visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com or call 940-393-0290 to find out which classes are best for your family.

GLITZY GIRLS – The second annual Glitzy Girls Trailer Park is Saturday, April 11, on the Decatur Square, and they are seeking vendors. Call 940-577-3487 or email toollady1@aol.com.

PARADISE

GOLF TOURNAMENT – The Paradise Chamber of Commerce is seeking sponsors for its first golf tournament Saturday, May 16. Call Deborah Mann, 940-393-1434.

RHOME

SOCCER – Movement Church is starting its second season of Upwards Soccer for kindergarten through third grade. Registration is $95 until today, and $110 after that date. Practices start March 16, and the last game is on May 2. Register in person at the evaluations on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. or March 1 and 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. Registration online is available at registration.upward.org/UPW57835. Evaluations are held at Movement Church, 1194 CR 4651 in Rhome. Contact 903-720-1958 or upwards@movementchurch.net.

BOOK BLOWOUT – The Rhome Public Library is having a book sale through the end of March. Hardbacks are $1, and paperbacks are 50 cents. The library is open 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

LIBRARY STORY TIME – The Rhome Public Library will host story time 1 to 2 p.m. every first and third Wednesday, February through May, for preschool-age children. Call 817-636-2767.

RUNAWAY BAY

FIREFIGHTERS NEEDED – The Runaway Bay Volunteer Fire Department is searching for new members. Applicants must be 18 years or older and pass a background check. Call Runaway Bay Fire Chief Brian Bernardo at 940-391-9158 or City Hall at 940-575-4745.

WISE COUNTY

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

GRANGER LUNCHEON – A Conversation with Kay, a luncheon and program, at the Decatur Civic Center will be rescheduled. It was originally planned for Feb. 23 but could not be held due to inclement weather.

HEALTH FORUM – The Wise County Health Forum meets 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at Weatherford College Wise County.

FREEDOM TEXAS – Freedom Texas will hold a public meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at Jorge’s Mexican Restaurant, 202 Main St., in Paradise. This is a group that educates people about the sovereignty, security and self-sufficiency of Texas and promotes its eventual independence. Anyone who wishes to learn more about these subjects is invited. Call Brenda Vaughn, 940-748-2535; or visit www.freedomtexas.org.

QUILT FIELD TRIP – The Wise County Quilt Guild is chartering a bus to the Heart of Texas One Stop Shop Hop in Waco Saturday, Feb. 28. There will be 41 quilt shops in one room. If interested, call A & K Quilting, 940-748-2060.

YOUNG SCHOLARSHIP – Applications for the 2015 Roy Young Memorial Scholarship are due Saturday, Feb. 28. High school seniors participating in the Wise County Youth Fair are invited to apply for the award. Students must also be pursuing a degree in the field of agriculture and be an active member of FFA, 4-H or rodeo club. To be considered, submit a scholarship application, letter outlining higher education plans and financial need, a high school transcript and a letter of recommendation from an FFA adviser or 4-H leader. Applications are available at your high school counselor’s office or at James Wood Motors in Decatur. Call Susan Miller, 940-627-7658.

WALK ACROSS TEXAS – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Wise County is sponsoring Walk Across Texas, an eight-week walking program, scheduled to begin Monday, March 2. Get together a team of up to eight people and walk together or individually. The team tracks its total miles to see if it can cover 830 miles “across Texas” in eight weeks. The goal is to establish an exercise habit. Participation is free. Call the Extension office, 940-627-3341.

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

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

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

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

HEALTH FAIR – The 8th Annual Wise County Health Fair is 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 28, at the Decatur Civic Center. The theme for this year’s event is Heroes for Health. Vendors are being registered now. Contact Dena Silvers, 940-627-5080, silvers@embarqmail.com.

GOLF TOURNAMENT – The Wise Area Business Women’s Network annual golf tournament fundraiser is Saturday, March 28, at the Bridgeport Country Club. For an entry form, contact Beth Landers at landers0@msn.com or 901-270-1018.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY – The Desk and Derrick Club of Wise County is offering scholarships to Wise County high school seniors. Applications can be obtained from the high school counselors or by contacting Crystal Watkins at Crystal.Watkins@dvn.com. The application deadline is Monday, March 30.

CASINO NIGHT – CASA of Wise and Jack counties is hosting a casino night, “Playing from the Heart,” Saturday, April 25, at the Decatur Civic Center. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m. with dinner and a presentation to follow at 6:30. Casino games will start at 7 p.m. There will be a live auction, silent auction and door prizes every 15 minutes. Tickets are $90 per couple, $50 for an individual and $1,000 for a high roller package, which includes reserved seating for eight. CASA is also seeking sponsors for the event. Call 940-399-3291 or email kayla.prock@casawise.org

RELAY FOR LIFE – Relay for Life of Wise County is 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. April 24-25, 2015, at McCarroll Middle School track on Thompson Street in Decatur. The annual American Cancer Society event raises funds for cancer research and education. Visit WWW.RELAYFORLIFE.ORG/WISECOTX or call Kathy Odell, 940-255-2944.

SONFLOWER CAMP – Sonflower Camp for Kids with Disabilities will be June 8-10 at Joe Wheeler Park in Decatur. Mark your calendars now and plan to come as a camper or as a helper. Call Andrea Duwe, 940-395-3356; or Elaine Huff, 940-627-4222.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-february-25-2015/feed/ 0
Basketball: Ice brings action to halt http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-ice-brings-action-to-halt/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-ice-brings-action-to-halt/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:34:16 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87821 Winter weather has changed nearly everything in Wise County and the surrounding areas.

Roads and sidewalks are slick and dangerous, school is out and everything is icy white.

PUT ON ICE – Winter weather postponed all area playoff games except Alvord’s meeting with Santo Tuesday in Brock. The rest of the teams will play Wednesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

High school sports schedules are no exception as coaches and superintendents are scrambling to find new times, dates and locations for games and tournaments.

Boys and girls basketball, softball, baseball, track and powerlifting are all dealing with the same issues.

Boys and girls basketball coaches have been wearing out their phones with schedule changes.

The Decatur Eagles were slated to start the 4A Region I playoffs Monday at Chisholm Trail High School. The game with Alvarado was rescheduled twice and now will be Wednesday at 7:30 at Chisholm Trail.

“We’re all in the same boat,” said Decatur coach Drew Coffman. “We all get in a routine and this definitely throws off our routine.”

The Bridgeport boys and girls teams had their games pushed to Wednesday from Tuesday. The Bulls will take on Venus in a bi-district tilt at 6 p.m. in Boswell. The Sissies play Abilene Wylie at 6 p.m. in Graham.

Like the Decatur boys, the Slidell Greyhounds have seen their Class A bi-district game against Waxahachie Faith Academy pushed from Monday to Wednesday at Oak Cliff Faith Family Academy.

Slidell has been off since its season finale against Saint Jo Feb. 17.

“We haven’t had any practice time [this week],” said Slidell coach Todd McCormick. “We hope the rest will help. Tyler [Maynard] is playing with a sore back. What you worry about is the quick turnaround if you win.”

The Slidell girls’ region quarterfinal with Dodd City was pushed to Wednesday.

The winner will need to be ready Friday for the regional tournament.

The winter weather also wiped out the scheduled baseball and softball games for Wise County teams Tuesday. The North Texas Tournament of Champions slated for this weekend also could be impacted.

Decatur and Paradise were planning to hold track meets Thursday.

Paradise coach Jonathan Ryle said he expects the meet to be held.

“It may just be running events,” Ryle said.

Any future updates or changes will be immediately posted on Twitter @wcmsports or at our website wcmsports.com.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-ice-brings-action-to-halt/feed/ 0
Basketball: Bulls warm up with victory http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-bulls-warm-up-with-victory/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-bulls-warm-up-with-victory/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:33:05 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87818 The Bridgeport Bulls warmed up for the playoffs Saturday by outlasting Fairfield in a battle of top 11 teams in 4A.

Behind 22 points from Devonte Patterson, the Bulls held on for the 56-51 victory at Chisholm Trail High School.

“It was what we needed,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green. “They were very competitive. It was a good game.

“They were really physical and played tough and fast. It’s been a while since had a game of that speed.”

Fairfield fought back from a 25-19 halftime deficit to take the lead in the third quarter. Patterson hit a basket to end the third and give the Bulls a 37-36 lead.

Patterson then opened the fourth with a 3-pointer as part of a 9-3 run that pushed Bridgeport to the 44-39 lead with six minutes to go.

Caleb Smith joined Patterson in double figures with 18.

The Bulls will open the playoffs at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Boswell against Venus.

“It’s a new season,” Green said. “Whoever gets an “L” at this point is done. We’ve got to make sure we’re focused every day.”

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-bulls-warm-up-with-victory/feed/ 0
Basketball: Sissies, Garcia celebrate area title http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-sissies-garcia-celebrate-area-title/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-sissies-garcia-celebrate-area-title/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:32:26 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87816 Diana Garcia proved to be the Bridgeport Sissies’ spark plug Friday night.

With her on the floor to lead the press at the start of the game, Bridgeport jumped out to a 17-point lead. Then after a busted lip forced her to miss almost a quarter, the Sissies’ lead dwindled to four.

Rising to Occasion

RISING TO OCCASION – The Bridgeport Sissies lift the Class 4A Region I area trophy after taking down Burkburnett Friday in Henrietta, 57-42. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

With Garcia plugged back in the lineup early in the third quarter, the Sissies built the lead back to double digits on the way to their 57-42 victory over the Burkburnett Lady Bulldogs in the 4A Region I area tilt at Henrietta High School gym.

Garcia finished with 12 points to go along with her six steals and 10 rebounds.

“She’s obviously a defensive MVP tonight,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “Just a motor and engine and another example of how we can’t play without each other.”

Bridgeport (26-5) moves on to the 4A Region I quarterfinal to face Abilene Wylie. The game is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday in Graham.

For the Sissies, they are looking forward to the next step in their turnaround season after a pair of winless district campaigns.

“It feels pretty awesome,” said Bridgeport senior guard Bailey Thompson, who led the Sissies with 14 points. “We put a lot of work into it and have come really far.”

Taylor, who is in her fourth season with the Sissies, added: “It stays true to what we’ve been telling them for four years. Hard work is going to pay off. It’s paying off now. They believe in the system and each other and it works.”

The Sissies never trailed, jumping out to an 18-0 lead. Forcing 10 turnovers in the first quarter, Bridgeport held Burkburnett scoreless for the first seven minutes.

“Defensively we started off in the press and that really set the tone for the game. They couldn’t get past it,” Thompson said.

The Sissies did get into some foul trouble in the second quarter, forcing two starters to the bench. Then with 6:47 left in the half, Garcia took a scary spill, tripping while trying to split defenders.

“The girl behind me fell on me and my head went to the floor,” Garcia said. “I saw blood. I thought it was my nose too. But it was just my lip.”

Burkburnett trimmed the 19-2 deficit after the first quarter to just four, 32-28, at halftime with Angel Sims hitting a second-chance 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Garcia didn’t start the second half. But soon into the third quarter she rejoined the lineup bringing a renewed energy.

“They asked to go back in at the beginning of the third and I said no,” Garcia said. “Coach [Katie] Paul said, ‘we’re going to need you.’ Coach Taylor said the same thing ‘without you we’re not going to do this.'”

“As soon as I got put back in, the crowd went wild and I was like, ‘This is cool.’ Everyone was encouraging me.”

With Garcia back on the floor, Bridgeport turned the pressure back up. The Sissies also found some offensive rhythm with Thompson hitting her third 3-pointer to start a 13-4 run that covered the remainder of the frame. Bridgeport regained a 13-point lead, 47-34.

“They listened in the locker room,” Taylor said about the third-quarter adjustments. “It’s a compliment to them for being coachable and understanding what we want and need to get the job done.”

After Burkburnett pulled within seven with 1:21 left, the Sissies closed the game out by hitting six of their final eight at the line. Garcia’s hustle earned two of the free throws, grabbing an offensive rebound.

BRIDGEPORT 57, BURKBURNETT 42

Burkburnett … 2 … 26 … 6 … 8 … – 42
Bridgeport … 19 … 13 … 15 … 10 … – 57

Burkburnett ( 17-10) – Jennifer Joss

6. Angel Sims 6, Arianna Camerlin 2, Brittani Joshua 2, Paradize Jackson 10, Mi’Kaila Billinger 8, Chloe Gibbs 6, Kaci Trahan 2.

Bridgeport (26-5) – Diana Garcia 12, Bailey Thompson 14, Elaina Peyton 2, Lauren Stowers 7, Landrie Walsh 10, Megan Sturdivant 7, Gabby Mindieta 5.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-sissies-garcia-celebrate-area-title/feed/ 0
Basketball: Alvord wears out Tolar http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-alvord-wears-out-tolar/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-alvord-wears-out-tolar/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:31:13 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87813 The run-and-gun style of the Alvord Lady Bulldogs proved to be overwhelming for the Tolar Lady Rattlers Friday night.

Alvord won the final three quarters of its 70-56 Class 2A Region II area victory over Tolar to keep its playoff dreams alive.

LEADING THE CHARGE – Alvord’s Cierra Rangel tosses in two of her 28 points during the Lady Bulldogs’ win over Tolar Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

In Alvord coach John Shelton’s system, the Lady Bulldogs are constantly running, shooting, trapping and substituting. The pace is meant to do a lot of things, including exposing teams that are limited depth-wise and forcing teams to play out of rhythm and rushing shots and passes.

“I am so happy for the kids, because we started off in this system that is totally different from anything they’ve done in the past four or five years,” Shelton said. “They were hesitant at first, but I think we showed tonight what it’s all about. That’s why Tolar got into foul trouble, because when you get tired you start to foul.

“That’s part of the whole system we run. You get tired and you don’t move your feet on defense. That was really the difference tonight in that they got tired and we didn’t.”

The Lady Rattlers held on as long as they could, but eventually their 21 turnovers caught up to them.

The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over only 15 times while shooting 62 percent from inside the 3-point line.

From beyond the 3-point line, Alvord shot a respectable 31 percent and made just over half of their free throws.

Cierra Rangel found a mismatch early that the Lady Bulldogs exploited all night.

Rangel gashed and fought her way to the basket, earning 15 free-throw attempts.

She ended up scoring 14 points in each half, finishing with a game-high 28 points.

“I felt good,” Rangel said. “I knew we could get some things going in the inside. Once I got my groove going, I felt like I could get some good shots up.”

Katie Claborn made two of her nine 3-point attempts and finished the game with 14 points.

Despite foul trouble for virtually the entire game, Brianna Ponder managed to score 11 points while shooting 62 percent from the field.

Bailey Hamilton made both of her 3-pointers to help her get to nine points for the game.

Meanwhile, the Alvord defense gave the Lady Rattlers fits.

Tolar shot 7 percent from beyond the arc, making only one of its 13 attempts.

After tying in the first quarter, the Lady Bulldogs pulled away in the second scoring 17 points while holding Tolar to nine.

Both teams ramped up the scoring in the third quarter, with Alvord taking the slight 21-16 advantage.

With a 13-point lead heading into the final period, Ponder and Hamilton each scored four in the final frame to help the Lady Bulldogs outscore Tolar 14-13 to end the game.

“We work hard. It’s all worth it in the end,” Rangel said. “You’re so tired when you play in it, but it’s very rewarding after the game. You worked your tail off and you feel like you really earned it when you win.

“We came in here and really wanted it bad but we knew we would have to earn it, and it wasn’t going to be given to us. Every girl on our team earned tonight and we worked hard for it.”

ALVORD 70, TOLAR 56

Alvord … 18 … 17 … 21 … 14 … – … 70
Tolar … 18 … 9 … 16 … 13 … – … 56

Alvord: Cierra Rangel 28, Katie Claborn 14, Brianna Ponder 11, Bailey Hamilton 10, Mikena Mader 3, Reagan Guthrie 2, Katelyn Schedcik 2

Tolar: Hannah Peregrino 20, Marlee Thomas 8, Shelby Nunley 7, Meredith Caudle 6, Michaela Phillips 6, Laura Anderson 5, Elizabeth Bonnell 4

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-alvord-wears-out-tolar/feed/ 0
Basketball: Roof spurs Slidell to victory http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-roof-spurs-slidell-to-victory/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-roof-spurs-slidell-to-victory/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:30:14 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87810 Kayson Roof relentlessly attacked the offensive glass Friday, giving the Slidell Lady Greyhounds second-chance opportunities.

Slidell capitalized on enough of the extra possessions to pull out the 44-37 victory over Miller Grove in the Class A Region III area game at Anna High School.

Roof pulled down nine offensive rebounds. She finished with 11 boards and five steals to go along with her three points.

“Kayson Roof saved us keeping possessions alive,” said Slidell coach Cody Vanover.

“I knew she had that in her. If she doesn’t gobble up those rebounds, I’m not sure we win.”

Slidell had 17 offensive boards. The Lady Greyhounds also made 18 steals.

Caitlin Pruett finished with seven steals with her game-high 19 points and 11 boards.

Kylie Franklin scored 15 points. She hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 10-point fourth quarter as Slidell held off Miller Grove.

“We were only up two in the fourth and Kylie hit those back-to-back 3s to get us back to eight,” Vanover said.

Slidell jumped out to a 13-5 lead. Miller Grove then cut the Lady Greyhounds’ advantage to five, 21-16, at halftime.

Slidell maintained that five-point cushion going to the fourth at 30-25.

With the victory, Slidell moves on to play Dodd City in the Class A Region III quarterfinal at 7 Wednesday at Van Alstyne High School. The game was originally slated for Tuesday before the winter weather hit.

SLIDELL 44, MILLER GROVE 37

Miller Grove … 5 … 11 … 9 … … 12 – 37
Slidell … 13 … 8 … 9 … … 14 – 44

Miller Grove – Kayla Ford 5, Aleigh Bessonett 7, Kayleigh Lester 12, Demi Weatherford 2, Bailey Penny 11.

Slidell – Kayson Roof 3, Kayler Talamantes 4, Makayla Fitzgerald 3, Kylie Franklin 15, Caitlin Pruett 19.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-roof-spurs-slidell-to-victory/feed/ 0
Softball: Boyd finishes 4-2 at Brock Tourney http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-boyd-finishes-4-2-at-brock-tourney/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-boyd-finishes-4-2-at-brock-tourney/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:29:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87808 The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets went 4-2 at the season-opening Brock tournament last weekend.

“It was a good tournament for us,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “We got a lot of good innings in and that was the main thing for us. We have to take full advantage of these tournaments and with the weather being the way it is, we want to play as many innings as possible.”

Boyd beat Tolar and Celina Thursday.

The Lady Yellowjackets defeated Tolar 13-2 in four innings.

Chelsea Arlington struck out six batters and walked one while also hitting an RBI-double.

Boyd’s best offensive performances came from seniors Britney Howard and Chandler Hammon, who got three hits with two doubles and three RBIs each.

The Lady Yellowjackets earned a 6-2 win over Celina.

Arlington struck out 10 batters and walked four while giving up two earned runs.

Junior Payton Salmon led the Lady Yellowjackets, driving in two runs.

Friday, Boyd lost 5-3 to Pilot Point and 4-0 to Azle.

Chandler Hammon pitched six strong innings against Azle, and only allowed two earned runs, but three defensive errors led to two additional runs against Boyd.

Hammon also had a strong offensive showing against Pilot Point with two RBIs.

After Friday’s losses, the Lady Yellowjackets responded with a 14-8 win over Pampa and an 11-2 win over Midland Christian.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-boyd-finishes-4-2-at-brock-tourney/feed/ 0
Softball: Paradise takes 2 of 5 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-paradise-takes-2-of-5/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-paradise-takes-2-of-5/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:29:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87806 The Paradise Lady Panthers went 2-3 at the Brock Tournament last weekend.

Paradise fell to Azle and Pampa and then rebounded with consecutive wins over Tolar and Midland Christian on Friday. The Lady Panthers ended the tournament Saturday with a loss to Pilot Point.

Paradise head coach Karen Essig said the tournament was an up-and-down affair for her team.

“We’re figuring out what we need to work on,” Essig said. “We have got to practice getting better and working on eliminating errors. We’ll get it back.

“We have to be more consistent instead of having a bad day followed by a good day. We have to be ready to play every time we step on the field.”

The Lady Panthers only managed two hits in their 23-0 loss to Azle.

Paradise faired better in its 8-0 loss to Pampa, but only managed three hits in the shutout.

Reagan Taylor allowed four earned runs in the circle. She struck out five and walked five.

The Lady Panthers played much better on the second day of the tournament, starting with their 13-2 win over Tolar.

Bailey Higgins and Randa Taylor each drove in three runs while Shelby Barclay and Brooklynn Davis each drove in two.

Jett Preather returned to the team after the conclusion of basketball and got a hit and a walk in three plate appearances.

Allie Rutledge drove in a run with her lone hit. The Lady Panthers showed plate discipline collecting nine walks.

Taylor threw a one-hitter in the game with five strikeouts.

In the 14-2 win over Midland Christian, Rutledge starred at the plate, hitting two home runs and driving in five runs.

Kailey Thomas earned the win, allowing only one earned run and striking out three in four innings.

Thomas, Preather and Taylor each drove in two runs.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-paradise-takes-2-of-5/feed/ 0
Softball: Lady Eagles go 3-3 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-lady-eagles-go-3-3/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-lady-eagles-go-3-3/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:28:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=87804 The Decatur Lady Eagles finished fourth in the Argyle tournament over the weekend going 3-3.

The Lady Eagles started things off with an 11-6 win over Argyle, but later fell to the Northwest JV 7-4.

They returned Friday to win both of their games, beating Calisburg 5-2 before a comeback 6-5 victory over Denton.

Saturday, Decatur fell 12-1 to Sanger.

The Lady Eagles faced Northwest JV a second time, falling 7-5 in eight innings.

Decatur sisters Brittany and Kelsie Roberts were named to the All-Tournament team.

Brittany went 10 for 17 at the plate and had only one error at shortstop in 27 attempts.

Kelsie pitched 19 and 1/3 innings for Decatur, allowing only 12 earned runs while striking out 14 batters.

]]>
http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-lady-eagles-go-3-3/feed/ 0