Chico’s longtime deputy resigns

The Chico City Council accepted the resignation of longtime resident deputy Doug Whitehead Tuesday night. The position will not be filled.

Whitehead had served the city of Chico for many years, advising them in law enforcement matters. His letter referenced an upcoming surgery that would require lengthy rehabilitation as the reason for his resignation.


  • The council unanimously agreed to authorize the Chico Economic Development Corp.’s Wiley Hardware Project. The EDC will give Wiley Hardware $98,000 to help pay for renovations and remodeling to be completed by Sept. 1.
  • Stephen G. Gilland P.C. CPA will begin its annual audit of Chico in April.
  • Chico Volunteer Fire Department First Captain Ethan Jones is leaving the VFD. His position will be filled by Second Captain Leslie Hardin. All other officers will also move up in rank, leaving the VFD secretary position unfilled. The department will look for someone to fill the post.
  • Emergency medical responder training was approved for two Chico volunteer fire firefighters.

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Powerlifting: Building lifting legacy – Chico girls eye more state bids


Among the many things that make the Chico girls powerlifting team one of the best groups in the state, it’s discipline that keeps them at the top.

Last season, seniors Heidi Spann and Jordan Vidal, along with juniors Alli York and Anna Rodriguez, medaled at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association state meet.

This year, Chico hopes to send eight lifters to the state meet.

Medal Collecting

MEDAL COLLECTING – The Chico girls powerlifting team has been a powerhouse this spring. The team hopes to send eight lifters to state after Monday’s regional meet. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

As Chico coach Heath Tullous and his four previous state medalists prepare for the regional meet and the state meet, discipline is one thing they all keep on their minds.

“Start low and make sure your form is there,” Rodriguez said. “You just want to put something on the board. As long as you have a number, you’re good. Then you work your way up.”

A lot of lifters start with too much weight and find themselves disqualified because they lack form and discipline.

“A lot of times, we train without weight or with very little weight,” Vidal said. “Getting that form right is a big deal for us.”

Tullous says that it usually takes a year to get down the proper form, especially for squat. With experienced lifters, Chico is ahead of the game.

As the success and the lifters have progressed through the years, Tullous says they can focus on different aspects of lifting.

From powerlifting suits to working on minor adjustments and techniques, the Chico team has advanced to the finer points of the sport.

“A lifter’s suit is a lot like golf clubs,” Tullous said. “You don’t want to get a new or inexperienced lifter in a really advanced suit. You kind of have to work your way up. That being said, a really talented lifter can see a lot of benefit from a strong suit.”

Chico has also added coach Tim Mynarcik, who was formerly the head powerlifting coach in Decatur. Tullous says that he is one of the better coaches in the state and adds a lot of knowledge and confidence to the group.

“This is a very coachable group,” he said. “What makes this group different is that they’re coming in with confidence. We get to show up to a meet as the team to beat. Especially since we’re Chico and we’re a smaller school, that’s a fun experience.”

The Chico lifters try to stay focused on themselves and doing their personal best, knowing that it will eventually get them where they want to go.

“You really want to try and worry about yourself,” York said. “If you lose that focus you can find yourself with bad form and technique. A lot of that has to do with having confidence in what your training and your experience.”

Occasionally, the lifters do run into stiff competition and must turn some of their attention to what other lifters are doing.

“Sometimes you have to get a lift to advance or win,” she said. “That’s when I feel like I’m at my best. When I really have to go head-to-head or push myself.”

Whatever the circumstance demands, the battle-tested group is ready to answer the call.

As for the future of Chico powerlifting, Tullous says that he has a strong supply of lifters coming down the line and doesn’t see an end to his school’s dominance in sight.

If they continue to succeed, Chico could be one of the first schools to become a powerlifting powerhouse. Of course that all depends on the ability to sustain a high performance level.

That will be put to the test when the girls team competes at regionals Monday at Wylie High School, and how they finish at the state meet in late March.

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Aiden Thomas Michael James Smith

Yvonne and Thomas Smith of Chico announce the birth of a son, Aiden Thomas Michael James Smith, Feb. 23, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has one brother: Zaydon Smart, 3. He also has two sisters: Zenobia Riojas, 4, and Zymbree Starks.

Grandparents are Carolyn Morrison of Chico and Joseph Smart of Florida.

Great-grandparents are Zoann and Allen Skillen of Belton.

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Jenesis Adam R. Jayme

Rebecca Gavina of Chico announces the birth of a son, Jenesis Adam R. Jayme, Feb. 22, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has one brother: Jenashi Williams, 2. He also has one sister: Jenisee Rayos, 8.

Grandparents are Randy and Jennie Hottman.

Great-grandmother is Lillie McClanahan.

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Powerlifting: Chico captures meet title

The Chico and Alvord girls were the powerlifting story of the weekend as they went to the District 5-6A meet and dominated against the bigger schools.

Chico won the meet with 49 points. Alvord took second with 19.

Chico’s Ana Rodriguez, Haley Pollard, Jorden Vidal, Heidi Spann, Ayesha Parr and Jessica Redwine all won their weight classes.

With regionals only a week away, Chico coach Heath Tullous wants his lifters to stick to their fundamentals and technique.

“Some of our girls are two-time state qualifiers,” Tullous said. “We may not be the strongest but we have great technique and form. Every meet we go to, we get compliments on our technique from judges.”

Tullous also said that some of their success can be attributed to the element of team and togetherness.

“With a lot of the big schools you have friends and teammates in the stands talking and hanging out, not really cheering or supporting each other,” Tullous said. “Our girls stick together and support each other better than a lot of the bigger schools.”

With the success that Chico has had recently, they are dealing with the aspect of being a target for teams trying to climb the ladder.

“It’s the first year that we’ve really been known for being the team to beat,” Tullous said. “The last two years we were trying to make a name for ourselves. That’s the third meet we’ve won so we are kind of on top.”

With the added pressure of expectations and trying to reach the state meet, Tullous said that the best thing for his lifters to do is to keep their minds focused on doing what they always do.

Chico and Alvord combined for eight of the possible 10 gold medals at the meet.

Alvord had gold medalists in Natalie Hofsiss and Lauren Yzaguirre, and a silver medalist in Haley Roberds.

Northwest’s Taylor Duffey also won gold at the meet.


Team: 1. Chico 49; 2. Alvord 19; 6. Northwest 7
97: 1. Ana Rodriguez, Chico, 235
114: 1. Haley Pollard, Chico, 555
123: 1. Taylor Duffey, Northwest, 625; 2. Jennifer Martinez, Chico, 560
132: 1. Jorden Vidal, Chico, 545; 5. Raven Leal, Chico, 450
148: 1. Heidi Spann, Chico, 630; 2. Perla Villanueva, Chico, 585
165: 3. Ayesha Parr, Chico, 565
181: 1. Natalie Hofsiss, Alvord, 680
198: 1. Lauren Yzaguirre, Alvord, 620
220+: 1. Jessica Redwine, Chico, 740; 2. Haley Roberds, Alvord, 730


Team: 6. Decatur 8
105: 4. Miranda Martinez, 395
148: 4. Kelsey Guinn, 535; 5. Kourtney Pettigrew, 500
165: 5. Emily Kirkelie, 525
181: 4. Madison Kyle, 575


Team: 6. Decatur 18
123: 1. Angel Garza, 690
132: 3. Jesus Gam, 840; 6. Dawson Thompson, 645
148: 8. Jesse Romero, 710
220: 1. Dakota Williams, 1370; 5. Cody Holaway, 1045


Team: 11. Bridgeport 8
148: 12. Regi Lane, 800; 14. Nakoda Mastin, 790
220: 22. Alex Winter, 825
242: 7. Tyler Jennings, 1320; 11. Chance Pierce, 1190
275: 1. Bronson Burks, 1455; 5. Shawn Wheat, 1080; Eric Stonecheck, 930
SHW: 6. Anthony Ortiz, 1200; Keaton Vawter, 1060


Team: 12. Bridgeport 6
97: 5. Alicia Mendez, 370
105: 10. Sarah Alexander, 385
114: 2. Hayley Davidson, 600
123: 19. Evelyn Torres, 425
165: 11. Sindi Ortiz, 605
181: Andylyn Heckart, 500

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Baseball: Letting his play talk – Melton looks to lead Chico to playoffs

Tyler Melton doesn’t say anything he doesn’t mean.

When speaking with the Chico junior, he is willing to answer every question asked with a thoughtful response.

But don’t expect Melton to go on for hours, over-indulging and carrying on a conversation longer than it needs to be.

Back on the Hill

BACK ON THE HILL – Chico’s Tyler Melton will try to follow his All-Wise Pitcher of the Year form in 2015. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

That’s not to say that the two-year starter isn’t friendly. It’s just that Melton’s personality is to be honest and concise.

In other words, the first-baseman-turned-pitcher is about taking care of the business at hand and doing what needs to be done.

The same could be said for the pitching style that won him All-Wise Pitcher of the Year in 2014 as a sophomore.

“He’s an over-the-top pitcher,” Chico head coach Brian McBeth said. “He’s not an extremely hard thrower but I would say he lives and dies with his fastball. He does a good job throwing strikes. That’s what we ask him to do, attack hitters and let your defense play behind you.”

Melton also takes pride in his curveball and ability to change speeds, but it’s his ability to do what his coach asks and throw strikes that has allowed him to flourish.

After a freshman season that saw the young first baseman lead the Dragons in many offensive categories, Melton was forced to the mound as a sophomore when the Dragons graduated their three pitchers from the bi-district championship team.

Melton shined on the mound with an 8-3 record, striking out 62 batters in 62.2 innings while holding a 2.01 ERA.

His .549 batting average, 52 RBIs, two home runs, 13 doubles, .682 on-base percentage, .816 slugging percentage and 1.499 OPS were all team-leading statistics at the plate.

The fantastic 2014 season received many accolades from coaches, media and fans. The Dragons want to continue the success in 2015.

“It felt good,” Melton said when asked about being named the All-Wise Pitcher of the Year. “It was a nice award and accomplishment and a great honor to be named that. I’m coming back for it again this year, too.”

Melton’s competitive fire is clear, though he doesn’t want his comments to be construed as braggadocio.

Even when he says that he expects his team to go at least four rounds into the playoffs, he conditions the statement by saying that it is confidence in himself and his teammates that makes him believe that to be a possibility – not arrogance.

He also enjoys playing for the Chico football and golf teams.

Though baseball and golf share seasons, Melton loves both and sees similarities between the course and the mound.

Both require athletes to overcome pressure and perform at the highest level possible.

For the junior, understanding that losing his focus will negatively affect his performance is enough to keep his mind where it needs to be.

“Just think about throwing the next pitch,” Melton said. “You can’t allow the pressure to get to you. That’s when you mess up.”

Though his statement is pretty cut-and-dried, it gives a deeper understanding as to the mentality that it takes to get to Melton’s level of success.

If something stands in the way of completing a task, Melton is the rare player who can ignore, or overcome those things and keep his focus on what needs to be done.

His straight-to-the-point style has given this athlete the ability to be great in two varsity season so far.

Melton hopes to make that a third in 2015.

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Chico trustee explains vote on bond issue

I feel as an elected member of the board of trustees of Chico Independent School District, I should explain why I voted as I did, against the bond election that is going to be presented to you, the voters.

First, we have been operating the school in the red the past few years. I feel we should operate the school on a balanced budget, spending no more than we take in.

Second, we owe for 20 more years on the last bond. The payments are more than $700,000 per year. No, we cannot wait another 20 years before we make some of these improvements – but I feel now is not the time to saddle the taxpayers of the district with higher taxes.

Third, I feel the economy is too unstable at this time to burden the property owners in this district with higher taxes. With oil prices really low, the oil companies are going to cut their spending, including cutting jobs. We get a lot of our tax money to operate the school district from oil revenue. The price of oil affects everyone in Wise County, directly or indirectly.

Now for the positives:

Interest rates are at a historic low; therefore borrowing this $7 million will not cost as much, as we pay it back.

The board started this process before I was elected, and they went about it in the right manner. They appointed a committee of citizens to assess the needs of the district, and eliminated some of the items they felt were not urgent needs of the district. The board then appointed another citizens’ committee to prioritize these remaining items. We then cut the items this committee felt were a low priority.

All qualified voters living in the Chico school district should vote, especially property owners, as you will be paying for this if the bond issue passes. But whether you are for or against this bond issue, please vote. Let us, the board members, know your wishes.

If you don’t vote and the bond issue doesn’t turn out as you wish, who do you have to blame other than yourself?


W.E. “Bill” Hand, president, Chico ISD board of trustees

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Leah Geeslin and J.D. Clark

Leah Geeslin, daughter of Ron and Donna Geeslin, all of Chico, will marry J.D. Clark, son of Lori and the late Donald Clark, all of Chico, on Oct. 3, 2015, in Decatur.

Clark Geesling

Leah Geeslin and J.D. Clark

The bride-elect is a 2011 graduate of Texas Tech University and is employed by Pipeline Plastics in Decatur.

The prospective groom is a 2008 graduate of the University of North Texas and a 2013 graduate of Midwestern State University. He is the Wise County judge.

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Chico ISD calls $7 million bond

The Chico School Board called a $7 million bond election at its regular meeting Monday night.

The proposition includes security and lighting upgrades at all campuses, construction of an ag facility and a concession stand/restroom building, site upgrades at all campuses and transportation and technology upgrades.

The move came after almost two-and-a-half years of discussion and only passed by a slim margin, 4-3. Board members Mark Tate, Paul Cantrell, Pancho Redwine and Doug Bowyer voted in favor of it, and G.A. Buckner, Bill Hand and Lori Clark voted against it.

Buckner simply said he wouldn’t support a bond, while Hand said he wouldn’t support one “right now.”

“We’re operating in the red and with oil and gas going down …” he said.

Superintendent Mike Jones reminded the board that interest rates are at a historic low, but if the board disagreed on whether or not to call a bond, one option would be to go ahead and have the election to let the citizens decide.

“Sure enough, with a contraction in the oil patch, that’s something to be concerned about, too,” Jones said. “But one reason to call it is to let the citizens decide if they want it. That’s another consideration.”

The superintendent said it would add 11 pennies to the tax rate. That would mean a tax increase of $110 per year or $9.17 per month on a homestead valued at $100,000.

Homeowners age 65 and over who have applied for and received an exemption would not see an increase in their tax rate, unless they make improvements that increase the value of their home.

“If we vote against it, that’s just saying we’re going to keep depleting our fund balance,” said board member Mark Tate.

Paul Cantrell spoke up and said he had recently visited the ag project center, and “it needs to be dozed down.”

“It’s a shame we put our projects in there,” he said.

Several board members acknowledged that many of these issues have been discussed on multiple occasions, and some indicated that citizens have said they would like to see the various improvements made.

“We’ve hashed it out three or four times,” Cantrell said. “I think as a team of eight we’ve hashed it out, and we’ve come up with a feasible amount to do what we need to do for the kids.”

Bowyer made a motion to call the bond election, and Tate gave it a second.

The proposition includes the following:


Elementary school security upgrades include exterior cameras; interior cameras; corridor and classroom door key locks from the inside; electronic card access to exterior doors; front entry door access with speaker, camera and remote release; cross corridor/large space emergency door lockdown; and audio communication, speakers to the exterior.

Elementary school lighting upgrades include occupancy sensors and exterior lights. Canopies will also be added to the front sidewalk, gym entrance and rear entrance.

Middle school security upgrades include additional cameras; occupancy sensors; corridor/classroom door locks from inside, cross corridor/large space emergency door lockdown; electronic card access; front entry door access with speaker; and audio communication, speakers to the exterior.

There will also be improvements made to the parking lot lighting at the middle school, and the roof and all windowns will be replaced. The HVAC system at the middle school will also be upgraded.

High school security upgrades include additional cameras; cross corridor/large space emergency door lockdown, electronic card access to exterior doors; and front entry access with a speaker, camera remote release.

More exterior lighting will also be added at the high school.

The total for security and lighting upgrades is $1,626,885.


This part of the proposition includes a new concession stand/restroom building at the baseball and softball fields, a tensile canopy over the existing bleachers and ramp access from the parking lot to the concession stand.

It also includes the construction of a new ag barn facility, and the land on which it will be built.

The total for the ag facility and concession stand/restroom building is $2,640,573.


The parent pick-up lane will be extended at the elementary school, and site drainage will be added to the south side of the middle school. A pedestrian path will also be built from the middle school to the ballfield grandstands.

At the high school, the softball field will be resurfaced.

The total for site upgrades is $395,519.


“iPad and Chrome notebooks, those technologies will not go away,” Jones said. “We’re looking at how we can continue to pay for those things.”

These items total $2 million.

Voters will have the opportunity to support or reject the bond in the May 9 election. Superintendent Jones said two to three community meetings will be scheduled to explain the bond package and answer questions from voters.

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Powerlifting: Chico finishes sixth

The Chico girls had the best performance out of the Wise County schools at the Mean Green Invitational in Iowa Park Saturday.

They finished sixth with 13 points.

Haley Pollard led the way with a second-place finish in the 114 class with a total of 575 pounds.

Heidi Spann came in third in the 148 class by amassing 645 total pounds.

Alvord’s Lauren Yzaguirre was responsible for three of her team’s four points by coming in third in the 198 class with 605 total pounds.

Neither Chico or Alvord boys teams collected points in the meet.

The girls regional meet is Feb. 28 at Wylie High School. The boys will compete at regionals on March 7 at Chico High School.


132: 12. Braden Gonzales, Alvord, 770; 16. Cody Putnam, Alvord, 640

198: 8. Hector Zaragusa, Chico, 945

220: 8. Blake Martin, Alvord, 1050

242: 11. John Salazar, Chico, 960

275: 6. Tyler Yzaguirre, Alvord, 915


114: 2. Haley Pollard, Chico, 575

132: 4. Jennifer Martinez, Chico, 555

148: 3. Heidi Spann, Chico, 645; 5. Perla Villaneuva, Chico, 610

165: 7. Ayesha Parr, Chico, 560

181: 6. Natalie Hofsis, Alvord, 660; 14. Brook Vidal, Chico, 435

198: 3. Lauren Yzaguirre, Alvord, 605

220+: 4. Jessica Redwine, Chico, 775; 5. Haley Roberds, Alvord, 700

Team: 6. Chico 13; 12. Alvord 4

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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, February 14, 2015

BRIDGEPORT – The Bridgeport School Board will decide Monday whether or not to create a soccer program. They will also approve the school calendar for 2015-2016 and will discuss stadium renovations and the animal science barn. The meeting is 7 p.m. at 2107 15th Street. The meeting is open to the public.

DECATUR – The Decatur School Board’s open session will take place earlier than normal Monday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with the closed session at the end of the meeting. The closed session usually takes up the first hour of the meeting. The open meeting agenda items include calling a trustee election and routine items such as monthly recognitions of students and employees, employment of personnel, superintendent communications and financial information. The meeting will be at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates St. It is open to the public.

CHICO – The Chico School Board will consider calling a bond election at its meeting Monday night. They will also call an election to fill three trustee positions and will hold a public hearing on the 2013-2014 Texas Academic Performance Report. The board will consider accepting donated materials, supplies and labor to construct two batting cages for softball and baseball. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in Chico Elementary School, Room 150, 1120 Park Rd. The meeting is open to the public.

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Basketball: Poolville downs Dragons

A third-quarter disappearance took the Chico Dragons out of a really competitive game against Poolville Friday.

Chico took a 16-15 lead over the Monarchs in the first quarter. After Poolville gained some momentum in the second quarter, the Dragons only trailed 32-27 at the half.

Coming out of the break, the two teams went in completely separate directions.

Poolville rattled off 20 unanswered points in the third quarter.

Though the Dragons won the fourth quarter 14-13, the damage of the third quarter proved insurmountable as Chico lost 65-41.

Jonathan Nabors led Chico with 12 points. Cameron Weatherly added 10 and Kalan Johnson finished with eight.

Hagen Davis, Kolton Forbus and Corbin Blackwood each scored three, and Devin Wilson scored 2 points.

Chico looked to rebound Tuesday at Valley View.

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Local students named to UNT dean’s list

The following University of North Texas students from Wise County were named to the dean’s list for the 2014 fall semester.

  • Aurora – Christian Joshua McCormack
  • Boyd – Brandon James Anderson, Ashley Pearl Montgomery
  • Chico – Angela Michelle Price
  • Decatur – Elizabeth Joy Hatter, Howard Jack Ille Jr., Brooke A. Joiner, Tiffany Kristin Lara, Samuel J. McGregor, Raymond C. McMillian, Zara Reanna Pearson, Ricardo Samano, Raye E. Stewart, Catalina Torres, Brianna M. White, Renae J. White
  • Newark – Michael Scott Cushman, Ruth Ann Alexis Edwards, Nathaniel Christopher Getty, Lindsey Hope Robinson
  • Paradise – Crystal D. Morris-Stromberg, Bailey N Roberts
  • Runaway Bay – Marcela Garza

To receive the honor, undergraduates must complete at least 12 academic hours with a grade point average of 3.5 to 3.9.

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Woman convicted of attempted drug buy

A former sixth-grade teacher was convicted on a drug charge Tuesday in 271st District Court in Decatur.

Shirley Jean Johnson

A Wise County jury deliberated for about 10 minutes before finding Shirley Jean Johnson, 56, of Chico guilty of conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance 1-4 grams. Her sentencing hearing in front of District Judge John Fostel will take place on Feb. 23.

Assistant District Attorney Jay Lapham presented evidence that Johnson agreed to meet someone to purchase drugs near the area of Farm Roads 51 and 2123 around 2:45 p.m. on Oct. 5, 2012. The meeting was set up using the phone of Josh Weber, who Lapham said was a local drug dealer who had been arrested a few days earlier.

Sgt. Chad Lanier with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office testified that Johnson texted Weber’s phone using language that drug purchasers commonly use without actually mentioning drugs. Through a series of text messages, Johnson agreed to meet and pay $100 for 1.5 grams of methamphetamine.

Lanier and other officers arrived at the agreed meeting place a couple of hours later to meet Johnson.

Jurors watched the video tape of officers meeting with Johnson, who is asked to get out of her car by Lanier. The officer then looks at Johnson’s phone to confirm she had been the one sending the text messages.

“I haven’t done anything illegal yet,” Johnson can be heard saying as she knocks the phone out of Lanier’s hand. At that point she is handcuffed while Lanier searches her vehicle.

At one point, Johnson mentions that she was a sixth grade teacher with the Springtown school district. She also says the $100 that was found in her bra was for her son, who she was actually supposed to be meeting.

After repeatedly saying she hadn’t bought anything, Lanier asks her if she was going to buy drugs.

“No, well maybe,” she said on the video. “… I didn’t do anything wrong. I would have, I guess, if I had bought it, but I didn’t.”

No illegal drugs were found in Johnson’s vehicle, and officers let her return to her class since it was nearing the end of the school day.

“I won’t ever think about doing this ever again,” she tells officers near the end of the video.

During cross examination, Johnson’s attorney Paul Belew asked Lanier if he used deception to catch Johnson.

“That’s how we catch drug dealers,” he answered.

In his closing argument, Belew once again mentioned the deception and pointed out that Johnson had never been in trouble before. He asked the jury to use common sense when reaching their verdict.

Lapham told the jury during his closing argument that although in Johnson’s mind she might be innocent because she never actually bought drugs, state law says that conspiracy to buy drugs is still illegal.

“If you break the law, you should be held accountable,” he said. “If you break the law, there are consequences.”

The case went to the jury just before 4 p.m., and the court was notified around 4:10 that the jury had reached its decision. Johnson quietly sobbed as Fostel read the guilty verdict.

The charge carries a punishment range of 180 days to 2 years in state jail. Johnson is eligible for probation.

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Basketball: Alvord routs Chico

The Alvord girls handled the Chico Lady Dragons Friday night, winning 65-29.

Brianna Ponder and Cierra Rangel scored more than half of the Lady Bulldogs’ points.

Ponder led Alvord with 20 and Rangel finished with 14.

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs remain two games behind undefeated Muenster in District 11-2A at 9-2.

Alvord will take on Era Friday. The last time the two teams met, Alvord came away with a closely contested 51-42 win.

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Basketball: Alvord rolls past Dragons

A hot start put the Alvord boys up 25-9 over Chico in the opening quarter Friday night.

Alvord went on for the 67-48 victory.

Alvord’s Riley Davila led the way with 27 points. Joe Randall added 13.

The win gives the Bulldogs their fourth win in District 11-2A, moving them into a tie with Era for fourth place. Chico fell to 2-7 in district.

Alvord took on Collinsville Tuesday and will play at Era Friday.

Chico faced No. 2 Muenster Tuesday. The Dragons head to Poolville Friday.

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Hay blaze gives firefighters a full day

Firefighters from six different departments spent almost 12 hours Wednesday making sure a hay fire didn’t turn into a wildfire north of Chico.

Barn Damaged

BARN DAMAGED – A firefighter sprays water Wednesday on a burned area outside a barn on County Road 1650 just north of Chico. Square bales of hay stacked inside the barn caught fire from a welding spark, and it spread to the outside, igniting grass and round bales on a trailer. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Homeowner Will Robinson was welding inside his barn on County Road 1650 just before 11 a.m. when a spark caught in a stack of approximately 2,000 square bales of hay. As he worked to try and extinguish that fire, it spread under the barn’s north wall and ignited a grass fire outside the barn.

Caught in that blaze were several pieces of equipment and a trailer with about six round bales of hay stacked on it.

Once firefighters arrived at the scene just north of Chico, Robinson was able to hook up to a baler and hay rake parked in that area and drag them out of harm’s way. He suffered minor burns on one hand and was treated at the scene by Wise County EMS.

Bales Ablaze

BALES ABLAZE – Round bales of hay burn on a trailer after a fire spread from a nearby barn Wednesday. Firefighters worked most of the day to spread and extinguish the blazing hay. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The outside fire was knocked down fairly quickly, but with a little wind and warm, dry conditions, getting the hay to stop burning turned into an all-day exercise for firefighters from Chico, Bridgeport, Crafton, Alvord, Decatur and Runaway Bay.

“There were over 2,000 square bales inside the structure,” Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said. “Firefighters really couldn’t get to it because of the intense heat, so we brought in heavy equipment and literally dragged all that hay out into the pasture to the north of the building.”

Travis said firefighters created a firebreak around that area and back-burned inside it to keep the fire from spreading. He and Fire Marshal Chuck Beard were on the scene until around 9 p.m. as firefighters worked to get the blaze contained.

“With square bales being $6 to $7 a bale, we’re talking about $14,000 worth of hay and $40-$50,000 in damage to the barn,” Travis said.

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Basketball: Lady Dragons torch Collinsville

The Chico Lady Dragons went on a 22-5 run in the second quarter Tuesday night and rolled to a 62-42 win over the Collinsville Lady Pirates.

Alli York finished with 21 points. Whitney Renfro added 18 and Cheyanne Hale eight.

Chico improved to 3-7 in District 11-2A.

The Lady Dragons jumped on Collinsville 18-9 in the first quarter and expanded their lead to 40-14 at halftime. Collinsville outscored Chico 25-22 after halftime but still fell way short.

Chico took on second-place Alvord Friday at home. It will face district leader Muenster Tuesday.

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Basketball: Dragons sink shots, Pirates

The Chico Dragons picked up their second win in District 11-2A Tuesday night, sinking Collinsville 47-40.

Chico closed the game with a 13-6 run to win the game that was tied at 34 entering the fourth quarter.

Chico moved to 2-6 in district.

Cameron Weatherly paced the Dragons with 17 points. Jonathan Nabors added 12 and Hagen Davis eight.

Chico pulled ahead 22-17 at halftime. Collinsville used a 17-12 spurt in the third to tie the game.

The Dragons looked for a second straight win at home Friday against rival Alvord. Chico faces the tall task of slowing down second-ranked and 11-2A leader Muenster Tuesday.

Posted in Sports0 Comments

Thanks for celebrating a century

Many thanks to every person who contributed in any way to my 100th birthday celebration.

Thanks to all who came from far and near to attend. The cards, gifts, money, flowers, poems and hugs are priceless. It was nice to see old and young friends at such a happy occasion. There were lots of memories exchanged throughout the day.

My gift from family and friends was the party itself, and I was prepared for that. I wasn’t prepared for the surprise gifts that followed – the proclamation from Judge J.D. Clark; the photo sessions with kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids that made a wonderful album.

The 1933 and 1934 “Lasso” yearbooks from Fort Worth’s North Side High School were a great surprise. I graduated from there 81 years ago, in 1934. Leafing through these books brings back so many memories.

The wonderful “100 Years of Memories” calendar that took a year and a lot of work to produce while being kept secret from me. I appreciate everyone who contributed to it. All of these things I will enjoy throughout my twilight years.

Thanks for the memories.

Ruby Partin

Posted in Letters to the Editor0 Comments


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