City of Chico awards bid for water filtration project

Residents of the City of Chico moved one step closer to having peace of mind over their water quality Tuesday.

The city council awarded a bid to Fryer Construction Company of Argyle for the city’s water filtration project. The company submitted the lower of two bids at $510,700.

The other bid totalled $706,480.

The city was notified last year that it had received a $250,000 Community Development Fund grant from The Texas Department of Agriculture for the project. The city will be responsible for paying the remaining $260,700 cost of the project, and that money is included in the current budget.

Chico Mayor J.D. Clark said the filtration unit will be self-contained inside a fenced building near the double water towers on Mount Street. Construction should be complete in November 2015.

The project is expected to address an issue the city had five years ago when it was notified of a uranium spike in the water. The three wells where uranium exceeded 30 micrograms per liter, the level at which the Environmental Protection Agency says it becomes a possible health risk, were taken off line as a precaution and have remained out of service.

Subsequent testing has not revealed any issues with high uranium levels. The wells that have continued in operation since that time have never had an issue with uranium levels.

Clark said he is confident the new water filtration system will solve any future issues with uranium contamination.

“This is designed to filter uranium contaminants,” he said. “The city should never again have to get a report saying you’ve had a spike in uranium. If something happened in the ground again that would cause a spike in uranium, this should filter it out before it has any impact on our municipal water supply.”

In addition to better water quality, the water filtration system will allow the city to bring those three wells back into service, increasing the city’s water capacity.

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Volleyball: Tolar sweeps Lady Dragons

The playoff-bound Chico Lady Dragons couldn’t trip up Tolar Saturday.

Tolar, one of the 9-2A co-leaders, beat the third-place Lady Dragons in three games, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22.

The loss dropped Chico to 9-4 in 9-2A.

The Lady Dragons struggled to generate offense against Tolar, putting down 13 kills. Britton Petty recorded four. Alli York and Kiley Marburger finished with three each.

Petty handed out nine assists. Laynee North finished with the other four helpers.

Petty also had two of the team’s four aces.

Defensively, Destinee Hardee made six digs. Brianna Martin dug five shots, and York four.

Chico closed out district play Tuesday at Poolville. The Lady Dragons will open the playoffs with a bi-district match against Collinsville. The match is tentatively set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4 at Argyle High School.

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Man continues to elude officers

Brian King, 32, of Alvord is still on the run after fleeing police officers who were trying to arrest him in Chico Tuesday evening.

Brian King

King, who has been arrested numerous times in Wise County and currently has a felony warrant out of Montague County, ran when officers tried to stop him on Hickory Street.

Multiple officers with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety joined Chico Officer Galen Wiley in searching the city after King’s escape around 4 p.m.

He’s not believed to be dangerous but has a warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

Sheriff David Walker said his officers first spotted the suspect in Sunset. They recognized him and – knowing there was a warrant for his arrest – began following him in an unmarked car. King drove to Chico at which time a marked unit was called to the scene to make the stop.

Walker said King turned onto Hickory Street, which is a dead end. When the marked car attempted to stop him, he jumped from his vehicle, leaving it in gear. By this time, the officer in an unmarked S.O. pickup had pulled up next to King. As the officer was attempting to exit the pickup, King’s vehicle, which was still rolling, veered to the left and hit it.

Walker said when King is apprehended, he will face additional charges, including evading arrest.

“We’ve got some feelers out to see if we can find him,” he said. “We think he’s up in the Montague area somewhere. We’re not going to go on an all-out manhunt because his warrants don’t call for that. He’ll turn up.”

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Clark appointed to late husband’s seat on board

{{platinum}}}The Chico School Board experienced the sudden and tragic loss of one of its members, Donald Joe Clark, last month. On Monday, they appointed someone to fill the seat who knows Clark better than anyone else: his wife, Lori Clark.

Lori Clark

Clark said Thursday that she contacted the board members not long after her husband’s funeral expressing a desire to fill the vacancy until the next election.

“I just felt like I needed to do it,” she said. “It was important to Donald, and I just felt like I needed to fill in his place. It’s what he would have wanted.”

Donald Joe Clark had completed about one-and-a-half years of his first term on the board when he died Sept. 25 in a motor vehicle accident on Farm Road 1810. His wife will fill the seat until next May, when an election will be held for the remaining year on his term.

Clark said she is undecided if she will seek election to the seat.

While this will be the first time Clark has served in elective office, she’s no stranger to education. After 26 years as an educator, she’s in her second year of retirement. The first 15 years of her career, she was a second grade teacher in Decatur, and her final 11 years were spent as an eighth grade English language arts teacher at Chico Middle School.

Clark also served on the district’s facilities committee, which has examined issues and helped prioritize those issues that are the most critical.

She said her husband was always concerned with what was best for both students and teachers.

“He was always very active when he was a student – active in a lot of student organizations, and he always helped out the ag department and was the football announcer for 22 years,” she said. “All the student organizations were really important to him.

“And of course, being married to a teacher, he was concerned about teachers’ experience and making sure they were not overlooked,” she added. “Of course, these things are important to me, too.”

She said she’s looking forward to serving the school generations of her family have attended.

“I’m glad to be involved,” Clark said. “I have a granddaughter in kindergarten and some more grandkids coming up, so the district has always been important to me. I graduated from there. My kids graduated from there, and now I’ve got grandkids coming through.”

The vote to appoint Clark was unanimous, and she said her fellow board members have been very welcoming.

In other business from Monday’s meeting, the board learned the school district had received a “superior achievement” designation through the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) and hired Myrtle Blaylock as a part-time teacher at the elementary.

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Football: Dragons railroad Trenton, 76-21

The Chico Dragons brought a win to homecoming, defeating Trenton 76-21.

Looking for a Block

LOOKING FOR A BLOCK – Chico’s Jastin McBee points out defenders for his teammates to block during the Dragons’ 76-21 win over Trenton Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Chico took the lead and never let it slip. In the first, the Dragons’ Jericoe McGuire completed passes for touchdowns to Kalan Johnson and Cameron Weatherly and ran in a third himself.

Keefer Wiley completed a 23-yard pass to Walker Cokeland to get Trenton on the board in the second. Later, Wiley would toss another pass to Cokeland scoring, but Chico’s offense was steadily running up the score, plastering 22 points to end the half 42-15.

The Dragons’ dominance didn’t abate in the third as McGuire passed and ran for two more touchdowns. Hagen Davis stole the ball from Trenton to score on a 50-yard interception return.

Trenton made their final trip across the goal line about four minutes into the third via a 16-yard pass from Wiley to Anthony Johnson.

Chico scored twice more in the fourth to end the game.

Making a Stop

MAKING A STOP – Chico’s Garon Davis brings down a Trenton runner during the Dragons’ 76-21 win on homecoming Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

CHICO 76, TRENTON 21

Chico … 20 … 22 … 20 … 14 … – … 76
Trenton … 0 … 15 … 6 … 0 … – … 21

FIRST QUARTER

Chico – 10:39, 30 pass from Jericoe McGuire to Kalan Johnson; kick failed

Chico – 6:10, 12 run by McGuire; Pass from McGuire to Cameron Weatherly.

Chico – :57, 60 pass from McGuire to Johnson; kick failed.

SECOND QUARTER

Trenton – 7:00, 23 pass from Keefer Wiley to Walker Cokeland; Conner Brinkley.

Chico – 5:40, 45 pass from Mcguire to Corbin Blackwood; run failed.

Chico – 2:19, 58 fumble return Weatherly; Johnson run.

Trenton – :30, 42 pass Wiley to Cokeland; pass Wiley to Cokeland.

Chico – :02, 28 pass from McGuire to Johnson; McGuire to Blackwood.

THIRD QUARTER

Chico -10:51, 41 run McGuire; kick failed.

Trenton – 8:15, 16 pass Wiley to Anthony Johnson; PAT failed.

Chico – 3:28, 19 pass from McGuire to Johnson; Cameron Starnes kick.

Chico – 3:02, 50 interception return Hagen Davis; Starnes kick.

FOURTH QUARTER

Chico – 7:53, 43 run Johnson; Starnes kick.

Chico – 2:31, 8 run Starnes; Starnes kick.

CHICO … TRENTON

First downs … 19 … 14
Rushes-Yards … 31-244 … 34-52
Passing Yards … 117 … 147
Total Yards … 361 … 199
Comp-Att-Int … 9-15-0 … 11-29-1
Punts-Avg … 2-15 … 6-8
Fumbles-Lost … 2-1 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 15-140 … 7-50

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Chico, Crese Redman 9-98; Trenton, Wiley 15-26.

Receiving: Chico, Johnson 4-137-4; Trenton, Nick Sambrano 3-54.

Passing: Chico, McGuire 9-15-0 for 117; Trenton, Wiley 11-29-1 for 147.

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Volleyball: Chico secures playoff spot

The Chico Lady Dragons couldn’t take down one of the top teams in 9-2A Tuesday, falling to Bryson in three games.

Diving Into Post Season

DIVING INTO POSTSEASON – Chico’s Destinee Hardee dives for a ball earlier this season. The Lady Dragons will head to the playoffs as the third seed from 9-2A. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Bryson won 25-10, 25-22, 25-18.

The loss dropped Chico to 9-3 in district, but they have wrapped up the league’s third playoff seed with two matches remaining. The Lady Dragons will open the playoffs against Collinsville Nov. 3-4.

Chico coach Missy Patterson said the two schools are still working on details.

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Football: Dragons eye end to district skid on homecoming

The Chico Dragons’ hopes of ending their playoff drought that dates back to 2001 took a big hit last week with a 40-25 loss to Bells.

The setback dropped the Dragons to 0-2 in 5-2A Division I.

“We didn’t get it done,” said Chico coach Stephen Carter. “We still have a chance if we take care of business.”

The Dragons’ first order of business is picking up a homecoming victory at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium against Trenton (2-5, 0-2).

The Tigers are coming off a 45-23 loss to Valley View. Trenton has been outscored 80-29 in its two district games.

The Dragons are hoping to take out some frustrations on Trenton with their offense. Chico piled up 548 yards last week against Bells with Kalen Johnson running for 235.

“Kalen had a huge night,” Carter said. “He’s had 100 yards in the past two games.”

The Dragons couldn’t slow down Bells and quarterback Derrick Ponder, who threw for 313 yards and five scores.

TRENTON (2-5, 0-2) AT CHICO (4-3, 0-2)

7:30 p.m. at Dragon Stadium

Trenton: Harris Rating 135

Notable: The Tigers have been outscored 80-29 in six quarters during district.

Chico: Harris Rating 180

Notable: Kalen Johnson ran for 235 yards against Bells.

Harris line: Chico by 37

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Volleyball: Petty deals 8 aces to Graford

Britton Petty served up eight aces as the Chico Lady Dragons took down Graford in four games Saturday.

Chico won 16-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19.

The Lady Dragons moved to 9-2 in 9-2A with three matches left.

The Lady Dragons’ strong serving paced them to the win. Chico finished with 18 aces. Hannah Davis added four.

Bailey Hornsby put down four kills. Alli York added three.

Petty doled out five assists, and Laynee North four.

Defensively, Kiley Marburger blocked three shots. Brianna Martin made 12 digs. Destinee Hardee dug nine shots.

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Upcoming Halloween Events

BRIDGEPORT

SPOOKTACULAR – Bridgeport Parks and Recreation will host the Spooktacular Fall Festival 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Bridgeport Community Center. The free event will include a zipline, rock wall, rat race, candy, games, popcorn, cotton candy, balloon animals and face painting. There will be magic shows at 5:45 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., and a costume contest sponsored by Bridgeport Main Street at 6:15 p.m.

The Great Pumpkin

THE GREAT PUMPKIN – Piles of pumpkins can be found at farmer’s markets, produce stands and grocery stores around the county. Some families transform them into jack-o-lanterns, while others choose to enjoy their natural beauty. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

FALL FEST – The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport will have a Family Fun Fall Fest 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the church’s Family Life Center. There will be free food and candy, a bounce house, obstacle course, games and prizes. Wear costumes. The church is at the corner of Texas 114 and Cates Street.

COSTUME PARADE – Bridgeport Main Street’s Suit Up and Say Boo Halloween Costume parade down Halsell Street is 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. It begins at Bridgeport Stage, 1009 Halsell St. The street will be closed from 4:45 to 6 p.m. for the event.

HALLOWEEN NIGHT – Various streets will be closed 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in the Oakland Heights Addition for trick-or-treating.

FEARAPHOBIA – The Fearaphobia Haunted House at 1407 Carpenter St. in Bridgeport is open 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays until Nov. 1. Tickets are $15 and $10 at the door for adults and children under 12, respectively, and $10 and $5 online at www.fearaphobia.com/tickets.html. There will also be a children’s haunted house for those who feel they might get too scared going on the actual tour. If the event breaks even, designer Robert Chaney plans to give the proceeds to a local charity.

CHICO

HAUNTED HOUSE – The Chico Community Volunteer Fire Department will have a haunted house 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October at the Old Chico Middle School, 400 S. Hovey St. Admission for 12 and under is $3 and 13 and older is $5. All proceeds will benefit the fire department. The haunted house will also have a “kid’s hall” for smaller children.

DECATUR

SPOOKY TALES – Decatur Public Library is hosting Tales from the Critt, a Halloween-themed spoken word program with audiobook ace C.J. Critt, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27. A veteran of Broadway and a staff writer at Radio Disney as well as the original voice of America’s favorite bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, Critt will channel the voices of various mystery and suspense authors she has recorded in her 20-year career with Recorded Books and Harper Audio, and will treat the audience to some classic spooky fare and a lively question-and-answer session. Suggested age is 13 and up.

TRICK OR TREAT NIGHT – Decatur City Council voted to move the city’s trick-or-treat observance to Thursday, Oct. 30, to avoid a conflict with the Eagles’ final home football game Oct. 31. The council agreed to designate Deer Park Road as one-way, northbound, between Eagle Drive and Preskitt Road from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the 30th to help ease traffic problems in some of the city’s more popular trick or treating areas.

FALL FESTIVAL – Gover-nor’s Ridge Fall Festival is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30. There will be a bounce house, games and prizes, a merry-go-round, goblin walk and a hot dog supper, plus trick or treating.

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Football: Bells outpaces Dragons, 40-25

Chico played tough, but in the end couldn’t overcome Bells, losing 40-25.

The Panthers (5-2, 2-0)struck the first blow with a touchdown midway through the first quarter followed by a kick by Derrick Ponder. The Dragons (4-3, 0-2) answered back with a buzzer beating 65-yard run by Kalan Johnson. Failure to put the PAT kick between the uprights put Chico behind.

The Dragons saw a glimmer of light in the second with a 34-yard pass from Jericoe McGuire to Corbin Blackwood for Chico’s third touchdown of the night. Chico pulled ahead 19-14, but Bells scrambled in the final seconds of the half to take back the lead, leaving the Dragons behind 21-19.

Both teams played close to the vest, each touting 21 first downs. Chico dominated rushing, laying down 366 yard to Bells’ 98, while the Panthers passed for 313 yards to Chico’s 182. All-in-all, Chico had the higher total yardage with 548 to Bells’ 411.

The Dragons’ Johnson helped Chico’s number by rushing 235 yards.

Bells never let the lead slip in the last half, out scoring the Dragons 19-6 to finish the game.

CHICO 25, BELLS 40

Chico … 6 … 13 … 6 … 0 … – … 25
Bells … 7 … 14 … 13 … 6 … – … 40

FIRST QUARTER

Bells – 5:39, 6 run Ethan Standford; Derrick Ponder kick.

Chico – 0:0, 65 run Kalan Johnson; kick failed.

SECOND QUARTER

Bells – 9:39, 26 pass from Ponder to Chris Hall; Ponder kick.

Chico – 5:13, 9 run Johnson; Cameron Starnes kick.

Chico – 1:09, 34 pass from Jericoe McGuire to Corbin Blackwood; PAT failed.

Bells – 0:0, 16 pass from Ponder to Standford; Ponder kick.

THIRD QUARTER

Bells – 7:40, 15 pass Ponder to Tristan Conway; Ponder kick.

Chico – 7:19, 80 run Johnson; PAT failed.

Bells – 5:57, 42 pass from Ponder to Standford; kick failed.

FOURTH QUARTER

Bells – 9:53, 5 run by Dillon Gary; kick failed

CHICO … BELLS

First downs … 21 … 21
Rushes-Yards … 43-366 … 18-98
Passing Yards … 182 … 313
Total Yards … 548 … 411
Comp-Att-Int … 17-27-1 … 18-45-0
Punts-Avg … 3-15 … 4-40
Fumbles-Lost … 0-0 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 8-90 … 14-135

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Chico, Johnson 14-235; Bells, Conway 4-49.

Receiving: Chico, Blackwood 7-105, Bells, Stanford 7-142

Passing: Chico, McGuire 17-27-1 for 182; Bells, Ponder 18-45-0 for 313

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Volleyball: Chico inches toward playoffs

The Chico Lady Dragons moved closer to locking up a playoff spot out of District 9-2A Tuesday with a sweep of last-place Perrin.

Chico won 25-10, 25-22, 25-21 moving to 8-2 in district.

The Lady Dragons are third behind Tolar and Bryson.

Alli York and Britton Petty buried eight kills each for the Lady Dragons, who notched 35 finishers and hit .300. Kiley Marburger added six kills, and Hope Webb five.

Petty handed out 20 assists. Laynee North finished with 13.

The Lady Dragons served 14 aces. Destinee Hardee served seven, and Hannah Davis four.

Davis made six digs. Bailey Hornsby and York dug four shots each.

After meeting Graford Saturday at home, the Lady Dragons will have three matches remaining.

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Volleyball: Chico tames Ranger in 4

Alli York served eight of the Chico Lady Dragons’ 22 aces in a four-game victory over Ranger Saturday.

Chico won 25-22, 25-19, 17-25, 25-18 to move to 7-2 in District 9-2A. The Lady Dragons are in third place, two matches in front of Ranger.

Tolar leads the league at 9-1. Bryson is a half-match behind Tolar at 8-1.

Chico was solid throughout the match at the service line, serving at a 92 percent clip. Hannah Davis and Britton Petty served four aces each. Laynee North added three.

Offensively, York put down 10 kills. Kiley Marburger added five, and Petty three.

Petty doled out 16 assists, and North seven.

Defensively, Brianna Martin and Destinee Hardee made 11 digs each. York had nine.

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Football: Chico looks to ring Panthers’ bell

The Chico Dragons couldn’t get out of their own way last Friday night in dropping the 5-2A Division I opener at Blue Ridge.

The Dragons turned the ball over five times and were flagged 15 times for 140 yards in penalties in the 34-25 loss.

“The bottom line is you can’t win a game with penalties and turnovers,” said Chico coach Stephen Carter.

Chico (4-2) will look to rebound quickly, heading to Bells at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Chico miscues last week gave Blue Ridge quarterback Ty Agen too many chances to make plays through the air and on the ground. Agen threw for 166 yards and ran for 164.

“We were so focused on stopping the pass that they got us with quarterback draws and put us in a bind,” Carter said.

Offensively, Chico moved the ball aside from the turnovers. The Dragons finished with more than 300 yards, running for 296.

“We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Carter said. “They never stopped us. We stopped ourselves.”

The Dragons will get some reinforcements this week with Crese Redman returning from a knee injury. The Dragons’ leading back and starting safety was held out last week after suffering a knee strain against Diamond Hill-Jarvis.

“He will help us,” Carter said.

The Dragons will face another talented passing attack led by Bells quarterback Derrick Ponder. He’s thrown for 2,356 yards and 27 touchdowns in just six games.

“He’s by far the best quarterback we’ve seen,” Carter said. “He throws the ball well.”

His receiver Ethan Sanford has caught 67 passes fro 917 yards and eight scores. Noah Straw also has eight touchdown receptions and 602 yards.

Bells beat Valley View 45-9 last week in the district opener.

CHICO (4-2, 0-1) AT BELLS (3-3, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium

Chico: Harris Rating 173

Notable: Chico turned the ball over five times last week in the loss to Blue Ridge.

Bells: Harris Rating 194

Notable: Bells quarterback Derrick Ponder has thrown 27 TDs and is averaging 392 yards per game.

Harris line: Bells by 27

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Chico City Council buys backhoe, pickup

The Chico City Council took care of routine business at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council agreed to purchase a backhoe for $88,196 as well as a 2014 Chevy Silverado pickup for $23,000.

A couple of items were approved related to the upcoming Chicofest: a route for the 5K run, and the closing of Jacksboro and Weatherford streets on the square.

Several items related to routine interlocal agreements between the city and the county were also approved, including for road repairs, animal control services and fire protection and first responder services.

The council will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 28 to award bids for the city’s water filtration project.

Next month’s council meeting was moved to the first Thursday, Nov. 6.

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Football: Dragons behind Blue Ridge, 34-25

As Friday night turned into Saturday morning, the Chico Dragons were waiting for a break in the weather to finish up the District 5-2A Division I opener in Blue Ridge.

The Dragons trailed Blue Ridge 34-25 with 4:32 left in the game.

Chico lost a fumble at the 40-yard line just before the game was stopped by storms.

Chico fell behind as Blue Ridge quarterback Ty Agan tossed four touchdowns. He hit Brevin Wiggins for two scores.

Along with struggling to stop Agan, the Dragons were whistled for more than 100 yards in penalties in the first half.

Without Crese Redman in the lineup, the Dragons turned to Kalen Johnson and Tyler Alexander to power their ground game. The two scored a pair of touchdowns apiece.

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Volleyball: Lady Dragons take down Newcastle

The Chico Lady Dragons’ work on the defensive side of the net led to a sweep of Newcastle Tuesday.

Chico made 42 digs in the 25-21, 25-21, 25-19 win to keep them on pace to lock up a playoff spot out of District 9-2A. Chico moved to 6-2 in the league.

Brianna Martin and Destinee Hardee paced the defensive effort. Martin made 14 digs, and Hardee 12. Alli York added eight digs.

Britton Petty and Hope Webb led the Lady Dragons attack with six kills each. Bailey Hornsby and Kiley Marburger added four kills apiece.

Chico tallied 27 kills, hitting .141.

Petty handed out 14 assists. Laynee North added six helpers.

At the service line, York and Hannah Davis recorded four aces.

Chico will look for a third straight Saturday, taking on Ranger at noon.

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Stabbing suspect in custody

It took some legwork – literally – but Wise County Sheriff’s investigators finally got an aggravated assault suspect in custody Monday afternoon.

Rickey Gene Stilwell

Rickey Gene Stilwell, 35, of Chico, was facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when WCSO Investigator Anissa Satterfield came knocking at his door Monday afternoon.

Stilwell tacked on a charge of evading arrest when he decided to flee the scene on foot.

It didn’t work. After crossing several fences, ending up at the gates of a quarry and turning back, Stilwell was finally run down and arrested around 4:30 Monday afternoon. He was taken to the Wise County Jail, where he was booked on both charges.

“Basically he ran from the house on foot,” Sheriff David Walker said. “He saw the deputies closing in, so he turned around and ran into the woods, right into another group of investigators.”

Walker said the deputies created a perimeter and closed in on the fugitive. One had a good vantage point and was able to track his movements and direct the other officers closer and closer to him.

Once they caught him, he did not resist arrest – in fact, Walker said he apologized to the officer that took him in to custody.

Bond was set at $100,000 on the assault charge, a second degree felony, and $10,000 on the evading arrest charge. He remained in jail Tuesday afternoon.

Walker said his investigators had been working on the case for several days, interviewing the victim and witnesses before getting the arrest warrant Monday afternoon.

The affidavit says the victim, Adam Johnson, 29, went to a residence in the 1100 block of Farm Road 2952 in Chico Saturday to retrieve belongings and collect some money he said was owed to him.

At some point during what appeared to be a normal conversation, witnesses said Stilwell suddenly stabbed Johnson twice in the chest with a blunt object, piercing his lung.

“Both of the witnesses said it appeared as if for no reason Stilwell hit Johnson twice in the chest and took off,” the affidavit says. “After closer observation, it was obvious Johnson had been stabbed.”

Satterfield also spoke with Johnson, who confirmed he was stabbed by Stilwell.

Walker said it appears the incident had been building for several days and may be related to other disturbance calls in and around Chico.

“It’s been crazy,” he said. “In a nutshell, it’s kind of a convoluted mess. We’re trying to sort it all out.”

He noted that after Johnson was attacked, those at the house attempted to take him to the hospital in Bridgeport. They said they could not find it, and wound up in the AutoZone parking lot – spawning a rumor that he was stabbed there.

There was also a rumor that he was stabbed in the cemetery, although Walker said there’s no evidence so far indicating they were even in the cemetery.

“We’re pretty sure the previous stuff – shooting at houses, going door-to-door, standing in the road – was all the same group,” Walker said. “I think it’s all related, and we’re trying to pull it all together.”

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Stephens answers the call to be a teacher

Heather Stephens is only about six weeks into her new job as a third grade English language arts teacher at Chico Elementary, but she already has unique insights into some of her students’ lives.

You learn quite a bit about what’s going on when you’re a 911 dispatcher.

POSITIVE RETURNS – New third grade teacher Heather Stephens is enjoying getting to know her students at Chico Elementary. She previously taught a year at a school in Henderson and has spent several years as a dispatcher for the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Stephens worked fulltime in the communications department at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office from 2006 to 2010, when she moved to Henderson for a student teaching job at Wylie Elementary. When she became pregnant with her second child, she and her husband decided to move back to Wise County to be closer to his family.

She returned in the summer of 2013 and once again joined the communications division of the sheriff’s office. This year, she was hired as a third grade teacher at Chico. While she is now a full-time teacher, she still works part time as a dispatcher when needed.

“One of the girls here asked me, ‘How can you work at the sheriff’s office and work here (at school)?'” she said. “I’ve always done it. You have to work. When I was in college, I competed on the equestrian team, I had a full load at school and I worked at Tractor Supply.

“I don’t know what I would do if I had too much time off.”

Stephens said she enjoys aspects of both jobs, but each comes with unique challenges.

“At the sheriff’s office, when you leave for the day, your work’s done. But it weighs on you emotionally,” she said.

“Here, your work continues because you are building on concepts, and the kids are in your heart. They affect you differently – being able to see their struggles – but it’s not as much of a negative aspect as the sheriff’s office.”

There, she noted, “you see a lot of death.”

As a dispatcher, Stephens often has to talk to people in the midst of the most traumatic situations of their lives. Working at the sheriff’s office, she also is aware of the kinds of things criminals are capable of doing.

She may have just met her students this year, but she’s often aware of the history of the neighborhoods where they live.

“I kind of get a good sense of what their home life struggles are a little bit more because on some of their addresses, I’ve taken many calls at their houses,” Stephens said. “Some of them live close to other incidents that I’ve taken involving thefts or narcotics. You can’t say that every family is that way on that road, but you kind of have an idea of what they see every day and what they deal with.”

Armed with that knowledge, Stephens said in her classroom, she tries to nurture their hearts as well as their minds – even if it’s just a compliment on their clothes matching, or saying they did a good job brushing their hair. It might be the only positive comment they receive all day.

But it’s not just the students who get the positive vibes. Stephens said she likes how her students are still young enough to see the needs of others and take action.

“With the kids, especially at this age, they’re still eager to help others,” she said. “Especially in third grade, you don’t have a lot of bullying or the ‘I’m better than you’ personalities. Generally when you see a kid struggling, or their feelings are hurt, they’ll come over to make sure they are taken care of.”

In a way, Stephens’ two jobs are strikingly similar, whether as a dispatcher she’s staying on the line with someone who is threatening to take their own life, saying a few encouraging words to someone whose house is on fire or whose loved one is seriously injured, or nurturing a child with a smile, a positive comment or an enlightening lesson.

Principal Karen Decker said Stephens has been a wonderful addition to the school.

“She is so upbeat and knowledgeable,” Decker said. “She is a very giving teacher, making efforts to meet every child’s individual academic and social needs. She brings a plethora of excitement to our campus – and staff, students and parents alike are thrilled to have her at Chico Elementary School.”

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Chico ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Elementary School

NOAH SIGSBEE

Noah Sigsbee

Grade: Kindergarten
Parents: Jeff and Mandy Sigsbee

Favorite subject: Phonics (wants to learn to read)

Activities: Playing with younger brother, watching TV and playing with his dinosaur

Why this student was chosen: He is always willing to help the teacher when she needs something and is willing to help other students as well. He does very neat work and completes it on time. He is always willing to share his crayons, etc., when someone needs something. – Principal Karen Decker

Middle School

JESSICA RICHEY

Jessica Richey

Grade: 8th
Parents: Doug and Tammie Richey

Favorite subject: History

Activities: U.I.L., One Act Play

Why this student was chosen: Jessica is involved in U.I.L. One Act Play. She is a very good student and always is on top of her game. She is a pleasure to be around. She is a very quiet student and you hardly know she is around (great kid). – Principal Brad Bland

High School

STACEE BROWN

Stacee Brown

Grade: 11th
Parents: Tracy and Tamara Unger

Favorite subject: Math

Activities: She likes all sports, reading, Girl Scouts and church activities

Why this student was chosen: Stacee Brown is an outstanding student at Chico High School. She is an excellent student academically and participates in many different sports. Stacee demonstrates excellent character and work ethic, a quality that is hard to find these days. She is very dependable and such a pleasure to be around. We are lucky to have such a dedicated student on our campus who exemplifies such wonderful qualities. – Principal Lisa Slaughter

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Football: Dragons eye playoffs

The Chico Dragons are in a familiar spot, entering district play at 4-1.

But unlike the past three seasons, the Dragons hope in five weeks to be headed where they’ve not been since 2001 – the playoffs.

Chico coach Stephen Carter is confident this group can end the program’s postseason drought and snag a playoff spot out of District 5-2A Division I. The Dragons’ first test on that quest is on the road at Blue Ridge at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“From the start of the year, this group of kids have been way different,” Carter said. “They have a great attitude and have worked hard every day. There is no selfishness. They know what they want to accomplish. They want to be in the playoffs.”

After beating Diamond Hill-Jarvis to complete the 4-1 non-district schedule, the Dragons were open last week.

“We got a lot of work done. There was a lot of things we needed to work on,” Carter said. “We also started preparing for Blue Ridge.”

The Dragons will be looking to slow down the Blue Ridge passing attack led by quarterback Ty Agan, who has thrown for 1,098 yards and 11 touchdowns. His top targets are Brevin Wiggins with 20 catches for 381 yards and Dakota Bell with 17 receptions for 288.

“Their quarterback and receivers are one of the best combinations in the district,” Carter said. “They scare me with their explosiveness.”

But the Dragons offense has been explosive also, averaging more than 450 yards per game. Crese Redman and Jerico McGuire are chewing up 266 yards per outing on the ground.

“We should be able to run the ball,” Carter said.

One worry for Carter is the long road trip to start district play. The team is planning to take a break halfway to keep fresh.

CHICO (4-1) AT BLUE RIDGE (2-3)

7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium

Chico: Harris Rating 181

Notable: The Dragons are 4-1 for a fourth straight year.

Blue Ridge: Harris Rating 163

Notable: Ty Agan has thrown for 1,098 yards and 11 TDs.

Harris line: Chico by 14

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