Chico School Board to discuss budget, cafeteria items

The start of school is less than a month away, but Chico school board still has some business to take care of before kids and teachers head back to the classroom.

Much of that business will be addressed at a special meeting Thursday.

Several items on the agenda deal with routine, annual issues such as reviewing student, employee and extracurricular handbooks and approving the student code of conduct.

Other items deal with a recently-approved cafeteria management service – changing meal prices and the purchase of a middle school kitchen steamer.

It’s also budget time, and the agenda includes a discussion of the 2014-2015 draft budget, consideration of tax rates and setting a public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rates.

The school board will also consider employee compensation policies and schedules and consider a policy change involving class ranking.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. in Room 150 at Chico Elementary School, 1120 Park Road. It is open to the public.

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Fresh cast takes over for Chico

The Chico Lady Dragons lost a lot of firepower from last year’s squad with the graduation of seniors Breann Hall, Charlye-Ann Biggerstaff, Corey Tate and Matison Rhodes.

“We lost quite a bit with the four seniors,” said coach Missy Patterson. “Those three played all the way around.”

But Patterson is eager to start her third season on the Lady Dragons bench with a youth movement.

“We’re pretty young but we’ve got a decent group of freshmen and an athletic bunch,” Patterson said.

The coach also said in her third year she is looking to mix up her lineups and try some unconventional approaches to record wins.

“We have to be quicker and think smarter,” Patterson said. “There’s different ways to win in volleyball. We have to buy into the other ways to win. It’ll take a lot of hard work.”

Alli York is Chico’s leading returning hitter. The junior put down 192 kills last year and added 191 digs. She also made 18 blocks.

“She played all the way around for us and will be our go-to hitter,” Patterson said.

The Lady Dragons also bring back setter Britton Petty, who split time with Hall last year as a freshman.

“There was a lot of pressure on her last year as a freshman,” Patterson said. “After playing a year, she’ll be more relaxed.”

Patterson is looking for Hope Webb, Raven Leal, Kylie Marburger, Hannah Davis and Cheyanne Hale to step in and fill roles.

The Lady Dragons moved into the new 9-2A and out of a league with state powers Lindsay and Collinsville. Chico is now paired with Bryson, Graford, Newcastle, Perrin-Whitt, Poolville, Ranger and Tolar. Poolville, Newcastle and Bryson were playoff teams last year.

“Being in a different district will raise morale,” Patterson said.

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Man knocked unconscious in accident

A Chico man was injured in a two-vehicle accident at Texas 114 and Farm Road 51 shortly before 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Jimmy Shelton, 54, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Traffic Stopper

TRAFFIC STOPPER – Paradise firefighters and Wise County medics load Jimmy Shelton onto a stretcher after an accident on Texas 114 Thursday morning. Shelton was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital by ambulance. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“He was complaining of neck pain and had an extended period of unconsciousness,” said Department of Public Safety Trooper Zeb Siebeneck. “He became conscious and alert on the scene.”

According to Siebeneck, Shelton turned left from southbound FM 51 onto 114 in a 2000 Jeep Cherokee in front of a Direct TV Ford van driven by Kristopher Earley, 27, of Springtown. The van, which was westbound on 114, struck the SUV near the front wheel well on the left side.

Earley was uninjured in the wreck.

Siebeneck said a witness behind Earley said he was driving under the posted speed limit of 65 mph.

The trooper added that Shelton would be cited for failing to yield the right-of-way.

The crash shut down 114 in both directions for nearly an hour.

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Chico ISD seeks to improve food quality

Lunch at Chico ISD may taste a little different this coming school year.

The Chico school board Monday approved a contract with Walker Quality Services to provide cafeteria management services for 2014-2015. Superintendent Mike Jones said he had talked with other school districts who have used the company, and they had been well-received at each school.

Earlier this year, Jones visited Era ISD, one of the schools the company serves, and was impressed with the quality of the food and the positive reception by students.

Jones explained that while a representative of the company will help train cafeteria workers and plan food items, the school will continue to employ its own cafeteria employees and manager. No additional staff hirings are anticipated. Jones said a steamer will need to be purchased for the middle school.

The company will also regularly survey students, and if certain items are not popular, changes to the menu will be made.

The school will hold an open house next month before school starts to give students and parents a chance to sample the new food offerings.

In other business, the board:

  • reviewed preliminary budget numbers, and Jones said the school is looking at a $200,000 deficit due to a reduction in additional state aid for tax reduction that is gradually being phased out for Chapter 41 schools;
  • contracted with Steve Gilland of Bowie to perform the 2013-2014 audit; and
  • amended the 2014-2015 school calendar to have teachers report Aug. 12 rather than Aug. 14.

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Chico resident killed in home accident

A Chico resident was killed Saturday afternoon in an apparent accident involving heavy machinery at his home.

The family of William Josserand, 74, became concerned when they hadn’t been able to reach him since noon that day, according to Wise County Sheriff David Walker.

About 3:30 p.m. a neighbor went to check on Josserand at his home in the 4000 block of Farm Road 1810 and found the man trapped under a Bobcat skid-steer loader in a pasture.

Medics were dispatched to the location and determined Josserand had died from his injuries. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays pronounced him dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy be performed by the Dallas County Medical Examiners Office.

Walker said the Sheriff’s Office crime scene unit responded, which is the protocol for unattended or accidental deaths, and impounded the Bobcat. He said the death appears to be accidental.

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Dragons trio earn TSWA honors

Sophomore Jaston McBee provided a spark at the top of the lineup for the Chico Dragons throughout the season.

McBee batted .506 with a home run and 34 RBIs for the Dragons on their way to the area round of the playoffs.

Pitcher to be Recognized

PITCHER TO BE RECOGNIZED – Chico’s Tyler Melton earned a spot on the Texas Sportswriters Association’s Class A baseball team this week. He was joined by teammates Jaston McBee and Marshall Anderle. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

This week, McBee was honored with a first-team selection on the Texas Sportswriters Association’s Class A team as an outfielder.

The 9-A Defensive MVP sported a .914 fielding percentage to go along with high batting average.

Chico sophomore Tyler Melton earned a second-team selection as a first baseman. He batted .549 with two homers and 52 RBIs. He was also the Dragons’ ace pitcher, going 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 62.2 innings. The 9-A first-team selection and All-Wise County Pitcher of the Year allowed two unearned runs over eight innings of a Class A area game against Gorman.

Chico senior catcher Marshall Anderle earned honorable mention. Anderle posted a .959 fielding percentage to go along with his .441 batting average, 17 RBIs and 12 extra-base hits. He was named 9-A Offensive Player of the Year and the All-Wise County Defensive Player of the Year.

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Donald D. Baker

Donald D. “Blue Goose” Baker

Donald D. “Blue Goose” Baker, 76, a truck driver, died Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Chico.

No service is scheduled at this time.

Donald was born Nov. 16, 1937, in Edmore, Mich., to Bernard and Isabella (McBride) Baker. He married Linda F. Woods in 1982 in Wise County.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his son, Jim Baker and wife, Debbie, of Traverse City, Mich.; daughter Tammy Serrano and husband, Robert, of Temecula, Calif.; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sister Mary L. Brown and husband, George, of Muskegon, Mich.; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Nora Eloise Brazier

Nora Eloise Brazier

Nora Eloise Brazier, 95, of Chico, died Sunday, July 20, 2014.

Graveside service is 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Chico Cemetery with Pastor Rick Neatherly officiating.

Nora was born April 15, 1919, in Chico. She attended Chico schools, graduated from the University of Texas in 1949 and went on to earn her master’s degree in social work in 1951.

Nora served as a WAVE in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946. She was one of the first WAVE volunteers and was assigned to basic training in the Bronx and Stillwater, Okla., with her final duty assignment in Gulfport, Miss.

After leaving the Navy, Nora was a social worker with the Texas Department of Public Welfare until her retirement in 1979.

She was preceded in death by her brothers, James, George and Wesley Brazier; and sisters Mertie Brazier, Mattie Brazier, Julia Strandtman and May Crawford.

Survivors include her nieces, Donna Barkley, Jane Sward and Marilyn Hadley; and other family members and friends.

Memorials may be made to the Morris Memorial United Methodist Church in Chico or to the Chico Community Volunteer Fire Department, 102 N. Weatherford, Chico, TX 76431.

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Wise lands more than 50 on Weatherford College dean’s list

A host of Wise County students were among the 400-plus named to the Weatherford College Dean’s List for spring 2014.

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

Wise County students earning the honor, listed by their hometowns, were:

Alvord: Trevor Hardee; Christina Overton and Maribel Vargas.

Boyd: Derek Martin; Abram Moreno and Sarah Smith.

Bridgeport: Torie Carter; Sharlyn Fagan; Alexis Garrett; Joshua Hartsell; Gabriel Huerta; Taylor Hulsey; Tina Jennings; Annbra Johnson; Alexandra Martinets; Danielle Mindieta; Martha Sanders and Garrett Wagner.

Chico: Hannah Avants; Kimberly Bible; Elizabeth Brown; Damian Delgado; Callie Fuller; Ramiro Loza; Dee McHenry; Luke Plummer; James Redwine; Molli Umphress and Tiffany Vislosky.

Decatur: Rosaura Aldape; Victoria Aldape; Amanda Byrum; Sarrah Ennis; Zachary Flaherty; Selena Galindo; Wilson Garrett; Lacy Hankins; Brittany Hargrave; Jeffrey Keller; Martha Maldonado; Rebekah McGregor; Nathan Mitchell; Mercedes Moreno; Victoria Myers; Brandon Pelton; Sonia Resma; Venancio Rodriguez; Yanet Rodriguez; Karol Saenz and Kelsey Smith.

Paradise: Kristina Kemp and William Ngetich.

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Meals on Wheels project back on track

Area seniors who are clients of Meals on Wheels could start receiving locally-cooked meals by Jan. 1.

For more than a year, the Wise County Committee on Aging has been trying to work out an agreement to use the kitchen at the Chico Community Center to cook meals for their clients. Meals on Wheels currently uses a vendor that prepares the meals in south Fort Worth before delivering them to Wise County.

The idea was that higher-quality meals could reach local residents more quickly if they were prepared locally.

At Tuesday’s Chico City Council meeting, the group heard an update on where the project stands.

The holdup has not been with the city or the committee, but the vendor the committee has been using to cook the meals. The original plan was to have the vendor come in and cook in Chico – possibly for both Wise and Denton counties.

Chico Mayor J.D. Clark explained why that plan hasn’t worked out.

“Unfortunately, the vendor did not honor their word with how they would operate,” he said. “We were very disappointed with that, and that’s not somebody I’d want to do business with. We still will provide a home for Meals on Wheels but in a different type situation.

“The Wise County Committee on Aging has worked hard to come up with a new game plan to do it themselves rather than rely on a vendor.”

Bobbi Foster, speaking on behalf of the committee’s board of directors, said the plan is now to hire their own cook to prepare the meals. She presented the council with a “worst-case scenario” timeline with a target date of Jan. 1, 2015, to begin serving meals.

Before that can happen, several things must get done. The committee needs to install a new convection oven, have the kitchen inspected, train staff and come up with delivery routes, among other preparations. And as always, they need more volunteers.

Clark said the use of the kitchen for the Meals on Wheels program should have minimal impact on the city. He noted that the kitchen is rarely used during the times it will be needed to prepare senior meals. The agreement, which should be brought for council approval next month, will make sure the committee covers the costs of utilities.

In other business, the council:

  • approved a special-use permit for a septic system for a home in the 500 block of North Hovey.
  • reappointed Karen Garrison as mayor pro-tem.
  • authorized the city secretary to open a bank account for the Texas Community Development Block Grant contract and authorized the mayor, mayor pro-tem, city secretary, assistant city secretary and administrative assistant as signatories for funds.

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No stopping: Anderle refuses to let knee injury keep him down

Marshall Anderle began his senior year last August with high hopes.

The Chico wide receiver and defensive back was coming off a strong season and expected to help lead the Dragons into a strong year.

“The year before went good, and I got out there and was doing alright in the first scrimmage,” Anderle said.

Fierce Dragon

FIERCE DRAGON – Chico’s Marshall Anderle tore his ACL and MCL during a football scrimmage in August. Nine weeks later he was back on the field. He went on to be a state medalist in the triple jump and all-district basketball and baseball player. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

But those aspirations appeared to unravel in the Dragons’ second scrimmage against Archer City.

“I was going through the middle and a couple of kids fell on me sideways,” Anderle recalls. “I walked off the field and talked to [the trainer]. I was hoping we could tape it and I could try to go back out.”

That wasn’t to be. It turned out the “wobbly” feeling Anderle had in his right knee was a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial cruciate ligament.

For most athletes, the diagnosis would mean the end of their year. But for the senior Anderle, the season was far from over.

He returned to the football field just weeks later, contributing in the defensive backfield. He then became an all-district player on the basketball court for a playoff-bound Chico squad. In the spring, Anderle caught nearly every game for the Dragons on the way to becoming the District 9-A Offensive MVP.

Then to cap the year, Anderle captured the bronze medal in the Class A triple jump at the University Interscholastic League Track and Field Championships.

“That says a lot about his character,” said Chico athletic director Stephen Carter. “To go from a torn ACL and MCL to being one of our top basketball players. Then he turned around in baseball and catches and leads the team to the second round of the playoffs. Then to top it all with a trip to Austin.”

Anderle’s character and inspirational will made him the Denny Deady Sportsman of the Year. The first-year award named after former Messenger sports editor and longtime writer will be given annually to a Wise County athlete who displays acts of inspiration, teamwork and sportsmanship.

After he got the results of his MRI last August, Anderle briefly thought his athletic career as a Dragon was over.

“It crossed my mind. But I was hoping it wouldn’t end,” Anderle recalled. “The doctor said I could play on the ACL with a brace after the MCL healed.”

That was all he needed to hear as he immediately turned his thoughts to doing whatever was necessary to get back on the field – not just for him, but for his teammates.

“That’s what it’s all about. I’ve always been taught that it’s not about you but the whole team,” Anderle explained.

“You’ve got to make the sacrifice to get the team where it needs to be.”

Anderle went to rehab twice per week, working to strengthen his hamstrings, quads and other leg muscles to support the injured knee. When he wasn’t working out, he was at the field with his team.

“I was back at practice the first week,” he recalled. “I didn’t want to miss a practice unless I was at Fit-N-Wise.”

With two weeks left in the season, Anderle returned the field, stronger than ever, bringing some veteran experience to the Dragons, along with an emotional lift.

“When Marshall came back the kids were in awe. He tore his ACL and MCL and nine weeks later he was back,” Carter said. “It shows he’s more about team than himself. He could’ve said ‘I’m getting ready for the spring’ and pack it in.”

With Anderle back on the field, the Dragons won their final two games against Blue Ridge and Trenton.

When football season ended, Anderle made the quick transition to basketball. The injured knee did not slow him down as he put on a display, slamming home basketballs before and after practice.

Despite being only 5-10, Anderle played center for the Dragons and held his own in the middle. He averaged 13.4 points, second on the team, and grabbed a team-best 8.1 rebounds on his way to being an 11-A selection. The All-Wise team selection scored as many as 26 points in a game and posted eight double-doubles.

“I’m not a big guy. I feel I helped out,” he said. “We don’t have a true post player and that’s where I had to come in and help out.”

The Dragons took third place in 11-A after a district tiebreaker with Santo. Chico then fell to Valley Mills in bi-district, 63-55, but the loss didn’t spoil the year for Anderle and the Dragons.

“It was a fun year. I enjoyed everything about it,” Anderle said. “[The playoffs] meant everything. We’ve been working hard for two years to get to the playoffs.”

Anderle didn’t slow down after basketball. He immediately headed outside, to the baseball field and track.

The injured knee did not stop Anderle from playing catcher – his position of choice since the second grade.

“It’s pretty fun. You get to see everything,” Anderle said.

He proved to be a wall behind the plate, posting a .959 fielding percentage and handling a young pitching staff that compiled a 3.72 ERA. He also hit .441 with 17 RBIs and 12 extra-base hits to help the Dragons to a second-place finish in 9-A. Along with getting 9-A’s top offensive honor, he was also named Wise County Defensive Player of the Year.

Chico then dispatched Santo in bi-district. In an area round, the Dragons dropped an extra-inning game to Gorman.

While helping the baseball team, Anderle was proving to be one of the area’s top track athletes. He won gold medals in the 800 and triple jump at district. He also advanced to area in the long jump and mile relay.

The triple jump was his specialty and he kept improving all year.

“The first track meet I jumped 40,” he said. “Then the second meet I went 41 and then 42 for the third. I just kept going up and up.”

Anderle claimed the area title with an effort of 44-6.75. He followed that with a runner-up finish at the Class A Region II area meet in Abilene, jumping 45-7.5 on his first attempt.

Immediately after playing his final baseball game, Anderle went to Austin to compete at the state meet for the first time.

On the big stage, he said his legs just weren’t under him. He went through his first five jumps and was in fourth place. With one jump left, Carter talked with him briefly.

“He said he was not feeling it. I told him there was no tomorrow,” Carter recalled.

Anderle responded with his best jump of 44-3, earning the bronze medal.

“It’s what I was working for all year,” he said. “It was crazy standing on the podium.”

Anderle showed anything is possible if you are willing to get back up when delivered a possible knockout.

“If you work hard and do what your coaches tell, you can do anything,” he said. “You’ve got to have natural ability, but working hard definitely helps.”


Denny Deady is not only a beloved member of the Messenger family, but also respected and held in high regard across Wise County.

Denny Deady

Her generous spirit, kind heart and sincere interest in people were the basis for her successful newspaper career and remarkable community involvement.

“To say that a person is the ‘heart and soul’ of an organization may seem trite, but without a doubt, for the Wise County Messenger, that honor goes to Denny Deady, who was a part of the staff for more than 30 years,” said publisher Roy Eaton.

Deady, who retired in the fall of 2010 after 33 years with the Messenger, held various positions and played an integral role in making the paper a community cornerstone. She started as a staff reporter, also covering sports, and was eventually named sports editor. She later moved to the ad department, where she served as manager, and she retired as the Messenger’s special projects manager.

“Denny was a great writer and covered many of the newspaper’s biggest stories during her career,” Eaton said. “But to just stop there would not do her justice. Her generosity with her time and talents is legendary.”

Her community involvement was widespread, and as a breast cancer survivor, many of her activities centered on women’s health issues. Her baking, especially her sweet rolls, is legendary, and she has donated dozens to community fundraisers. At one event car dealers James Wood and Karl Klement got in a bidding war for them, and when the hammer fell, the rolls had sold for $4,000 with all the money going to charity.

Denny and her husband, Brian, a retired teacher and football coach, now live in Magnolia to be near their daughter and son-in-law, Guinness and Brent Collins, and grandsons Eoghan and Finn.

The Messenger will now annually honor an athlete from Wise County that best exemplifies the same traits as the Denny Deady Sportsman of the Year.

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Lindsey Kay North and Stephen Andrew Bautovich

Lindsey Kay North, daughter of Clay and Rhonda Martin of Chico and Kendell and Debbie North of Runaway Bay, will marry Stephen Andrew Bautovich son of Teri Bautovich and John Bautovich of Pantego, Aug. 30, 2014, at The Orchard in Azle.

North Lindsey Kay

Lindsey Kay North and Stephen Andrew Bautovich

Paul Cantrell will officiate.

The bride-elect graduated from Bridgeport High School and earned a degree in kinesiology from Tarleton State University. She works for Arlington ISD.

The prospective groom graduated from Arlington High School and also earned a degree in kinesiology from Tarleton. He works for Ameritech Millworks LLC.

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Looking for a place to call home

Twenty-nine-year-old Tiffany Matthews of Chico has faced obstacles throughout her life. For the most part, she has singlehandedly overcome them.

But she needs a hand to fight the most recent challenge.

INDEPENDENT WOMEN – Despite being paralyzed, Tiffany Matthews of Chico has raised her special needs daughter, Rylie, on her own. Matthews also keeps busy tending to three rescue dogs, Moe (pictured above), Shadow and Lucy; and a cat, Smokey. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“I hate asking for help, but I don’t know what else to do,” she said.

At 16, she was involved in a car accident that broke her back and left her paralyzed.

She spent four-and-a-half months in the hospital before being discharged to therapy.

“I had to learn to do everything all over again, including driving,” she said. “I didn’t start driving again until I was 22.”

Around that time, she gave birth to her daughter, Rylie. Six months into the pregnancy, the mother-to-be learned her child had a heart defect that has resulted in four open-heart surgeries – three before Rylie was even a year old.

Rylie, now 6, was also born with Johanson-Blizzard Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disorder that affects multiple organ systems throughout the body.

At birth, Rylie underwent reconstructive surgery around her nose and on her scalp. She takes medication for her heart, pancreas, thyroid and liver in addition to vitamins and diuretics to help with swelling.

She’s had numerous hospital stays – the most recent a week-and-a-half stint in May – and visits doctors at least once a month.

“She’s a frequent flyer to Cook’s,” Matthews said.

Young Rylie is also deaf.

“She’s a little fighter,” Matthews said. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t keep going. She is and always will be my top priority.”

Those who know her agree.

“If Rylie needs it, her mom is there,” said Sue King, who volunteers with Matthews at the Wise County Animal Shelter. “She never asks for anything from any of us or anyone else.”

Until now.

On the brink of homelessness, Matthews is reaching out to anyone who can help her keep a roof over her and her daughter.

They live in a mobile home on 10.01 acres north of Alvord that was purchased by Matthews’ mother, Debby Jones, and stepfather Smokey Jones in September 2012.

Matthews moved in five months later, after her stepdad was diagnosed with cancer.

“When we found out my dad was sick, I moved back home because I wasn’t going to sit there and watch them lose everything that they have,” Matthews said. “Two months after we found out he had cancer, he was gone.”

Eight months later, she lost her mom.

“I’ve been through a lot, but last year was probably the worst of them all,” Matthews said.

Living on a fixed income, Matthews has been unable to make payments on the property – so when the landowner informed her two weeks ago that it would be repossessed in six to eight weeks, Matthews wasn’t caught completely off guard.

However, Matthews said the owner of the mobile home has cut that timeline in half.

“Because the home is on land that is not in my name,” Matthews said. “That’s why he wants to come get the home, which is going to cost him more to move it than what it’s worth.”

Matthews was under the impression that the property owner would deed two-and-a-half acres for what had already paid on the property.

“Now it’s a totally different story,” she said. “We have nowhere to go.”

“It’s awful that people would treat someone like this,” King said. “She is faced with losing her house and everything Rylie knows. She needs her story out there. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.”

Matthews is looking for a place to call her own that falls within her budget.

“Being on a fixed income is not the greatest,” she said. “I get about $1,500 a month. After paying all of the bills, I’m left with maybe $10.

“I’m not looking for a handout,” she continued. “This is just what I’m faced with. I want something we can call our own and not worry about anyone coming in and snatching it from us. I just want to provide my daughter and I a place to live.”


To lend assistance to Tiffany and Rylie, email Tiffany at

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Five teams picked for playoffs

Football fans in Decatur, Alvord, Boyd, Chico and Northwest can make their plans for the postseason according to polls in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

The annual football guide hit stands this past week and picked five of the county’s seven teams to earn playoff spots. Only Paradise and Bridgeport were not predicted to make the playoffs.

No area teams were in preseason rankings for the six classifications. The University Interscholastic League renamed the classifications for this fall with 5A becoming the new 6A. The old six-man or Class A Division II is now Class A. The other classes all moved up with the old 3A now being 4A.

The Decatur Eagles under new head coach Mike Fuller were picked third in the new 4-4A Division I behind Graham and Gainesville. Wichita Falls Hirschi was tabbed fourth, Burkburnett fifth and Mineral Wells last.

Fuller, who arrived in the spring from Colleyville Heritage to take over a Decatur team that went 9-4 and made the 3A Division I region semifinals, downplayed the predictions.

“I don’t put much stock in it,” he said. “We’ll show up each Friday night and compete.”

In 3-4A Division II, Bridgeport was picked sixth behind Celina, Bonham, Aubrey, Anna and Krum. The Bulls are coming off a winless campaign in 2013.

Under their new head coach Bill Poe, the Northwest Texans are picked fourth in 5-6A. State champion Denton Guyer is the choice to win the league followed by Keller Fossil Ridge and Denton Ryan. Byron Nelson is picked sixth in the eight-team district.

The Boyd Yellowjackets were picked second in 4-3A Division I behind Breckenridge. Bowie was tabbed third, Brock fourth, Ponder fifth and Paradise sixth. Boyd quarterback Clay Barnett was picked as the league’s preseason offensive MVP.

“Looking at the district, anyone can beat anyone,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “It’ll be such a competitive district. Anything can happen.”

In the 5-2A Division I, Alvord was tabbed to grab the district title behind preseason offensive MVP Joe Randall, who ran for 1,251 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Chico was picked second led by preseason defensive MVP Hagan Davis.

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Rural stabbing case unsolved

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office still has few details about a stabbing last weekend near Chico.

Sheriff David Walker identified the victim as Nicholas O’Neal, 22.

According to Sheriff’s Office records, dispatchers received a call from Wise Regional Health System’s Bridgeport campus around 3 a.m. Sunday. A male patient was at the hospital with a stab wound to the abdomen.

O’Neal was flown from the hospital to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. His condition was unavailable late Friday.

Walker said the stabbing apparently took place at a party in the 700 block of Texas 101 near Chico, but investigators had not been able to locate anyone who saw the stabbing take place.

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Chico test scores remain high, but funding sinks

Chico school board members heard a little good news on test scores before they had to wade into the more sobering subject of finances at Monday’s meeting.

Superintendent Mike Jones presented the board with preliminary STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) results. The board reviewed a three-year comparison of the district’s scores as well as a comparison to the state average scores.

“We’re very proud of the fact that 77 percent of the time we met or exceeded the state scores,” Jones said, adding that teachers and students are to be congratulated for their hard work.

A more detailed report of Chico’s test scores, and scores for other schools around the county, will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Messenger.

Jones also presented the board with preliminary tax values for the district, which were calculated at $591,708,057 by the Wise County Appraisal District. Certified values are due to be released at the end of July. Even if the values increase, Jones said he doesn’t expect it to help next year’s budget.

“We don’t anticipate values going up a great deal,” he said. “We might have a modest increase, but even if it does go up, it won’t help us much due to recapture.”

Because Chico is a Chapter 41 “property-rich” district, it is required by state law to send money to the state to help poorer schools.

If the district maintains its current payroll and salaries, it is looking at a deficit of close to $200,000. That deficit is due mostly to a reduction in state funding, Jones said. Schools have been receiving funding from the state in the form of state aid for tax reduction, but Jones said the state is phasing that out. Schools are scheduled to receive none of that funding by the 2017-2018 school year.

Jones cautioned that the budget talk was preliminary, and the district will look at ways to reduce that deficit.

In other business, the board:

  • reviewed the results of the annual climate survey. The survey is taken by parents, teachers and students. Jones said the results are intended to give an overall evaluation of the school climate and looks to identify areas where improvements can be made.
  • took no action on authorizing Jones to offer probationary contracts to fill vacant teaching and coaching positions through Aug. 18, 2014, after a 3-3 vote.

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Mr. and Mrs. Corey Ryan Haney

Shelby Amanda Collins of Lubbock and Corey Ryan Haney of Midland were married June 7, 2014, at the home of the bride’s grandparents, Butch and Linda McKay, in Westminster.

Clint Dickson officiated the double-ring ceremony.


Mr. and Mrs. Corey Ryan Haney

The bride is the daughter of Shane and Terri Hedrick of Chico.

The groom is the son of James and Lee Ann Haney of Midland.

Matron of honor was Stacie McKinney, and bridesmaids were McKayla Hedrick, sister of the bride; Briana Slawson, cousin of the bride; and Amber Haney, sister of the groom.

Best man was Chris Martin. Groomsmen were Bryce Milner, Luis Salas and Jacob Stephens.

Ushers were Austin Collins and Kenyon Hedrick, brothers of the bride; and Christopher and Matthew Haney, brothers of the groom.

Guestbook attendant was Michelle Boddy.

Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at the wedding site.

The couple took a honeymoon to the Bahamas. They live in Midland.

The bride is a 2010 graduate of Chico High School and a 2014 graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock where she earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science. She is employed by Greenbelt Veterinary Hospital.

The groom is a 2008 graduate of Midland High School and a 2012 graduate of Texas Tech, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He’s employed by Hy-Bon Inc.

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Amanda Kay Largent and Arthur Wayne Manuel

Amanda Kay Largent of Bridgeport, daughter of Ray and Debora Pryor of Chico and the late Jerry Largent, will marry Arthur Wayne Manuel of Bridgeport, son of Luke and Beth Manuel of Kaufman, July 12, 2014, in Alvord.


Amanda Kay Largent and Arthur Wayne Manuel

Apostle Quint Burks with New Vision Ministries will officiate.

The bride-elect attended Chico High School. She works for Wal-Mart.

The prospective groom attended Bridgeport High School, the Art Institute of Dallas and Weatherford College. He works for Wagging Tails Pet Salon.

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A good deal for the quarry, not for Chico

In the June 7 Messenger, Brian Knox reported on the Chico City Council approving the city engineer to begin the permitting process to allow the city to sell its treated wastewater.

In March, the council voted to sell the wastewater to P&K Stone LLC for a limestone quarry to be built just east of town off Farm Road 1810. The reporter quoted Mayor J.D. Clark saying at the meeting, “It’s a benefit because we’d rather see the rock quarry use wastewater for dust control and watering down the rock than use good drinking water.”

In a Messenger article dated July 10, 2011, “City could profit from greywater sales” the city council voted to go into the business of selling “used water” to industry. Mayor Clark said, “We’ve got rock-crushers that are interested in buying it.” At that time P&K Stone was looking at building a rock-crushing plant in Chico.

But under the Settlement Agreement, C. Texas Department of Transportation Approvals: D. Potable Water, Chico agrees to sell potable water (emphasis mine) to P&K in accordance with the standard Chico rates and process.

Did Mayor Clark read this clause before signing the contract on May 9, 2014? Knox reports P&K will pay for any infrastructure needed to sell the wastewater – including permitting fees – and the agreement will allow the city to sell to other companies.

What the public does not know is that the mayor signed an agreement obligating the city to sell P&K the reclaimed wastewater for 30 years – with the right of first refusal for all the water produced, at a set rate.

The city is responsible for operating and maintenance expenses for the 30-year period. P&K will offset the cost of the capital investment for the equipment required to provide the reclaimed wastewater to P&K – at no cost – for 10 years or until the total cost is offset, up to 15 years.

P&K gets the benefit of all the wastewater, which it can use for any purpose, including washing of aggregates, dust control on roads, dust control within the aggregate plant and landscape watering, for 30 years.

The use of the potable water from Chico’s water wells was not restricted, nor was an expiration date established. If the supply from Chico’s 1,000 population does not meet the demand for reclaimed wastewater, P&K has the backup of using the city’s drinking water.

There is no benefit to a resident in Chico in selling reclaimed wastewater to P&K for at least 10 or probably 15 years. The cost of operating, electricity, maintenance (including repairs) will be paid from either increased sewer fees or from property taxes.

Will selling wastewater ever make a profit? Not when P&K was smart enough to lock in a rate for 30 years with no adjustment for increases in the maintenance and operational costs!

We are aware of the impact of extreme drought conditions on city water resources. Agreeing to sell our “good drinking” water to an industry located outside the city limits, with no tax benefits to the city of Chico for as long as P&K is in business, without calling for a referendum, warrants a recall election of the mayor and city council in my opinion.

However, the position of mayor may become vacant in the near future, giving the voters an opportunity to vote for a mayor who will stop the encroachment of rock quarries by extending the city limits.

The voters can elect city council members wise enough to simply provide needed services in exchange for taxes and fees; leaving running a business to the private sector!

Brenda Rankin

Posted in Letters to the Editor0 Comments

Maria Ruiz-Quezada

Maria Ruiz-Quezada

Maria Ruiz-Quezada, 52, a cook, died Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Chico.

Mass is 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at St. John the Baptizer Catholic Church in Bridgeport. Christian burial will be at Panteon Municipal De Las Bocas in Mexico.

Pallbearers are Alejandro Quezada, Jesus Diaz, Martin Banuelos Jr., Martin Banuelos, Jorge Quezada, and Omar Banuelos.

Maria was born June 28, 1961, in Las Bocas, Huejucar, Jalisco, Mexico to Nicolas and Guadalupe (Quezada) Ruiz. She married Martin Banuelos Nov. 15, 1979, in Las Bocas. Maria was a cook at Rock City Burger in Bridgeport. She was a member of St. John the Baptizer Catholic Church in Bridgeport and a cursillista.

Maria was preceded in death by her father, Nicolas Ruiz.

She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Martin Banuelos of Chico; sons Adrian Banuelos of Las Bocas, Martin Banuelos Jr. and fiance Anabel Guereca of Chico, Omar Banuelos of Chico, Nicolas De Jesus Banuelos of Chico; her mother, Guadalupe Ruiz-Quezada of Mexico; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments




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