Scaly characters

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MEET THE REPTILES – Daryl Sprout brought “Snake Encounters” to the Bridgeport Community Center Wednesday, eliciting squeals of delight as well as fright from kids and moms alike (top) as he entertained as part of the Bridgeport Library’s summer program. Sprout’s blend of stand-up comedy, magic and storytelling includes 17 different snakes – including the King snake, boa constrictor and his personal pet dragon. He’s been billed as “somewhere between Steve Irwin and Steve Martin.”

Scaly Characters 2

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Scaly Characters 3

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Felonious munchies

A Boyd man was arrested in a Bridgeport restaurant Tuesday after breaking in to fix himself a late-night snack.

Jonathan Gideon

Officers were dispatched to an alarm call at the Sonic restaurant on Chico Highway around 2:30 Tuesday morning.

When they arrived, they found the front glass door shattered and a man inside making himself a milkshake and cooking two hamburgers, Bridgeport Assistant Police Chief Steve Stanford said.

Jonathan Gideon, 24, was arrested for burglary of a building.

Officers also found a handful of Sonic-brand peppermints, as well as a prepaid Sonic gift card, in his pocket.

Gideon was taken to the Wise County Jail. As he was being booked in, Stanford said “he became disruptive and combative and had to be pepper-sprayed.”

His bond has been set at $5,000.

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Bridgeport City Council to renew after-school care

The Bridgeport city council will vote Tuesday on a policy to make after-school programs at the parks and recreation department safer for children.

In a public hearing during their regular meeting, council members will discuss renewing an ordinance that would implement a Youth Services Standards of Care Policy for the department’s after-school programs and camps.

There will also be a workshop to discuss nighttime mosquito spraying within the city limits. A survey conducted by the city says that 90 percent of Bridgeport residents polled support the spraying.

The council will also consider:

  • approving a three-year, $17,000 maintenance agreement with Vaisala to provide maintenance on the Automated Water Observation System (AWOS) at the Bridgeport Municipal Airport;
  • approving a reimbursement agreement with West Texas LPG Pipeline Limited Partnership to remove part of a gas pipeline on airport property;
  • reviewing the duties and responsibilities of city administration in ordinance 2011-17; and
  • a request from the Bridgeport Lion’s Club to install lights at the Community Service commemorative flagpole in Harwood Park.

In the consent agenda, officials will review minutes and hear a presentation on the May budget variance report from City Administrator Brandon Emmons.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 900 Thompson St., and is open to the public.

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Adrian Matthew Martinez

Robin Martinez of Bridgeport announces the birth of a son, Adrian Matthew, on July 7, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has two brothers: Julius Isaiah, 4, and Mayson Daniel Mitchell, 4.

Grandmother is Maria Aguilar of Bridgeport.

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Raylynn Grace Martinez

Casey Daugherty and Tony Martinez of Bridgeport announce the birth of a daughter, Raylynn Grace Martinez, on July 3, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long.

She has two brothers: Roston Martinez, 3, and Wyatt Mitchell, 3.

Grandparents are Susan Daugherty and Timoteo and Tyree Martinez.

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Angel Daniel Garcia

Jose Garcia and Micaela Silva of Bridgeport announce the birth of a son, Angel Daniel Garcia, on July 3, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has one sister: Zulay Abigail Garcia.

Grandparents are Jos Garcia and Ludivina Benitez and Lino Silva and Lidia Beltr n.

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Pickup runs off road, 1 dies

Pickup runs off road, 1 dies

A Bridgeport man was found dead Friday afternoon inside a pickup near the Lake Bridgeport spillway.

FATAL ACCIDENT – Stephen Ince, 22, of Bridgeport was found dead Friday inside a pickup that was apparently driven off the roadway into a gully about 100 feet below. It is unknown when the accident occurred. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Stephen Doyle Ince, 22, was reported missing by his family Wednesday night, and when family members set out to look for him Friday morning, they discovered his truck underneath the bridge on Farm Road 1658, about 100 feet below the roadway.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Patrick Alonzo said it’s unknown how long the pickup was in the ravine.

“[Family members] were driving along the road and noticed the fence was down [on the south side of the spillway],” he said. “They looked over the bridge and saw the truck, then called 911.”

Although the wreck is still under investigation, it’s believed Ince was eastbound on FM 1658 when he rounded a curve, drove off the roadway, down the embankment and launched into the air before landing in the bottom of the spillway.

Alonzo said the trail of debris indicates the pickup landed upside down but then flipped upright.

Ince was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Jan Morrow.

Units from Lake Bridgeport and Bridgeport fire departments, as well as Wise County medics, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and personnel from Chico Auto Parts worked for more than two hours to hoist the truck back up to the roadway.

FRIDAY WRECK – Units from Lake Bridgeport and Bridgeport fire departments, as well as Wise County medics, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and personnel from Chico Auto Parts worked for more than two hours Friday to hoist a truck driven by Stephen Ince, 22, of Bridgeport back up to the roadway. Ince was pronounced dead at the scene. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Ince was an auto detailer at Lone Star Super Wash in Decatur.

His manager and friend, Robert Thomasson, described Ince as a great, quiet worker.

“He always did what we asked him to do,” Thomasson said. “He was quiet, but he made everybody laugh. He always had a smile on his face. We’re going to miss that.”


The Bridgeport Correctional Center is hosting a silent auction to help pay for Ince’s funeral expenses.

Several officers have donated three hours of their time to perform minor home improvements or yard work, which will be awarded to the highest bidder. All assigned tasks must be within reason.

The list of participating officers has not yet been finalized, but for information or to place bids, call the center at 940-683-3010.

The auction will close July 15, and winning bidders will be notified July 16.

Stephen’s mother, Sheila Ince, is a nurse at the correctional center.

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Read wins at Nocona

Bridgeport’s Lexi Read shot a 74 Monday to win the 15-18 girls division at the North Texas Junior Golf Tour stop at Nocona Hills.

The two-time UIL state qualifier finished 25 strokes ahead of Jacksboro’s Jensen Perkins. Remi Swensson shot 103.

Paradise’s Colton Horton fired a 79 to finish three strokes in front of his high school teammate Brandon McCutchen. Colton Wells finished with an 84, and Decatur’s Hayden Bennett 85.

In the boys 12-14 group, Jacksboro’s Ethan Sanchez won with an 87. Brady Burnett was second with a 121, and Caleb Bennett of Decatur third with a 125.

Rylee Staley fired a 120 in the 12-14 girls division.

Kyler Kelsey of Paradise shot a 50 over nine holes in the 9-11 class. Chase Stone had a 47 in the 8-and-under coed division. Collin Moody of Bridgeport shot 49.

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Ramp needs more attention, less trash

Why is there no “common sense” by those in charge of the boat ramps on Lake Bridgeport? We are down to one ramp with very limited parking, while the ramp at the dam could easily be extended while the lake is so low – thereby providing more access and parking to all who visit the lake.

How hard is it to make this “common sense” decision? The amount of taxes and revenue generated by this lake should be reason and justification by itself to do this – not to mention the safety and access concerns!

Also, I launched my boat this morning and was utterly disgusted at the amount of trash left by those setting off fireworks at the only ramp we have on Lake Bridgeport. How can people be so lazy and inconsiderate of others?

No wonder no one wants to let the public have access! Next time you hear “no fireworks allowed” remember – it was trashy and inconsiderate people that caused it!

What is even more disgusting is most of them probably had children with them, so now they, as well, believe it is OK to trash, and be trash.

Rusty White

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Bridgeport Intermediate School Sixth Six Weeks Honor Roll


THIRD GRADE – Emma Cantrell, Eric Cervantes, Joel Cervantes, Merari Fraga, Yazmin Gonzalez, Vincent Grube, Emily Herrera, Cole Holley, Chan Horne, Galilea Huerta, Molly Johanson, Marisol Martinez, Jadyn McCoy, Landen McEntire, Micah Medina, Mariah Monk, Greeley Neeper, Seth Phillips, Sean Reed, Nicole Reyes, Kayli Roberts, Diego Rojo, Vanessa Rosales, Colton Rudder, Gregory Sadberry, Alyssa Schonerstedt, Harley Sheppard, Ariel Sultz, Maximus Uribe, Charles Walker, Raynee Walker, Jeffrey Warner, Savannah Whisenant, Zandon White, Bralyn Wright

FOURTH GRADE – Aaron Brichetto, Jocelyn Cano Gamino, Blayke Carrillo, Chris DeLaCerda, Blase Gaona, Jacquelyne Garcia, Mariah Garcia, Emma Godwin, Landon Gregg, Kolby Hamblin, Nicole Hernandez, Seguin Hernandez, Alexis Hofer, Erin Holt, Blake Horton, Claire Huya, Mallory Larned, Grisel Lule, Erick Macias, Sidney Macias, Taylor Marlett, Ashley Marschall, Logan Marshall, Gerardo Martinez, Bristyn Miller, Syverah Monrreal, Brandon Mullins, Diana Ortega-Sanchez, Cathy Ortiz, Brooklyn Rhodes, Zoe Rivera, Abel Rodriguez, Alexis Rodriguez, Samuel Rodriguez, Isabella Ruano-RuizDeVivar, Aislinn Rudder, Kendra Schmerber, Jyra Schuler, Courtney Shaw, Kyler Sparks, Emma Sutherland, John Taylor, Owen Taylor, Kyle Teague, Madison Van Hoose, Saul Velasquez, Mario Velazquez, Alyssa Verdugo, Bailey White, Zane White

FIFTH GRADE – Emerson Coleman, Piper Dominguez, Zachary Eubanks, Ayla Foskey, Marisol Fraga, Makenna Gantt, Alexa Garza, Mitchel Hand, Raegen Hankins, Grace Hiler, Ashley Ingram, Tyler Keener, Hanna King, Brittany Landers, Samuel Lara, Michael Marschall, Arren Martinez, Rayanna McEntire, Yadira Mu oz, Avery North, Breeanna Paddack, Aubrey Powers, Aaron Quiroz, Jacob Richey, Sadye Rojo, Kaylyn Shallene, Chandler Spill, Lexine Stone, Blake Sutherland, Rachel Tyson, Veronica Valdez, Logan Walsh, Jessica Williamson


THIRD GRADE – Sergio Acevedo, Ivy Adams, Cameron Anderson, Sadee Carstens, Eddy Cervantes, Shande Contreras, Cade Cortez, Crystal Cruz, Brylie Davidson, Jose De La Cerda, Valeria DeLuna, Hailey Dickerson, Ruben Dominguez, Briana Elizondo, Esther Estrada, Hezekiah Fitzgerald, Samuel Hernandez, Brianna Hernandez-Perez, Aida Juarez, Alexis Juarez, Giovani Lopez, Jaime Lopez, Juliana Lopez, Mason McComis, Kylie Monrreal, Alyana Montoya, Elijah Morman, Joey Moya, Shawn Nelsom, Joshua Newton, Melina Owens, Rowdy Parker, Payton Phillips, Amya Pinto, Bethany Powers, Rebeka Prado, Guadalupe Rubio, Fernando Santos, Payton Thomas, Montserrat Uribe-Baeza, Cutter Valley, Daniel Wallace

FOURTH GRADE – Patrick Armstrong, Damian Barboza-Sanchez, Chad Bradford, Karlos Brown, Shawn Burns, Brianna Chavez, Julianna Chavez, Naomi-Guadalupe de la Rosa, Magaly Delgadillo, Marcus Delgado, Miguel DeLuna, Zahree Driver, Jonathon Edmundson, Lisbeth Galvan, Cendy Godoy, Sebastian Green, Camden Gregg, Sebastian Iniguez, Cason Jobe, Kobe Keller, Nohemi Lara, Bianca Lopez, Maricela Lopez, Priscila Lopez, Shawn McClure, Mason McGuire, Moises Medina, Victor Medina, Fernando Medrano, Jessica Mejia, Christian Mills, Madyson Minor, Skyler Nelson, Gabriel Perez, Bryce Petre, Mark Pina, Isabel Rangel-Castillo, Sylvia Reyes, Jamie Reynolds, Esmeralda Rodriguez, Evelyn Rodriguez, Gerardo Rodriguez, Matthew Sadberry, Dakota Sheppard, Vanessa Smith, Gavin Sosa, Turner South, Angelo Stonechek, Sophia Sullivan-Green, Brandon Torres, Bryan Torres, Emily Tovar, Janelli Trujillo, Brooklyn Tucker, Elizabeth Walker, Dylan Williams, Dustin Woods, Davyn Wooldridge

FIFTH GRADE – Rachel Anderson, D’Arcy Boswell, Angela Boucher, Melisa Caldera-Ortiz, Austin Carrick, Olivia Carson, Tariana Cervantes, Ethan Cypert, Yaritza DeLaCerda, Matthew Dennis, Chloe Edwards, Elianna Fitzgerald, Axel Flores-Vasquez, Noah Frazier, Viviana Galicia, Lance Godsey, Ian Helsel, Yesenia Hernandez-Ramos, Mauricio Ibarra, Leah Jamieson, Blake Johnson, Kylie Johnson, Brac Jones, Dayton Lawson-Dittman, Emily Lee, Izabella Leija, Angel Martinez, Ashley Martinez, Mersedes Martinez, Lisa McAnear, Yucely Meza, Jaylon Mogus, Kegan Munn, Jacob O’Dell, Allyson Olveda, Victoria Pewitt, ShyLa Pressley, Alyanna Ramirez, Collin Southerland, Brandon Stewart, Abigale Swanzy, Destiny Taylor, Travis VanHoose, Isaac Vasquez, Gage Vick, Kelli Williamson, Sydney Wilson, Caleb Young

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City to sell acreage

Property previously purchased by the city of Bridgeport will soon be back on the market.

In March 2008, the city purchased the 311-acre Rutherford Ranch in anticipation of a runaway extension at the adjacent municipal airport.

In August 2013, the city dedicated 85.15 acres for the project and an additional 62.81 acres as an avigation easement.

With the project bid and construction anticipated soon, staff advised council to start marketing the remainder of the property.

At its meeting Tuesday, the council voted 4-1 to authorize staff to advertise to sell approximately 225 acres. Councilman David Correll cast the dissenting vote.

“Do we have a projected plan or vision for a greater need later on where we might need the land?” Correll asked.

City Administrator Brandon Emmons advised that there weren’t any plans in the next 20 years to extend the runway any farther.

In a text message to the Messenger Friday morning, Correll elaborated on his concerns about marketing the property without conducting an “actual appraisal in current dollars” – much like the outgoing council handled the purchase of a building for a veterans museum earlier this year.

“We purchased it but should’ve had an appraisal like any of us do when we purchase a home or commercial property,” Correll said. “Without an appraisal how can we know real property values before we buy and sell property?”

In April, the council approved by a vote of 3-2 to purchase the property at 1308 10th St. for a veterans museum. The city will pay the $275,000 price out of the unrestricted general fund balance.

The Bridgeport Economic Development Corp. purchased the same property in 2007 for $225,000. Later that year, the city sold just the building for $40,000 to David Welch, from whom the city purchased it this year.

In other news, the council:

  • awarded contracts to ABC Professional Tree Trimming Service in the amount of $48,000 for the 2013-2014 year and $43,890 for 2014-2015. “This is one of the areas that we have been falling behind,” Emmons said. “I know James (Elliott, director of utilities) and the rest of the electric department greatly appreciates this … They can now concentrate on some of the other repairs.”
  • granted a 90-day extension to a previously granted masonry exception requested by BEFCO Engineering Inc. on behalf of Holt Cat on U.S. 380. However a delay in acquiring the necessary easements for waterline extensions has slowed the project.
  • conducted an annual review of the city’s investment policy and approved it as written.
  • proclaimed July as parks and recreation month.
  • in a consent agenda, approved the June 17 meeting minutes.
  • scheduled a budget workshop for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, at City Hall.

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Abel Guadalajara

Rosa and Rolando Guadalajara of Bridgeport announce the birth of a son, Abel, on June 18, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long.

He has a sister, Andrea, 4.

Grandparents are Eliseo and Beatriz Ortiz and Lupe and Martha Guadalajara, all of Bridgeport.

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Celebrations planned for Parks and Rec Month

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and the corresponding department in the city of Bridgeport plans to celebrate with special programs and discounted rates all month long.

Parks and Recreation staff will host themed parties 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday of the month at the city pool. They include:

  • July 3 – Born in the USA (patriotic);
  • July 10 – Jungle safari;
  • July 17 – Hollywood night;
  • July 24 – Luau; and
  • July 31 – Christmas in July.

There will be games and activities. Admission is $2.

A mother/son ice cream and pool party is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, at the pool. Sundaes, swimming, games and giveaways are slated. Tickets are $10 per couple and $5 for each additional son. Tickets are available at City Hall and the pool.

The next day, there will be an Under the Sea party, which includes a dive-in showing of “The Little Mermaid.”

The pool opens at 8 p.m., and the movie begins at dusk. Admission is $1.

For the adults, the department’s first concert in the park is 8 p.m. Saturday, July 26. It will feature Mars Hill Band, a “party band” that plays a mix of R&B, dance, 80s/90s pop, rock and even country.

Activities begin to wrap up with a late-night swim 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 26.

For information, call the city’s parks and rec department at 940-683-3480.

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No holds barred in Bridgeport; Fans line ropes for wrestling event

No holds barred in Bridgeport; Fans line ropes for wrestling event

As the sun sank Saturday night, Bridgeport was awash in golden rays and smackdowns.

Fans gathered behind Red’s Take 5 Sports Bar for a ridiculous athletic exhibition – professional wrestling.

Locked In

LOCKED IN – Les Mayne and Major Mark grapple while Ashton Jacobs watches from the sideline during Saturday’s bout at Red’s Take 5 Sports Bar. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The word “ridiculous” comes to mind because of the absurdly passionate fandom, whose cheering and jeering are as much a part of the spectacle as the matches themselves. Few athletic events elicit this kind of devotion that often stretches across generations.

BRINGING OUT OLD GLORY – Mark Roy makes a lap around the ring with the American flag. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

National Wrestling Association Texoma Wrestler “The Great Dane” Griffin has been a wrestling fanatic for about 20 years. He first climbed into the ring about seven years ago.

“I think I got interested in wrestling as a kid because of the larger-than-life personalities and the superstardom.”

He said his kids love his wrestling, and although his wife is supportive, she is “not that into it.” His son watches Monday night wrestling and wants to wrestle just like his dad. He mostly competes in Texas but has gone as far as Tennessee for a match – quite a feat considering he only has one weekend a month off from work.

Red Buck owns Red’s and Buck’s North Texas Live. She is hoping for a good time and a windfall from the crowds pro wrestling can bring to Bridgeport.

“We got in wrestling for the first time,” Buck said. “We are trying it out, and hopefully if it does well, we can bring them back every six weeks.”

Buck said she’d like to be on the midget tour. The bar is already home to pool and shuffleboard tournaments and even a karaoke competition that promises to send the finalist on July 25 to compete “with the big boys” for $100,000.

NWA promoter Terri Hopper said NWA does more than 50 shows a year. Her home base is in Sherman.

“We’ve been in business for about four years,” Hopper said. “I kind of helped start this. I saw a show and didn’t like how he was running it, so I got his job and did it better.”

She said the show in Bridgeport could grow into something big. That’s what she has seen in places like Sherman. She said the fans are great and loyal, and if you hold it, they will come.

“There is a family of 14 in Sherman I know who buy tickets and come out to every show,” Hooper said. “This could grow and fill the place up. Our guys may not be on the big screen, but they are some of the best around.”

The night wasn’t all about spills and thrills. It was also about pride and recognizing the men and women who serve in the military. “Major Mark” – Mark Roy – took the stage during intermission and held up a fist with a single black ring. He shook hands with a disabled veteran who was missing his right leg.

Roy, the Commandant of the Marine Corps League in Denton, seeks to raise awareness while putting on a show.

“For me, I want to get the word out,” he said. “Our No. 1 job is outreach and the second is connecting them with the services. It’s the 22 Kill Ring or the honor ring. It honors those who serve and to bring awareness for those 22 veterans who commit suicide every day.

“A lot of people think it’s post-traumatic stress, but it’s not always that.”

Roy said it’s an identity thing. He said more than half of the veterans who commit suicide are over 40 and are retiring from a life that has been defined in military terms.

“They’ve gone through 13 years in the war on terror, and their life unravels,” Roy said. “There is not structure anymore, and it’s all on them. They can never do what they did in Iraq and Afghanistan. They lose their identity and when that happens, they don’t feel like they fit in.”

Roy talked about his ring and held it up as several in the crowd responded in kind, holding up their black honor rings. To the side, Roy’s son and fellow wrestler, also named Mark Roy, stand and watche.

Father and son are just two of a couple dozen wrestlers with NWA.

They’ve already won some fans in Wise County.

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Clarence Dalton Cook

Clarence Dalton Cook

Clarence Dalton Cook, 94, died Thursday, June 26, 2014, in Bridgeport.

Funeral was July 1 at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Dr. David Burrows and Dr. Craig Erb officiating. Burial followed at East Bridgeport Cemetery.

Clarence was born Feb. 12, 1920, in Athens to Heron and Matie (Hobson) Cook. He married Eula Mae Reeves May 29, 1943, in Jacksboro.

He had been a resident of Bridgeport since 1949 and retired from Acme Brick after 32 years of service. He was an avid gardener and shared the bounty of his garden and orchard with family, friends and fellow workers for many years.

Clarence was an enthusiastic follower of the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavericks and Stars.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Eula Mae Reeves Cook of Bridgeport; daughter Norma Anderson of Bridgeport; son Danny Cook and wife, Ada Marie, of Decatur; grandchildren David Anderson and wife, Susan, of Grand Prairie, Daniel Anderson and wife, Melissa, of San Antonio and Deborah Anderson of McKinney; great-grandchildren Christopher, Amallia, Rachel and Gracie; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Hettie Lee Alcorn, Versie Hinds, Addie Robbins and Annie Lyons; and brother Henry Cook.

Memorial contributions can be made to the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport Food Bank.

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Landry Grace Godwin

Landry Grace Godwin

Landry Grace Godwin, infant daughter of Brandon and Jessica Godwin, died Saturday, June 28, 2014, in Bridgeport.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with the Rev. Gary Sessions officiating. Burial will follow at East Bridgeport Cemetery. Visitaiton is one hour prior to the service.

Pallbearers are Bradley Fagan, Bryan Fagan, Albert Edwards and Lucas Dixon.

Landry was born June 23, 2014, in Decatur to Brandon and Jessica (Edwards) Godwin.

Survivors include her parents, Brandon and Jessica Godwin of Bridgeport; sisters Karlee, Aja, Emma and Natalie Godwin, all of Bridgeport; grandmothers Debbie Shepherd of Honey Grove and Gayla Fagan of Bridgeport; grandfather Albert Edwards of Honey Grove; great-great-aunt Mary Owens of Bridgeport; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

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Last memories: Owner to close antique store after more than 20 years

Growing up, Linda Saylor watched her grandmother make butter in a certain Jewel Tea bowl.

“When I was a little kid I asked her, ‘When you don’t want it anymore, can I have that bowl?’” she recalled.

In 1972 she gifted it to Saylor, initiating a hobby that transformed into a career – one that ended earlier this month when Saylor closed down T&L Antiques in Bridgeport.

Closing Shop

CLOSING SHOP – After almost three decades of selling antiques – most of those years on Halsell Street in Bridgeport – Linda Saylor has decided to close her store and retire. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“After she gave me the bowl, I went out looking for more of those kinds of dishes,” Saylor said. “Then I would find something else I liked and before I knew it, I decided I needed to open up a shop because I didn’t have any room in my house.”

She and her husband, Tommy, and other family members started with a booth at an antique store on Washburn Street in Decatur – a two-story home that most recently housed Jearene’s Cottage and Exceptional Bride.

After a year-and-a-half they moved to the antique mall in Azle, where the Saylors lived then. They rented space in that venue for four years.

But Mrs. Saylor yearned to learn more about the business side.

“There’s a difference between being a dealer and having a shop,” she said. “So I worked for two years at the front, checking people out and helping them so I could learn more about it.”

Then Tommy – who retired from lake patrol for the Tarrant Regional Water District last month – was transferred from Eagle Mountain to Lake Bridgeport.

With her newly cultivated skills in business management, she and Tommy rented space from Addie Ruth Green Steel to open a shop on Halsell Street, where they operated for five years.

Then in 1996, the couple purchased a building further east on Halsell which housed the business until two weeks ago.

“With Tommy retiring, I thought, ‘It’s time I retire, too,’” Saylor said.

They plan to retreat to an old farm house they’ve remodeled on the lake in Graham, taking with them the memory of creating memories.

“I’ll hear so many people come in and say, ‘Oh we had those,’” she said. “That’s what you’re trying to build.

“I tell women, ‘If you want your kids to keep something, when you have Christmas dinners, Easter, birthdays – then you use your good china.’ It doesn’t have to be expensive china. But use it instead of paper plates, because then your kids and your grandkids will say, ‘Oh we ate off of that when we were little,’ and they’ll want to keep your things.

“It has a memory to it. Paper plates have no memory.”

Like that butter dish that launched it all, that’s what shops like hers are all about.

“They’re memory shops,” she said. “How special to be a part of so many.”

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Council to consider tree-trimming contract

Bridgeport city officials continue to follow through with budget packages outlined last year.

At its meeting Tuesday, the city council will consider awarding a bid to trim trees away from power lines.

During the budget-writing process last year, city officials allocated $50,000 for the project.

The council will begin this year’s budget process Tuesday by discussing the policies that guide the development of the city’s financial plan.

Also during the meeting, the council will consider:

  • advertising to sell 225 acres of the Rutherford Ranch property, which was purchased by the city in 2008 to extend the runway at the city’s airport;
  • granting a 90-day extension to a previously granted special exception to the masonry ordinance for Holt Cat on U.S. 380.
  • proclaiming July Parks and Recreation Month; and
  • the June 17 meeting minutes and reviewing the city’s investment policy in the consent agenda.

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Sharon Verita Hawkins

Sharon Verita Hawkins

Sharon Verita Hawkins, 67, died Wednesday June 18, 2014.

She had been a resident at Senior Care in Bridgeport for the last three years. Although no public memorial will be held, Verita will be remembered by family and friends who loved her.

Verita was born July 11, 1946, in Quanah to Klina Monette (Underwood) and Edward Eldo Fincher. A 1964 graduate of Quanah High School, she was awarded a four-year music scholarship to West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) in Canyon, where she was a voice major.

She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in English and elementary education from Midwestern University in Wichita Falls and entered the teaching field in 1970 when she joined the faculty of the Quanah school system, teaching fifth and sixth grades.

As director of the Quanah Music Lovers Club, she was known for her perfect pitch and piano skill. Verita was also a flying student and received her solo certification from Hawkins Aircraft in Quanah in 968. She loved reading her Bible, music, teaching and spending time with her family.

Verita is survived by her sister, Edwenna Earnheart and husband, Richard, of New Mexico; daughter Renee Hooper and son-in-law, Eric, of Bridgeport; and grandchildren Brilliana, Silas, Killian and Johan Preston, and Emily, Ashley and Makenna Hawkins.

She was preceded in death by her son, Murry Justin Hawkins; and her parents.

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Herman Edward McCasland

Herman Edward McCasland

Herman Edward McCasland, 75, formerly of Bridgeport, died Friday, June 20, 2014, in Temple.

Graveside memorial service is 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 28, at West Bridgeport Cemetery with the Rev. Gary Sessions officiating.

Herman was born March 10, 1939, in Bridgeport to Ansel and Barbara McCasland. He married Cherry Bell and cherished the time he spent with his family.

Herman proudly served his country in the United States Army. He was a disabled veteran and a retired truck driver and instructor.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Bertha Crosen and Dorothy Andrew; and his brother, Marlin McCasland.

He is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, Cherry McCasland; sons Andy McCasland and Marlin McCasland; grandson Collin McCasland; brother Barney McCasland; sisters Wanda Forms and Barbara McCormick; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other family members and friends.

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