Farver faces child indecency charge

An Aurora city councilman was arrested earlier this month for indecency with a child.

According to Wise County Jail records, Cyrus Farver, 78, of Aurora was arrested Sept. 4 on the third degree felony charge and released the same day after posting a $30,000 bond.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, obtained through an open records request by the Messenger, the victim is a female family friend under the age of 17.

The affidavit states that on July 31, the victim’s mother called Farver to ask if he could give her daughter a ride to her home.

“While in route to the victim’s home … the victim reported that the suspect was complimenting her on her figure and her appearance repeatedly,” the affidavit states. “The suspect then brushed her breast with his hand and asked her if that bothered her. The victim replied that it did.”

The affidavit goes on to state that Farver dropped off the victim at her home and left. Once the victim’s parent got home, she made the outcry, and the parent notified police.

Farver met with Wise County investigator Josh Reynolds on Aug. 27 and admitted to touching the victim, the affidavit states.

Farver is a councilman for Ward III in Aurora.

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Will your family be remembered in history?

People of wisdom are quoted as saying that history repeats itself and that we can estimate what the future will hold by knowledge of history.

Those sayings generally speak corporately about nations and large groups. But recently personal history – the stories of interest among family members and relatives – has been in my thoughts.

There are so many stories among my family elders who have graduated on to heaven that have faded from memories of those of us remaining. Because they did not commit to writing their various stories, nor did any of us remaining relatives take occasions to interview them for material that we could write, we are poorer about our knowledge of them.

A motivation has come to me to address that issue in my family.

At age 75, I now realize that little is written about my life’s experience, except what I have written for my genealogical files. Those writings are not distributed very widely.

The new self-assigned project on my plate is to begin a systematic compilation of events and stories in my past about which I would want my family and descendants to know.

The purpose of this letter is to exhort other people in the community to consider pursuing a course of action that would systematically capture things important and of interest to you that should be committed to writing and offered to family and friends.

My immediate project is to write about four to six stories annually and send them to relatives who’ve indicated to me they would like to receive them.

Sending by email is easiest, avoiding the cost of printing and postage. This not only provides for others the elements that shape your life and ambitions, but can highlight people known in the public domain who have crossed paths with you in some interesting way.

These stories also give the opportunity for you to incorporate something about your spiritual being and how you understand God’s providence as displayed in your life.

These are all good things for your family and descendants to know about you.

I encourage you to initiate your own project that will enable your heritage and interests to be captured for the benefit of all who are or will be interested!

That is one fairly easy legacy you can leave for family, friends and loved ones.

D.A. Sharpe

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Joe Wendell Reid

Joe Wendell Reid

Joe Wendell Reid, 76, of Aurora, died Friday, March 14, 2014, in Bridgeport.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur with burial at Aurora Cemetery. Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Mickey Reid, Travis Reid, Mark Keeton, Andy Keeton, Bailey Kemp and Tyler Kemp.

Wendell was born March 31, 1937, in Decatur to Ovid Burch and Etta Mae (Harwell) Reid. He married Darlene Forsyth Feb. 9, 1957, in Fort Worth. He was a retired toolmaker for Lockheed-Martin.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Darlene Reid of Aurora; daughters Karen Keeton and husband, Mark, of Haslet, and Pam Kemp of Boyd; son Mickey Reid and wife, Judy, of Rhome; grandchildren Travis Reid and wife, Sarah, Amy Moreland and husband, Michael, Lindsay Kemp, Jessica Keeton, Andrew Keeton and Tyler Kemp; great-grandchildren Dashal Reid and Collins Reid; brother Perry Reid and wife, Debbie; nephew Coby Reid and wife, Cherri; and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

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51 from Wise on Weatherford College dean’s list

More than 450 students – including 51 from Wise County – were named to the Weatherford College Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester.

To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must be enrolled for 12 or more semester hours, have no grade lower than a C and meet the minimum grade- point average. The GPA system is based on a one-to-four rating.

Earning the honor from Wise County were:

Alvord: Trevor Hardee; Shelbi Harmon and Alexandria Talamantes.

Aurora: Victor Ramirez and Bertie Sellers.

Boyd: Derek Martin and Carolina McDowell.

Bridgeport: Ana Caldera; Torie Carter; Sharlyn Fagan; Taylor Hulsey; Danielle Mindieta and Autumn Pickett.

Chico: Hannah Avants; Karla Deamicis; Damian Delgado; Callie Fuller; Luke Plummer; James Redwine; Vanessa Saxon; Molli Umphress; Tiffany Vislosky and Kaylee Wriston.

Decatur: Rosaura Aldape; Victoria Aldape; Monica Bernard; Carissa Byrd; Steven Cao; Araceli Cruz; Sarrah Ennis; Elda Garcia; Brittany Hargrave; Sara Harris; Kasidi Heiens; Victoria Myers; Christina Overton; Brandon Pelton; Venancio Rodriguez; Liliana Torres and Omar Torres.

Sunset: Austin Gaskins and Brittani Martin.

Newark: Savannah Brooks.

Paradise: Lacy Jackson; Sara Kelly; Amber Kirkland; Carol McCutchen and William Ngetich.

Rhome: Haley McGuire, Bethlyn Prentice and Lisa Shearer.

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Clark a candidate all can support

Proper governance, in a land of rule by law and constitution, is the life-blood of living in freedom.

Political leadership, in my view, should arise from qualified citizens who govern for a period of time, then turn to other occupations. I do not support the idea that political leaders should be life-long occupants of leadership positions. The just turnover of political leadership should, among other things, occur with reasonable frequency and result in the development of new leadership from the younger ranks as they grow in maturity and in community value.

Looking at the race for Wise County Judge for the 2014 elections, there are four who have qualified and are filed officially as candidates. I want to highlight and endorse one particular candidate for that esteemed office.

Chico Mayor J.D. Clark is a young (only age 28) political leader in Wise County who has been recognized, not only by our citizens, but from outside Texas. He was a recent guest student at Harvard University, at a seminar especially designed for local political leadership from all across the United States. We all have reason to be proud of Mayor Clark’s accomplishments on the Chico City Council, as well as in his professional career as a public school teacher.

Join me in voting for him, both in the March 4 Republican Primary Election and the General Election Nov. 4.

D.A. Sharpe

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Milton D. Travis Sr.

Milton D. Travis Sr.

Milton D. Travis Sr., 83, of Aurora, a retired Greyhound bus driver, died Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, in Fort Worth.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur with the Rev. Jerry Hood officiating. Burial will follow at Aurora Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Milton Dewell Travis Jr., Danny Lee Travis, Kenneth Travis Sr., Milton Dewell Travis III, Kenneth Travis Jr. and Jason Dewell Wilson.

Milton was born April 3, 1930, in Brandon to Chalmus Leper and Hetty (West) Travis. He married Correne Layne on Oct. 10, 1953. Milton served in the United States Army and was a member of Renewal Fellowship Church in Boyd.

He was a loving husband and his wife’s sweetheart. He and Correne recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Milton was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved his dog Cocoa and was an avid sports fan. Milton loved to work in the garden, but his biggest love is Jesus.

He is survived by his wife, Correne Travis of Aurora; sons Milton Dewell Travis Jr. and wife, Sherry, of Fort Worth, Danny Lee Travis and wife, Leticia, of Grand Prairie and Kenneth Layne Travis Sr. and wife, Cindy, of Aurora; daughter Teresia Allen and husband, Gary Len, of Whitesboro; 18 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; brothers Melvin Travis and Larry Travis; and sisters Frances Barrett and Jean Badget.

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Robert J. ‘Bob’ Phinney

Robert J. “Bob” Phinney

Robert J. “Bob” Phinney, 80, a retired road construction superintendent, died Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at his home in Aurora.

Graveside service is 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Aurora Cemetery with Father Reehan Antony officiating.

Bob was born April 20, 1933, in Black River, N.Y., to Monty and Jennie (Gracey) Phinney, and he served his country in the U.S. Air Force. He married Donna Sabourin July 4, 1957, in Clayton, N.Y. He was a member of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Francis, George and Joe Phinney.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Donna Phinney of Aurora; sons Robert J. Phinney Jr. of Aurora and Daniel Phinney and wife, Gail, of Rochester, N.Y.; granddaughters Jennifer Rasbury, Sabrina Spurrier, Katrina Phinney and Jennifer Pittsley; grandson John Allred; great-grandsons Corey and Jared; brother Richard Phinney and wife, Hope, of Burlington, N.C.; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

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Horseback rider struck by van

A 14-year-old horseback rider was injured when he was hit by a minivan about 8 p.m. Friday on Texas 114 near Old Base Road in Aurora.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Zeb Siebeneck said Joshua Long of Newark and three other youths were crossing 114 on horseback and misjudged the speed and distance of oncoming traffic. The riders were crossing from the north side to the south side of the highway.

A minivan, driven by Larry Bratcher of Seymour, was traveling westbound and struck the left hindquarter of the last horse in the group.

“The second-to-last rider heeled his horse and got across just in time,” said Siebeneck. “The [injured] rider was complaining of hip, arm and leg pain, but he didn’t have any obvious compound fractures.”

Long was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth by Wise County EMS. Bratcher and his passenger, wife Pattie, were not injured.

The horse’s injuries required that it be euthanized at the scene.

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Resort gets makeover

A redesigned, renovated and reinvented MD Resort celebrated the grand opening of a new complex called The Oaks late last month.

Ribbon Cutting

RIBBON CUTTING – A large crowd attended the Decatur Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting Aug. 24 for MD Resort in Aurora. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

New owner Bill Benedick of Decatur, his wife, Susie, his brother Ben and an architectural and design firm have given the resort in Aurora a sleek, modern look that still captures the rural essence of Wise County.

“We tried to put a soft touch on it,” Benedick said. “We gave it a country flair but not too much because we didn’t want to scare city people from coming out here.”

NEW SPACE – As part of the reinvented resort, owners Bill and Susie Benedick built a banquet hall. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The brand-new meeting hall and the banquet hall, known as The Oaks, measure 8,000 and 12,000 square feet, respectively, and combine modern design with the approachability of a country setting. The buildings can host weddings, corporate retreats, banquets, family reunions, holiday parties, proms or anything else a client could conceive.

They’ve also added a catering service and a bus and limo service to the list of amenities.

Since the closure of Garrett Creek Ranch near Paradise, Benedick has known there is a shortage of places to host corporate getaways or similar events. The only comparable facility is the Civic Center in Decatur – and its offerings are very different.

“We knew there was a need for this type of facility,” he said. “I also like the location. It’s only 25 miles from Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth.”

Once you get beyond The Oaks, the rest of the resort opens up on 30 acres of land starting with a large, corrugated tin Party Barn. Behind that is an organic garden and barnyards housing a variety of animals including horses, buffalo, donkeys and an area for a chicken coop to supply the bed and breakfast and caterers with farm-fresh eggs.

Thick, sprawling live oaks are found throughout the property and lead visitors to the bed and breakfast. Half a dozen two-bedroom, two-bath cabins are being installed on the grounds across from a large, established pecan grove where a covered bridge crosses a creek and pond to a tranquil setting for an outdoor wedding.

A building near the bed and breakfast, that now holds several suites, is being transformed into a full-service spa.

“We hope to bring a lot of clients out for day packages at the spa,” Benedick said.

While Benedick, his family and staff have helped reinvent the 12-year-old resort, Benedick has also reinvented his professional life. Benedick bought the place late last year and began work in January after spending most of his career in the oil field.

“After 35 years in the oil field service industry, it’s a nice change to do something so different,” Benedick said.

For more information, go to www.mdresort.com.

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Sally Hurley Hall

Sally Hurley Hall

Sally Hurley Hall of Aurora died Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013.

Service will be 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Greenwood Chapel in Fort Worth. Interment will follow in Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Greenwood Funeral Home.

Sally was born in Ada, Okla., to the late Alexander Hurley and Emma Pearson Hurley.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert Hall Sr.; son Belvin Hall and grandson Robert Gregory.

Survivors include her daughters, Sylvia Gregory, Brenda Graves and husband, Bobby, and Leane Hall; son Herbert Hall Jr. and wife, Tiara; 19 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

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Jack Halla and Jett Samuel Jennings

Curtis and Genna Jennings of Brady announce the birth of twin sons, Jack Halla and Jett Samuel, May 13, 2013, at San Angelo Community Medical Center.

Jack weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long. Jett weighed 6 pounds and was 18 1/2 inches long.

They have two brothers: Jace, 7, and Joel, 4; and one sister: Joy, 2.

Grandparents are Doyle and Sandra Jennings of Aurora and Kenneth and Mary Ann Wilton of Brady.

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Camping out for WARM

A pastor in Aurora is going homeless.

Starting Friday, Pastor Scott Griffin plans to spend 48 hours in a fold-out lawn chair beneath the shade of an old tree in front of Faith Baptist Church, located at 505 Bennett Drive, off Old Base Road in Aurora.

“The plan is to raise awareness for needy people in Wise County,” Griffin, 50, said. “I am going to be collecting cans for the WARM organization.”

Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) offers a food bank for Wise County families. The Decatur-based non-profit also helps people who are struggling financially pay their electric bills – and in the Texas summer heat, having electricity can mean the difference between life and death for some.

“A lot of times people think to donate around Christmas and Thanksgiving,” Griffin said. “But there is need for help all year, especially in the summertime. A lot of kids who depend on free or reduced lunches during the school year don’t get that during the summer.”

The campout starts 7 a.m. Friday, July 5, where Griffin will be posted in a chair by day and trying to rest in a sleeping bag at night. His hope is that people will stop by during his campout and drop off enough cans to fill his church van. All the cans will be donated to WARM.

The campout ends 7 a.m. Sunday, July 7. Griffin said he plans to go home, clean up and be in his familiar spot in the pulpit when his congregation comes together later than morning.

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Weatherford College announces dean’s list

More than 400 students, a handful from Wise County, were named to the Weatherford College dean’s list for the spring 2013 semester. For the honor, a student must be enrolled in 12 or more semester hours, have no grade lower than a C and meet the minimum grade-point average, which is based on a one-to-four rating.

Earning the distinctive honor are the following students, listed by their hometowns:

Alvord – Taylor Gray, Trevor Hardee, Shelbi Harmon, McKynzee Sherman, Shonda Stroud and Alexandria Talamantes;

Aurora – Deanne Powell and Victor Ramirez;

Bridgeport – Alexander Burkhart, Olivia Burson, Jessica Elliott, Maegan Flavin, Taylor Henson, Daniel Murray, Taylor Oates, Payton Salazar, Martha Sanders, Jennifer Torbet and Alicia Torres;

Chico – Justin Creswell, Tracie Davis, Jesse McLean, Vanessa Saxon and Jayme Staley;

Decatur – Brooklyn Allen, James Baker, Amanda Byrum, Halston Delgado, Kari Gage, Sarah Gibbs, Kristy Harnsberger, Sara Harris, Danielle Hill, Samuel McGregor, Melissa Ralls, Amber Rodriguez and Efrain Ruiz;

Paradise – Wendell Johnson, Shane Lindsey, Cari McBride, Carol McCutchen, William Ngetich, Chad Snodgrass and Catherine Stockard; and

Rhome – Kaylee Cooper, Christopher Metts, Kristine Nukala, Bethlyn Prentice, Lisa Shearer and Santosh Yogi.

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Jeriah Adam Lopez

Abel Lopez and Julia Vasquez of Aurora announce the birth of a son, Jeriah Adam Lopez, on May 13, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19 inches long.

He has two brothers: Abel Julian Lopez Jr., 8, and Miguel Angel Lopez, 5.

Grandparents are Demencio and Juanita G. Lopez and Maria Vasquez.

Great-grandparents are Estella Vasquez Luna, Roman Vasquez, Victor and Juanita Mata, and Aurora Lopez and Demencio Lopez Talamantes.

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Landyn Naugle

Matt and Sherri Naugle of Aurora announce the birth of a son, Landyn, on May 6, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He weighed 10 pounds and was 21 inches long.

He has two sisters: Raychel, 5; and Sarah, 3.

Grandparents are Bud and Cindy Smith of Boyd, Larry and T’Ann Naugle of Aurora and Jim and Jana Hunt of Fort Worth.

Great-grandparents are Milton Andress and Dolores Cooper, both of Boyd, Shirley and Lynn Hunt of Gilmer and Geraldine Graves of Fort Worth.

Great-great-grandmother is Edith Brownlee of DeLeon.

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Nathaniel Isaac Kelly

Dan and Brandy Kelly of Aurora announce the birth of a son, Nathaniel Isaac, on April 13, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long.

He has three brothers: Zachary, 13, Nicholas, 9, and William, 8; and five sisters: Lauren, 17, Catherine, 12, Lillian, 6, Emma, 5, and Madelyn, 2.

Grandparents are Sharlene Sims of Decatur, Kenny Worlow of Paradise and Danny and Tresia Kelly of Aurora.

Great-grandparents are Nellie Worlow of Bridgeport and Geneva Galloway of Boyd.

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Need integrity, ethics in leadership

Bob Buckel’s opinion article April 13 about respect for authority was right on! His eloquence and precision at dissecting the problem brought into vivid focus an infection that afflicts our modern society. As he refreshes a thought with Biblical underpinnings, we are reminded that we do reap what we sow.

Until leadership in our society is restored to high levels of integrity and ethics, the necessary respect for our government needed for a free and democratic society to survive and succeed cannot be established as intended, I believe, by those who founded this nation.

I wonder how many figurative turnings in the grave have happened among the 104 patriots who were involved in producing the Declaration of Independence (56) or the United States Constitution (55)? Did you know that only eight signers of the Declaration were delegates to the Constitution Convention and only six of them actually signed the Constitution? They were an admirable set of people who represented a broad spectrum of leadership.

D.A. Sharpe

Posted in Letters to the Editor0 Comments

Student wins scholarship

Ten East Central University students were recently awarded Noyce Teaching Scholarships for mathematics, including Cady Murphy of Aurora.

Each recipient is given $10,000 for up to three years while they work toward bachelor’s degrees in mathematics with a secondary teacher certification option.

Noyce Scholars are selected by faculty members in ECU’s Mathematics and Education Departments from students with a strong academic background in mathematics who otherwise would not consider teaching K-12 mathematics as a career. In exchange, scholarship recipients commit to teach mathematics for six years at any secondary school in the United States.

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Wendie Rachelle Scheets and Robert Aaron Bodkin IV

Wendie Rachelle Scheets, daughter of Wesley R. and Amy Scheets, all of Jack County, will marry Robert Aaron Bodkin IV, son of Gaylynn and Robert Aaron Bodkin III, all of Aurora, March 16, 2013, in Springtown.

The bride-elect graduated from Springtown High School and is employed by Horsemen’s Supply in Weatherford.

The prospective groom graduated from Northwest High School and earned his EMT certification from Weatherford College. He works for POCO Graphite in Decatur.

Wendie Rachelle Scheets and Robert Allen Bodkin IV

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Kai Oswaldo Argandona

Patricia Moody and Dennys Argandona of Aurora announce the birth of a son, Kai Oswaldo Argandona, on Dec. 20, 2012, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.

He has a brother, Keanu Argandona, 22 months.

Grandparents are Ray G. Moody Jr. and Lisa Moody of Cottondale, and Audrey Hamby and Ronnie Hamby of Aurora.

Great-grandparents are Ray and Lois Moody of Cottondale.

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