Meeting Previews for Saturday, April 11, 2015

NORTHWEST ISD – Northwest ISD trustees will review the 2015-16 compensation plan during a workshop 5:30 p.m. Monday. The workshop will precede the 6:30 meeting that includes contract extensions for teachers and administrators and contracts with Durham Transportation and ARAMARK for food service. Trustees will also discuss a waiver from the TEA for days missed due to winter weather and paying employees impacted by the weather.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – Wise County commissioners will discuss Monday authorizing County Judge J.D. Clark to initiate a thoroughfare study with North Central Texas Council of Governments. They will also consider taking action to assist with drainage blockage in the Upper Sandy Creek on County Road 1590 and Farm Road 2265. The meeting is 9 a.m. in the third-floor conference room of the courthouse in Decatur. It is open to the public.

DECATUR CITY COUNCIL – The Decatur City Council will consider an agrerement with the City of Bridgeport to share costs of a billboard advertising for the Main Street programs of both cities at Monday’s meeting. The council will also hear a presentation and approve the Decatur Community Wildfire Protection Plan, consider and act on a lease agreement with Ed Bell Construction Company regarding city-owned property, act on various plat and replat applications and declare May as Motocycle Safety Awareness Month in the city. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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Track: Reaching for new heights – Stripling hopes to gain extra inch

Track: Reaching for new heights – Stripling hopes to gain extra inch

In an event measured by inches, just one separated Macen Stripling from a spot at the state track meet last spring.

After clearing 5-4 to finish third in the high jump at the Class 3A Region II meet, Stripling missed out on a wildcard spot at state when a third-place competitor from another region cleared 5-5.

Ready for the Next Hurdle

READY FOR NEXT HURDLE – Decatur senior Macen Stripling enters district next week as one of the region’s top hurdlers and high jumpers. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“The other girl beat me by an inch,” Stripling recalled. “I don’t want that feeling ever again. That’s why I’m working – to reach my goals.”

The top goal is the trip to Austin that eluded her. And as she enters the 8-4A meet Wednesday and Thursday in Springtown, the Decatur senior appears poised to possibly break through in not just the high jump but also the 110 hurdles.

“She’s very capable,” said Decatur girls track coach David Park. “She’ll have to be in the top two. In the 100 high [hurdles], she’s run 15.8, and if she runs that fully automated, she’s got an opportunity.”

RAISING THE BAR – After finishing an inch shy of a state spot last year, Macen Stripling is aiming to make state in the 100 hurdles and high jump this year. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Last year’s regional trip and experience was a breakthrough for Stripling. Entering that meet, she admits she had low expectations, especially in the high jump.

“I had no idea that I had a chance. I didn’t know that I would even place,” Stripling said.

“When I first got there, I wasn’t nervous.”

Stripling was almost eliminated early, missing twice at 4-10. After Park calmed her down by cracking a few jokes, she cleared the height. She then took off, getting her personal best of 5-4.

Stripling ended up third in the contest based on misses.

“It was tough. If I’d cleared 5 feet the first time, I’d have made it,” she said.

After the initial heartbreak of coming up just short of making it to state wore off, Stripling recognized the potential she had in the event.

“With what happened, I realized I was athletic and could do this,” Stripling said. “I grew up. I just started to reach my potential. I just needed to work for it.”

Park has seen a transformation in Stripling physically and with her mental approach to jumping.

“In her junior year, she became a student of the sport,” Park said. “When she was a freshman, she was tall but she hadn’t developed the coordination. She started to develop that with strength. Now, she’s a year older and stronger.”

He added that she is jumping with more confidence.

“She believes that she ought to be getting over a height,” Park said. “Sometimes, until you see it, you’re not going to do it.”

Stripling has worked with a private coach on high jumping.

Her season best is 5-2. She said she is waiting for that perfect jump to get over 5-4 and possibly higher.

In the 100 hurdles, she ran a 15.84 at Keller, putting her near the top in 4A Region I. She was at 16.05 last year at regionals.

“I’m third in the region. The girl in second, I can get her time,” Stripling said.

Stripling also has run on the 4×200 and 4×400 and competed in the triple jump this spring.

Stripling, who led the Lady Eagles basketball team in scoring with 14.5 points per game, said she’s willing to do whatever events she’s asked to at next week’s district meet.

While she excelled at basketball, earning 8-4A Offensive Player of the Year, she says track is her passion.

“I’ve always loved it and looked forward to coming to track – even when I wasn’t good,” Stripling said.

That’s not an issue now. It’s just a matter of getting that extra inch.

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Running with an Olympian – Rivera challenges gold medalist in college debut

Lining up for his first outdoors 800 race in college, Brandon Rivera found himself on the same track with Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner.

“It was surreal. Coming from Decatur last year and racing against 16- and 17-year-olds to now being 19 and racing against a 31-year-old Olympic gold medalist,” said the West Texas A&M freshman.

Memorable Finish

MEMORABLE FINISH – Decatur graduate and West Texas A&M runner Brandon Rivera finishes the 800 behind Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner at the Bobcat Relays in San Marcos. Submitted photo bu Joshua Mills

Wariner, the 2004 gold medalist in the 400 and owner of the third fastest time in the event, opened his season at the Bobcat Relays at Texas State in San Marcos with the first 800 race of his career.

Before going to San Marcos, Rivera knew Wariner was going to be at the meet.

“I didn’t think I’d be in his heat. The first heat is usually faster,” Rivera said. “He put in a slower time.

“Heading up there, it got released that he would be in my heat.”

Before the race, Rivera didn’t talk to the Olympian.

When the gun fired, Wariner strolled to the lead. He led the pack through the first 500 meters in a comfortable pace.

“We went slow through the first lap with a 56,” Rivera said. “I had to make a move earlier than normal.”

Rivera fell in with a group of five runners that went around the Olympian with 250 meters left.

“When I passed him, it didn’t seem real,” Rivera explained.

Rivera made the late-race kick similar to the one that brought him from off the pace in the 2014 Class 3A final to a state title. He pulled into second going into the final 100 meters. Then from the outside, Wariner put his world-class speed on display, sprinting from sixth to the win.

“He had a nasty finish,” Rivera said. “I thought I had him. Jeremy passed me like I was standing still and got me at the end.”

But Rivera wasn’t complaining. Running with Wariner, he turned in a personal best 1:53.28 and took second at the meet.

“He led me to a PR. It was a good way to start,” Rivera said. “It was definitely a thrill. It was right up there with [winning] state.”

Before finding himself running with a world-class runner, Rivera said he’s gone through some growing pains getting used to competing in college.

“It’s been quite the transition,” Rivera said. “The first indoor meet in January started rough.”

By the end of the indoor season, he cut four seconds in the 800 to a 1:54.33.

Along with running the 800, he’s added the 1,500. He ran a 4:03.04 for 18th at last week’s meet.

“That converts to a 4:20 mile, and that’s a 23-second PR,” Rivera said. “It definitely takes some getting used to.”

Rivera is shooting to get his 800 time under 1:53 and to the provisional time for nationals.

“I want to put myself in the mix and see what happens,” Rivera said.

No matter what happens the rest of the season or his career, Rivera already has one cherished memory of his day running with an Olympian.

“It’ll definitely be a story to tell,” Rivera said.

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Baseball: Boyd falls by run to Bowie

In a tie game with two outs, a full count and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, the final pitch walked in the Bowie run that ended the game Tuesday.

Though the weight of the game was on pitcher Brandon Hardee’s shoulders for that final pitch, it was Boyd’s five errors that sunk the Yellowjackets.

Hardee battled his way through seven innings, throwing 129 pitches in a five-hit effort.

The errors gave Bowie runs, and Bowie pitcher Chandler Dean made certain that he minimized Boyd’s ability to score.

Dean struck out 14 batters and walked one in his three-hit win.

A Colton Meadows fielder’s choice grounder to second base scored Boyd’s Spencer Pellegrini in the second inning for Boyd’s only run.

With the win, Bowie remains undefeated and alone atop District 9-3A.

Boyd’s record falls to 4-3 where they are in contention with Holliday, Jacksboro and Paradise for a playoff spot.

Boyd (4-3) 010 000 0 1 3 5
Bowie (7-0) 001 000 1 2 4 0

WP: Chandler Dean LP: Brandon Hardee

2B: Bowie, Barrett Brooks

RBI: Bowie, Carter Shackelford 2; Boyd, Colton Meadows

All Smiles

ALL SMILES – Mason Baur talks with his catcher Michael Hicks during his 4-0 shutout. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


Mason Bauer pitched a seven-inning shutout for Decatur Tuesday night in a win over Lake Worth.

Decatur got a run in each of the first two innings and scored another two in the sixth.

Derek Potts drove in two of Decatur’s runs, while Michael Hicks and Trey Penny each drove in one.

Bauer needed just 87 pitches to work his way through the four-hit game in which he struck out four and walked one.

Despite Decatur striking out 11 times, the Eagles’ errorless defense kept them out of trouble for the entirety of the game.

Lake Worth 000 000 0 0 4 1
Decatur 110 002 X 4 6 0

2B: Michael Hicks

RBI: Derek Potts 2, Trey Penny, Michael Hicks


Dillon Meadows drove in four runs in the Paradise win over Jacksboro.

Bryson Meyers threw an impressive seven innings in which he gave up six hits but held Jacksboro scoreless while striking out 11.

J.D. Pearson drove in two runs, and Skyler Clawson drove in one.

Three runs in the first inning gave Paradise a comfortable lead, and the additional four runs in the third inning made the Panther’s lead insurmountable.

One more Panther run in the fifth was more than enough against the absent Jacksboro offense.

Jacksboro 000 000 0 0 6 1
Paradise 304 010 X 8 6 2

WP: Bryson Meyers

2B: Dillon Meadows, J.D. Pearson

RBI: Dillon Meadows 4, J.D. Pearson 2, Skyler Clawson

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Learn about bond, vote ‘yes’

I was born and raised in Decatur, attended grade school, middle school and high school here. My wife and I have a son and a daughter that attend DISD. I am a business owner in Decatur, and this is where I make my living. I love Decatur, Texas!

When you are a student, most of the time you aren’t aware of how the major decisions are made, and as a student, you may not care. Things change when you become a parent. Now that I am raising two kids here and getting involved in our community, I do care.

We have all witnessed the new schools that have been built in our growing community, and it is exciting. I now have a much better understanding of how these improvements and new additions have happened.

The administration, school board and community pulled together to make some important decisions that have helped Decatur reach a much better place today. These developments are key for our community and the future. As businesses and families look to transition to Decatur, the quality of our school system will be a key factor.

I am asking you to be a huge part in important decisions like these and take the time to learn, firsthand, why you should not only vote, but vote “yes” to both Propositions 1 and 2 in the upcoming bond election for DISD.

There are a couple of ways to do your due diligence and learn why it is so imperative for our students that both 1 and 2 pass!

Please take the time to attend a town hall meeting (6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the DISD Administration building),

Go to the school website at and click on “2015 Bond Election” to learn more. Our school board has done a great job of providing you with all the resources needed to make the right decision.

Sometimes it is very easy to be led down a wrong path by hearsay. I have heard the proposals are for putting turf on the fields, and this is not an accurate statement. Again, I challenge you to do two things. Do your homework and vote!

Proposition 1 will provide:

  • upgraded security for our students and teachers
  • improved technology in the classroom with a refresh for the iPads and laptops, as well as additional cabling and wireless enhancements
  • upgrades to an aging bus fleet
  • improvements, replacements and repairs and additions at various school facilities

Proposition 2 will provide:

  • indoor multipurpose center that could be utilized by the band, soccer, baseball, softball, cross-country, track, power lifting, football, cheerleading, drill team, basketball and volleyball, just to mention a few.

Why is your vote so important? The operating budget (M&O) is directly affected by the state’s fluctuating school finance system. Approximately 44 percent of every additional dollar of DISD M&O taxes collected leave the district due to recapture (Robin Hood). It is much more efficient to fund normal capital needs, technology upgrades and major maintenance projects through bonded debt services.

Are bonds subject to recapture? No. Decatur ISD will keep 100 percent of every dollar raised through this bond election. Bonds will be sold as needed according to the project schedule.

Again, I ask you for two things. First, don’t take my word or anyone else’s word that you should vote yes or no. You owe it to yourself to get involved and learn what this major decision is all about. Secondly, get out and vote!

Election day is May 9; early voting begins April 27.

Chase Chapman

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Joiner for school board

Dr. Matt Joiner and I met a number of years ago at the Decatur Lions club. Since that time, I have come to know him better primarily by participating with him on various other community and civic committees and projects, a good example of which is his service as a director on the board of the Decatur Education Foundation.

In these capacities, Matt is an active and regular participant in terms of attendance and discussion. He comes prepared for the meetings and interacts with other committee and board members with a calm demeanor that allows for quality input from all with whom he serves. I have seen that he fulfills the responsibilities that he has accepted in an exemplary fashion.

He is thorough, decisive and shows good judgment. He thinks before he speaks and shows fairness and compassion. He displays a strong sense of community and is a leader. He is experienced in the field of education and is fiscally responsible. By contributing his time and energy, he has demonstrated his willingness to help make our community a better place to live and raise our families.

All of these qualities that I have observed over a period of years and in a variety of situations displayed by Matt Joiner would be valuable to him as a member of our local school board. I believe that in that role he would be an advocate for our children while remaining responsive to the tax-paying patrons of the school district.

I recommend to vote for Dr. Matt Joiner for the Decatur ISD School Board.

A. Fred Renfro Jr., DDS

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Maria Juana Fernandez

Maria Juana Fernandez

Maria Juana Fernandez, 71, of Decatur died Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at her home in Decatur.

Mass of Christian burial was April 10 at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Librado Fernandez, Octavio Fernandez, Gumaro Fernandez, Aurelio Fernandez Jr., Jake Fernandez and Jesse Fernandez.

Juana was born June 24, 1943, in Palmas Altas, Heres, Zacatecas, Mexico, to Francisco and Juana (Rodriguez) Chavez. She married Aurelio Fernandez Dec. 10, 1957, in Heres, Zacatecas, Mexico.

She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter Rosio Fernandez; and brother Pedro Chavez.

Juana is survived by her husband of 57 years, Aurelio Fernandez of Decatur; daughters Yolanda Gomez and husband, Joe, of Saginaw and Imelda Fernandez and husband, Brandon, of Haslet; sons Librado Ferandez and wife, Andrea, of Decatur, Octavio Fernandez and wife, Norma, of Fort Worth, Gumaro Fernandez and wife, Adriana, of Fort Worth, Aurelio Fernandez Jr. of Decatur, Jose Fernandez of Mexico and Jesse Fernandez and wife, Cindy, of Decatur; 26 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

She is also survived by sister Gabriella Hernandez; brothers Marcelino, Juan, Victor, and Alberto Chavez; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

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Amanda Lea Meador and John Thomas Wall

Amanda Lea Meador, daughter of Wiley and Suzette Meador, all of Decatur, will marry John Thomas Wall, son of Johnny and Susan Wall, all of Decatur, May 16, 2015, at Crossroads Church in Decatur.

Amanda Smith

Amanda Lea Meador and John Thomas Wall

Darren Embree will officiate.

The bride-elect is a 1998 graduate of Decatur High School. She is a hairstylist at Patti’s Hair Parlor in Decatur.

The prospective groom graduated from DHS in 2004 and works at Landmark Fabrication.

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Jose Angel Fuentes

Claudio and Olga Fuentes of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Jose Angel Fuentes, on April 7, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces.

Grandparents are Jose and Olga Sanchez and Jose and Maria Fuentes.

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Cannon Cole Wells

Cole and Hayli Wells of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Cannon Cole Wells, on April 6, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20 inches long.

He has one brother: Beckham Wells, 5.

Grandparents are Kirk and Melissa Wells and Linda Husband, all of Springtown.

Great-grandparents are Glen and Linda Wells, Marilyn and Ken Vise, and Wynne McElroy.

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Noel Aguilar

Silvia Garcia and Martin Aguilar of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Noel Aguilar, on April 5, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Grandparents are Efren Garcia of Decatur, Angela Aguilar and Maria Loreto Aguilar, both of Guanajuato, Mexico.

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Molly Kay Wood

Matt and Abby Wood of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Molly Kay Wood, on April 5, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

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

She has two brothers: Luke Wood, 6; and Beau Wood, 3.

Grandparents are Jimmy and Teresa Horner of Decatur, David and Kim Lawson of Bridgeport and Jimmy Wood of Rhome.

Great-grandparents are Joyce Hillin of Stephenville, Carolyn Horner of Decatur, Debbie McCroskey of Pilot Point and Claudia Lawson of Bridgeport.

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Rock Gabriel Thrasher

Gabriel and Sara Thrasher of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Rock Gabriel Thrasher, on April 3, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has two brothers: Zane, 10; and Ty, 7.

Grandparents are Allen and Judy Bingham of Decatur and Steve and Jamey Thrasher of May.

Great-grandparents are John Thrasher, Jeanie Miller and Kenneth Bingham.

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Adelynn Reese Maroney

Kyndal Pegues and Jonathan Maroney of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Adelynn Reese Maroney, on April 2, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

She has one sister: Bella Maroney, 6.

Grandparents are Candi and Brent Pegues of Decatur, Zannett and Craig Sellers of Bridgeport and Tony Maroney of Decatur.

Great-grandparents are Diana Roper, Teresa and Rodney Pegues, Kay and Carl Low, and Judy and Skid Skidmore.

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Stormy Melody Cantero

Randall and Chelcei Cantero of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Stormy Melody Cantero, on March 20, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19 inches long.

She has one sister: Alice, 4.

Grandparents are Doug and Teresa Whitworth of Decatur, Paul and Valerie Cantero of Bridgeport and Gary Schooling.

Great-grandparents are Lottie McWilliams, Mike and Carolyn Ham and Loyd and Jennifer Ogle.

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Kanyon Steele Peck

Brayden and Sierra Peck of Decatur announce the birth of a son, Kanyon Steele Peck, on March 19, 2015, at Denton Regional Medical Center.

He weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 inches long.

He has three sisters: Bralyn, 7; Sayler, 5; and Rylan, 2.

Grandparents are Dale and Dala Burk of Decatur and Cavin and Shirley Mitchell of Slidell.

Great-grandparents are Jerry and Pat Doughty of North Richland Hills, Dale and Patsy Nicholson of Lufkin, Sonny and Ellen Burk of Decatur, and Mary Mitchell of Marion, Ind.

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Ayla Everly Long

Rachel and William Long of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Ayla Everly Long, on March 3, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Grandparents are Sheri and Jeff Huling of Decatur, Cheryl and James Cole of Decatur and Joe and Sherri Long of Frisco.

Great-grandparents are John and Betty Huling and Bettie DeFiore.

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Hitting 300: Jackie reaches milestone at Decatur 5K

Hitting 300: Jackie reaches milestone at Decatur 5K

The biggest cheer Saturday morning came as Patrick Murphree pushed his daughter Jackie across the finish line at the center of State Street on the Decatur Square.

But the duo, family and friends celebrated well before breaking the tape when Jackie hit the 300-mile mark.

Reaching a Goal

REACHING A GOAL – Jackie Murphree and friends race to the finish-line celebration after crossing the 300-mile mark while running the Decatur 5K Saturday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We hit it just down the hill. We did a little celebrating,” Murphree said.

“When we started this, we never thought it would get to this point.”

More than 150 people turned out to run the Decatur 5K and join Jackie on her journey to the newest milestone. The 5K put on by Fit-N-Wise benefits the Jackie Murphree Scholarship Fund. The scholarship goes to a Decatur High School senior pursuing a degree in a medical-related field.

“The crowd is good. It’s good to see the 5K grow,” Patrick Murphree said.

Race director Mike Bowers said the 5K has raised close to $10,000 in four years.

Jackie was injured in a car accident Aug. 17, 2007, after her vehicle was struck by a drunken driver in a section of U.S. 380 that was under construction. She was less than a mile from her home. The Decatur graduate and Texas A&M senior slipped into a coma and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She’s been unable to walk or talk since the accident.

Using a modified stroller for twins, Patrick Murphree and a group of runners started pushing Jackie in races all over North Texas. They’ve completed eight marathons and multiple half marathons, 5Ks and other races to get to 300 miles. The group ran several races in the past two months to hit the 300-mile mark in Decatur.

Murphree said his daughter usually cracks a smile while being pushed around the course. Saturday, the smile appeared after crossing the finish line where a large crowd was waiting.

“Everyone screaming and hollering – it’s just a lot of fun,” Patrick Murphree said. “Anytime you cross a finish line it’s exciting whether it’s Dallas, Decatur or Timbuktu.”

Through the journey, Patrick has claimed he and his daughter have never been runners. Climbing the final hill after hitting the 300-mile mark, Jackie’s uncle, Glenn Chapman, gave Patrick a little light-hearted ribbing.

“Every year I tell you to prep, and there’s no prep,” Chapman joked.

He appreciated the reception his niece received just a few minutes later at the finish line.

“It was great,” he said. “It’s always an emotional time.”

Fast and Furious Start

FAST AND FURIOUS START – More than 150 people dash from the starting line of the Decatur 5K Saturday. The race is put on by Fit-N-Wise and benefits the Jackie Murphree Scholarship Fund. The scholarship goes to a Decatur High School senior pursuing a degree in a medical-related field. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


14 & Under Results – Women

1. Kaitlynn Champman – 26:57.0, 2. Natalie Mai – 27:14.0, 3. Aliyah Smith – 28:31.0, 4. Juliana Lopez – 28:42.0, 5. Alexia Sellards – 32:14.0, 6. Hanna Scarborough – 35:01.1, 7. Savannah Wilson – 35:02.0, 8. Hannah Cunningham – 37:43.0, –

15-19 Results – Women

1. Jessica Kyle – 20:13.0, 2. Makenna Kennedy – 21:38.0, 3. Jamie Talley – 24:53.0, 4. Alexa Kennedy – 27:56.0, 5. Emily Smith – 31:16.0, 6. Cheyenne Wilson – 35:51.1, 7. Kieran Cunningham – 38:45.0, 8. Mary Ward – 40:35.00.

20-29 Results – Women

1. Cary Drevecky – 21:33.0, 2. Julie Drevecky – 23:05.0, 3. Cristina Torres – 24:02.0, 4. Kitty Skaggs – 24:47.0, 5. Kayla Boehm – 26:00.0, 6. Liza Foseca – 26:52.0, 7. Jordan Ward – 27:12.0, 8. Paola Eusse – 27:44.0, 9. Keri Little – 30:30.0, 10. Marta Huerta – 35:26.0, 11. Heather Oneil – 35:31.0, 12. Jennifer Ward – 40:36.0, 13. Haven Simon – 40:59.0, 14. Minie Guevara – 46:22.0, 15. Annie Trant – 47:43.0, 16. Laney Riley – 48:46.0.

30-39 Results – Women

1. Rebecca Berend – 24:48.0, 2. Kristy Fritz – 28:15.0, 3. Carol Smith – 28:21.0, 4. Brooklyn Huffman – 28:44.0, 5. Maran Wielbe – 29:09.0, 6. Cindy Hopkins – 29:17.0, 7. Katie Fincher – 32:45.0, 8. Andrea Quintana – 33:10.0, 9. Theresa Graham – 33:54.0, 10. Tara Knarr – 34:47.0, 11. Kelly Hardee – 35:01.0, 12. Amanda Shetter – 35:02.01

13. Melinda Sanders – 38:23.1, 14. Michelle Volluz – 40:34.0, 15. Traci Mai – 40:39.0, 16. Angela Wylie – 43:19.0, 17. Olivia Caparoso – 45:41.0, 18. Tammy Fanning – 48:48.0.

40-49 Results – Women

1. Julie Perkins – 23:07.0, 2. Renee Williamson – 28:11.0, 3. Patty Casias – 29:04.0, 4. Renee Smith – 30:22.0, 5. Maggie Dickens – 31:24.0, 6. Joanne Pham – 31:27.0, 7. Shelly Laaser – 33:44.0, 8. Annie Allsbrooks – 34:06.0, 9. Ronda Marshall – 34:37.0, 10. Shauna Frazier – 36:43.0, 11. Carrie Walker – 37:53.0, 12. Angie Meyers – 40:20.0, 13. Kimberly Krienke – 41:03.0, 14. Carol Blackwood – 42:08.0

15. Misty McMullen – 42:37.0.

50-59 Results – Women

1. Christine Ferris – 25:43.0, 2. Lisa Simon – 41:14.0, 3. Jane Skaggs – 42:37.0, 4. Leisa Gage – 43:23.0, 5. Debra Sinclair – 45:42.0, 6. Kimberly Trant – 47:39.0.

60+ Results – Women

1. Doris Dennard – 27:26.0.

14 & Under Results – Men

1. Joshua Neumann – 23:46.0, 2. Braeden Kennedy – 23:49.0, 3. Trevor Chapman – 35:03.0, 4. Erin Cunningham – 35:38.0, 5. Dylan Williams – 40:33.0, 6. Troy Gibson – 43:44.0.

15-19 Results – Men

1. Taylor Clayton – 18:01.0, 2. Ancelmo Galindo – 24:22.0, 3. Corbin Armstrong – 30:52.0, 4. Tyler Vest – 48:38.0.

20-29 Results – Men

1. Shane Jones – 20:55.0, 2. Jose Aguero – 23:54.0, 3. Juan Alvarez – 27:55.0, 4. Marcus Pounds – 41:54.0, 5. Ryan Troxtell – 47:50.0.

30-39 Results – Men

1. Richard Greene – 22:05.0, 2. Matthew Wiebe – 24:38.0, 3. Carlos Casias – 25:47.0, 4. Danielle Howell – 27:42.0, 5. Brian Blair – 28:28.0, 6. Christopher Reasor – 31:20.0, 7. Aaron Fincher – 33:14.0, 8. Juan Aguero – 46:17.0.

40-49 Results – Men

1. Daryle Ryan – 21:01.0, 2. Patrick Thomas – 23:30.0, 3. Wesley Cannon – 23:33.0, 4. Baldemar Galindo – 29:36.0, 5. James Blackwood – 33:43.0, 6. Rick Ward – 34:41.0, 7. Glenn Chapman – 34:42.0.

50-59 Results – Men

1. Mark Moran – 23:08.0, 2. Doug Kyle – 23:28.0, 3. Doug Mccann – 24:41.0, 4. Bruce Cunningham – 24:46.0, 5. Doug White – 28:11.1, 6. Robert Gage – 42:36.0, 7. Glenn Trant – 47:41.00

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Bond to address security, technology upgrades

Perhaps only one thing might be higher on a school district’s priority list than providing the best education for students: providing a secure environment.

It’s why security upgrades were included in Proposition 1 of the Decatur ISD school bond issue.

LAPTOP PROGRAM – Money in the technology part of the DISD bond issue would pay for another round of laptops for students at the high school. All students at Decatur High School are issued a laptop as part of the district’s technology plan. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“Whether we like it or not, we live in a society where extra security is always needed,” Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend said at a recent presentation on the bond issue. “We don’t like to talk about those things or think about those things that could happen, and I hope in Wise County those things never do happen, but it is something we have to think about and be prepared for.”

Townsend said security has always been one of the top items addressed in the annual “team of eight” school board training sessions.

“We’ve tried to do something every year with security, but there’s only so much you can do with limited funds,” he said. “To do a major security initiative is going to take a pretty sizable amount of money. The board felt like they’d done about all they could do from a local perspective. So it was time to, if we wanted to address any other areas, see how the community felt.”

Townsend said the $873,500-worth of security upgrades would impact every campus in the district.

When Young Elementary and the transportation facility were built in 2010, both were equipped with card reader systems. The bond would equip other district facilities – Rann Elementary, Carson Elementary, McCarroll Middle School, the multi-purpose building at the middle school, the support services building and Decatur High School – with the same technology. The system would allow for monitoring who is entering or leaving the buildings and which doors are unlocked. It would also allow for an immediate lockdown at the push of a button in case of emergencies.

Only district employees, not students, would be issued the cards.

Perhaps the biggest impact of the card reader system would be felt at the high school, which has more exterior doors than any other campus. The card reader system would help control the flow of traffic through certain areas.

By using a card system, the district could also solve another issue of lost keys.

“Right now we are spending a lot of money just trying to track down keys from people who have rented the facilities, and somehow they don’t get returned or something happens,” Townsend said. “This would allow us to remotely disengage a card so it would not be usable. Those are pretty cheap, to provide the actual card.”

Another security item in the bond was a suggestion by students at the high school, the superintendent said. Students requested the need for security cameras in the parking lot. Townsend said cameras probably would be installed at other campuses as well, such as the middle school and multi-purpose building parking lots as well as Rann Elementary.

The middle school would also be equipped with an intercom and bell system that would connect the seventh and eighth grade campus, the sixth grade campus and the multi-purpose building.

The increase in security equipment will require additional infrastructure to handle this new equipment, which leads to the next part of the bond package: technology.

Proposition 1 includes $2,845,000 for various technology items, including new infrastructure to handle the wireless cameras.

“They’re network cameras, so the network cabling will have to be run,” explained Troy Bagwell, director of technology for the district. “Since it’s video, it’s more traffic on the network, so you have greater capacity in the network equipment, so there’s a big need to make sure that infrastructure can handle that.”

Bagwell said the network cabling at the middle school was put in 16 to 17 years ago when it was still the high school.

“It’s old and won’t support much longer newer technology,” he said. “It will just not pass the speed.”

But it’s not just the middle school that will see technology upgrades. Bagwell said the district has more than 220 classrooms across the district with 150 wireless access points.

“We need to double that amount to reach the capacity for all the devices that we have,” he said.

This bond will also ensure that the district’s technology plan continues for at least another seven or eight years. That includes replacing iPads at the elementary and middle schools, laptops at the high school and computer labs, teacher laptops and projectors district-wide. Since laptops for the high school and teachers district-wide were recently purchased, technology money would be used to purchase replacement devices in 2018.

Because of the short life-cycle of technology, those items will be purchased with five-year bonds so the district is not paying off the debt years after the equipment is no longer in use.


Security and technology are only two parts of the total $13.5 million bond package on the May 9 ballot. Over the next few weeks, we will examine other areas of the bond, including facilities featured in Proposition 1, the multipurpose indoor practice facility featured in Proposition 2, as well as the financial impacts of the bond. The transportation part of the bond package was featured in the April 1 issue of the Messenger.


Have a question you’d like to ask about the bond package? Email it to and put “DISD Bond” in the subject line.


The school district will hold town hall meetings on the bond issue at noon Thursday, April 9, and 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates.


  • Card reader system district-wide – $323,500
  • District-wide improvements, including network equipment, IP cameras, servers and installation – $550,000

Total security – $873,500


Elementary schools and McCarroll – $660,000

  • iPad program refresh (Summer of 2015-2019)

Decatur High School – $1,000,000

  • Laptop program refresh (Fall of 2018-2022)

District-wide improvements – $1,185,000

  • Computer lab refresh (Fall of 2015-2019)
  • Teacher laptop refresh (Fall of 2018-2022)
  • Projector refresh (Fall of 2016-2020)
  • Wireless network enhancement refresh
  • Fiber optic cable replacement

Total technology – $2,845,000

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Child care centers earn Rising Star certification

Two Learning Ladder child care facilities in Decatur were recently awarded a Texas Rising Star three-star rating.

The certification is awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission for child care facilities that meet certain criteria above the state’s minimum standards.

Highly Rated

HIGHLY RATED – Two Learning Ladder child care centers in Decatur were recently named Texas Rising Star centers. Pictured along with some of the center’s children are Trinity Fellowship Church location Director Samantha Delgado (left) and Kids Camp location Director Ashley Meyers. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Learning Ladder owner Anna Coker explained that the centers who apply for the designation are evaluated in areas such as qualification and training of staff, care giver-child interactions, curriculum, nutrition and parent education.

The six- or seven-month process begins with a self-assessment. A mentor is then sent to tour the facility and make recommendations on how to improve the quality of child care. That’s followed by a visit by an evaluator who will spend several hours in each classroom. Once the report is ready, the facility is notified of its rating.

The Texas Rising Star provides ratings of two stars up to four stars.

The two Learning Ladder Facilities to receive their certification are located at Trinity Fellowship Church and the Kids Camp location at the Decatur ISD Support Services building. The Learning Ladder facility in Gainesville also recently received a four-star Texas Rising Star rating.

Owner Anna Coker said her goal has always been to offer the highest level of child care possible, and that begins with a well-trained staff.

“When a child attaches to a caregiver, it meets their need for security, that’s when they can thrive and do well,” she said. “And if those needs aren’t met, even in the infant room, they’re not going to perform as well.”

Through the process, Coker said improvements have been made at the facilities. Some of the changes have been seemingly small ones, such as rearranging the rooms to create more well-rounded play stations or placing artwork and pictures low on the walls. Other improvements have taken more time, such as increased educational training for staff.

The center provides more than just a place for kids to hang out during the day. Each class has structured curriculum that touches on multiple areas such as language and communication, reading, writing, math, physical development, fine arts and technology, along with the social and emotional development.

Kids Camp Director Ashley Meyers said the staff has worked hard to make the improvements at the facility.

“I feel like the staff has really jumped on board,” she said. “They’re really excited. They’re very proud.”

In addition to the pride that’s associated with the certification and rating, the center is also now eligible for discounts for training and access to grants – tools that will help them improve even more.

“Striving to be the best – that’s what we want,” Myers said.

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