Klement Ford
School district shows its appreciation for White

School district shows its appreciation for White

Outgoing Decatur school board member Alan White was honored Wednesday for 15 years of service to the school district.

An appreciation luncheon drew past and present superintendents, principals and staff to the new administration building, located in the renovated former high school building on Cates Street.

Ringing Endorsement

RINGING ENDORSEMENT – Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend presented outgoing school trustee Alan White with a school bell to honor his 15 years of service on the board. Submitted photo

Superintendent Rod Townsend said he appreciated the fact White was always interested in doing what was best for the kids.

“It may not always be the most popular decision to be made, but if it was going to be what was best for kids, he would always support that,” Townsend said. “Mr. White, I appreciate the leadership you’ve given this district over the past 15 years and certainly the leadership you’ve provided me over the last four years.”

Board President Kevin Haney, who has served the past eight years with White, said his fellow trustee had accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the years.

“Alan’s been a real resource for the board and for me in particular as things come up that happened in the past and (explained) why the district has made certain decisions,” Haney said. ” … He’s talked about times the board has had to make decisions about whether they were going to go down to the bank and borrow some money to meet payroll – a little leaner times than what we are experiencing right now.

“A lot of good things have been happening in the district recently. I’m glad he’s been a part of that.”

Townsend presented White with a school bell as a token of appreciation before turning the floor over to him.

White became emotional as he thanked those in attendance, which included his wife, his sixth grade teacher and current pastors.

“I appreciate my wife Cheryl,” he said. “She allowed me to convince her to go to TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) training in San Antonio every summer, which is a great place to spend your summer vacation.”

White said it was “like a hall of fame” of superintendents he got to work with at Decatur, and he thanked the staff for always answering his questions.

“We’ve accomplished a lot in 15 years, (building) Carson Elementary, the high school, Young Elementary, multipurpose building, redoing this place. You can always feel good when you feel like you are leaving something better than you found it, and I’m blessed to feel that way,” he said.

About 45 people attended the luncheon, which was held in an enclosed breezeway-type area between the administration and support services building.

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E-cigs, ag center on agenda

The Decatur school board will talk about electronic cigarettes and the proposed DISD agriculture project center when it meets Monday at the administration building at 307 South Cates.

Those two items are on the agenda along with employment recommendations, including the contracts of Shelly Laaser, director of child nutrition, and Merl Pryor, director of maintenance.

The board will also take action on textbooks and honor an educator and support staff employee of the month before moving to its consent agenda, which includes budget amendments and several purchases over $25,000, including an emergency generator for the technology building, data center equipment and MacBook cases for students and teachers.

Reports from various departments will come to the board, along with resignations and new employees, policy updates, a discussion on summer school and extended-year services, canvassing the May 10 election and educational program changes for pre-K and the middle school.

The board will also get an update on the recently-remodeled administration building.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with roll call, and the agenda calls for a closed session as the first item after that. Otherwise, the meeting is open to the public.

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Art festival to feature local talent

An event Saturday promises to be a treat for both the eyes and the ears.

The Out of Square art festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (April 19) at Main Street Home and Gardens, 603 W. Main St. in Decatur. While this is the third art festival of its kind, this is the first year it has been known by its distinctive name.

“We wanted to come up with a unique name for it,” said Dana Clinesmith, one of the event organizers. “It’s located off the Decatur Square, and we hope it really grows.”

Another difference this year is the combined marketing effort with the new Glitzy Girls Trailer Park event going on in downtown Decatur at the same time. That event – which will feature antique trailers, shopping, music and games – will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Wise and Jack Counties.

Out of Square will feature dozens of local artists and musicians whose works will be on display and for sale. Many will even feature live demonstrations.

As of Thursday, the following artists had signed up to participate:

  • Roxie Poe, pen and ink, ceramic, painting
  • Sherri Yeatts Jones, watercolor
  • Susan Ferguson, photography
  • Sabrina Polk, painting, web design
  • Don Lambert, digital artist, photography, giclee, printer, photo restoration
  • Patti Biffar, natural fiber artist
  • Gale Johnston, watercolor
  • Micheal Watkins, vintner
  • Ann Ayers, bronzes
  • Jennifer Stufflebeam, acrylics
  • Karen Kennedy Chatham, watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels
  • Donna Belle Davison Park, painting
  • Rick Duwe, painting
  • Dot Fowler, textile artist
  • Jordyn Pitts, watercolor
  • Marianne Pike
  • Joyce Finley, painting
  • Dave Marshalek, artist, sculptor
  • Jill Davis, raku
  • Ralonda Patterson
  • Chance Foreman, duct/gaff tape art
  • Renitta Long, photography
  • Jake Griggs, sculpture
  • Jamie Petters, mosaic
  • Kelsey Miller, photography

Musical performances will include:

  • Jules Casey and Kelsey Lewis, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Linda and Fred Roth, 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.
  • Weston Gentry, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • HeartStrings, 3:45 to 5 p.m.

Wildflower Art Studio will also feature a free children’s art area.

Admission to the festival is free. In addition to the parking lot and street parking, other nearby dirt lots have also been secured as parking areas.

Visit outofsquare.org for more detailed information on the artists, parking locations and contact information.

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Bombshell Beauty LLC

Location: 600 W. Walnut St., Decatur, Texas

Phone number: 940-626-9611

Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Owner/management: Ashtin Dominguez

Services: Beauty salon

Salon Blasts Off

SALON BLASTS OFF – Bombshell Beauty has opened its doors and (from left) Mary Sides, Angel Williams, owner Ashtin Dominquez, Kara Breeden and Tresa Quinn welcome walk-ins. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Rivera rolls to another win

Rivera rolls to another win

Brandon Rivera’s victory tour will continue on to regionals.

The Decatur senior middle distance star blazed away from the field in the final lap to win the 800 at the Class 3A 9/10 area meet at Argyle Thursday.

Leading the Pack

LEADING THE PACK – Decatur’s Brandon Rivera runs away from the field in the 800 at Thursday’s area meet. The senior won a pair of gold medals at the 3A 9/10 area meet in Argyle. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Rivera ran 1:56.95 to win the race by more than three seconds over his nearest competitor from Ranchview.

“I felt great,” Rivera said after the race. “I probably could’ve went an extra 100 meters. I hope to stay unbeaten through state.”

Rivera advances to the Class 3A Region II meet at Texas A&M-Commerce April 25-26. It’s his fourth trip to regionals, and he is hoping to make the state final in the 800 for a second straight year. He finished fourth last year at the state meet.

Thursday, Rivera turned the first lap in 58 seconds.

“My first split was a little slow,” he said. “If it’d been at 56, I would have been at 1:54. I hope to be at 1:54 at regionals.”

The 800 win was one of two area gold medals for Rivera. He rallied from behind in the final 100 meters to pull off a victory in the 400. He passed a Celina runner in the final few steps for the win. Rivera’s time was 50.16. Second place was clocked at 50.23.

“I was hoping that I had some left after the 800,” Rivera said. “I tried to stay patient. I can’t take off in the first 200. I have to use my kick at the end.

“I’m close to a PR. I hope to run 49 next week.”

Rivera also garnered a silver medal as part of the Decatur’s 4×400 squad. Rivera joined Jacob Kevetter, Justin Myers and Grayson Muehlstein to run a 3:26.8. Celina, the defending 3A state champions, won in 3:24.41.

“I’m proud of the team. We got back down to a 3:26,” Muehlstein said.

After strong legs by Kevetter and Rivera, Decatur was in first place. Myers held his own, handing off to Muehlstein in second place by 10 meters.

“Brandon and [Jacob] did awesome as they always do. Justin did a great job getting me the stick in a great position,” Muehlstein said.

He pulled within five meters with 100 meters left but couldn’t quite catch Celina’s anchor leg.

“I felt good at the beginning and gained a lot of ground,” Muehlstein said. “I stayed behind him and planned to pass in the last 100 meters, but he had a good kick.”

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Neighbors claims gold in 300 hurdles

After earning the high-point trophy at the District 9-3A meet, Decatur’s Nicole Neighbors earned a pair of medals and spots at regionals in three events Thursday at the 3A 9/10 area meet.

Neighbors took gold in the 300 hurdles and finished second in the 100 hurdles. She also held on as the Lady Eagles’ anchor leg of the 4×400 to finish fourth and earn a spot at the Class 3A Region II meet at Texas A&M-Commerce April 25-26.

Up and Over

UP AND OVER – Decatur’s Nicole Neighbors clears a hurdle on her way to winning the Class 3A 9/10 area title in the 300 hurdles. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Neighbors won a tight 300 hurdles race in which all four region qualifiers broke 48 seconds. Neighbors turned in a 47.11.

“That was one of the fastest races of the year,” Neighbors said. “I knew I would have competition today. I didn’t feel like I stuttered today. It was better than what I’ve been doing.”

In the 100 hurdles, Neighbors couldn’t keep up with Ranchview’s Jasmine Frazier, who won the race in 14.73. Neighbors crossed the finish line in 16.1. Decatur’s Macen Stripling was third in 16.24.

In the 4×400, Argyle and Celina raced away from the competition. Argyle won in 3:56.54, and Celina took second in 3:57.73. Ranchview was third in 4:04.

In the final 100 meters, Neighbors fought with the anchor leg of Frisco Lone Star for the final regional spot. At the tape, Neighbors leaned ahead to take fourth in 4:07.12.

“I remember looking at Bailey [Berry] and realizing how much she wanted to go to regionals,” Neighbors said. “We were right there together. I didn’t know if I could catch her until the last two steps.”

Berry, Haley Dennard and Keauna Smith joined Neighbors on the relay.

FINISHING STRONG – Decatur’s Haley Dennard makes the pass late in the 3A 9/10 area 800 on her way to victory in Argyle. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


Decatur’s Haley Dennard stayed tucked behind Ranchview’s Paulena Lynch until the final 35 meters of the 3A 9/10 area 800 race.

Dennard then sprinted in front and on to the victory in 2:21.29. Lynch was second in 2:21.93.

“I stayed behind as long as I could and was confident that I could kick at the end,” Dennard said. “That was exactly the way I wanted to run.

“I needed that race. I’ve been around 2:24 all year.”

Decatur sophomore Jessica Kyle finished fourth in 2:24.07 to earn a regional trip. Kyle qualified for regionals in three events. She was fourth in the mile in 5:36.31 and fourth in the pole vault, clearing 8 feet.


Decatur’s Taylor Clayton couldn’t outkick his future Texas A&M teammate Jacob Perry in the 3200 or 1600 Thursday at the 3A 9/10 area meet.

Clayton finished second in both events to Perry.

Perry won the 3200 in 9:35.25. Clayton turned in a 9:38.21 in the morning race.

“I just wanted to run a quality time and have a good race,” Clayton said. “I knew I have the mile later. I don’t have the base yet to kill myself in this race and run a mile later.”

Taylor, who missed a lot of the early season battling turf toe, traded the lead with Perry through first seven laps. Perry pulled ahead at 2400 meters and held off Clayton.

In the 1600, Perry and Clayton were challenged by Ranchview’s Zach Israel. The trio pulled away from the field with Clayton out front through the 800. After Perry led the third lap, Taylor pulled to the front with 250 meters left. Perry and Israel made a push and then boxed in Clayton. In the final 50 meters, Clayton broke in front of Israel to take second in 4:22.79. Perry won in 4:21.8. Israel crossed in 4:23.8.

“When I couldn’t get between the two, Jacob got too far out, and I couldn’t catch up,” Clayton said. “It was a good time – a new PR and school record.”

Rolling On

ROLLING ON – Decatur’s Jacob Kevetter tumbles over a hurdle during the 3A 9/10 area 300 hurdles. He tripped, rolled forward and got up to finish third. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


Running out in front, Decatur’s Jacob Kevetter took a tumble over the seventh hurdle in the 300 hurdles.

“I second-guessed going over it and tripped,” Kevetter said. “I completely rolled over and took off.”

Kevetter rallied after the fall to finish third in 41.29 and earn a trip to regionals.

He also advanced in the 110 hurdles, finishing second in 14.89.

“I got out of the blocks so fast, I had to slow down over the first hurdle,” he said.

Kevetter won the long jump with a leap of 21-2.5 on his second attempt.

“I was right on the board. Usually I’m scared of scratching,” Kevetter said.


Decatur sophomore Gunnar Parker took the area silver medal in the 100 Thursday, running 11.13.

“I had some shakiness in the blocks, but I pulled through for second,” Parker said. “It wasn’t a great start.”

He took second in the 200, running 22.62.


Bridgeport’s Tyler Raby earned his first regional trip, taking second in the triple jump Thursday.

Raby landed an effort of 41-5 on his third jump.

“I was behind the board a lot early and finally got on it,” Raby said. “I think I can break 42 at regionals.”


Decatur’s Paul Walker cleared 6 feet to take second at area and move on to regionals.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I didn’t scratch until my final height.”

Macen Stripling earned a regional bid, taking third in the high jump after clearing 5 feet. Stripling tied for second but lost a coin flip for the spot.

“It was even with my coin,” she said. “All I wanted was to get to regionals. I wanted bad to go.”



Team: 1. Lone Star 132; 2. Argyle 118; 3. Celina 94; 4. Ranchview 88; 5. Decatur 74; 6. Sanger 58; 7. Krum 27; 8. Aubrey 22; 9. Gainesville 6; 10. Bridgeport 1

100: 1. Love, Lone Star, 12.25; 3. Yanira Rivas, Decatur, 13.09

200: 1. Mainoo, Lone Star, 25.1; 7. Yanira Rivas, Decatur, 27.57

400: 1. Spann, Lone Star, 58.08; 5. Haley Dennard, Decatur, 1:01.12

800: 1. Haley Dennard, Decatur, 2:21.21; 4. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 2:24.07; 8. Kaylee Rhine, Decatur, 2:31.74

100 hurdles: 1. Frazier, Ranchview; 2. Nicole Neighbors, Decatur, 16.1; 3. Macen Stripling, Decatur, 16.24

300 hurdles: 1. Nicole Neighbors, Decatur, 47.11

1600: 1. Lynch, Ranchview, 5:24.39; 4. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 5:36.31

3200: 1. Sorensen, Argyle, 12:04.86; 5. Georgina Palomo, Decatur, 12:29.2

4×100: 1. Lone Star 47.74; 7. Decatur: Bailey Berry, Abbie Heiens, Jaclyne Hicks, Yanira Rivas, 52.11; 8. Bridgeport: Sadie White, Alli Raby, Bradi Anderson, Diana Garcia, 52.91

4×200: 1. Ranchview 1:44.37; 7. Decatur: Macen Stripling, Bailey Berry, Keauna Smith, Marissa Muehlstein, 1:51.81

4×400: 1. Argyle 3:56.54; 4. Decatur: Bailey Berry, Haley Dennard, Keauna Smith, Nicole Neighbors, 4:07.12; 8. Bridgeport: Landie Walsh, Allie Mindieta, Sadie White, Bradi Anderson, 4:22.14

Discus: 1. Wilson, Sanger, 122-0; 7. Lily Doubruava, Decatur, 90-5

High jump: 1. Butler, Lone Star, 5-4; 2. Macen Stripling, Decatur, 5-0; 6. Bailey Berry, Decatur, 4-8

Long jump: 1. Love, Lone Star, 16-10.75; 5. Kelsie Worley, Decatur, 15-11.5

Pole vault: 1. Lotze, Argyle, 11-0; 4. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 8-0

Shot put: 1. Ross, Lone Star, 36-5.75; 6. Lisa Fuller, Bridgeport, 31-7.5

Triple jump: 1. Mueller, Argyle, 35-8.5

PUSHING TO END – Decatur’s Taylor Clayton tries to chase down Sanger’s Jacob Perry in the 1600. Clayton finished second in the 1600 and 3200 at the 3A 9/10 area meet. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


Team: 1. Sanger 130; 2. Decatur 114; 3. Argyle 109; 4. Celina 106; 5. Ranchview 81; 6. Gainesville 24; 7. Krum 19; 8. Lone Star 14; 9. Bridgeport 13; 10. Aubrey 10

100: 1. Evans, Sanger, 11.09; 2. Gunnar Parker, Decatur, 11.13

200: 1. Davis, Celina, 21.92; 3. Gunnar Parker, Decatur, 22.62

400: 1. Brandon Rivera, Decatur, 50.16; 4. Boswell, Decatur, 53.13

800: 1. Brandon Rivera, Decatur, 1:56.95; 5. Payton McAlister, Decatur, 2:04.38

110 hurdles: 1. Thompson, Argyle, 14.39; 2. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, 14.89

300 hurdles: 1. Raghib Ismail, Ranchview, 40.49; 3. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, 41.29; 8. Tyler Raby, Bridgeport, 45.96

1600: 1. Jacob Perry, Sanger, 4:21.8; 2. Taylor Clayton, Decatur, 4:22.79

3200: 1. Jacob Perry, Sanger, 9:35.25; 2. Taylor Clayton, Decatur, 9:38.21

4×100: 1. Celina 42.48; 3. Decatur: Justin Myers, Grayson Muehlstein, Gunnar Parker, Ryan Durdon, 43.59; 7. Bridgeport: Jaz Hickson, Efrain DeLuna, Hunter Gantt, Evan Younger, 44.79

4×200: 1. Celina 1:28.85; 6. Bridgeport: Jaz Hickson, Jordan Polk, Hunter Gantt, Evan Younger, 1:34.03; 7. Decatur: Justin Myers, Cain Lowe, Addison Nation, Ryan Durdon, 1:34.66

4×400: 1. Celina 3:24.41; 2. Decatur: Jacob Kevetter, Brandon Rivera, Justin Myers, Garrett Muehlstein, 3:26.5; 8. Bridgeport: Rogelio Galicia, Jaz Hickson, Matrix Lopez, Hunter Gantt, 3:40.89

Discus: 1. Watts, Sanger, 149-0.5

High jump: 1. Wall, Krum, 6-2; 2. Paul Walker, Decatur, 6-0

Long jump: 1. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, 21-2.5

Pole vault: 1. Thompson, Argyle, 15-0; 5. Chad Layton, Decatur, 12-6

Shot put: 1. Watts, Sanger, 48-10

Triple jump: 1. Wadley, Ranchview, 42-4; 2. Tyler Raby, Bridgeport, 41-5; 7. Tyler Wier, Decatur, 39-3

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Pat Bohannan

Pat Bohannan

Pat Bohannan, 70, a homemaker, died Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Decatur.

No services are scheduled.

Pat was born Aug. 19, 1943, to Ernest and Effie (Smith) Smith in Modesto, Calif.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ernest Bohannan; son Jackie Cathey; brothers Eugene and Bobby; and sisters Frances and Sue.

She is survived her sons, Rodger Cathey and wife, Robin, of Boyd, and Gene Cathey of Runaway Bay; grandchildren Amanda, Rodger, Samantha and Deborah; great-grandchildren Lawson and Kayleigh; brothers Valdeen, David and Bill Smith; sisters Laverne and Dorothy; other family members and friends.

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Terry Allan Hall

Terry Allan Hall

Terry Allan Hall, 57, a lifetime musician, died Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Decatur.

No service is scheduled at this time.

Terry was born Sept. 29, 1956, in Fort Worth. He married Georgia Ann Wells Sept. 3, 1997, in Fort Worth and was a member of North Texas Turtle and Tortoise Society.

He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Georgia Hall of Rhome; daughter Emaleigh Katelyn Hall of Rhome; sons Neal Norwood of Denton and Michael Darrow of Rhome; brother Ricky Hall of Arkansas; sister Ruthanne Stephens of Fort Worth; and many friends.

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Rachel LaNell McGregor and Rodney William Lambert

Rachel LaNell McGregor, daughter of Scott and Tammy McGregor of Decatur, will marry Rodney William Lambert, son of Ronnie and Lissa Lambert of Decatur, May 31, 2014, in Decatur.

Lambert mcgregor

Rachel LaNell McGregor and Rodney William Lambert

Dr. Van Gardner of Grace Baptist Church will officiate.

The bride-elect graduated from Slidell High School and plans to graduate from Texas Woman’s University in December with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Lambda Theta and Golden Key International Honour Society.

The prospective groom graduated from Decatur High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and math from the University of Texas at Arlington. He works for Pro Directional and is a member of Sigma Gamma Epsilon.

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Jackson Kain Woodruff

Zackary Woodruff and Jennifer Falcon of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Jackson Kain Woodruff, on April 8, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Grandparents are Kenneth and Cynthia Woodruff and Sally Antcliff, all of Decatur, and Francisco and Andrea Falcon of Los Fresnos.

Great-grandparents are Louise Goode of Decatur, Tracy Rutherford of Paradise and Rosario Falcon of Los Fresnos.

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Adeline Emsley Shea

William and Roxanne Shea of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Adeline Emsley, on April 8, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

She has one brother: Gregory, 7; and one sister: Miranda, 3.

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Grayson Dale Gralin Hollie

Gralin Hollie and Kaley Williamson of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Grayson Dale Gralin Hollie, on April 1, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Harlon and Marilyn Williamson of Stephenville, Lawanda McAlister of Decatur and Charles Hollie of Fort Worth.

Great-grandmothers are Sue Williamson of Stephenville and Betty Hollie of Fort Worth.

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County sees first traffic fatality of 2014

A Decatur man injured in a head-on collision southeast of Paradise last month has become Wise County’s first traffic fatality of 2014.

Roland Hodge

Roland Hodge, 66, was pronounced dead Saturday at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner,s website listed cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries due to motor vehicle collision.

The accident occurred around 6 on the foggy morning of March 28 on Texas 114 near County Road 3381.

According to investigators, Hodge was westbound on a two-lane portion of 114 when he attempted to pass a vehicle and wasn’t able to move completely back into his lane.

He clipped an eastbound Ford pickup driven by Cory Kelsey of Paradise, who was not injured.

Hodge was transported by ground ambulance to JPS. Reports across the police scanner indicated he was complaining of hip pain at the scene.

A celebration of life for Hodge was held Sunday.

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Fuel tank strikes pickup, injures driver

Fuel tank strikes pickup, injures driver

An Alvord man was injured Sunday morning when a fuel tank from an 18-wheeler broke free and struck the pickup he was driving on U.S. 81/287.

About 9:20 a.m., a tractor-trailer traveling northbound on U.S. 81/287, near the U.S. 380 exit, in Decatur crashed through the cement barrier into the southbound lanes. One of its fuel tanks broke loose, striking a southbound pickup driven by Marvin Porter of Alvord.

Wreck in the Rain

WRECK IN THE RAIN – Emergency responders work an accident scene after an 18-wheeler crashed through the cement barrier separating the north and southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 Sunday in Decatur. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Porter was transported by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with possible neck and back injuries, according to Sgt. Delvon Campbell with the Decatur Police Department. He was later transferred to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth and is listed in stable condition.

The truck driver, Sarbjit Singh of Arlington, was uninjured but issued a citation for driving at unsafe speeds.

This section of 287 has been the site of many accidents, most of which have involved 18-wheelers. Campbell said they have also worked accidents there involving passenger vehicles, but they don’t know exactly why this seems to be such a problematic stretch.

“As (vehicles) come up that hill, they realize there’s a slight turn and hit their brakes. Then the brakes lock up on them,” he said.

In addition to Decatur PD, Decatur Fire Department and Wise County medics were also on scene. Texas Department of Transportation was called to repair the barrier.

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Decatur gas station catches fire

The Chevron gas station on Farm Road 51 South in Decatur was damaged by fire Sunday night.

About 10:15 p.m. Decatur Fire Department was dispatched to 2806 FM 51 South, and when the first crew arrived, flames were shooting through the roof on the north end of the building.

Equipment Ready

EQUIPMENT READY – Firefighters carry a ladder to the back of the building so they can reach the roof. They managed to contain the flames in the north end of the store. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur’s Deputy Fire Chief Deroy Bennett said the blaze appears to have started in the attic, and although the exact cause is still under investigation, initial findings indicate it was electrical.

The north end of the building sustained heavy fire damage with the worst in the ceiling and attic. The rest of the store was damaged by heat and smoke.

Bridgeport and Paradise fire departments were also called to the scene, which is near the Wise County Fairgrounds.

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Election canceled, streets targeted

Meeting Monday night, the Decatur City Council canceled an election, agreed to close a few streets and pave others.

The council approved an ordinance recognizing that none of them has an opponent in the May 10 election. State law allows cities and other entities to cancel an election if there are no contested races, and declare the lone candidate in each race to be elected.

Mayor Martin Woodruff, Place 3 council member Cary Bohn and Place 5 council member Jay Davidson all filed for re-election and drew no opposition. Place 1 council member Dana Clinesmith opted not to seek re-election, but only one person, Dr. Carmelina Holloway, signed up to run for her office.

Those four were declared elected Monday night and will be sworn in after the May 10 ballots have been counted.

The city will still serve as a voting location for the Decatur school board – where the ballot has two contested races.

Council members gave the go-ahead for just over $235,000 worth of street paving via an interlocal agreement with the county. Eagle Drive and Thompson Street, from Deer Park Road to Farm Road 51 South, and Deer Park Road from Business 380 West to Thompson Street, will get a 2-inch asphalt overlay similar to what was done on Main Street last year.

Under the agreement, the city buys the material and the county provides the labor and equipment, saving the city considerable expense. The nearly 1.8 miles of paving at $48 a ton will cost the city $235,314.

The council also approved street closings for several events coming up, including:

  • Glitzy Girlz Trailer Park event this Saturday, April 19 – the 100 block of State Street from Walnut to Main, the 100 block of Main Street from State to Trinity, and the 100 block of Trinity from Main to Walnut;
  • those same three blocks around the square from 4-8 p.m. May 3, June 7, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4 for Cruise Nights on the Courthouse Square;
  • a 1K and 5K family fun run for Carson Elementary that will not actually close any city streets, but will put some runners on the side of Business 287, Hale and College Streets beginning at 8 a.m. April 26.

A re-plat application for Stephen Todd and Susan Parks won final approval after a required public hearing.

The council proclaimed April 13-19 as National Library Week and declared April as Safe Digging Month, recognizing Atmos Energy’s Common Ground Alliance.

They also reappointed Mark Duncum, Don Ogle and J.D. Sifford to the Board of Adjustment for new two-year terms.

Finally, with Police Chief Rex Hoskins out of town, the council got an update from City Manager Brett Shannon on the city’s new emergency notification system. Shannon said signups had begun and an ad had been run in the Messenger inviting citizens to submit their cellphone numbers so they would get weather and other emergency notifications through the automated system.

He said there will also be a notification in the next water bill, and people can sign up on the city’s website as well.

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Winners converge on court

One drifted in from the east and another traveled from the far south – but Gavin Buchanan and Pedro Marson have quickly made a huge impact on the Decatur tennis program.

Buchanan, a transfer from Krum, and Marson, a foreign-exchange student from Brazil, will represent Decatur at the Class 3A Region II tennis tournament that begins Wednesday in Rockwall.

Both will play singles. Marson is the top seed out of 9-3A and Buchanan, a freshman, is seeded second.

Imported Talent

IMPORTED TALENT – Brazilian exchange student senior Pedro Marson (left) and freshman Gavin Buchanan, who moved here from Krum, will represent Decatur at the Region II tennis tournament in Rockwall this week. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“Both have a chance to advance past the first round,” said Decatur coach Rhonda Whiteaker.

Marson qualified for regionals by taking second at the 9-3A tournament, falling to Krum’s Jake Johnson in the final match. But when Johnson broke his foot, Marson moved up to the top spot. The injury to Johnson also moved Buchanan up to second and gave him a spot at regionals.

“I feel bad for Jake getting injured, but it’s an opportunity for me,” Buchanan said.

Both players came to Decatur with a wealth of experience. Marson started playing seven years ago in southern Brazil.

“Most of my family played,” he said. “At least when I live [in Brazil] tennis is a huge deal.”

But the sport is secondary throughout the nation to soccer.

“Football is so big there,” Marson said.

He played soccer this spring for Decatur.

“He divided his time between soccer and tennis,” Whiteaker said.

Marson has played doubles and singles but he prefers singles. He also brings a solid forehand to the court that allowed him to get through most of the 9-3A competition before falling to Johnson.

“I could have played better. The guy I played against was really good,” Marson said.

He is hoping to have a solid regional tournament and advance to state.

“Hopefully I can get to state and get a scholarship for tennis,” Marson said.

As a freshman, Buchanan is grateful for the opportunity and experience to play at the regional level.

“My expectations are to do my best and try my hardest. It’ll be a good experience,” Buchanan said.

He started playing competitive tennis in the third grade and quickly embraced the sport.

“I love tennis. I love the competition and love how independent it is,” Buchanan explained. “It’s just you and you are responsible for how you do.”

In his first year at Decatur, Buchanan started out playing doubles. Whiteaker liked his approach as a singles player and moved him to singles.

Buchanan said singles is his preference.

At the district tournament, Buchanan went in as the fourth seed. He knocked off the third seed from Sanger in a long, three-set match.

“It was a two-and-half hour match,” he said. “It wore on me.”

Buchanan then fell to Johnson.

The freshman explains that his greatest strength on the court is his consistency and ability to outlast his opponents.

“I’m very consistent with how I hit and have a lot of energy,” he said. “I practice non-stop.”

While they’ve only been together for a short time in Decatur, Marson and Buchanan said it’s been a good experience.

“It’s been fun meeting and sharing a bond with another singles player,” Buchanan said.

They hope their travels don’t end in Rockwall.

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Jones wins playoff for silver medal

Jones wins playoff for silver medal

At 4 over par with four holes left, Drew Jones knew he needed a big shot as he walked up the 18th fairway at Tanglewood Golf Resort in Pottsboro Tuesday afternoon.

He found it, landing the ball within 8 feet of the cup from 100 yards out to set up an eagle.

“With my approach shot, I tried to hit the back of the hill and give it a chance to roll in,” Jones explained. “I left myself a weird fast putt, but luckily, I made it.”

See You in Austin

SEE YOU IN AUSTIN – Decatur’s Drew Jones (left) accepts congratulations from Irving North Hills’ Bill Ramage after winning a playoff to take the silver medal. Jones and Ramage, both sophomores, will face off again in Austin. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The eagle started a 4-under finishing run on the final four holes to get the Decatur sophomore back to even par for the round and into a playoff for the Class 3A Region II silver medal. Jones took the medal with a par on the second playoff hole against fellow sophomore Bill Ramage of Irving North Hills.

“I had a triple, and it rattled me a bit,” Jones said. “It was an up-and-down day. Luckily, it ended well.”

It ended with Jones earning a trip to the Class 3A state tournament April 28-29 at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop. Jones, Ramage and the Region II champion Tanner Napier of Paris advanced to state as the three medalists. Napier won the tournament with a two-round total of 144 that included a second-round 68.

Jones and Ramage finished at 149.

“I’m really happy. This year has been tough, especially earlier in the year,” Jones said. “I finally found out how to play this course. I’m really looking forward to state. The greens are a lot easier to putt on there.”

It will be Jones’ second trip to the state championship tournament.

Going into Tuesday’s second round, Jones’ journey south was far from guaranteed after a first-round 77 left him a shot back of Ramage and two other golfers.

“I knew I had to throw up a number of even par to get in the top three,” Jones said.

After a triple bogey on 15, Jones birdied the par-5 16. He finished his second round 6-under par on the four par 5s with two eagles.

“I wanted to take advantage of the par 5s,” Jones said. “Two eagles helped.”

Jones bogeyed 17 before getting his second eagle on 18. He then sank a 6-footer to birdie the first hole and had a birdie chance circle the hole on the second.

At 1-over on his final hole, the 450-yard par-5 third hole, Jones came up short off the tee. But he nailed a 3-iron from 230 yards away and landed the ball on the backside fringe of the green. He chipped the ball within 5 feet and drained the putt to get back to even par.

In the playoff, Jones and Ramage, who shot a 1-over 73, went back out to the par-5 18th. Jones had a putt to win it go by the hole.

The two then went to the 10th for a second playoff hole. Both players hit their drives to the right. On his approach, Ramage came up short of the green. Jones threw a dart to the left-center of it.

Ramage’s chip then checked up short of the hole.

“When I saw he hit his third shot short, I knew I could two-putt it to win,” Jones said.

Jones did just that, tapping in to gain the silver medal.

Team Eagle

TEAM EAGLE – Decatur golfers competing at the regional meet were (from left) Hayden Bennett, Cade Lamirand, coach Fernando Escobar, Drew Jones, Bryce Elder and Brendan Kerby. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Eagles fall short of state

The Decatur Eagles cut 12 strokes off their total between the first and second rounds, but it was not enough to land a state berth.

The team finished tied for fifth with Canton with a two-round total 684. Argyle won the Class 3A Region II title with a 626 over the two rounds at Tanglewood Golf Resort in Pottsboro.

Texarkana Pleasant Grove finished second with a 628, and Paris North Lamar third with a 649. The top three teams advance to the state tournament in Bastrop April 28-29.

Drew Jones carded a 149 to lead the Eagles and finish second.

Freshman Bryce Elder shot 176 to finish 41st. He shot 84 in the second round.

“It was a pretty good round,” Elder said. “There were a few spots that were iffy. Overall it a good experience.”

Brendan Kerby was 45th with a 177. Cade Lamirand fired 182 for 52nd. Hayden Bennett was 69th with a 196.

Decatur’s Charlie Shannon finished 37th with a 175, playing as a medalist.

Bridgeport finished ninth with a 709.

Brayden Garrett shot rounds of 84 and 85 to finish 28th with a 169. Ty Reed fired a 170 with two rounds of 85 for 33rd.

Blake Boyd took 41st with a 176 that included an 86 in the second round. Brazier Talley was 65th with a 194, and Austin Leonard 84th with a 216.

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Softball Roundup: Lady ‘Jackets skunk Alvord

The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets made school history Saturday with a 15-0 blanking of Alvord.

The team’s 21st win is a new high mark for the program.

The playoff-bound Lady ‘Jackets moved to 21-5 and 8-2 in District 9-2A. Boyd could wrap up second place in the league with a pair of wins in their final two games. They took on Paradise Tuesday and will close the regular season at Brock Thursday.

Against Alvord, Boyd scored nine in the second inning and six in the third on 12 hits and three Alvord errors.

Payton Salmon drove in four runs and tripled, going 3-for-3. Kaytlin Bullard and Gabby Saldivar had two hits each.

Saldivar picked up the win, allowing one hit and striking out five in three innings.


The Bridgeport Sissies rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday to beat the rival Decatur Lady Eagles 10-9.

Kensley Turner drove home the winning run on a single to left-center field that plated Shiloh Weirich.

Weirich drove in two runs. Hailey Holingsworth led the Sissies, going 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Taylor Jamieson added a double.

Jenny Bradford doubled and knocked in two runs for the Lady Eagles. Brittany Roberts, Kristina Pischotta and Briana Carter finished with two hits each.


The Brock Lady Eagles plated seven runs in the top of the sixth Saturday on the way to knocking off the Paradise Lady Panthers 16-4.

Madi Horne had the Lady Panthers’ lone extra-base hit, a double. Alyssa Munoz, Bailey Higgins and Allison Rutledge drove in the three Paradise runs.

Paradise went into Tuesday’s game against Boyd in fifth place in District 9-2A. It closes the regular season against fourth-place Peaster Friday. With a victory, the Lady Panthers could force a tie for the fourth playoff spot.

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