Mother confirms missing teen’s death

A dead body discovered in Bridgeport Wednesday afternoon has not been officially identified by authorities, but Bridgeport resident Jennifer Fortune says it’s her son, 17-year-old Brant Boatman.

“Based off of all the evidence – the cell phone, the gun, the clothing he was wearing … I’m certain it was him,” she told the Messenger Thursday.

Brant Boatman

Brant Boatman

Boatman ran away from home April 11 with a .45 handgun and his cell phone and is still considered a missing person by the Bridgeport Police Department. According to Assistant Police Chief Steve Stanford, the boy’s disappearance is considered an ongoing investigation.

The department received various tips since the 11th, placing Boatman everywhere from Wise Regional Health System in Decatur to a relative’s home in Ohio.

The body, along with a gun and a cell phone, was found in a wooded area south of Edison Street by two intermediate school students on their way home from school around 3:52 p.m., according to a statement released Wednesday by Bridgeport PD.

Officers were unable to determine the sex or identity of the body. Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Clay Poynor sent the body to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas for an autopsy, and Texas Ranger Ron Pettigrew was also called to assist with Bridgeport PD’s investigation.

Authorities are still waiting on DNA evidence to be 100 percent certain of the body’s identity, which could take anywhere from 30 to 45 days, Bridgeport Police Assistant Chief Steve Stanford said Thursday.

“We’re still finalizing some leads and going through various details right now, and we’re still looking at who the weapon belongs to and where it came from and things like that,” he said. Stanford added that no charges have been filed.

Fortune said officers visited her family around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to notify them of the discovery. She posted a Facebook status at 9:07 p.m. Wednesday stating her belief that the dead body was that of her son.

“To all those who tried to help me find my son … thank you … I have bad news y’all. They found him in the woods by our house. The texas [sic] rangers and police chief came to notify us. They took him to Dallas for an autopsy and I will give DNA tomarrow [sic] to confirm. But his phone was there and the 45 pistol. The ranger said it is 99% our son,” she wrote.

Numerous friends and family members offered their condolences on her Facebook page the last two days.

Fortune gave a DNA sample to authorities Thursday to “definitely confirm it was him, but everything that they found at the scene points to him,” Fortune said. “He had zip ties for shoelaces and they found that, his cell phone and the missing gun near the body.”

The Fortunes reported a missing handgun shortly after reporting Boatman missing on the 12th.

Fortune believes her son killed himself.

“He struggled with suicidal thoughts on and off for the last couple of years, and he was manic depressive,” she said. “He had been going to therapy and getting help, but he left that day after saying he was upset at being bullied and asked to go to the park.”

The family reported him missing the next day, noting that he had not been taking his medication.

Fortune said the gun Boatman had on him was left at their house by James Strickland, a 22-year-old who had been living with the Fortunes since November. Fortune said Strickland left for Florida on April 8 and left his gun at the house.

“Brant was kind of close with James,” Fortune said.

Fortune maintains Boatman was bullied at Bridgeport High School since his enrollment in August.

“He was kind of a loner kid, and he said people made fun of the way he dressed and talked about him behind his back,” Fortune said.

Bridgeport ISD Superintendent Eddie Bland released a statement Thursday morning consoling the Fortune family, reiterating that the body has yet to be identified.

“We are sad and shocked to learn from local law enforcement that a body has been discovered in our community,” Bland wrote. “At this time, we have received no information confirming the identity of the individual. When one member of the Bridgeport ISD family hurts, we all hurt. Our hearts go out today to this family as they wait for news.”

Bland said he had not heard of any instances of Boatman being bullied, something he said he would have been acutely aware of.

“We talk about bullying all the time on an administrative level and take it extremely seriously, and there hasn’t been any record of him being bullied,” Bland said Thursday. “But I’m devastated. We all are. You can’t work in a school system and work with kids and not be devastated. Our staff is heartbroken.”

Bland added that intermediate school counselors are working to ease the trauma of the students who found the body, as well.

Fortune has taken her anti-bullying cause to Facebook and started a new page Friday called “Justice For Brant Boatman.” Its goal as stated on the page is “to stop bullying and teen suicide.” It had more than 200 likes as of press time.

A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help pay for Boatman’s cremation. As of press time, $130 out of the desired $2,500 has been raised.

“I just keep thinking that I should’ve looked harder for him or done more to try and find him,” Fortune said. “People are wondering why I didn’t do more, and that’s just the hardest thing of all. I just keep wondering, why did this have to happen to my son?”

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Hiking trail expansion coming to OHV Park

New emergency vehicles and expanded trails will soon be coming to the Bridgeport OHV Park.

The city council Tuesday approved the Parks and Recreation Department’s agreement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to add nearly 275 acres for hiking and biking trails in the park. The hiking trails project will be paid for with an $83,800 grant from TPWD at a matching rate of 80/20 with the city.

In a separate agreement with TPWD, new rescue vehicles, emergency signage and communication equipment will be purchased for the park. The vehicles will be paid for with a $36,200 TPWD grant with the 80/20 match.


The council started its meeting Tuesday with a moment of silence to honor former City Administrator Brandon Emmons, who died unexpectedly last Sunday in Waco.

“We were all shocked to hear about Brandon, and we mourn the loss of a fine city employee and great friend to all of us,” said Mayor Corey Lane.

Former City Secretary Jesica McEachern sat in the city administrator seat for the first time at Tuesday’s meeting. She was selected as city administrator after a nearly five-month search by the city.

“Welcome to this side of the dais,” Lane joked to her as the meeting began.

The council’s first item of business was a half-hour closed session to discuss procedure for public comment during meetings. No action was taken.


  • The council agreed to pay off half of its loan against its Certificate of Deposit for Walter Hales Water Treatment Plant repairs and renew the other half for payoff at a later date. The total balance of the loan is $112,546.38.
  • Stephens, Bastian and Cartwright will handle health insurance for city employees starting in July after a unanimous vote by the council.
  • The city’s ongoing participation with the steering committee of cities served by Oncor was approved unanimously.
  • The audited financial report for FY 2013-14 was approved unanimously.
  • The council also had a workshop discussion to improve the city’s zoning ordinances. McEachern said the current ones are 50 years old and need to be updated. The general consensus was that the council would update them instead of hiring out the work, but no action could be taken since it was a workshop item.

The council’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, at 900 Thompson St.

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Baseball: Jacksboro overpowers Boyd, 12-7

Boyd’s late surge couldn’t bring them back from the 12-3 deficit they accrued in the first six innings.

The four Boyd runs in the top of the seventh cut the Jacksboro lead to five, but that’s all it would accomplish, on the Yellowjackets’ eight-error, three-hit night.

Boyd scored three runs in the top of the third to erase a one-run deficit and take a two-run lead.

Then, Jacksboro erupted for five runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and another five in the bottom of the sixth for a total of 11 runs in a three-innings span.

Jacksboro’s Chase Thompson pitched six innings, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits in his time on the mound.

The 12-7 loss puts Boyd’s 9-3A record at 5-6, a game back from Henrietta and Paradise who are tied at 6-5 in the third playoff spot.

Bowie leads 9-3A with a perfect 11-0 record and Holliday is sitting in second at 8-3.

District 9 will play District 10 in the bidistrict round of the playoffs.


Castleberry scored a run in each of the first three innings and Bridgeport never found a way to respond.

Bridgeport managed just three hits and struck out 13 times in their scoreless night.

Lane Morrow’s lone hit was the team’s only extra-base hit of the night, a one-out ground ball double to left field.

The loss gives Bridgeport a 3-4 district record, fourth in 8-4A behind Decatur, Springtown and Castleberry, and ahead of Lake Worth.


There wasn’t much the Dragons could do wrong Tuesday night against Graford.

Chico had 20 hits, 27 runs, were awarded with nine Graford errors, while Dragons’ pitcher Brady North struck out 10 batters in five innings and allowed just one hit.

Jaston McBee’s opening triple led off an eight-run first inning for Chico.

The massive inning was later dwarfed by the Dragons’ 11-run fourth.

McBee led the team with five RBIs, five hits and five runs in six at-bats.

Tyler Melton hit the only home run of the game, a three-run shot over the center field wall that scored McBee and Kolton Forbus in the top of the fifth.

The Dragons remain the top team in 10-2A with a 9-1 record while Alvord and Olney are currently tied for second at 6-3.


Bryce Elder was superb on the mound Tuesday night against Springtown.

Elder pitched all seven innings for Decatur and allowed just four hits and one run.

He walked only one batter and struck out seven, but perhaps the most impressive stat is that he threw only 72 pitches in the process.

Simple math says that Elder needed just under 3.5 pitches for each of the 21 outs in the seven-inning game.

The solid performance of the Decatur defense allowed Elder to put the ball in the strike zone without major repercussions.

Decatur opened the game by turning a Springtown error into a Clayton Egle run in the first inning.

They added to their lead in the third inning when Michael Hicks singled to center field, scoring Tyler Ticknor who reached on a line drive single to center.

AJ Johnson then singled to center, scoring Hicks to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.

Johnson did it again in the top of the seventh, hitting a ground ball to right field that scored two.

Mason Baur followed suit, hitting a shot to right field that brought in Hicks, and though Trey Penny grounded out to second base, he allowed Johnson to score Decatur’s seventh and final run.

Johnson was Decatur’s usual offensive leader, responsible for driving in four of Decatur’s seven runs.

With the win, the 5-2 Eagles take a lead in the standings over 4-2 Springtown, and the win avenges Decatur’s first district loss to the Porcupines on April 3.

Decatur’s overall record moves to 12-8-1.


Cayde Ward got two of his team’s four hits in the Northwest loss to Denton Ryan.

A four-man pitching crew of Bailey Dovel, Garret Moltzan, Grant Krug and Cameron Rhodes gave up 12 hits and struck out only four in seven innings on the hill.

Bryson Wrobel and Preston Palmer each had tough nights at the plate, striking out three times each, and Austin Whitelock committed three errors.

The Texans’ district record moves to 3-8, tied with their victorious opponent at the bottom of 5-6A.

Keller’s 11-0 record leads the district, Byron Nelson sits in second at 7-4 and a four-way tie of teams with 5-6 records sit between Northwest and a playoff spot.

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Softball: Alvord blanks Valley View

Alvord pitcher Mikena Mader threw a one-hit, 15-strikeout shutout against Valley View Tuesday night in possibly her best performance of the season.

Though much of the team struggled offensively, Reagan Guthrie went 3-for-3, while Brittany Gayler, Ashton Peterson, Katelyn Schedcik and Kaely Beaver each drove in a run.

The 5-0win puts Alvord back on track after their loss to Collinsville, and the Lady Bulldogs remain second in 12-2A behind 8-1 Lindsay.

Friday’s game against Muenster was Alvord’s final game before playoffs.

If Alvord remains in second behind Lindsay, their likely first-round opponent will by Perrin-Whitt, the third seed from 11-2A.


Kensley Turner’s first-inning homer was all the run support the Sissies could give Hailey Hollingsworth Tuesday against Castleberry.

Hollingsworth threw a seven-inning three-hit shutout to keep Bridgeport in the lead.

The Sissies finish district play with a 5-3 record and a second-place finish in 8-4A.

Bridgeport will face Venus in the opening round of the playoffs.

Venus is the third seed from 7-4A.


The Lady Eagles were one win away from a perfect district record, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Down two, Springtown rattled off three runs in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off win.

The game was a slugfest, with both teams throwing haymakers every inning trying to force the opponent to submit.

Decatur opened with two runs in the first and Springtown quickly responded with four of their own in the same inning.

The Lady Eagles added four in the third inning, and another two in the top of the fourth for a four-run lead.

Springtown got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth, and closed the gap with another run in the bottom of the fifth.

Both teams scored two runs in the sixth and Decatur’s one run in the top of the seventh had them leading 11-9.

Despite the loss, Decatur is still the champion of 8-4A with its 7-1 record. They will face 7-4A fourth seed Alvarado in the opening round of the playoffs.


With the game tied, Northwest needed a run in the top of the seventh, and with the bases loaded, McKenzie Middlebrook provided just that with a single to center field that brought in Cailee Adams.

With a one-run lead, Emily Worley’s pitching, and defensive plays from Rhianna Speicher and Middlebrook helped get the Lady Texans in the win column for the 12th time this season.

Sydnee Hinkle was an offensive weapon for the Lady Texans, getting three hits in all three of her at-bats and driving in two runs.

Two of Hinkle’s hits were doubles and she also crossed home once herself.

Tarah Hilton drove in a run on her only hit, and Worley pitched all seven innings, giving up five hits and three runs.

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Golf: Read guides Sissies at state

Making her third trip to the University Interscholastic League golf tournament, Lexi Read has tried to pass on knowledge to her teammates.

“Just have fun and enjoy the experience,” Read said. “Bad things will happen. You just have to be patient.”

Read and the Bridgeport Sissies team that includes Brooke Irion, Katie Hudson, Abbi Hatton and Remi Swennson will tee off at Onion Creek Course in Austin at 10:30 Monday in the first round.

The Sissies earned the trip with their third-place finish at the Class 4A Region I tournament. The Sissies put together their best rounds of the season at regionals to earn the trip.

“We’re so excited to go as a team,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green. “We”re going to compete and hopefully make a good showing.”

Read finished ninth last year at state with rounds of 87 and 81. She is looking forward to returning to the state stage and competing for a state title.

“I’m ecstatic for this year. I’m ready to go play,” Read said. “I just need to be patient and don’t get down on myself.”

Irion made her debut at state last year and tied for 15th with a 176.

Green said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Read and Irion challenge for a spot at the top.

“With their experience, nothing would surprise me,” he said.

Hudson and Hatton shot 82 and 88 in the second round at regionals.

“They are both good competitors and at regionals you got to see that competitive spirit,” Green said.

The senior Swennson, who has been dubbed “Momma Remi” because of her willingness to help the team throughout an injury-plagued year, shot a 103 in her last round at regionals.

“We are very excited for Remi to get to go to state her senior year,” Green said. “She’s had a tough go with injuries but has been a great teammate.”

The Sissies will play a second round Tuesday morning.

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Judge disappoints citizens

First off I would like to thank you, Judge Clark, for all your efforts with trying to make sure House Bill 40, co-authored by state legislator Phil King, passes. As you are aware, I am being factious.

Judge Clark: you did nothing outside of calling Rep. King at the very last moment just before the bill was passed the next day asking for HB 40 to distinguish clarifying language for road and bridge jurisdiction by county officials and the groundwater conservation district to continue operating as they have since the beginning with monitoring and charging for our groundwater the oil and gas companies.

Just in case you didn’t realize, HB 40 passed without the clarifying language for which you asked. It passed without any protective measures for our county or local authority to maintain what seems to have been working for both industry and local governance for more than a decade. As a result of yours and our county Local authorities willingness to allow for this big government intrusion or inability to see the dangerous risk to our local government, we as citizens have no protection whatsoever against the oil and gas companies.

A simple amendment to grandfather ordinances that were more than five years old or an amendment that allowed local authority a setback ordinance to disallow oil and gas activities near schools, parks, churches or residential homes seemed reasonable enough, but Rep. Phil King voted against even those amendments the very next day after you asked him for legislative clarifying language.

This bill and its companion bill in the Senate (SB 1165), as written will not protect our groundwater conservation district from doing its work, and only limits to “commercially reasonable” ordinances such as traffic control as long as it does not interfere with the industries’ ability to extract the natural resources.

The Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District has been protecting our groundwater inside Wise, Parker, Montague and Hood Counties for almost a decade now. The UTGWCD approximates 25 percent of its annual revenue on fees and charges 22 cents per 1,000 gallons for water being used by the industry for drilling activities.

The UTGCD no longer having authority to do so will create a devastating budget shortfall, which will cause them to do an inefficient job at quality control of our groundwater.

So in closing, Mr. Clark, you did a wonderful (rolling eyes) job of protecting us. You are a true politician and did a lot of double talk when saying you contacted Mr. King’s office, at the last minute and only after your constituency had to bring it to your attention what local impact this bill really has.

You should have been on top of this and fighting for us the second King filed HB 40. You ran on the issue of water conservation, but you have failed. I will see you at the polls when you and the other commissioners are up for re-election, but you or they will not be getting my vote. I will be fighting very hard to be sure there is someone in your position that really is looking out for us.

You guys need to get ready to work on the roads of Wise County yourself because you are now out of a job. Not to mention the roads seem to be the most important issue to you guys, especially to Precinct 1 Commissioner Danny White.

Lena Wells

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Jessica Hartsell and Cody Henson

Jessica Hartsell, daughter of Mike and Christy Hartsell, all of Bridgeport, will marry Cody Henson, son of Danny and Leslie Henson, all of Bridgeport, June 13, 2015, at First Baptist Church of Bridgeport.

Henson Hartsell

Jessica Hartsell and Cody Henson

Craig Erb will officiate.

The bride-elect graduated from Bridgeport High School and Tarleton State University. She’s employed by Decatur ISD.

The prospective groom also graduated BHS and Tarleton.

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Audrie Willow Elliott

Edward and Morgan Elliott of Bridgeport announce the birth of a daughter, Audrie Willow Elliott, on April 10, 2015, at Texas Health Presbyterian in Denton.

She weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long.

She has two brothers: Connor, 3; and Corben, 1.

She has one sister: Rylen, 4.

Grandparents are Ray and Staci Sanders of Boyd and Tammy and Victor Elliott of Bridgeport.

Great-grandparents are Jim and JoEllen Pennington of Joy.

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Former city admin dies

Former Bridgeport City Administrator Brandon Emmons, 44, died suddenly in Waco last weekend.

Brandon Emmons

Emmons, who served as the city administrator for Bridgeport from 2010 until his retirement in December of 2014, suffered a massive heart attack Sunday while on a boating trip with his family and fianc e Amanda Hubbell.

He died despite numerous attempts to resuscitate him, according to Bridgeport City Secretary Jesica McEachern. He leaves behind his fianc , his parents, a sister and brother-in-law, a brother, and four nieces and nephews.

Emmons retired late last year to focus on doing humanitarian work in Africa and working with businesses in Waco. He was a proud Baylor alum and never missed an opportunity to show it. In an interview with the Messenger before his retirement, he said his proudest moments as city administrator were four years of balanced budgets, qualified audits and improved bond ratings from Standard and Poor’s.

“We’re all just so shocked and heartbroken,” McEachern said Monday. “We just saw him last week. The entire city staff is heartbroken.”

Hubbell’s Facebook status posted shortly after Emmons died sums up how many in the community feel about his death and gives a brief explanation of what happened Sunday.

“I am at a loss,” the status begins. “My heart is shattered. My sweet Bear has left me. As many of you know, Brandon Emmons passed away today, 30 days before we were to leave for Africa to be married. We had taken the boat out for its first run of the season. We began taking on water and headed back to the dock. We got the boat trailered, and Brandon went down. His heart gave out. We performed CPR immediately, and EMS was there within 5 minutes. We just couldn’t save him. Pray for us as we blunder through the next hours, days, weeks trying to do whatever I am supposed to do now. Now, without my sweet Brandon. Brandon is my real life fairytale. He was here today and when I wake up tomorrow, he won’t be here again today. Ever.”

Emmons’ funeral is 11 a.m. Friday, April 24, at the Callaway-Allee Memorial Funeral Home in Crockett with burial to follow at Whitehead Cemetery. Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Emmons’ family said memorial donations may be made to the Dallas Safari Club Frontline Foundation, which provides financial relief to professional hunters and their assistants, trackers and skinners who are killed or seriously injured in the course of providing professional hunting services.

Emmons was an avid hunter who went on numerous exotic hunting trips while dong charity work in Africa. Learn more about the cause at

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Athletics director contract not extended

The Bridgeport School Board voted 4-2 Monday night to not extend the contract of athletics director Danny Henson.

The decision came after a 30-minute closed session.

The board first voted by voice, with Tom Talley and Jim Bost voting for a contract extension, and Steve Stanford, Scott Stowers, Scott Hiler and Charles Mauldin voting against. Only six votes were recorded because Lee Snodgrass was absent.

When board President Jim Bost asked for a show of hands for clarification, the 4-2 decision against the extension was clear.

The longtime AD has two years left on his current contract.

Henson was not present at the meeting and said he was “shocked” by the decision.

“I didn’t think this year, of all years, would be the type of year to garner all that discontent,” he said. “I didn’t know there was such a high level of discontent among those four members. Obviously they’re not happy with my job as athletics director or head football coach.”

Henson said his contract was not discussed with him prior to Monday’s meeting. He learned of the news just as the meeting was ending and came to the administration building to discuss the matter with the board in closed session. School board members met with Henson privately for about an hour, Bost said.

Henson, who holds a 135-105-1 football coaching record at the school, went 8-4 in 2014 after going winless the year before. He also oversaw the high school boys’ 4A state basketball championship team this year and has been on the Bridgeport staff for 22 years.

“I’m very proud of the seasons our teams are having this year, and it’s been a great ride. I’m just so proud of all of our coaches,” Henson said.

Superintendent Eddie Bland declined to comment on the decision, except to say he advised the board to extend Henson’s contract.

“I’m comfortable with where our program’s at and what he’s doing,” Bland said.

Bland’s own contract as superintendent was not renewed last July with a vote of 5-1. He still has two years left on his contract as well.

Board member Scott Hiler declined to give the reason behind the board’s vote.

“I think the vote spoke for itself,” he said.

Talley, who used to be principal at Bridgeport High School, said he voted for Henson’s extension because he “has a lot of admiration for [Henson], and I think he’s done a great job and been a great presence in the community.”

Efforts were made to speak to the entire board Tuesday afternoon. As of press time, Mauldin, Stanford and Stowers could not be reached for comment.

The school board’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, at 2107 15th St.

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Baseball: Baur’s gem stops Bulls – Decatur hurler throws 2-hitter

Mason Baur made a mistake that Bridgeport’s Corbin Coleman drilled into center field for a single to lead off the game Monday.

“I left one down the middle with two strikes,” the Decatur hurler explained.

Delivering a Gem

DELIVERING A GEM – Decatur pitcher Mason Baur limited Bridgeport to two hits during his complete-game shutout Monday. The Eagles completed the season sweep of Bridgeport with the 8-0 win. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

It was one of the few times Baur missed his mark all night. Baur allowed just two hits while striking out eight in the complete-game, 8-0 victory over Bridgeport at Eagle Field.

“I was spotting the ball good. Even when they did hit the ball, my defense made the play,” Baur said. “My defense played really good and made most of the plays for me.”

The victory moved the Eagles (4-2) into second place by themselves in District 8-4A – one game back of league leader Springtown. Decatur played Springtown Tuesday with a chance to pull even at the top of district with one game left.

“It was definitely a big win,” said Decatur coach Brian Tickell. “We were a little down after the loss against Castleberry [Saturday]. To win like this was huge. They definitely showed up tonight.”

The loss dropped Bridgeport to 3-3 in the district, heading into Tuesday’s game with Castleberry.

Gunned Down

GUNNED DOWN – Decatur second baseman Jesus Gam fields a throw before tagging out Bridgeport’s Travis Fuentes during the Eagles’ 8-0 victory Monday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We just need to keep playing,” said Bridgeport coach Ted Leps. “If we win against Castleberry, we’re no worse than third.”

On a seasonably cool evening, Baur kept the Bulls’ bats on ice, painting the corners of the plate with his fastball and working his curveball around the edges of the zone.

“He was great on the mound. He had control of everything he threw,” said Decatur catcher Michael Hicks.

Baur retired seven straight after the lead-off single to Coleman. He hit a pair of batters in the fourth around three of his eight punchouts.

Baur never allowed a runner past second and didn’t give up his second hit until Jared Huff singled in the sixth.

“He was throwing good hitting his spots,” Coleman said. “Him and his catcher were in a zone working together.”

Baur pitched with a lead from the bottom of the second after Decatur turned a pair of Bridgeport errors into a run.

The Eagles broke the game open with a four-run third inning that included three straight doubles from Tyler Ticknor, Michael Hicks and AJ Johnson.

“That was a big inning. We got the bats rolling,” Hicks said.

Coleman, who started and allowed all eight runs in his four-plus innings, said, “I was leaving the ball up in the zone and Decatur was making me pay for it.”

Ahead in the count 1-2 in the fourth, Coleman left a pitch over the plate that Hicks blasted over the right-field fence.

Hicks finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Trey Penny and Johnson had two hits each for the Eagles.


Bridgeport … 000 … 000 … 0 … 0 … 2 … 3
Decatur … 014 … 120 … X … 8 … 8 … 0

WP: Mason Baur; LP: Corbin Coleman

HR: Decatur, Michael Hicks. 2B: Decatur, Tyler Ticknor; Hicks, AJ Johnson.

RBI: Decatur, Hicks 2, Trey Penny 2, Johnson, Crofford.

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Softball: Lady Eagles storm to dramatic win

In the top of the first inning Friday, Bridgeport’s Hailey Hollingsworth tagged up on a fly ball, scoring the Sissies’ lone run of the game.

Storms came in early in the second inning, and the game had to be postponed until Saturday.

Something to Celebrate

SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE – The Decatur Lady Eagles mob each other after the team’s two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to beat Bridgeport 2-1 and stay unbeaten in District 8-4A. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

When play resumed, Hollingsworth and Decatur’s Caitlin Butler put on a pitching duel that featured three hits for the remainder of the game.

The Lady Eagles brought an end to the duel with a closing offensive storm and two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh of a 2-1 victory to remain unbeaten in District 8-4A.

All signs pointed to a Bridgeport victory and a split of the Wise County rivalry, with the Sissies holding the 1-0 lead going into the final half inning.

But two pitches into the bottom of the seventh, Decatur’s Brae Hanes hit a ground ball back to Hollingsworth.

The pitcher fielded the ball but made an errant throw to first that put Hanes on second.

Brianna Crooks’ sacrifice put Hanes on third with one out. Taylor Butler’s grounder to short scored Hanes to tie the game.

Caitlin Butler then bunted her way aboard and went to third after another error by Bridgeport.

Finally, Brittany Roberts’ bunt to third brought Butler in to score in walk-off fashion.

“It’s awesome. We beat Bridgeport, and it was my last home game ever, so it was really special,” Hanes said. “I knew I had to score.

“We talked about how we’re all proud of each other. Even though we had some problems, we stuck together and got through it as a team.”

Caitlin Butler finished the game allowing three hits and one run with eight strikeouts.

“I just had to keep pitching strikes,” she said. “I knew my team would find a way to get some runs on the board.”

For Hollingsworth, the game was a triumph in some areas – and brutal in others.

She allowed only one hit and two runs, while getting one of Bridgeport’s three hits and scoring their only run.

Unfortunately for Hollingsworth, she also committed three errors – two of those played a major role in the Decatur comeback.

Though noticeably disappointed, Hollingsworth remained hopeful in her team’s resolve.

“I really think we can bounce back,” she said. “We have a lot of hope, and we think we can make it. I’m proud of our team because we came a long way and fought hard. We just couldn’t pull it out in the end.”

The loss puts the Sissies (4-3) at third in district with the head-to-head tiebreaker over 2-4 Springtown.


Bridgeport (4-3) … … 100 … 000 … 0 … 1 … 3 … 5
Decatur (7-0) … … 000 … 000 … 2 … 2 … 1 … 1

WP: Caitlin Butler, LP Hailey Hollingsworth

RBI: Bridgeport, Kensley Turner; Decatur, Brittany Roberts, Taylor Butler

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Brandon Emmons

Brandon Emmons

Brandon Emmons, 44, of Waco died Sunday, April 19, 2015.

Funeral is 11 a.m. Friday, April 24, at Callaway-Allee Funeral Home, 700 East Houston Ave., in Crockett with Larry Womack officiating. Burial will follow at Whitehead Cemetery.

Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Brandon was born Oct. 6, 1970, in Crockett. He was retired from municipal government where he served as city manager for 20 years in Bridgeport, Trophy Club and Gatesville.

Brandon was a Baptist and a 1988 graduate of Grapeland High School. He was a Baylor University alumni, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science and a master’s degree in public administration. Brandon was a member of the “Rib” Club, the Dallas Safari Club, Ducks Unlimited, the Bear Foundation and the Baylor Alumni Association. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed many trips to Africa.

He is survived by his fianc e, Amanda Hubbell of Waco; parents William and Peggy Emmons of Grapeland; brother Craig Emmons of Grapeland; sister Joyce Nuner and husband, Eric, of Lorena; nieces and nephews Colton Emmons of Grapeland, Emery Nuner, Addy Nuner and Trammell Nuner of Lorena, as well as special aunts and uncles.

Memorial donations may be made to the Dallas Safari Club/Frontline Foundation, 5949 Sherry Lane Suite 1700, Dallas, TX 75225.

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Bridgeport Intermediate School Third 9 Weeks Honor Roll


THIRD GRADE – Joshua Brubaker, Steven Christopher, Brandon Garcia, Jennyfer Gutierrez Garcia, Kalista Holley, David Huerta, Salem Hurtado, David Kranz, Courtney Landers, Samantha Macias, Kristen Martinez, Rayna Mathes, Jackson McComis, Frank Medina, Scarlett Merritt, Emma Miles, Christian Ortiz, Shanna Perez, Jasmine Schonerstedt, Ashlyn Smallwood, Reece Sparks, Maylee Spicer, Dennison Spill, Maryssa Sutherland, Noah Taft, Jackson VanHoose, Jocelyn Vidal, Hannah Walter

FOURTH GRADE – Eric Cervantes, Merari Fraga, Emily Herrera, Chan Horne, Molly Johanson, Marisol Martinez, Jadyn McCoy, Micah Medina, Seth Phillips, Nicole Reyes, Kayli Roberts, Colton Rudder, Kevin Sandoval, Alyssa Schonerstedt, Karalyn Stotts, Charles Walker, Jeffrey Warner, Savannah Whisenant

FIFTH GRADE – Aaron Brichetto, Jacquelyne Garcia, Emma Godwin, Kolby Hamblin, Seguin Hernandez, Erin Holt, Blake Horton, Claire Huya, Ashley Marschall, Bristyn Miller, Syverah Monrreal, Connor Payton, Zoe Rivera


THIRD GRADE – Anthony Actkinson, Arith Alvarado, Christian Anderson, Augustus Arnold, Brendan Berk, Alissa Bratton, Eva Cain, Darell Cervantes, Cody Cooper, Mia Cruz, Aaliyah DeHoyos, Juan DeHoyos, Alonso Delgadillo, Hayden Dickerson, Maria del Carmen Esparza Martinez, Jocelyn Espinoza, Korbin Fox, Melody Frazier, Gabriella Friddle, Saray Garcia, Kimora Gomez, Valeria Gonzalez, Ashlynn Hoots, David Iniguez, Nicholas Lara, Halie Marrone, Mason McAnear, Jennifer Medrano, Ryder Morrow, Landri Murphy, Samuel Negrete, Fatima Ortiz, Luv Ortiz, Victoria Ortiz, Austyn Paddack, Ali Prado, Vidiam Ramirez Garcia, Coby Richie, Gabriela Ruvalcaba, Maraya Ruvalcaba, Devon Rye, Madison Schwartz, Audrey Southerland, Riley Sparks, Ruby Tovar, Rainy Valley, Keenan Vick

FOURTH GRADE – Sergio Acevedo, Cameron Anderson, Emma Cantrell, Sadee Carstens, Joel Cervantes, Haven Clayburn, Roarie Comer, Shande Contreras, Cade Cortez, Crystal Cruz, Brylie Davidson, Jose De La Cerda, Hailey Dickerson, Ruben Dominguez, Hezekiah Fitzgerald, Yazmin Gonzalez, Samuel Hernandez, Brianna Hernandez-Perez, Erik Herrera, Cole Holley, Galilea Huerta, Karina Huerta, Cheyenne Huffman, Alexis Juarez, Giovani Lopez, Juliana Lopez, Mason McComis, Landen McEntire, Mariah Monk, Kylie Monrreal, Alyana Montoya, Elijah Morman, Greeley Neeper, Shawn Nelson, Melina Owens, Payton Phillips, Dylan Pope, Bethany Powers, Rebeka Prado, Diego Rojo, Vanessa Rosales, Guadalupe Rubio Rubio, Gregory Sadberry, Fernando Santos, Alysa Smith, Kathryn Stotts, Ariel Sultz, Brianna Tatsch, Maximus Uribe, Montserrat Uribe-Baeza, Creed Vineyard, Raynee Walker, Zandon White, Bralyn Wright

FIFTH GRADE – Angelo Arriaga, Chad Bradford, Jocelyn Cano Gamino, Blayke Carillo, Brianna Chavez, Chris DeLaCerda, Marcus Delgado, Blase Gaona, Mariah Garcia, Landon Gregg, Nicole Hernandez, Garrett Hudson, Cason Jobe, Mallory Learned, Erick Macias, Sidney Macias, Delilah Martinez, Gerardo Martinez, Mason McGuire, Christian Mills, Madyson Minor, Cailey Negrete, Diana Ortega-Sanchez, Abel Rodriguez, Alexis Rodriguez, Samuel Rodriguez, Isabella Ruano-Ruiz De Vivar, Aislinn Rudder, Matthew Sadberry, Kyler Sparks, Sophia Sullivan Green, Emma Sutherland, John Taylor, Kyle Teague, Emily Tovar, Janelli Trujillo, Alyssa Verdugo, Elizabeth Walker, Zane White, Dylan Williams, Dustin Woods

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Meeting Previews for Saturday, April 18, 2015

PARADISE CITY COUNCIL – Monday night the Paradise City Council will consider declaring April 21, 2015, “Sue Hudson Day.” The council will also hear reports from the Economic Development Corp., Planning and Zoning Board, as well as the city’s building and water departments. The council may also hire a code enforcement officer. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

RUNAWAY BAY CITY COUNCIL – The council will discuss an antenna lease agreement between the city and Infinilink Broadband at its meeting Monday night. They will also consider bids on high-service pumps and the city’s mowing program. The meeting is 5:30 p.m. at 101 Runaway Bay Drive.

BRIDGEPORT SCHOOL BOARD – The school board will discuss lunch prices for the upcoming school year and hear proposals for middle school trips to Washington, D.C., and New York City during its meeting 7 p.m. Monday, April 20, at 2107 15th Street.

PARADISE SCHOOL BOARD – The PISD school board will meet 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, to announce a lone finalist for superintendent. The board will also discuss textbook adoption and TEKS certification, bad weather waiver approval and whether or not to offer reasonable assurance of employment for para-professionals and auxiliary personnel. The meeting is at the board room, 338 School House Road.

DECATUR SCHOOL BOARD – The board will consider teacher contracts as well as non-Chapter 21 contracts at Monday’s meeting. The agenda also includes textbook certification and regular monthly reports. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a closed session followed by the open session at 7 p.m. at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates.

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Bridgeport City Council offers city administrator job to city secretary

Bridgeport’s city secretary will soon be moving into a new role.

After meeting in closed session for a little more than an hour Tuesday night, Bridgeport City Council gave their OK to offer the city administrator job to current city secretary Jesica McEachern.

The position is currently held by Interim City Administrator Chester Nolen, who replaced Brandon Emmons last December. Nolen is a representative of Strategic Government Resources, a government recruitment firm in Keller.

This was the fourth time the council met to discuss applicants, including once in a regular meeting and three times in closed session.

“This has been something that’s been heavily discussed, and the decision to offer the job to Jesica was unanimous,” Mayor Corey Lane said.

McEachern is expected to be officially hired at the council’s next regular meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21.

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Hospice Plus

Address: 1903 Doctors Hospital Drive Suite 1 Bridgeport, TX 76426

Phone: 940-683-3288 or 24-hour hotline at 1-800-255-3194

Fax: 844-466-3370



Owner/Manager: Tracy King, Brandi M. King

Hours of Operation: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday

Products/services: Hospice care

Ribbon Cutting

RIBBON CUTTING – Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting April 14 at Hospice Plus. Pictured are (from left) owner Brandi King; Ryan Shaw, R.N.; Sherry Clark, R.N.; Tracy King, R.N. and Judy Prudence, R.N. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Softball: Sissies finish Frogs

The Bridgeport Sissies scored eight runs with two outs, including a three-run homer by Hayley Davidson during a 13-run first inning.

After three more runs in the third inning, the game was over in a 15-0 run rule.

Hailey Hollingsworth struck out five of the nine batters she faced, allowing no hits or runs.

Lake Worth’s only baserunner reached on a Hollingsworth error.

Kensley Turner got a hit in each of her three at-bats, driving in two runs with two doubles and a triple.

Like Turner, Shiloh Weirich hit the ball every time she stepped up to the plate, going 2-for-2 with a double and a triple.

Melissa Monjaraz drove in three runs, two on sacrifices and one on a double.

And Hollingsworth brought in two with her triple in the first.

Davidson finished with a team-leading five RBIs.

The win gives the Sissies a 4-2 record in district play, behind only Castleberry and Decatur in 8-4A.


Northwest took a big hit Wednesday with a loss to Byron Nelson that could have allowed the Lady Texans to move back into position for a playoff spot.

Down 7-6 heading into the sixth, the Lady Texans gave up four runs in the bottom of the sixth and followed that with a scoreless seventh to end the game.

Northwest’s Brie Wrobel drove in three runs with a hit in three of her four at-bats.

Sydnee Hinkle drove in two runs on two hits, and Tuesday DerMargosian’s lone hit drove in a run as well.

Catherine Totty and Emily Worley each pitched three innings for the Lady Texans.

Totty gave up five hits and five runs in her outing, and Worley allowed six hits and six runs in her time in the pitcher’s circle.

The Lady Texans’ record is now 4-5 while Byron Nelson sits in fourth place at 6-4


It wasn’t a blowout, but Paradise got the win Friday over City View.

Paradise pitcher Reagan Taylor turned up the heat in the top of the fifth following her sister, Randa’s, RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to put the Lady Panthers up by a run.

Reagan proceeded to strike out the side in the fifth, allowing only two baserunners in the final three innings of play.

The Lady Panthers remain tied atop 9-3A with Holliday who also have just one district loss to their record.

At 8-3, Boyd sits at third in 9-3A.


Boyd’s four runs in the fourth inning were followed by five in the fifth to give the Lady Yellowjackets a relatively easy 11-1 win over Nocona Tuesday.

The game ended after five innings and Boyd’s Chandler Hammond finished the game allowing only two hits, though one was a home run.

Savannah Foster and Britney Howard each got two hits in their three at-bats to lead Boyd.

Howard drove in three runs and Foster brought in two.

Chelsea Arlington and Hammond each drove in two runs as well.

The win gives the Lady Yellowjackets an 8-3 record, sitting third in 9-3A behind Holliday and Paradise.

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Baseball: Boyd battles to remain in playoff hunt

A five-run bottom of the fourth gave Boyd a 9-0 lead over Nocona Wednesday.

Nocona followed with their first run of the game in the fifth, but a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth negated that run when it brought Brandon Hardee home.

The two Nocona runs in the top of the second couldn’t spark the rally needed to overcome Boyd’s 10-hit night.

Colton Batterton’s two hits brought four runs across to lead the Yellowjackets’ offense.

Clay Barnett was also an offensive strong point for Boyd, getting a hit in all three of his at-bats.

Barnett drove in two runs and crossed home twice himself.

Hardee pitched most of the game for Boyd, allowing three hits and a run.

Evan Stephenson came on in relief and allowed only one hit and two runs in just under three innings of work.

Boyd’s current 5-4 record in 9-3A has them in a three-way tie with Paradise and Henrietta for third place in the district.

Bowie sits atop the district standings with an unblemished 9-0 record and Holliday’s 7-2 record has them in second.


Jared Huff’s double in the bottom of the second brought in two of the eight runs Bridgeport accumulated in the inning.

Huff’s continued brilliance on the mound made sure that the Bridgeport lead was safe.

The pitcher struck out eight batters and allowed only one walk and three hits in his seven innings on the hill against Lake Worth.

He also showed extreme efficiency, throwing under 100 pitches, with just under 72 percent of his pitches being strikes.

Other Bulls stand outs were Jake Martinez who blasted a homer and drove in two runs, and Lane Morrow who doubled twice.

Mason Baker got two hits in his three at-bats with two runs driven in.

Bridgeport’s 8-4A record surpasses .500 with the win, putting them at 3-2 and second in district.

Decatur and Springtown are currently tied at the top of the district at 3-1.


Northwest’s Dustin May doubled in the top of the fifth, scoring Lyric Walker and Tanner Treadway as the tying and go-ahead runs.

That same inning, Doger Gilliland singled to third base, scoring Bryson Wrobel to put the Texans up 3-1.

Bailey Dovel’s stingy pitching helped to keep Timber Creek scoreless for the final two innings of play, resulting in a Northwest victory.

Dovel pitched all seven innings, allowing six hits and one run with four strikeouts and a walk.

The Texans remain in a tough spot in 5-6A. At 3-6, they are tied with Denton Guyer for sixth in the district.

That being said, three teams are tied for third with 4-5 records, just one game ahead of the Texans.

Keller remains undefeated with a 9-0 record, and Byron Nelson has a nice lead on the second-place slot at 7-2.


Despite no strikeouts, three walks and six hits, the Paradise Pathers were unable to score against Henrietta Tuesday.

John Bridgeman was a bright spot for the Panthers, getting two hits in his three at-bats.

Bryson Meyers started the game for Paradise and pitched five innings, allowing six runs and seven hits.

Landry Norwood relieved Meyers for the final two innings of play, giving up only one hit and striking out four.

The loss puts the Panthers in a three-way tie with Boyd and Henrietta for third place in 9-3A.

With games against Holliday, Nocona, Boyd and Jacksboro remaining on the schedule, Paradise has a chance to greatly improve their playoff chances in the coming two weeks.

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Aaliyah Nichole Mitchell

Viviana Reyes and Colton Mitchell of Bridgeport announce the birth of a daughter, Aaliyah Nichole Mitchell, on April 14, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long.

She has two brothers: Mayson and Julius Mitchell, both 5.

Grandparents include Bobby and Sherry Mitchell, Micaela Garcia and Arturo Cedillo.

Great-grandparents are Carolina Clark, Tony Clark, Aurelia Varela and Marcelino Garcia.

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