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 ryliesmom25@yahoo.com.

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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

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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.

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Woman killed in truck accident

Woman killed in truck accident

A Chico woman died Wednesday evening when her car ran underneath an 18-wheeler on Texas 101, just south of Chico.

Maria Ruiz-Quezada, 52, was northbound in a Toyota Corolla on 101 about 6 p.m. when a 3 J Trucking tractor-trailer pulled out in front of her as it left Blue Star Materials. The truck was driven by Johnny Hothouse, 49, of Chico.

Tragic Accident

TRAGIC ACCIDENT – Maria Ruiz-Quezada, 52, of Chico died Wednesday when her car spun out of control on Texas 101 and became lodged under an 18-wheeler. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeff Johnson said Ruiz-Quezada took evasive action to avoid a collision, swerving to the right side of the road, but hit gravel along the side of 101, lost control of the vehicle and spun into the southbound lanes.

As her car entered the other lane of traffic, she hit a southbound Cowtown truck, and her car became lodged underneath the fourth axle of the 18-wheeler. The truck, driven by Ruiz Segundo, 54, of Fort Worth, dragged the car “a couple hundred feet,” according to Johnson.

Ruiz-Quezada was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Jan Morrow. Her service is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

Maria Anita Garcia worked with Ruiz-Quezada in the kitchen at Rock City Burger Co. in Bridgeport for three years and said she was a kind, helpful person.

“She couldn’t hear about anyone being in need because if she did, she’d call up all her friends and plan a way to help,” Garcia said. “She’d help collect money or plan a meal and have everyone pray for that person.”

Ruiz-Quezada was a “wonderful wife and mother,” according to Garcia, and “always talked about how much she loved her husband and sons.”

Garcia said if Ruiz-Quezada couldn’t make it to work, she would send one of her sons to help.

“But she rarely missed,” she said. “She would insist that I go to Mexico to visit family, telling me that she had it under control. She was such a hard worker.”

Seven DPS troopers were called to the accident scene Wednesday night, as well as Chico Fire Department. Segundo, the Cowtown truck driver, was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur by Medic 2, but Trooper Patrick Alonzo said he did not appear to be seriously injured. Hothouse was not injured.

An account has been set up at First State Bank in Maria Ruiz-Quezada’s name to assist the family with funeral expenses. Donations may be made at locations in Chico, Bridgeport or Runaway Bay.

Maria Anita Garcia’s quotes were translated from Spanish to English.

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Time for payback; City may have to return up to $141K to state

Another local government entity will have to pay thousands of dollars in sales tax money back to the state.

On Tuesday, the Chico City Council discussed an agreement to repay the state comptroller’s office due to an overpayment of taxes by a large business over the years from 2005 to 2008. That business submitted a refund request to the comptroller’s office, and it was granted.

The exact amount Chico will have to pay back is not known, although the city has already received a bill for $66,000.

“More claims could be coming,” Clark said. “We discussed what our maximum damage would be if the comptroller awards all of the refund request. It could be another $75,000 added to the $66,000, maximum for the city.”

The council agreed to a 15-year payment plan to repay the money. Clark said payments of $500 per month will begin Oct. 1 of this year. If the $75,000 bill is received by the city, payment of up to $1,000 per month was authorized. That payment will be automatically deducted from the sales tax refund the city receives each month. Those refunds have recently been around $20,000 to $25,000 per month.

Clark said by paying the money back over the course of several years, it won’t affect any city services or projects going forward.

Chico is one of 65 jurisdictions affected by the business’ refund request. On Monday, county commissioners discussed a similar plan to pay back $639,000 to the comptroller’s office due to overpayment by the same large business, which has not been identified publicly.

The council also approved a task order with city engineer KSA Engineers Inc. to begin the permitting process to allow the city to sell its treated wastewater. In March, the city agreed to sell the wastewater to P&K Stone for a limestone quarry to be built just east of town off Farm Road 1810.

As part of the agreement, P&K will pay for any infrastructure needed to sell the wastewater, including the permitting fees. The agreement would also allow the city to sell wastewater to other companies once the infrastructure is in place.

“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,” Clark said.

In other business, the council decided not to change the current city ordinance banning the sale and discharge of fireworks in the city limits. The city had been asked to consider lifting the ban on selling fireworks.

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Summer reading programs kick off next week

Students may have put their school books away, but local libraries promise plenty of literary fun through their summer reading programs.

Alvord, Bridgeport, Chico and Decatur public libraries have programs that begin next week. They’re jam-packed with exciting entertainers, creative crafts and reading rewards.


Alvord Public Library’s summer reading program starts next week and is 10 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday June 11 through July 2.

Programs are aimed at students in kindergarten through sixth grade and will include:

  • June 11 – Magician
  • June 18 – Sea shells
  • June 25 – Rocks and minerals
  • July 2 – Picnic

All programs will be held at Alvord City Hall, 215 W. Elm, and with parents’ permission children will walk with staff to the library to check out books.

Rewards will be given for those who document what they read this summer.

For information, call 940-427-2842.


Bridgeport Public Library’s Summer Reading Club is 2:30 p.m. every Wednesday June 11 through July 30.

Director of library services Cindy B. Macon said the summer will be full of excitement and prizes with programs aimed at school-aged children.

The schedule is as follows:

  • June 11 – Cool School with Ms. Maria
  • June 18 – Storyteller Shelly Tucker of Denton (at community center)
  • June 25 – Musical storyteller and author Willy Welch of Dallas
  • July 2 – It’s a surprise!
  • July 9 – Snake Encounters with Daryl Sprout (at community center)
  • July 16 – Ms. Polly’s Music
  • July 23 – Secret Agent Magic with James Wand (at community center)
  • July 30 – Grand finale celebration

With the exception of those listed as being held at the community center (1102 Lawdwin Ave.), all other programs will be at the library (2159 10th St.).

Macon said this year, readers will keep track of minutes read to win prizes, and she hopes as a group they can read 1,000 hours this summer.

For information, call 940-683-4412.


Chico Public Library is offering a myriad of programs for all ages this summer.

The children’s summer reading program, Fizz, Boom, Read!, is 11 a.m. to noon every Thursday June 12 through July 17.

Programs will include:

  • June 12 – Be a Mad Scientist!
  • June 19 – Lava Launch (will run 30 minutes longer)
  • June 26 – Sense-ational!
  • July 3 – James Wand Magic Show
  • July 10 – Grossology!
  • July 17 – Gametastic

The teen summer reading program, Spark a Reaction, is 1 to 2 p.m. every Tuesday June 10 through July 15, and the schedule is as follows:

  • June 10 – Spark a Reaction: ZAP!
  • June 17 – Magic Class with James Wand (2 to 3 p.m.)
  • June 24 – Geologically Speaking!
  • July 1 – CSI: Evidence Collection
  • July 8 – Brush Bots
  • July 15 – Gametastic

Library Director Michelle Slonaker has also planned a book club for adults – Literary Elements, which will be held 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays June 9 through July 14.

Slonaker said the group will focus on reading books that have been turned into movies and discuss the differences in the stories in both mediums. Book club members will also learn about eBooks and databases available through the library.

Meetings will include light refreshments, and members will be given the opportunity to provide input about future library programming.

For information, call the library at 940-644-2330. Chico Public Library is at 106 W. Jacksboro St.


The Decatur Public Library will kick off its summer reading program with a carnival-style celebration 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 7.

Activities will include a craft with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Wise County and face painting. Jack, from Tales with Jack, a program in which students read books to a dog, will also be present, as well as Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins with a special police vehicle.

The carnival marks the start of the library’s summer reading program: Fizz, Boom, Read!, which is every Tuesday June 10 through July 29. Each day there will be two programs – 10:30 a.m. and noon.

The schedule, with programs aimed at pre-school and elementary students, is as follows:

  • June 10 – Dinosaur George
  • June 17 – James Wand, Spy Magic
  • June 24 – Critterman
  • July 1 – Whirled on a String yo-yo demonstration
  • July 8 – Zooniversity
  • July 15 – StoryTime Theater: “The Tortoise and the Hare”
  • July 22 – Dan Gibson, music and storytelling
  • July 29 – Mad Science

Special science programs for teens will be held at 4 p.m. every Friday June 13 through Aug. 1.

Youth Services Manager Kristin Nevin said readers of all ages can keep reading logs this summer to earn prizes.

Young readers can earn weekly awards by reading or being read to for 20 minutes, five days a week.

Teens and adults can also document the books they read this summer, and for every three books read, their name will be put in a drawing for a big prize to be given away at the end of the summer.

For information, call the library at 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

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Ronnie Lee Gerhart Sr.

Ronnie Lee Gerhart Sr., 75, a retired sheet metal journeyman, died Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Chico.

No services are scheduled at this time.

Ronnie was born March 9, 1939, in Indianapolis to Charles and Doris (Johnson) Fornshell.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Dave and George Gerhart.

He is survived by his daughters, Maria Ann Hoket and husband, Patrick J., of Chico and Tanya Hart and husband, Jim, of Gardenville, Nev.; son Ronnie Lee Gerhart Jr. of Chico; grandchildren Leslie, Coltan, Raylon, Dameon, Alana, Marinia, Gabriel, Florence, Atlas, Kayson, Braxton, Austin, Aydan and Ian; brothers Donald Gerhart and wife, Robin, of Greenville, Pa., and Richard Gerhart and wife, Gloria, of Keystone Heights, Fla.; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Isabella Beth Hall

Tyler Hall and Kristina Haulmark of Chico announce the birth of a daughter, Isabella Beth Hall, on May 30, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

She has two brothers: Joseph, 4, and James, 1; and one sister, Mia, 8.

Grandparents are Leslie Maddux, Valerie Braddish and Rodney Hall.

Great-grandparents are Debbie Byers and Kathy Maddux.

Great-great-grandmother is Nelda Vincent.

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Ronnie Lee Gerhart Sr.

Ronnie Lee Gerhart Sr.

Ronnie Lee Gerhart Sr., 75, a retired sheet metal journeyman, died Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Chico.

No services are scheduled at this time.

Ronnie was born March 9, 1939, in Indianapolis to Charles and Doris (Johnson) Fornshell.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Dave and George Gerhart.

He is survived by his daughters, Maria Ann Hoket and husband, J., of Chico and Tanya Hart and husband, Jim, of Gardenville, Nev.; grandchildren Leslie, Coltan, Raylon, Dameon, Alana, Marinia, Gabriel, Florence, Atlas, Kayson, Braxton, Austin, Aydan and Ian; brothers Donald Gerhart and wife, Robin, of Greenville, Pa., and Richard Gerhart and wife, Gloria, of Keystone Heights, Fla.; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Sandy LeAnn Gibson and Aaron Bradly Capehart

Sandy LeAnn Gibson of Paradise, daughter of Flora and Jimmy Shelton of Chico, will marry Aaron Bradly Capehart, son of Debra Lackey of Paradise, Sept. 20, 2014, in Paradise.


Sandy LeAnn Gibson and Aaron Bradly Capehart

Greg Ames will officiate.

The bride-elect attended Bridgeport High School and is a stay-at-home mom.

The prospective groom also attended Bridgeport High. He works for TXI Bridgeport Stone.

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Chico School Board considers food service options

Add Chico to the list of area schools that may look at changing their food service.

Monday, Chico Superintendent Mike Jones presented school board members with information on contracting with an outside company to oversee cafeteria operations. Jones said he visited with the Era and Collinsville school districts who have recently taken that route, to see how it was working out.

“I was at Era during a lunch time, and the kids were quiet and chowing down,” he said. “It’s unusual. Usually you’re riding herd on kids. They were full. The parents were giving them great praise. They said their kids weren’t coming home starving.”

Calling it a “win-win,” Jones said the companies could offer healthy, high-quality options that would appeal to students. He said other schools that have brought in an outside company went from running a deficit in their food service operations to breaking even or making a profit.

The school would be able to utilize the company’s resources and experience while still using its own cafeteria workers, he added.

The item was for discussion purposes only at Monday’s meeting, but Jones said he intends to bring it back to the board in June for possible action.

Boyd and Paradise have also recently looked into contracting with an outside company for food service.

In other business, the board:

  • re-elected Bill Hand as board president and Doug Bowyer as secretary and named Paul Cantrell vice president;
  • approved the purchase of a 2015 Chevrolet pickup from James Wood Motors in Decatur;
  • approved a low-attendance waiver request to the Texas Education Agency for two days in December when school was held, but buses did not run due to icy conditions – resulting in about one-third of the students missing those two days; and
  • approved a staff development waiver request for three days used for staff development rather than instruction.

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