Mom starts online fundraiser for son

A Bridgeport mother has started an online fundraiser to pay for her son’s medical bills in the wake of his unexpected hospitalization after he collapsed from a heat stroke during football practice.

In the Dark

IN THE DARK- Jeremy Davis, 16, spent three days in a medically-induced coma last week after he suffered a heat stroke at football practice in Bridgeport. His mother, Chandra,has set up an on online fundraiser to help pay for his medical bills. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Chandra Davis, mother of Jeremy Davis, 16, created a GoFundMe page Sept. 10 to help pay $2,000 in out-of-pocket costs incurred when Jeremy had to be taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Jeremy, a member of the Bridgeport JV team, said he suffered a heat stroke because he was dehydrated and had to run extra sprints after practice, ending with him not being able to catch his breath.

“The next thing I know, I was waking up in the ICU,” Jeremy said.

The Wise County call sheet says an ambulance was dispatched at 6:26 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2. By 6:28, medics were on the scene assisting Jeremy, and he was in an ambulance on the way to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur by 7:01.

Chandra said Jeremy was only at Wise Regional for about an hour, where he had a temperature of 105 degrees. From there, it was off to Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, where he would stay until Sunday. Chandra said Jeremy spent three of those days in a medically-induced coma.

He’s recovered now, but Chandra said her son is still having trouble with some basic day-to-day things, which is why he needs physical therapy.

“His liver and his kidneys were damaged, but they’re repairing themselves,” Chandra said. “But his brain is damaged, the part that controls balance [cerebellum], and that’s why we’re having to do therapy. He can walk OK as long as it’s one foot in front of the other, but he can’t do stairs, he can’t climb things.”

So far, the fundraiser page has brought in zero dollars. Chandra said she hopes the page will help pay for the out-of-pocket medical fees and some of the therapy.

Jeremy said he was running after practice that Tuesday because of an extra conditioning requirement called “List of Pain” – something administered by coaches when players fail to follow instructions in the classroom or on the practice field.

Jeremy had missed the last two weeks of practice because he was out with a shoulder injury and said he was not told why he had to run.

“I was told he was doing it because he didn’t clean out his locker when he was injured,” Joe, Jeremy’s brother, also a JV player, said.

Bridgeport head football coach and athletics director Danny Henson said the running was to help Jeremy get into better shape because of his injury.

“He was jogging after practice – he’d been out two weeks with an injury, and the rest of the team was doing weight conditioning while he was running,” Henson said.

“The List of Pain thing – it’s a lot of things, it’s not just one specific punishment. Sometimes it’s classroom issues, sometimes it’s locker room issues. All the details about what happened are things I can’t and don’t want to talk about.

“Our statement about the whole thing is that we’re happy he’s out of the hospital, and we’re glad he’s healthy.”

Jeremy said he spent the entire practice in full pads and couldn’t get any water during practice because all the water bottles the trainers had were empty. He said the varsity players drank it all first.

“He was absolutely dehydrated,” Chandra said.

Henson said Tuesday practices usually last from 4 to 6:30 p.m., practicing in full pads from about 4 to 5:50, and then going inside for a 20-minute weight-lifting session to finish around 6:30.

“Our practices are open for anyone to come watch,” Henson said.

Chandra said she plans to file a civil suit against the coach who was watching Jeremy run, but she has not been able to find a lawyer to take the case. Jeremy won’t be back in school until next Monday.

“Hopefully, we can get through it,” Chandra said.

To donate, go to

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Football: Bulls try to keep streak going

The Bulls pulled off a 53-48 homecoming win against Godley last Friday, but the game wasn’t as close as the score appears. The Wildcats scored first, but the Bulls led the entire game after they scored three times in the first quarter.

Bridgeport’s game was helped in no small part by receiver Keenan Holdman, who had five touchdowns and 137 receiving yards for the night.

Pulling It Down

PULLING IT DOWN – Bridgeport receiver Dylan Garrison hauls in a 9-yard touchdown reception during the Bulls’ win over Godley last Friday. Bridgeport takes on Burkburnett Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It felt good,” Holdman said after the game. “We’re just blessed, and it was great to finally win at home.”

Brazier Talley also rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown last week, and Grayson Mathes had 63 rushing yards.

Bridgeport, now 2-1, will take its show on the road this week against the Burkburnett Bulldogs, who are 1-2 coming off of a 41-7 homecoming beating at the hands of Vernon.

So far, Bridgeport is perfect on the road, and Burkburnett has lost the only game it’s played at home.

Burkburnett’s biggest threat is fullback Marquis Askew, who has four touchdowns and 234 yards on the season. He was kept to just 39 yards last week against Vernon.

The Bulldogs aren’t much of a passing team. Askew alone has more rushing yards than quarterback Bryan Lewis has passing yards. Lewis only has one touchdown pass and 62 passing yards to his credit this season.

“They present some problems for us in that they run a real throwback, option-heavy offense, so hopefully our defense can get disciplined enough to handle that this week,” Bridgeport head coach Danny Henson said.

The last time the Bulldogs and the Bulls met in 2013, Burkburnett won by 5, 40-35.

“If it turns out to be another high-scoring game like last year, we’ve got to cut down on mistakes, just like every game,” Henson said. “Every possession counts.”

Of the two games Burkburnett has lost, they’ve done so by margins of 34 points each time, with a 48-14 loss to Iowa Park and a 41-7 loss to Vernon.

The game starts at 7:30 at Burkburnett High school.


7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium

Bridgeport: Harris Rating 211

Notable: The Bulls are averaging 481 yards per game.

Burkburnett: Harris Rating 198

Notable: The Bulldogs’ lone win is against Aubrey.

Harris line: Bridgeport by 13

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Volleyball: Sissies dam up Red River

The Bridgeport Sissies outlasted Red River Christian to pick up a victory in five games.

The Sissies won the match 25-17, 27-25, 21-25, 21-25, 17-15.

“We did a much better job of taking care of the ball against a very scrappy team,” said Brideport coach Rebekah Cummings. “We had a lot of girls step up and really show up for their team.”

The Sissies used a balanced attack. Ally Raby put down eight kills. Sadie White, Allie Mindieta and Mariah Leyva added seven each. Jessica White had five.

Ryhan Read and Nikki Barbour dished out 17 assists each.

Leyva served five aces and made 27 digs on defense.

Taylor Stone finished with 20 digs, and Ameilia Hurtado had 17.

Jessica White blocked four shots.

Bridgeport played Gainesville Tuesday.

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Council Previews for Saturday, September 13, 2014

BUDGET, AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS GET CITY’S FOCUS - The Bridgeport City Council will adopt its 2014-2015 tax rate of $0.5875 per $100 valuation at its meeting Tuesday, 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at 900 Thompson Street. The council will also discuss a uniform rental agreement with G&K Services and consider an agreement with TxDOT’s aviation division for improvements and repairs to the Bridgeport Municipal Airport.

DUGOUTS, AG BARNS ON AGENDA - The Bridgeport ISD will meet 7:30 p.m. Monday night at 2107 15th Street. At the meeting, the board is expected to discuss baseball dugouts, agricultural science barns and electronic message boards for each campus.

CRIME LAB, RESIGNATION ON COMMISSIONERS’ AGENDA – Wise County Commissioners face a lengthy agenda when they meet at 9 a.m. Monday on the third floor of the courthouse in Decatur, among them a request from Sheriff David Walker to acquire a building to be used as a future crime lab, and a “notification letter” received from Election Administrator Lanny Noble “for his resignation.” Other agenda items include bids on property sold in the recent “struck off property” auction, a final plat for Montecito Estates, cleaning out county road right-of-way to improve public safety and a discussion of conditions that might call for renewing the county’s burn ban. The meeting is open to the public.

DECATUR SCHOOL BOARD MEETS MONDAY – Decatur ISD administrators will provide the school board with their district and campus improvement plans at Monday’s meeting. The consent agenda includes the usual monthly items as well as approval of out-of-state travel for the National FFA Convention. The superintendent’s communications include a report on resignations/new hires, principals’ reports, directors’ reports, enrollment report, the high school ag project center and bond election. The meeting will take place at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates with a closed session at 6 p.m. followed by the open session at 7.

CHICO SCHOOL BOARD MEETS MONDAY – The Chico School Board will consider the Dads for Dragons program at Chico Elementary School at Monday’s meeting. In addition to the routine monthly items, the board will consider the sale of real estate, designation of 4-H activities as extracurricular school events and Extension agents as adjunct staff members, and district goals for the 2014-2015 school year. A work session with WRA Architects will take place following the board meeting in the elementary library. The regular meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in Room 150 of Chico Elementary School, 1120 Park Road.

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Football: Bulls tame Wildcats for 1st home win

Football: Bulls tame Wildcats for 1st home win

It was a battle of offenses Friday night in Bridgeport as the Bulls won their first home game of the season against the Godley Wildcats 53-48.

Taking Off

TAKING OFF-Bridgeport receiver Keenan Holdman outruns two Godley defenders. Holdman had two rushing touchdowns in the team’s homecoming win over the Wildcats. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Receiver Keenan Holdman was a vital part of the Bulls’ homecoming win with three touchdown receptions and two rushing touchdowns.

“It feels good, it feels really good,” Holdman said. “But none of that could have been possible without the [offensive] line, and our coaches made some great play calls, and we just executed.”

The nail-biter of a game came down to which team had the ball last. Godley started off with a 62 yard touchdown run from quarterback Ian Aguirre a mere 16 seconds into the game. The Bulls answered on their next drive with their first Holdman touchdown, a 28-yard pass from Trey Cook. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, making the score 7-6.

Godley was forced to punt on its next drive, and that’s when the Bulls scored again on another Cook-Holdman touchdown, this time for 39 yards. Godley never led again, but did score on its next drive, with a 9-yard touchdown run from Aguirre.

And back and forth it went for most of the game. A nine-yard touchdown on fourth down put Bridgeport up 20-14 at the end of the first quarter Godley punted on their next drive, Bridgeport scored again on their next attempt with a 3-yard Raby Hawkins run and a failed PAT attempt to put the score at 26-14. Godley scored on its next drive with a 6-yard QB keeper from Aguirre. A two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the gap started to close at 26-20.

Bridgeport answered with Holdman’s third touchdown of the night, a 6-yard pass from Cook. Another two-point conversion attempt went bad, putting the score at 32-20.

With 13 seconds left in the half, Aguirre threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to fullback Johnny Davis to make it 32-27.

The third quarter saw only two scores, both from Bridgeport- a 27-yard pass from Cook to Raby Hawkins with a 2-point conversion and a 3-yard run by Holdman. The fourth quarter started out with Bridgeport up 47-27.

The fourth quarter belonged entirely to Godley, who came within one play of coming back and upsetting the Bulls. Aguirre ran it in for a 5-yard touchdown, but Bridgeport fought back with Holdman’s fifth touchdown, a short 2-yard run that made the score 53-34. That would be the last time Bridgeport scored.

A 41-yard pass from Aguirre to Johnny Davis made the score 53-41. Bridgeport fumbled on its next drive, which Godley capitalized on when Aguirre scored on a two-yard rushing play with four minutes left, putting the score at 53-48.

Bridgeport failed to convert on fourth down on its next drive and it almost cost them the game. Godley took over on downs on the Bridgeport 39 yard line and made it all the way to the 3 yard line when Aguirre’s pass attempt went incomplete with five seconds of play left.

“It was a wild ending, I guess that’s the only way we can play this year,” Bridgeport head coach Danny Henson said. “I thought offensively, we played really well, we moved the clock well, but we just figured that with the wind blowing like it was, we should’ve gone for it on that last play instead of punting it, and luckily our defense was able to make the stops that it did. It’s just nice to win at home.”

Tallying Up Yards

TALLYING UP YARDS-Receiver Brazier Talley runs through the Godey defense after catching a pass from quarterback Trey Cook Friday night. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


Bridgeport … 20 … 12 … 14 … … 7 … – … 53
Godley … 14 … 13 … 0 … … 21 … – … 48


Godley – 11:44, Ian Aguirre 62 run, PAT Sotelo

Bridgeport – 10:44, Trey Cook 28 pass to Keenan Holdman, 2 point conversion no good

Bridgeport – 7:51, Cook 39 pass to Holdman, PAT DeLuna

Godley – 3:07, Aguirre 9 run, PAT Sotelo

Bridgeport – :04, Cook 9 pass to Dylan Garrison, PAT DeLuna


Bridgeport – 7:30, Hawkins 3 run, PAT failed

Godley – 4:54, Aguirre 6 run, 2 point conversion no good

Bridgeport – 1:47, Cook 6 pass to Holdman, 2 point conversion no good

Godley – :13, Aguirre 9 pass to Johnny Davis, PAT Sotelo


Bridgeport – 9:45. Cook 27 pass to Hawkins, Brazier Talley 2 point conversion

Bridgeport – :28. Holdman 3 run, PAT DeLuna


Godley – 10:31, Aguirre 5 run, PAT Sotelo

Bridgeport – 7:55, Holdman 2 run, PAT DeLuna

Godley – 6:52, Aguirre 41 pass to Davis, PAT Sotelo

Godley – 4:01, Aguirre 2 run, PAT Sotelo

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Doctor Walker celebrates 25 years of service

Doctor Walker celebrates 25 years of service

There’s a Norman Rockwell painting that hangs in the children’s examination room at Clinical Care Associates in Bridgeport. The painting, titled “Before the Shot/A Study for the Doctor’s Office,” shows a young boy examining the town doctor’s medical degree hanging on the wall as he prepares to get a shot.

The doctor is preparing the penicillin, a drug that was first used to treat soldiers’ wounds in World War II. By the time Rockwell created the painting in 1958, penicillin had become widely used in general medicine – hence, the shot.

The painting is a snapshot of idyllic America, a representation of the imposing figure that was the town doctor.

It’s not out of place in Bridgeport in 2014, either.

Dedicated Physician

DEDICATED PHYSICIAN – Dr. Jon Walker has practiced medicine in Wise County for 25 years, and there will be an open house honoring him and his staff noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at Clinical Care Associates, 2202 U.S. 380, Ste. 112, in Bridgeport. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Dr. Jon Walker celebrated his 25th year of practice in Wise County in August, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Even in the age of the Internet, HMOs and the Affordable Care Act, he still makes house calls when needed – and he still goes to Bridgeport High School football games to mingle with the community.

He also still has the same assistants who started with him in Bridgeport Aug. 1, 1989.

“I always wanted to be a small-town doctor, always just wanted to practice family medicine,” Walker said.

His two assistants, Harriet Cowling Garrison and Rhonda McDonald, said part of the reason for Walker’s success is his bedside manner.

“When he first started, he said, ‘I don’t wear a suit, I don’t wear a tie and my patients will not wait,'” Garrison said. “So he doesn’t answer calls when he has patients in the waiting room and always puts the patients first.”

Some of those patients have also been with Walker for all 25 years of his practice, even when he opened up a private practice in Decatur in the 90s before moving back to Bridgeport in 2008.

“Most of our patients followed him when we moved across the Big Sandy,” Garrison said. “I think that’s just because he’s such a good listener and so down-to-earth.”

Walker moved to Bridgeport in 1989 after finishing his residency at University of North Texas’ Conroe Medical Education Foundation. He said he wanted to find a small town that wasn’t too far away from a big metropolitan area.

“I kind of just chose Bridgeport.”

His first two assistant hires were Garrison and McDonald, and all three agree they’re like a family.

“We’ve been through so much together – marriages, births, divorces, everything,” McDonald said.

“We spend more time with these people here than we do with our own families,” Garrison added.

Despite all of the changes that have happened in the medical field in the last quarter-century, like HMOs, the advent of computers and electronic records, Walker said the job at its core hasn’t changed.

“What I’ve found is that people are generally the same wherever you go – it’s just the faces and the names that are different. Everyone is pretty much the same,” Walker said. “And in a small town, you become more than just a physician. You become a part of their family. That’s the best part.

“It’s neat, but it’s also kind of sad, too,” he added. “You have to go through the bad things with them as well as the good – but it’s a great job. It’s a fun thing to do.”

There’s another room in the Clinical Care Associates building that’s decorated in Bridgeport Bull paraphernalia. A Bull is painted on the wall, and yearbooks and bullhorns dating back to the 1950s line shelves on the wall.

Garrison and McDonald point out that it’s the favorite room for most patients and is of particular significance during the Battle of Big Sandy.

When Dr. Walker walks in to talk to his two assistants, it truly does look like a snapshot of small-town America.

Like something Norman Rockwell would paint.

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Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department hosts annual cook-off

The Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department will host its third annual barbecue cook-off this weekend at Northwest OHV Park in Bridgeport, with contests for both children and adults.

Friday at 8 p.m. will be the children’s pork chop cook-off, where anyone under the age of 14 can compete to win up to $100 in savings bonds. Participants must provide their own meat and can start setting up at 10 a.m. Friday.

Saturday night will be the adults’ competition, which allows participants to compete in chicken, pork spare ribs and brisket challenges for up to $5,000. Participants can start setting up at 10 a.m. on Friday.

There will also be raffle items to win, including a shotgun, a rifle, a TV and a handmade knife, Bridgeport VFD Chief Terry Long said.

“Last year we took in probably around $5,000 to $6,000, and we’re hoping to have at least that much this year,” he said. “We’re expecting probably 40 to 50 people to turn out.”

The event will also feature live music from Austin Allsup, Cody Robbins and Chris Shakelford starting at 3:30 Saturday, as well as a washer tournament and a horseshoe tournament. All proceeds will go directly to the Bridgeport VFD.

Call Long for more information at 940-683-3403.

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Football: Bulls try for 2 straight

After beating Boyd in four overtimes last week to break a losing streak covering parts of two seasons, the Bridgeport Bulls are looking for another win this Friday.

Fighting for Yards

FIGHTING FOR YARDS – Bridgeport receiver Keenan Holdman looks for yards against Boyd last week. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The Bulls edged the Yellowjackets 56-48 in a marathon game Friday night. It ended in the fourth overtime when Bridgeport safety Lane Morrow picked off a pass from Boyd’s Clay Barnett. Bridgeport ended up allowing 636 yards that game – a fact that is not lost on head coach Danny Henson.

“We would have liked to have kept them to fewer yards, but we won, and that’s all that matters,” Henson said of the game that ended the Bulls’ 13-game losing streak.

Henson’s attitude going into the team’s homecoming matchup against the Godley Wildcats this Friday doesn’t seem to be that different from games past.

“We’re going to have to be able to make runs, catches, tackles, everything,” Henson said. “There’s not going to be a single part of our offense that can go wrong in order for us to stay with them.”

That offense will be aided by Brazier Talley, who picked up 93 yards and two touchdowns last week against Boyd, and quarterback Trey Cook, who threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns last week.

Bridgeport’s defense will have to be on the lookout for Godley’s rushing/passing double threat in quarterback Ian Aguirre, who racked up 185 rushing yards and 158 passing yards in a 42-17 win against Fort Worth Trimble Tech last Friday.

“Their best back so far is their quarterback, so we’re going to keep an eye on their running game as far as defense goes,” Henson said.

Defensively, Godley held Trimble Tech to 289 total yards and 13 first downs last week and caused two fumbles.

The Wildcats also drew 11 penalty flags for a total of 110 yards – something Bridgeport may try to capitalize on.


7:30 p.m. at Bull Memorial Stadium

Godley: Harris Rating 206

Notable: Quarterback Ian Aguirre had 185 rushing yards and 158 passing yards last game.

Bridgeport: Harris Rating 190

Notable: The Bulls ended a 13-game losing streak last week with a four-overtime win.

Harris line: Godley by 13

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Volleyball: Sissies fall in 3

The Bridgeport Sissies struggled to generate offense Friday, falling in three games to Mineral Wells by scores of 25-16, 25-23, 25-15.

“We had a lot of breakdowns in communication,” said Bridgeport coach Rebekah Cummings. “It was a domino effect on every other aspect of our game. We all know that we have an uphill battle to face; but luckily we still have some time before district to prepare.”

Jessica White finished with five kills and five blocks. Allie Mindieta added four kills and three blocks.

Ryhan Read and Nikki Barbour handed out six assists each.

Mariah Leyva made six digs. Taylor Stone and Barbour had four digs apiece.

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Bridgeport high school students get creative with parking spaces

Bridgeport high school students get creative with parking spaces

Driving a car to school has long been an American rite of passage, but Bridgeport High School is taking that tradition a step further by allowing students to paint their own parking spots.

Park It Here

PARK IT HERE – Bridgeport High school students Bailey Thompson, Lauren Stowers and Remington Swensson stand in their painted parking spots Friday afternoon. The spots are painted as part of a National Honor Society fundraiser. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The idea started as a National Honor Society fundraiser where students could pay for a parking permit and the right to paint their spot for $50. After $10 goes to the permit, the NHS pockets the other $40 to have funds on hand to do more volunteer work in the community.

Some of the spots feature Disney characters, while others prominently display inspirational quotes, such as Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and Tolkien’s “Not all who wander are lost.” One spot was a painting of a dreamcatcher. All of the spots reflected a student’s personality in some way.

“I wanted to do something that showed how passionate I am about music, because I’m a drum major and music’s a huge part of my life,” senior Remington Swensson said as she showed off her black-and-white checkered, music-note adorned parking spot.

Other spots, like senior Bailey Thompson’s, are more minimalist in their approach. Thompson’s parking spot is painted entirely pink with a small frog at the bottom right corner.

“It was supposed to say, ‘Princess parking only, all others will be towed,’ but once I wrote ‘princess’ I didn’t like the way it looked,” Thompson said. “So I just changed it to be all pink with a frog at the bottom, just because I like frogs a lot.”

Austin Smith, an instructional coach at the high school and the sponsor of the parking spot program, said he was surprised by the students’ creativity.

“I didn’t really think some of them would look that good, but they all really impressed me,” Smith said. “And once some more of the students get their licenses, we’ll have more spots ready to be sold.

Swensson, an NHS member, said at least 60 parking spots have been sold so far.

“It’s just a cool way to get money to be able to do more stuff for the community,” Swensson said.

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Bridgeport runway closure raises concern

The Bridgeport City Council approved a participation agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Tuesday night for the construction phase of an Airport Improvement Project at Bridgeport Municipal Airport.

The project calls for remodeling the runway and parallel taxiways, installing new runway lights and moving a Chevron pipeline on the airport property.

But the year-long project may cause some headaches for pilots who use the airport and keep their planes there. The runway could be shut down for up to six months – something the council addressed in an open meeting with TxDOT, pilots and business owners Tuesday morning.

At that meeting, airport customers spoke with TxDOT representatives about possible plane storage and runway use during the closure. A significant amount of time was spent discussing how pilots might use alternative runways while the airport was shut down.

“What we’ve found is that there is a grassy area at the airport that is around 3,000 feet that planes could take off and land from,” TxDOT Aviation representative Bill Gunn said. “I would say, do it at your own risk and don’t make a habit out of it, and make sure it’s for use by the local folks only … If you keep it local with the [plane] owner’s permission, then the FAA won’t get involved.”

Gunn added that the city wouldn’t be held liable if an accident were to happen while pilots were utilizing the grassy area.

City Administrator Brandon Emmons said the city’s goal is to keep the runway open as long as possible.

“If there is need for local traffic to get in and out, we’ll make that happen,” Emmons said. “Right now, we’re looking at allowing flights for two hours pre-sunrise and two hours post-sunset. The grassy area wouldn’t be listed as a runway but would be available as an option.”

Emmons said pilots would still be able to use the hangars at the airport to store their planes.

There are other airports nearby, but hangar space is at a premium.

The construction phase on the airport project begins Oct. 6. The council will meet with pilots, TxDOT and other contractors Sept. 22 and 23 to further discuss how to proceed.


In other city council meeting news:

  • The council approved an amendment to the city’s agreement with Progressive Waste Solutions to raise the amount residents pay to have their trash and recycling collected by 22 cents. The old rate of $11.88 per resident, per month, is being increased to $12.11 per month to be in line with consumer price index standards. The rate will go into effect Oct. 1.
  • The Bridgeport Police Department now has new weaponry after the council approved $2,960 to purchase 17 Kimber .45 handguns from 2K Pawn and Gun – to replace old ones bought in 2004. After trading in the old guns, the money spent on the new ones will come from the court security fund, which gets $3 every time a defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor.
  • An amendment to lower the electric fees in the “Electric Schedule of Rates” section of the city’s code of ordinances was adopted after AEP reduced the city’s wholesale power costs. The amendment states the new electric rate for the upcoming fiscal year would be $0.1262 per kWh, down from the current $0.1291 per kWh that was established in February. The rate reduction would save residents up to $950,000 over the next four years, Emmons said.
  • An amendment to Section 9.403(b)(13) of the Code of Ordinances that clarified the city administrator’s job duties to “perform all duties as may be prescribed by the city council” passed 3-0, with Councilman Billy Fred Walker abstaining, after a 40-minute executive session. The previous version of the code had the mayor prescribing all duties.

“The way it was written, it had to be changed so that the decisions were made by the entire governing body of the council, so it was just an administration decision,” Emmons said.

  • The council also met in another executive session to discuss legal issues pertaining to the airport project at the end of the meeting.
  • A second public hearing on the 2014-2015 maximum tax rate of $0.5875 was held. The tax rate will go into effect Sept. 16.

The council’s next meeting is 7 p.m Sept. 16 at City Hall 900 Thompson Street and is open to the public.

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Skin & Body Works Spa

Location: 812 W.W. Ray Circle, Bridgeport

Phone: 940-683-3111

Fax: 940-683-1811



Owner/management: Sue Ray

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday; by appointment Saturday

Products/services: Facials, permanent cosmetics, Botox fillers, massages and more

Ribbon Cutting

RIBBON CUTTING – The Decatur Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting Aug. 26 for Skin & Body Works Spa. Pictured are Sheena Guglielmino, Mary Myers, Sue Ray and Linda Brown. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Blackjack Bail Bonds

Location: 1018 Halsell St., Bridgeport

Phone: 940-683-6666



Owner/management: Clinton Craft

Hours: 24 hours

Products/services: Legal

Bail Bonds

BAIL BONDS – The Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting Aug. 29 for Blackjack Bail Bonds. Pictured are Nadine and Clinton Craft. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Football: Bulls pick off ‘Jackets in 4 OTs

Football: Bulls pick off ‘Jackets in 4 OTs

After the two offenses combined for more than 100 points and 1,200 yards, it was the play of Bridgeport safety Lane Morrow that finally put an end to the night.

Long Awaited Celebration

LONG-AWAITED CELEBRATION – Bridgeport players storm the field following Lane Morrow’s game-clinching interception Friday in the Bulls’ 56-48 victory at Yellowjacket Stadium in Boyd. The win snapped a 13-game losing streak for the Bulls. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Morrow picked off Boyd quarterback Clay Barnett’s pass in the end zone to finish the Bulls’ 56-48 win in four overtimes at Yellowjacket Stadium Friday night.

“I didn’t play the whole first half of last game, and this game I didn’t play the first half,” Morrow said. “In the second game I came in and won it for us.

STRETCHING OUT – Bridgeport’s Seth Keener jumps to try to knock the ball away from Boyd’s Xavier Kyle during the Bulls’ overtime win Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“I didn’t have anyone deep. I was checking to see if anyone was open and whoever left their man. This is amazing. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I’m shaking.”

The Bulls’ victory ended a 13-game losing streak dating back to November 2012.

“This gets the monkey off our back. It’s been a while,” said Bridgeport coach Danny Henson. “We’ve been searching for one pretty tough. We’ve played some hard games and were not able to come up with a win. We played a really hard game tonight and both teams deserved to win.”

The game-ending turnover was one of four for Boyd. The first came on the opening play of the game. The Yellowjackets rolled up 663 yards, including 517 on the ground – but they also had three drives stall inside Bridgeport’s 25.

“We had plenty of chances and shot ourselves in the foot a few times,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins.

“We fought as hard as we could. I told them after the game, they left it all out there.”

Boyd running back Qualynn Wells finished the night with 427 yards on 41 carries and scored on runs of 80, 25, and four yards.

“It means nothing because we didn’t get the win,” Wells said.

Boyd led 27-21 after Xavier Kyle hauled in a 19-yard pass from Barnett with 10:24 left in regulation. Kyle caught six passes for 93 yards.

Bridgeport knotted the game at 27 when Keenan Holdman took a sweep in from six yards away with 7:58 to go in the fourth. Holdman made 11 catches for 91 yards and rushed for 35 on three carries. Holdman also opened the scoring with a 15-yard run on a jet sweep less than two minutes into the game.

After Boyd intercepted a Trey Cook pass with 12 seconds to go in regulation, the two teams went to overtime.

Wells scored on the first play of the first overtime.

Cook answered with a 6-yard run on a quarterback draw. Cook threw only three passes in overtime. He finished the game 27-for-40 for 279 yards with an interception. He hit Raby Hawkins for touchdowns of 27 and 67 yards.

Hawkins made five catches for 132 yards.

After both teams missed their point-after attempts, the game went to a second overtime.

Hawkins ran in from 3 yards out for Bridgeport to make it 40-33. Wells countered with a 4-yard dash into the end zone to send it to a third overtime.

Brazier Talley scored on an 11-yard run for the Bulls in the third overtime, and Hawkins added the mandatory two-point try.

The Bridgeport defense held Boyd out of the end zone until a fourth down, when Jackson Basting scored on a reverse. Wells knotted the game again with the two-point conversion.

With both teams spent, Talley, who rushed for 54 of his 90 yards after regulation, scored for a second time in overtime from five yards out.

Down by eight, Boyd picked up a first down and moved to the Bridgeport 15. After a 2-yard loss, the Yellowjackets were facing a third-and-12 when Barnett threw the ball into the end zone where Morrow stepped up to pick it off.

Barnett was 11-for-21 for 146 yards with two interceptions. He added 80 yards on 20 rushes.

Stretching to Score

STRETCHING TO SCORE – Boyd’s Xavier Kyle stretches for the endzone during the Yellowjacket’s loss to Bridgeport Friday night. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


Bridgeport … 7 … 14 … 0 … 6 … 6 … 7 … 8 … 8 … – 56
Boyd … 7 … 7 … 7 … 6 … 6 … 7 … 8 … 0 … – 48


Bridgeport – 10:13 Keenan Holdman 15 run, Efrain DeLuna kick

Boyd – 1:47, Qualynn Wells 80 run, Spencer Pellegrini kick


Bridgeport – 11:10, Raby Hawkins 27 pass from Trey Cook, DeLuna kick

Boyd – 7:01, Colton Meadows 7 run, Pellegrini kick

Bridgeport – 1:26, Hawkins 67 pass form Cook, DeLuna kick


Boyd – 3:30, Preston Montgomery 7 pass from Barnett, Pellegrini kick


Boyd – 10:24 Xavier Kyle 19 pass from Barnett, kick failed

Bridgeport – 7:58, Holdman 6 run, kick failed


Boyd – Wells 25 run, kick failed

Bridgeport – Cook 6 run, kick failed


Bridgeport – Hawkins 3 run, DeLuna kick

Boyd – Wells 4 run, Pellegrini kick


Bridgeport – Brazier Talley 11 run, Hawkins run

Boyd – Jackson Basting 2 run, Wells run


Bridgeport – Talley 5 run, Hawkins run


First Downs … 26 … 26
Rushes-Yards … 51-266 … 65-517
Passing Yards … 279 … 146
Total Yards … 545 … 663
Comp-Att-Int … 27-40-1 … 11-21-2
Sacks-Yards lost … 1-2 … 2-3
Punts-Average … 3-45 … 1-44
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 2-2
Penalties-Yards … 5-23 … 12-91


Rushing – Bridgeport, Brazier Talley 17-90, Trey Cook 5-30, Grayson Mathes 12-57, Raby Hawkins 6-54, Keenan Holdman 3-35. Boyd, Qualynn Wells 41-442, Clay Barnett 5-18, Jackson Basting 1-2, Colton Meadows 2-5, Xavier Kyle 1-3.

Passing – Bridgeport, Cook 27-40-1-279. Boyd, Barnett 11-21-2-146.

Receiving – Bridgeport, Holdman 11-91, Chayton Stotts 2-28, Mathes 3-26, Hawkins 5-132, Dylan Garrison 5-39. Boyd, Xavier Kyle 6-93, Preston Montgomery 2-18, Basting 1-9.

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Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wayne Manuel

Amanda Kay Largent and Arthur Wayne Manuel, of Bridgeport, were married July 12, 2014, at New Vision Ministries in Alvord.


Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wayne Manuel

Apostle Quint Burks officiated the double-ring ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Debora and Ray Pryor of Chico and the late Jerry Largent.

The groom is the son of Luke and Beth Manuel of Kaufman and the late Cynthia Pauline Manuel.

Escorted by her brothers, Jesse Danny and Thomas Largent of Chico, the bride wore a floor-length, ivory chiffon gown from David’s Bridal that featured a v-neckline adorned with diamonds. She wore white lavender and green flowers in her hair and carried a bouquet of white lilies and purple and green roses.

Matron of honor was Sarena Pinneke and maid of honor, Dena Lee. Nikki Harris served as bridesmaid.

Bridal attendants wore lime-green, floor-length chiffon gowns that featured a sweetheart neckline and diamonds on the side.

Flower girls were Fiona Manuel, the groom’s daughter; Riley Pinneke, daughter of Sarena and Mark Pinneke; and Monica King, daughter of Dena Lee and Mark King.

Candlelighters were Debora Pryor, the bride’s mother, and Rosie Cannon, the groom’s grandmother.

Ringbearer was Kayden Pinneke, son of Sarena and Mark Pinneke.

Best man was Luke Manuel, and Mark Pinneke and Randy White served as groomsmen.

Paul Pinneke and Jacob Lee served as ushers.

Guestbook attendant was Lisa Chaney, and Donna Moody was the soloist.

A reception was held at the New Vision Ministries receptions hall.

The bride attended Chico High School and is self-employed.

The groom attended Bridgeport High School, Sheppard Air Force Base and the Art Institute of Dallas. He is currently attending Weatherford College Wise County and is also self-employed.

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Football: Bulls, Jackets look for first win

The Boyd Yellowjackets and Bridgeport Bulls both came out up short last week in their season openers.

The Yellowjackets fell 35-21 to one of the top 3A Division II teams in the state, the Gunter Tigers. Bridgeport couldn’t hold off Mineral Wells, falling 27-20 in overtime.

This Friday, the two cross-county rivals will meet at 7:30 p.m. at Boyd’s Yellowjacket Stadium, each looking for their first win of the season.

Going on the road to Gunter, the Yellowjackets outgained the Tigers with 376 yards. But they couldn’t overcome four turnovers that took points off the board. Boyd also gave up a 90-yard kickoff return and had a fumble recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

“Turnovers and special teams got us,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “The kids played hard, and Gunter has a good team. We were down 28-7 at half but could’ve been up. We ran it well, and they are good on defense. For the most part, I was pleased with the effort.”

Defensively, Boyd allowed Gunter’s power offense to run for 301 yards.

This week against Bridgeport, the Yellowjackets are gearing up for a completely different attack.

“We go from a run-the-ball-down-your-throat to looking at someone throwing the ball,” Hopkins said.

The Bulls’ offense piled up 396 yards last week against Mineral Wells. Quarterback Trey Cook threw for 253 yards, completing 25 of his 46 passes with a touchdown and interception.

The Bulls added 142 yards rushing.

Bridgeport coach Danny Henson said there were just a few miscues that really hurt his team in the loss to Mineral Wells.

“In some key situations, we didn’t come up with plays,” Henson said. “We’ve got to be more consistent.

“We had a lot of potential points we didn’t put on the board.”

Raby Hawkins caught nine passes for 79 yards last week. Keenan Holdman added seven catches for 78 yards.

Henson said the Bridgeport receivers will have a tough test against the Boyd defensive backs.

Defensively, the Bulls will need to contain Boyd’s Qualynn Wells, who opened the season with 103 yards on 25 carries.

“Every time he’s back there, there’s a chance to score,” Henson said.


7:30 p.m. at Yellowjacket Stadium

Bridgeport: Harris Rating 190

Notable: The Bulls outgained Mineral Wells 396-356 last week.

Boyd: Harris Rating 200

Notable: Boyd’s Xavier Kyle caught seven passes for 118 yards last week against Gunter.

Harris line: Boyd by 3

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Volleyball: Sissies falter against Trimble Tech

The Bridgeport Sissies fought back from a slow start Friday to force a fourth game but couldn’t rally past Trimble Tech.

The Sissies (3-14) fell 25-11, 28-26, 13-25, 25-15.

“I was pleased that we showed so much heart on the court tonight,” said Bridgeport coach Rebekah Cummings. “We showed more maturity on the court. We’re still figuring out roles and looking for that winning combination.”

Kensley Turner recorded five kills and also served four aces. Ally Raby added three kills.

Ryhan Read handed out five assists.

Defensively, Mariah Leyva made 16 digs.

“I saw Mariah Leyva really come into her role as libero, making some outstanding plays and keeping her team in rallies,” Cummings said.

Read added 10 digs and Turner eight.

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Mary Bell Dunn Shellnut

Mary Bell Dunn Shellnut

Mary Bell Dunn Shellnut, 83, of Bridgeport, died Friday, Aug. 29, 2014.

Funeral was Sept. 2 at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Phillip Weitner officiating. Burial followed at Willow Point Cemetery.

Mary was born June 9, 1931, in Wise County to Lena Idus (Long) and Joe Gregg. She was a member of the Twin Oaks Assembly of God Church and enjoyed preparing flower arrangements, playing 42 and doing word finds. She was a retired medical office clerk.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Kenneth Dunn; daughter Linda Dunn; and husband E.A. Shellnut.

Mary is survived by her son, Randy Dunn, and wife, Yvonne; daughter Becky Taylor; brother Jean Gregg and wife, Barbara; sisters Billie Billington and Lena McWilliams; grandchildren Kenneth, Donald and Kimberly; step-grandchildren Cody and Cory; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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Strings attached: Group works to build regional youth orchestra program

Strings attached: Group works to build regional youth orchestra program

They say the difference between a violin and a fiddle is simple: you play a violin on Sunday morning and a fiddle on Saturday night.

But to play at all, first you have to learn.

Eyes and Ears

EYES AND EARS – Nine-year-old Alexia Cervantes and her fellow musicians have a year of study under their belts with the Wise County String Ensemble. Seventeen youngsters began the program last year, and organizers are looking to expand it countywide this school year. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Giving children an opportunity to learn how to play the violin is a passion for Robert and Carolyn Marlett – and they’re looking for some help to take a successful Bridgeport program countywide this fall.

The Marletts moved to the Lake Bridgeport area when Robert retired after a career as a professor of land use and management at Texas Tech University. Carolyn taught first grade in Lubbock, and then in Wise County, for more than 30 years.

Ready to Make Music

READY TO MAKE MUSIC – Some of the students in the string ensemble that began last year gathered for a studio portrait at the Messenger this week. On the front row (from left) are Alexia Cervantes, Andy Bitsko, Reece Sparks, (middle) Erick Macias, Brianna Hernandez, Shande Contreras, Maximus Uribe, (back) Harrison Wood, Dakota Whitbeck, Matthew Bitsko and Emily Wood. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

They tried to start a strings class a few years ago, consulting with a University of North Texas professor and even getting the Denton High School orchestra to come play at Bridgeport Middle School. But for some reason, the interest wasn’t there.

Last year they decided to try again – and this time, something clicked.

“We put flyers out into the elementary and intermediate schools, hoping for four to six sets of parents,” Robert said. “We had 52 show up. We were overwhelmed.”

Carolyn said the crowd at the Bridgeport Library’s Jackson room filled every seat, with people sitting on the floor and spilling out the door.

“That’s when we realized, ‘Oh, there is some interest!'” she said.

That initial meeting resulted in 17 students who bought instruments and showed up for lessons throughout the school year.

“What we said from the beginning is, get an instrument, and we’ll give you the lessons,” Robert said.

Donna Harris, owner of Harris Music on the Decatur Square, worked a deal with a supplier in Fort Worth to allow the youngsters to rent their instrument for $20 a month – with $18 going toward purchase. As a bonus, as the child grows they can change out the instrument for one that fits them better.

MASTER TEACHER – Chico resident Coleman Smith plays and teaches all over the world but enjoys bringing the youth strings program to his home turf. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Coleman Smith of Chico, a champion fiddler who teaches and performs fulltime, agreed to serve as the instructor.

“As a retired elementary teacher, I was very nervous to see how he would be able to relate to the kids and get along with them,” Carolyn said. “He has a reputation of being awesome in playing his instrument – but could he relate to the kids?

“Within 15 minutes after he had begun his lesson, I was like, ‘Whew! We’re OK.’ He’s done a really good job.”

Robert is amazed at the way the children have taken to the classical training.

“We’d have these kids come in, not knowing a thing about one of the most complicated musical instruments in the world, and within a month, they’re coming in and sitting down properly, setting up and starting to play,” he said.

Smith, who earned a degree in violin performance from Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., has been teaching fiddle, mandolin and guitar for nearly 15 years. As a performer, he has traveled the world, developing a unique style that fuses jazz, Gypsy swing, Celtic, bluegrass and western swing.

As a youngster growing up in Wise County, he was a member of the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra. This past May, one of the highlights for his students was getting to attend, and be introduced, at that group’s year-end concert at TCU’s Ed Landreth Auditorium.

“Our 17 kids, dressed in their black pants or skirts, and white shirts, sat in reserved seating, right up front, and stood when they were recognized,” Robert said. “So they’ve kind of tasted this.”

Carolyn said the way the kids have responded is wonderful. But it is the parents’ reaction that has really surprised them.

“When we took the kids in for the Youth Symphony, at different points parents came up, giving us big hugs and saying ‘I didn’t know this existed! This is wonderful. My child needs to be part of this. I’ve never heard anything like this before out of kids!'” she laughed. “They could see instantly that this is worth doing for their kids.”


A recital at the end of May in Bridgeport brought in about $300 in donations. With a few other sponsors, the program “just about broke even” last year, Robert said.

This year, they’re planning to put out flyers in both the Decatur and Bridgeport schools, looking for interest from kids in grades 2-5. Marlett said it may take as many as three classes to accommodate them all – and it will certainly take more money to keep the lessons free.

“It takes about $4,000 for a class of 20 students, per year,” he said. “If we have three classes, that’s $12,000 to get us to next May.”

To achieve that, they’ve created a not-for-profit corporation, the Music and Arts Foundation, opened a bank account and set up a post office box. The group has been offered rehearsal space at Weatherford College’s Wise County campus, and Smith has said he’s willing to teach both beginners and advanced classes, even individual lessons, if the interest is there.

One of the Foundation’s board members, Gerre Joiner, believes strongly that it will be successful if people just know about it. That belief is echoed by fellow board members Robert Ryan and Jerry St. John of Runaway Bay.

“There’s a void in strings in this area,” said Joiner, senior adult minister at First Baptist Church in Decatur. “There are people living out here, and they grew up in an orchestra program and they know what it is. I think if we present a strong plan, support is not going to be a problem.”

Marlett said people can get in on the ground floor by donating, becoming “patrons” of what could develop into a Wise County Youth Orchestra.

Sponsorships are available at the Platinum ($1,000 and up), Gold ($500 to $1,000) and Silver ($100 to $500) levels – but any donation is needed and appreciated. All of it will go toward lessons and other costs for the kids in the program. Donors will be recognized at the youth violin ensemble spring recital.

“Our goal, regardless whether it’s Decatur or Paradise, Bridgeport or Chico or wherever – is to get these kids into a string program,” he said.

The 501(C)3 not-for-profit corporation has an account at First State Bank in Bridgeport. Donations can be mailed to the Music and Arts Program, P.O. Box 400, Bridgeport, TX 76426.

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Bridgeport City Council to talk trash at meeting

The Bridgeport City Council will consider approving an amendment to its waste collection agreement with Progressive Waste Solutions in its meeting Tuesday night. The proposed change would raise the price of waste collection 22 cents per resident and would be put into effect on Oct. 1 if approved.

There will also be a second public hearing on the proposed maximum property tax rate of $0.5875 per $100 valuation for the 2014-2105 fiscal year.

The council will also:

  • consider adopting an ordinance that would reduce the electric rate from $0.1291 per kWh to $0.1262 per kWh;
  • consider approving an agreement with Texas Department of Transportation for the airport improvement construction phase of the Bridgeport Airport;
  • consider using Court Security Fund money to purchase 17 Kimber .45 firearms from 2K Pawn and Gun for the Bridgeport Police Department; and
  • consider amending the Bridgeport Code of Ordinances to clarify the duties of the city administrator, the position currently held by Brandon Emmons.

The meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at City Hall, 900 Thompson St. It is open to the public.

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