Klement Ford
DISD hires new AD

DISD hires new AD

Mike Fuller is the new leader of the Eagles.

After taking Colleyville Heritage to seven straight playoff appearances and compiling a record of 60-19, Fuller accepted the head football coach and athletic director job at Decatur Thursday night.

Fuller said the small-town atmosphere and a chance to be an athletic director drew him to Decatur and away from his 5A job in Colleyville.

Signed and Sealed

SIGNED AND SEALED – With his family and DISD Superintendent Rod Townsend looking on, Mike Fuller inks his contract Thursday as Decatur’s new head football coach and athletic director. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this community,” Fuller said. “It’s an opportunity to be an athletic director and still coach football, which has been a goal of mine for a while. I love the one town, one community and one high school atmosphere.”

Fuller replaces Kyle Story, who left the district in February to become the first football coach at Frisco Independence High School, which will open in the fall.

The district had 144 applicants for the opening and interviewed eight candidates.

“The talent pool was extremely deep,” said Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend. “We had 144 applicants, and there was probably 40 of those that you would have been satisfied with. As we narrowed it down to eight, it was tough. He continued to come to the top.”

Trustee Alan White served on the committee that interviewed the eight candidates and recommended Fuller.

“He blew the committee away and was by far the No. 1 choice,” White said. “He obviously has a passion for helping kids and working with kids. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been. He came highly recommended.”

Fuller comes to Decatur with a career record of 109-49 in 14 seasons split at Colleyville Heritage and Coppell.

“He’s got an impressive coaching history,” said school board president Kevin Haney. “He has a great winning history, in addition to that he is a classy guy. I think he’ll fit in well in the community. He’ll work well with all the different athletic programs and coaches and will keep things running smoothly. He seems to be really organized and a good problem solver.

“He’s a coach’s son and lived in communities like Decatur growing up. He wants to be back in a community,” Haney added. “He is a sharp guy with high ethics and morals. That’s important. We’re not just developing athletes. We’re developing young people into people that can contribute to society.”

Fuller spent parts of his childhood in Seymour, Iowa Park and Windthorst before graduating from Arlington High School.

“Truthfully, I’ve been longing to live in a smaller town rather than the big city,” Fuller said. “I grew up in some smaller towns when I was young. I’ve coached in nothing but 4 and 5A schools.”

Fuller played football at Abilene Christian University from 1988 to 1993, starting at quarterback for three seasons. He also pitched a season at ACU.

He made coaching stops at Harlingen, Conroe and Irving MacArthur before heading to Coppell as the offensive coordinator in 1997. He took over as head coach of the program in 2000, going 49-30 with five playoff appearances in seven years.

Fuller went to Colleyville Heritage in 2007.

“There were a lot of different things that made him stand out,” Townsend said. “He is a class act. The experience that he has at all levels. He’s grown up in smaller districts and gone to school in those small districts. He’s lived and worked in larger districts. He brought a very diverse resume to us. He’s proven and has a great record.”

At Colleyville Heritage, his teams ran a fast-pace offense. During a 8-3 campaign last year, the Panthers averaged 361 yards per game. The team averaged 450 yards per game in 2012, going 11-2.

“I like to go fast,” he said. “We can slow it down if we need to. I’ve had the same system for the last eight or nine years.”

He expects to have similar success at Decatur as in his previous stops.

“We’re going to put a program in place to get kids to compete as hard as they can for their school and teammates in every sport,” Fuller said.

Fuller plans to bring several members of his staff at Heritage to Decatur.

“I worked with a great group of guys that did a great job of getting the most out of kids,” he said.

The work starts Monday for the new coach.


PLAYING EXPERIENCE – Football captain and all-district quarterback at Arlington High School, three-year starter and quarterback at Abilene Christian University

OFFENSIVE COACHING EXPERIENCE – Varsity quarterbacks coach at Harlingen High School, varsity receiver caoch at Conroe High School, varsity running backs coach at MacArthur High School, varsity offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Coppell High School

HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE – Head football coach/boys athletic coordinator at Coppell High School with a district record of 31-14 and an overall record of 49-30, Head football coach/boys athletic coordinator at Colleyville Heritage High School with a district record of 43-8 and an overall record of 60-19

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Learning water is precious

Learning water is precious

In observation of World Water Day, which is Saturday, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Young Elementary School in Decatur carried buckets of water for about a mile through the outdoor learning center and around the school Friday.

Water for Learning

WATER FOR LEARNING – Young Elementary School fifth graders (from left) Clarissa Salinas, Logan Green, Nallely Huerta, Colby Wilson, Emma Colston, Michael Keller and Reese Montcalm each carry a bucket of water as part of a World Water Day project Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“One of the objectives of World Water Day is to make people aware that not everyone has access to water at the drop of a hat like we do in the U.S.,” fifth-grade science teacher Tammy Rainey said. “We tried to teach our students that some kids in third-world countries have to make a choice between going to school or getting water for their families. Many of them are forced to do the latter. We tried to mimic what that feels like with this activity.”

Students discovered it wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be. As they traversed rough terrain, water spilled and grass, leaves, bugs and weeds ended up in their pails.

“They have a better appreciation for how clean their water is,” Rainey said.

The water was drawn from a spigot at the school, and after the students finished their walk, it was used to water the trees around the school.

“It didn’t go to waste.”

Harder Than It Looks

HARDER THAN IT LOOKS – Fifth graders Ian Lee, Jorge Torres, Eric Martinez, Colby Christian and Norberto Lopez are careful not to spill the water in their buckets. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Decatur EDC to hire planning consultant

The Decatur Economic Development Corp. has hired an Austin-based consultant to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy to provide the EDC with some “marching orders” over the next five years.

The EDC board Thursday morning approved Avalanche Consulting’s proposal to do a study, which should take about five months, and produce a detailed report.

Executive director Mary Poche said the group will mine data from various resources, then put together focus groups of local residents, do on-line surveying and come up with a four-part plan that will include:

  • an overview of the area’s demographics including population, education levels, salary levels, etc.
  • a SWOT analysis including the community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • a plan that will target industries the EDC should go after based on the area’s available workforce, and
  • a marketing plan that includes “marching orders,” Poche said, and a timeline for carrying out the plan.

The EDC’s budget for the study is $30,000.

“It’s my belief there needs to be a document – a living document – that we can use as a basis from which to make decisions,” Poche said. “Not just me, but our board and council.”

She said this will not be “just another study you’re just going to put on the shelf.”

“It’s something that really can be used, and then after five years it’s time to tweak it again,” she said. “It’s something Decatur really can use, not just the EDC, but the Chamber, the City.”

An online survey will likely be included as the group seeks to get a historical perspective on the city and find out where the residents would like to see it develop.


The EDC board also agreed to pay the balance due to H2X – a hydro-excavating company that moved its national headquarters here – in 25 percent installments starting March 1. The next 25 percent comes when the slab for the building is poured, when the steel is erected and when the building is occupied.

The company has already received $100,000 in EDC funding when it moved here. It has been operating out of rented space on FM 51 South for almost two years, awaiting the construction of a building in northwest Decatur.

Poche said she also had asked City Manager Brett Shannon to bring to the board the results of a Jan. 17, 1998, election that authorized the EDC to use its funds for two additional purposes: the construction and operation of a Civic Center, and construction and maintenance of public park facilities in Decatur.

“The EDC has the opportunity to use some of their funds for any facility that’s publicly-owned, on public land, in a park,” Poche said. “I just wanted to bring this to the attention of our board again, that that is something we could do.

“I wanted them to think about what we do here on a little higher level,” she added. “I think we get so involved here in the recruitment of business and industry, but that’s not all economic development is. As far as making a place that is attractive for business and industry to come in, it all works together.

“The idea that this would be something we might consider in the future – that’s why we brought that up.”

Poche also noted that May 19 is the date for the EDC’s Business Appreciation Dinner.

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Persistence pays off; Senior makes most of first chance for playing time

Persistence pays off; Senior makes most of first chance for playing time

After nearly being cut as a freshman and rarely getting on the field as a junior due to an injury, Josh Jones never quit believing in himself.

“I’ve played since I was a kid and it’s always been my favorite sport,” said the 6-4 Jones. “I never thought about quitting. I was always wanting to come out here and have fun.”

Rising to Ocassion

RISING TO OCCASION – Decatur’s Josh Jones leads the Eagles in hitting in his first extended playing time during his four years in the program. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Jones’ perseverance is paying off for him and the Decatur Eagles. The senior designated hitter leads the Eagles with a .400 batting average. His on-base percentage plus slugging percentage of .905 ranks second on the team. He ranks third on the team in percentage of quality at-bats.

“I’ve been waiting for my turn. Now, it’s here and I’m trying to take advantage of it,” Jones said.

Decatur coach Chris Carter sums up Jones with one word – persistence.

“That’s a great word for Josh, after all he’s been through. From not playing at all and an injury to now being a big part of the team,” Carter said. “He’s been persistent and worked through a lot to be where he’s at. As a coach, you sometimes wish you had nine Joshes.”

That wasn’t the case three years ago when Jones, who was seven inches shorter, arrived for tryouts.

“Three years ago, he was at the point where we were deciding whether to cut him at tryouts,” Carter admitted. “But baseball was all he did athletically and we decided not to cut him.”

As Jones recalls, he didn’t play a lot that year. The following year, he grew five inches and began to find the field on the junior varsity.

Last year, Jones expected to earn a spot in the Eagles’ lineup. But tendinitis in his forearm sidelined him early in the year.

“By the time I was ready, district had started, and it’s hard to put someone in the lineup that has not played,” Jones said.

But that history did not leave Jones discouraged entering his senior season.

Instead he adopted the approach he developed over the summer, which has paid off for him.

“This summer I had a couple of games where I just relaxed and just tried to hit the ball where they weren’t,” Jones said. “I wasn’t trying to do too much. When I did that, I started hitting.”

He says that’s the biggest difference for him this season.

“I’m relaxed and not trying to prove myself,” he said. “Before, I put too much pressure on myself.”

Carter said that approach and added strength have turned Jones into a quality hitter.

“From year to year, he’s gotten bigger and stronger,” Carter said. “The biggest thing is his strength with the physical workouts he’s done in the offseason.

“He’s also smart. Intelligence can carry you a long ways in the game of baseball.”

Along with being a solid hitter for the Eagles, Jones has provided a quality arm in relief. He’s struck out 14 in 18 innings of work while allowing 23 hits and 10 earned runs.

After going down the long road to get where he’s at, Jones is now trying to help younger players.

“There’s one freshman that’s not getting to play much. I’ve told him that I didn’t get to play much my freshman year and to keep working and his time will come,” Jones said.

“It’s a crazy game. Anything can happen in baseball.”

As long as you’re persistent like Jones and never give up.

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Walking off a winner; Trachta’s solo blast gives Eagles win

Decatur first baseman Nick Trachta stepped to the plate to lead off the bottom of the seventh in a tie game.

He needed to just two pitches to send everyone home.

Taking Home

TAKING HOME – Decatur’s Cain Lowe slides in safely at home plate with a run during the Eagles’ 5-4 victory over Gainesville Tuesday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Trachta blasted a 1-0 pitch deep over the left-field fence for a walk-off, solo homer in a 5-4 victory over the Gainesville Leopards in the District 9-3A opener.

“I was really nervous. He gave me a curveball and the second pitch was right over the plate,” said Trachta, who was mobbed by his teammates at home plate and doused with water during a postgame interview.

“It was my first high-school homer. I knew it was gone. It felt perfect.”

Along with setting off a postgame celebration, Trachta’s homer sealed a third straight win for the Eagles (7-9-2, 1-0).

“That’s three games in a row we’ve played good,” said Decatur coach Chris Carter. “We take it one game at a time and each game is different. We’ll come back and go to work tomorrow.

“I’m trying to teach these kids to have a routine and stay calm under pressure. They did a great job of working through their routine, to stay focused and make plays.”

Before Trachta’s game-winning hit, the Eagles needed pitcher Clayton Egle to get out of a jam in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and no one out.

Gainesville loaded the bases on an error, a failed fielder’s choice at second on a sacrifice bunt, and a walk.

Egle got a pair of ground balls for force outs at the plate. Then with two out, he struck out Jordan Hall to end the inning.

“I said to myself it was time to buckle down and pitch to the best of my ability,” Egle said.

“This is big win. It’s good to get out and win the first district game at home.”

Egle allowed four runs – three earned – on six hits over seven innings. He struck out eight and walked four.

Gainesville scored its unearned run in the first inning on a two-out error, giving them a 1-0 lead. The Leopards scored three of their four runs with two outs, including a pair in the fifth on four straight singles.

The Eagles tied the game at 1 in the third as Cain Lowe took home on a passed ball.

Lowe put Decatur in front 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth when a single off the Gainesville shortstop plated two runs.

Gainesville immediately tied the game in the next half-inning and took a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly by Tyler Turbeville in the sixth.

Decatur answered with a RBI-single to right by Mason Baur.

That tie was eventually broken in dramatic fashion by Trachta.

“A couple of kids said to hit a home run. I was just trying to get a base hit,” Trachta said.

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Davis earns all-state spot

Isaac Davis’ offensive exploits this season earned him a spot on Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class A Division II all-state team.

Davis averaged 21.6 points and 10.4 rebounds to go along with 5.3 assists and 4.8 steals.

Davis also earned a selection on the TABC Class A Division II Region III team.

Six other Wise County players earned all-region honors from the TABC.

Decatur’s Murphy Graham and Austin Givens made the Class 3A teams.

Graham averaged 12.7 points and 5.9 rebounds. She also was picked for the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s Class 3A team.

Givens led the Eagles in scoring with 13.5 per game. He hit a team-best 35 3-pointers.

Paradise’s Makenna Burt along with Alvord’s Lauren Hart and Marissa Schedcik made the 2A Region II team. Burt, the 9-2A Offensive Player of the Year, averaged a double-double of 14.8 points and 11.3 rebounds.

Hart, the 9-2A Defensive Player of the Year, contributed 9.74 points, 4.26 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.23 steals.

Schedcik averaged 12.65 points, 4.85 rebounds and 1.85 assists. She also received TGCA all-state honors.

Slidell’s Caitlin Pruett made the Class A Region III squad. The 21-A MVP averaged 17.4 points and 11.4 rebounds.

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Clayton sails to victory in 3200

In his first race since signing with Texas A&M, Decatur’s Taylor Clayton breezed around the track Thursday in the 3,200 at Bridgeport’s Double B Relays.

Running by himself the entire race and lapping most of the field, Clayton finished in 10:14.07.

It was one of two victories for the Decatur senior, who won the 1600 in 4:36.04.

The Class 3A cross country champion has battled turf toe this spring and said he is working himself back into shape.

“I didn’t feel [the toe],” he said. “I felt it in the first 400 and after that it was fine. I’m not back in 9:20 shape yet. Hopefully I get there.”

Clayton won the 3200 by 45 seconds over teammate Parker Cullop.

“I felt smooth. I wasn’t worried about time. I came here to get a good tempo run,” Clayton said.

He held off Peaster’s David Buchanan in the 1600 to win by three seconds.

Reaching New Heights

REACHING NEW HEIGHTS – Decatur’s Paul Walker sails over the bar during the Double B Relays Thursday. He won the event clearing 6-2. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


Decatur senior Paul Walker is still a novice in the high jump, competing in just his third meet Thursday in Bridgeport.

But the all-district basketball player is already reaching impressive heights. Walker cleared a personal-best 6-2 to win the high jump event at the Double B Relays.

“This is the first year I’ve done it,” he said. “I know my older brother Ross did it and people said I should, so I said, ‘Why not?’”

Since taking up the event, he’s improved quickly with a little practice.

“My first meet, I never practiced and didn’t get opening height,” he said. “The second meet I got 5-10.”

Before clearing 6-2 Thursday, Walker said he had only made it to 6-0 in practice.


After setting the early pace, Paradise’s Angela Powers slipped back into the pack in the final laps of the 3200 Thursday.

But as the race entered the final 200, Powers surged from third to the front of the pack to win in 13:00.06.

“I didn’t think I had it in me,” Powers said. “I looked at them and went.

“That’s my biggest strength [the kick]. I need to learn to pace myself better.”

Powers said she will face a tough challenge April 10 at the District 9-2A meet, and she will concentrate on improving her pace.

“I feel I need to drop my time more to compete with Jessica (Colbert) from Boyd,” Powers said.


Decatur’s Jacob Kevetter won three events Thursday at the Double B Relays.

He took gold in the long jump with an effort of 20-8. He followed up by running a 15.06 in the 110 hurdles and 40.79 in the 300 hurdles for victories.


The Paradise Lady Panthers continued their relay dominance at local meets.

The Lady Panthers took all three relay races at the Double B Relays Thursday. Paradise won the 4×100 in 51.7, the 4×200 in 1:49.9 and 4×400 in 4:15.63.


Boys results

Team: 1. Decatur 210; 2. Paradise 123; 4. Bridgeport 76

Discus: 2. Anthony Ortiz, Bridgeport, 112-6; 3. Cole Stallard, Decatur, 110-0; 4. Randy Luevano, Paradise, 109-1; 5. Blake Brown, Paradise, 105-9

High jump: 1. Paul Walker, Decatur, 6-2; 3. Cain Lowe, Decatur, 6-0; 4. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, 5-10

Long jump: 1. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, 20-8; 3. Robert Norvell, Paradise, 20-3; 5. Jazderious Hickson, Bridgeport, 19-10; 6. Chris Hill, Paradise, 19-3.75

Shot put: 2. Anthony Ortiz, Bridgeport, 42-3.25; 3. Dakota Williams, Decatur, 39-0.75; 6. Brock Reaves, Decatur, 35-4.75

Triple jump: 1. Tyler Raby, 41-2; 2. Tanner Valentine, Paradise, 40-1.5; 3. Charles Williams, Bridgeport, 40-1.5; 5. Tyler Weir, Decatur, 38-5; 6. Brandon Garza, Decatur, 38-1

Pole vault: 1. Colton Teter, Decatur, 11-0; 2. Chad Layton, Decatur, 11-0

3200: 1. Taylor Clayton, Decatur, 10:14.07; 2. Parker Cullop, Decatur, 10:59.98; 3. JD Pearson, Paradise, 11:24.76; 4. Ryan Norwood, Paradise, 11:32.26; 6. Rosendo Cardenas, Bridgeport, 12:36.12

4×100: 1. Paradise 43.79; 2. Decatur 43.95; 3. Bridgeport 45.24

800: 1. Brandon Rivera, Decatur, 1:58.9; 4. Payton McAlister, Decatur, 2:09.42

110 hurdles: 1. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, 15.06; 2. Cody Carmichael, Paradise, 15.96; 3. Bryce Miller, Paradise, 16.06; 4. Tyler Raby, Bridgeport, 17.96

100: 2. Gunnar Parker, Decatur, 11.03; 3. Austin Hogan, Paradise, 11.07; 5. Luke Gage, Paradise, 11.4

4×200: 1. Decatur 1:36.24; 2. Paradise 1:36.29; 4. Bridgeport 1:37.02

400: 3. Rogelia Galicia, Bridgeport, 55.38; 5. Lopez, Decatur, 55.76; 6. Payton McAlister, Decatur, 56.17

300 hurdles: 1. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, 40.79; 2. Bryce Miller, Paradise, 43.02; 3. Cody Carmichael, Paradise, 43.04; 4. Tyler Raby, Bridgeport, 44.46; 5. Jordan Polk, Bridgeport, 45.55

200: 1. Grayson Muehlstein, Decatur, 22.99; 3. Austin Hogan, Paradise, 23.62; 6. Jazderious Hickson, Bridgeport, 23.99

1600: 1. Taylor Clayton, Decatur, 4:36.04; 3. Brandon Rivera, Decatur, 4:53.40; 5. JD Pearson, Paradise, 5:03.27; 6. Parker Cullop, Decatur, 5:06.36

4×400: 1. Decatur 3:34.8; 3. Paradise 3:37.5; 5. Bridgeport 3:54.52

Mighty Throw

MIGHTY THROW – Paradise’s Deanna Walterscheid unleashes a throw in the shot put Thursday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Girls results

Team results: 1. Decatur 169; 2. Paradise 162; 7. Bridgeport 14

Discus: 2. Lily Doubrava, Decatur, 93; 3. Deanna Walterscheid, Paradise, 86-10; 6. Lisa Fuller, Bridgeport, 69-0

High jump: 1. Macen Stripling, Decatur, 5-2; 3. Bailey Berry, Decatur, 4-10; 4. Amber French, Paradise, 4-10

Long jump: 2. Mikeala Beck, Paradise, 17-1.5; 4. Bailey Sides, Paradise, 16-1; 6. Nicole Neighbors, Decatur, 15-9.5

Shot put: 5. Deanna Walterscheid, Paradise, 28-11.25; 6. Lisa Fuller, Bridgeport, 28-11

Triple jump: 5. Celina Howerton, Decatur, 30-10.5

Pole vault: 1. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 7-6; 2. Mackinlie Tucker, Paradise, 7-0

3200: 1. Angela Powers, Paradise, 13:00.06; 3. Georgina Palomo, Decatur, 13:03.76; 4. Paola Palomo, Decatur, 13:05.23; 5. Corbin, Paradise, 13:52.03; 6. Lluvia Ramos, Decatur, 13:55.3

4×100: 1. Paradise 51.7; 2. Decatur 52.73

800: 2. Haley Dennard, Decatur, 2:25.67; 3. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 2:28.97

110 hurdles: 1. Macen Stripling, Decatur, 16.54; 2. Nicole Neighbors, Decatur, 16.8; 3. Kyndall McCasland, Paradise, 17.75; 5. Stormi Lamb, Paradise, 18.46; 6. Amber French, Paradise, 18.53

100: 1. Mikeala Beck, Paradise, 12.72; 2. Yanira Rivas, Decatur, 12.79; 5. Caressa McCasland, Paradise, 13.37

4×200: 1. Paradise 1:49.9; 2. Decatur 1:54.25; 4. Bridgeport 1:55.87

400: 2. Aliyah Richards, Paradise, 1:06.31; 4. Rhine, Decatur, 1:07.21

300 hurdles: 1. Nicole Neighbors, Decatur, 49.3; 2. Kyndall McCasland, Paradise, 51.14; 3. Amber French, Paradise, 54.03; 6. Stormi Lamb, Paradise, 56.19

200: 1. Aliyah Read, Paradise, 27.36; 2. Yanira Rivas, Decatur, 27.91; 5. Caressa McCasland, Paradise, 28.65; 6. Muehlstein, Decatur, 28.73

1600: 2. Haley Dennard, Decatur, 5:43.65; 3. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 5:43.66; 5. Angela Powers, Paradise, 6:00; 6. April Coursey, Paradise, 6:01

4×400: 1. Paradise 4:15.63; 3. Decatur 4:20.17; 5. Bridgeport 4:42.33

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Softball Roundup: Salmon, Boyd batter Lady Bulldogs

Payton Salmon doubled twice, tripled and drove in four runs Tuesday to lead the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets to a 12-2 victory over the Alvord Lady Bulldogs.

Salmon went 3-for-4 and scored three runs.

As a team, Boyd (16-4, 3-1) pounded out 15 hits. Savannah Foster and Chandler Hammon doubled twice. Brittney Howard was 3-for-3 with three RBIs.

Howard, Salmon and Hammon all had extra-base hits in the Lady Yellowjackets’ five-run second inning that put Boyd up 6-2. After scoring a run in the third and fourth innings, Boyd closed the game with a four-run fifth.

Alvord scored its two runs on a two-run homer by Reagan Guthrie in the first inning.

The homer was one of four hits by Alvord off Boyd pitcher Gabby Saldivar. Both runs were unearned.


The Gainesville Lady Leopards held off the Decatur Lady Eagles Tuesday for a 4-3 victory in the District 9-3A opener.

Bree Carter led Decatur with three hits.


The Bridgeport Sissies committed eight errors leading to 13 unearned runs Tuesday in a 17-5 loss to Krum in the District 9-3A opener.

Krum broke the game open with a 10-run sixth inning.

Kensley Turner drove in four of the Sissies’ five runs, hitting a three-run homer in the first inning. Makayla Raymond and Ryhan Read added two hits each for Bridgeport (8-7, 0-1).


Brock pitcher Krysten Marr limited Paradise to three hits over seven innings in a 3-0 victory Tuesday.

Brock’s Haley Hardison tripled and homered and drove in two runs.

Paradise pitcher Reagan Taylor struck out seven, allowing four runs on 10 hits in six innings.


The Northwest Lady Texans’ late-game rally fell short Tuesday as a 6-5 loss to Keller Timber Creek put an end to their three-game 4-5A winning streak.

After falling behind 5-1, Northwest scored three in the sixth, including Kelsey Rhine’s two-run homer. The Lady Texans added one in the seventh after Tuesday DerMargosian’s lead-off triple.

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Joel Giblin

Joel “Gib” Giblin

Master Chief Joel “Gib” Giblin, 73, retired military, died Tuesday, March 11, 2014, in Decatur.

Memorial service is 11 a.m. Saturday, March 22, at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur with George Quillin officiating. Visitation is one hour prior to service.

Gib was born Sept. 21, 1940, in Baton Rouge, La., to Clancy and Louise (Lucus) Giblin. He married Donna Gener Oct. 9, 1963, in Houston.

Gib served his country in the U.S. Navy and retired after 34 years of service. He was a 33rd-Degree Mason of the Arlington Lodge and a member of the Wise County Veteran Group.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Donna Giblin of Decatur; son Daniel Giblin of Decatur; brother Gerald Giblin of Houston; sister Cheryl Hart of Houston; and other family members and friends.

Memorials can be made to the Wise County Veterans Group by calling 940-683-2382.

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Jennie Elizabeth Gordon

Jennie Elizabeth Gordon

Jennie Elizabeth Gordon, 79, a retired over-the-road truck driver, died Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Decatur.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Greenwood Baptist Church with Gary Dietz officiating. Paul Moore, Pete Moore, Elvin Jackson, John Teague, Randy Bird and Terry Harris will serve as pallbearers. Burial is in Greenwood Cemetery.

Jennie was born Feb. 20, 1935, in Greenwood to Robert Elvin and Bessie Bell (Urquhart) Moore. She married William David Gordon Dec. 10, 1963, in Gainesville.

She is survived by her husband, Dave Gordon of Decatur; three daughters, Vivian Dietz and husband, Gary, of Greenwood, JoAnn Gordon of Greenwood and Sue Kiker and husband, Jim, of Maud, Okla.; two sons, Robert Bost of Greenwood and William Gordon of Maud, Okla.; 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; sister Nadine Gage and husband, Bill Jackson, of Decatur; brother Homer Moore and wife, Pat, of Marble Falls; and nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers, R.E. Moore, Bob Moore, Earnest Moore, Jerry Moore and Oliver Moore; and two sisters, Urma Zell Denning and Eva Jo Jackson.

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Helen Marguriete Starnes Howard


Helen Marguriete Starnes Howard, 89, died Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at her home in Decatur.

A graveside service was held in Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur, March 21, officiated by Monty Martin.

Born March 9, 1925, in Sanger to Leon and Pearlie Mae Teague Starnes, she lived in Wise County most of her life. Marguriete and Murrell Elvin Howard were married April 11, 1946, in Decatur. They have two sons, Paul Howard of Decatur and Brett Howard of Grapevine.

Marguriete met life on its own terms and was fiercely independent. She planned every step of her treatment in fighting breast cancer after it was diagnosed last October.

She enjoyed working at Marie’s Dress shop and at Wise Electric Co-op. She was a talented seamstress and enjoyed needlework, especially crocheting.

Marguriete was a member of the original Fundamental Baptist Church in Decatur. Her detailed knowledge of Biblical history led to lively discussions with friends and family. She was an avid Texas Rangers fan, often calling and debating play-by-play game details with friends.

She is survived by her sons, Paul and Brett; Paul’s wife, Mary and his son Shane; Brett’s children, Courtney and Colton; great-grandchildren Mac Whitcomb and Bella Howard; and a great-great-grandson, Abel Whitcomb. Also surviving are her sister, Nickie Brandon; brother Larry Starnes; and two sisters-in-law, Martha Starnes and Mary Sue Starnes.

Marguriete was preceded in death by her husband, Murrell, in 1987; her parents, Leon and Pearlie Starnes; and brothers Bennie Paul Starnes of Houston and Danny Starnes of Denton.

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Vickie Lynn Hughes

Vickie Lynn Hughes

Vickie Lynn Hughes, 63, a homemaker, died Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Decatur.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd with the Rev. Rick Stokes officiating. Burial will follow at Boyd Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Donnie Mitchell, Jerry Cagle, Jack Smith, Ronnie Smith, James Hughes and Aaron Brickle.

Vickie was born July 1, 1950, in Fort Worth to Charles “Pete” and Imogene (Smith) Willbanks. She married Jim Hughes July 8, 1968, in Boyd.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her husband, Jim Hughes of Boyd; sons Jonathan Hughes of Boyd and James Hughes of Lancaster; grandchildren Caution, Jacob, Kyleigh, Tristen, Hadyn, Jasmine, Wyatt, Sylus and Faith; sisters Andrea Benthall of Aurora and Carol Oldham of Boyd; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

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Charles Lee Tolliver

Charles Lee Tolliver

Charles Lee Tolliver, 76, a retired truck driver, died Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Decatur.

Graveside service was March 21 at Boyd Cemetery with the Rev. Gary Sessions officiating.

Charles was born March 5, 1938, in McLennan County to Charlie and Jimmie (Cole) Tolliver. He married Sharon Johnson Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Sharon; son Danny Lee Tolliver; sister Peggy Smithhart; and brother Joe Tolliver.

Survivors include his sons, Billy Joe Tolliver and wife, Sheila, of Shreveport, La., Mark Tolliver of Decatur, David Tolliver Ivy of Dallas, Darrell Ivy and wife, Marsha, of Lewisville and Levi Tolliver of Fort Worth; daughters Jan McCain and husband, Les, of Chico and LaDona Rhoudes of Nacogdoches; grandchildren Charles, Austin, Danny, Tyler, Justin, Bryce, Brodie, Bodee, Marcus, Hannah, McKenzie, Brook and Chance; eight great-grandchildren; and other family members and friends.

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Christopher Edward Wray

Christopher Edward Wray

Christopher Edward Wray, 49, died Sunday, March 16, 2014, in Decatur.

He was born Sept. 2, 1964.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Owen Funeral Home in Jarratt, Va., where visitation begins at noon. Burial with military honors will follow at Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Wray is survived by his special loved ones, Catherine Tackett and Kristy Buser; sons Christopher Jr., Toni and Todd Wray and their families; mother Evelyn Faye Wray and stepmother Linda D. Wray; sisters Pamela Wray Price and husband, John, and Amy Shook; and brother Thomas Glover and wife, Pam.

He was preceded in death by his father, George Edward Wray.

Memorials may be made to a veterans organization of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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Jocelyn Marie Britney Fernandez

Manuela Romero and Jose Guadalupe Fernandez of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Jocelyn Marie Britney Fernandez, on March 14, 2014 at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and is 18 1/2 inches long.

She has three brothers: Cristian Fernandez, 16; Jose Guadalupe Fernandez, 14; and Brayden Fernandez, 6.

Grandparents are Josefina Rodriguez, Maria Guadalupe and Jose de Jesus Fernandez of Tepetongo, Zacatecas, Mexico.

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Blaze devours home

Blaze devours home

Fire ravaged a home just north of the Square in Decatur Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters from Decatur, Bridgeport and Alvord battled the blaze, which was toned out just before 2 p.m.

Total Loss

TOTAL LOSS – Firefighters douse the flames that broke out in a house on Trinity Street in Decatur. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but is believed to have started accidentally. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The first units to check on scene at 403 N. Trinity St. reported flames “pushing through the front of the house and onto the front porch.”

One person was inside the home when the fire broke out, but she escaped without injury.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to be accidental. The fire started in the living room at the front of the house.

Although the home will likely be deemed a total loss, Decatur Fire Marshal Deroy Bennett said some belongings will be salvagable.

Mutual Aid

MUTUAL AID – Firefighters from Bridgeport and Alvord assisted Decatur in a house fire Tuesday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Keeping cool at crunch time; Exercise system puts cowboys, cardiac patients in motion

What do astronauts, professional rodeo cowboys and heart patients have in common?

All have been using the Vasper system – possibly the next big thing in exercise, performance training and rehabilitation.

There are only five locations in the world where the system is in use, and one of those happens to be Wise Regional’s Fit-n-Wise facility in Decatur, where it arrived last October.

Cold Workout

COLD WORKOUT – Susan Rector demonstrates use of the Vasper system at Wise Regional’s Fit-n-Wise facility in Decatur. It is one of only five locations for the machines in the United States. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“You know how when you lift weights and your muscles feel pumped afterwards?” Susan Rector said. “Since I’ve been using this I feel that way all the time.”

Rector, the director of cardiac rehab at Wise Regional Health System, has decades of experience helping rehabilitate heart patients. Some of these patients are elderly and sick, making many types of exercise and therapy dangerous and off-limits.

“I think this will more or less revolutionize everything we’ve been doing,” she said. “People who weren’t able to exercise safely before will now be able to.”

Thanks to efforts by Jeffrey R. Gladden, MD/FACC, founder and director of the cardiovascular program at Wise Regional, Rector has been able to introduce her heart rehab patients to Vasper. Dr. Gladden first learned of the Vasper system last year while attending a medical conference in California.

He was instantly intrigued.

“It was created by Peter Wasow-ski,” Gladden said, “as a way to treat his own osteoarthritis. But he discovered it had an exceptional training effect with regard to people’s exercise capacity.

“I was blown away by the physiology behind it,” he said. “I began to think how I could apply it to cardiology both in treating cardiac patients and in enhancing mine and other cardiovascular performance.

“Being a cardiologist, I wanted to see how it worked with patients going through cardio rehab and [if it] could enhance their gains in exercise capacity and stamina compared to traditional cardiac rehab.”

The Vasper system is used with a Nustep exercise machine, which resembles the recumbent elliptical machines widely used for exercise and rehab. But it’s the Vasper system that makes the exercise so beneficial, combining several tried-and-true techniques of exercise to augment the benefits and minimize the risk.

A bundle of tubes transports refrigerated water through cuffs bound tightly around the thighs and arms of the user. The compression cuffs restrict venous blood flow.

Restricting blood flow from the muscles during exercise results in increased lactic acid production and helps enhance muscle size and strength. It’s a technique that has been used for years, but the problem was always that too much compression exaggerated muscle damage and caused intense pain.

This machine remedies that by using cold water and cuffs that are are tightened only to a comfortable level. The water flows through the cuff and creates the compression, but at 40 degrees, it also relieves the inflammation and helps eliminate post-exercise muscle soreness.

“Depending on what pressure is selected, you may start to feel the ‘burn’ within a minute or less, especially in the quads,” Rector said. “You trap that lactic acid, and that stimulates a local and systemic anabolic effect. Your pituitary gland creates growth hormone and anabolic hormones to strengthen the muscle in response to the lactic acid – but because of the cool water running through the cuffs it is easier to tolerate the burn.

“Overall, it reduces the inflammation,” Rector continued. “Your body thinks you are producing more lactic acid than you would doing other exercises, because of this concentration effect, but you can’t feel it as much as you would otherwise.

“It can be a real intense workout or gentle enough for a 90-year-old – and because of the cooling you’re not pouring sweat afterwards.”

There are benefits for both the intense and mild exerciser.

Electromagnetic grounding and cooling is used in the foot pedals, to prevent static electricity from being produced while exercising.

“That reduces free radicals in your body that wreak havoc on you from exercise,” Rector said. “Most people report feeling better – more energy. A lot of people report sleeping better.”

Vasper exercise protocols are based on interval training – periods of high intensity, called a sprint, followed by a leisurely recovery period. The machine uses varying lengths of sprints and intensities over a 20-minute workout. The exercise session is then followed by a 10-minute cool-down period spent lying on a chilled table.

“It’s a short burst of high intensity, then you recover, and you go again,” Rector said. “You can boost your cardiovascular fitness better that way than you will by just going along at steady pace. You also burn a lot more calories.”

“The catch-phrase is, it does two hours’ worth of exercise in only 20 minutes,” Dr. Gladden said. “It’s a dramatic effect, and you don’t have to beat yourself up to do it. The common attitude is ‘no pain, no gain’ – but this builds you up without all the pain.”

“You can do this, and then immediately walk into the gym and do a full workout,” Rector said. “And you’ll probably do better in the gym because your growth hormone and anabolic hormones are at a high level … Some of the research found it basically balances your endocrine system and gets all your hormones optimized to their proper levels.”

The system has been used by Navy SEALs, NASA astronauts, Olympic athletes, professional hockey players and locally, by high school athletes, professional rodeo cowboys, Iron Man triathlon competitors, spinal cord injury patients, several types of rehab patients and cardiac patients.

In space, without the constant pull of the earth’s gravity, muscle tissue tends to deteriorate at a rapid rate.

“Now, astronauts train for two to three hours a day while in space to try and keep muscle mass, but they still lose it,” Rector said. “And so they are adapting this for space because the protocol only takes 20 minutes. At some point this will go to the international space station.”

It also does wonders down here on Earth.

“There was one man in his 50s who ran an Iron Man at Kona in Hawaii,” Gladden said. “He wanted to compete in another Iron Man in Arizona just five weeks later, which isn’t a lot of time to recover. He started using the Vasper three days a week. When he competed in the [second] Iron Man he posted a personal record, taking 30 minutes off his best time.”

In return for getting to be one of only a handful of places in the world with Vasper technology, Rector and Gladden have been collecting data, especially on how it affects heart patients.

“If the highest-risk group can rapidly improve and use this safely, it can be used widespread in cardio rehab,” Rector said. “Just from what I’ve seen, I think, especially for someone starting at the very bottom, they will progress much more rapidly here than they would out in the gym.”

“I’ve seen it take people who could barely use walkers who are now able to climbs stairs,” Dr. Gladden said. “We have to wait for the results of the study to tell the whole story, but we are already seeing people make significant gains. It’s helping people reclaim their lives.”

Kim Emery, aquatics manager at Fit-n-Wise, has been using the Vasper for two weeks now. She’s one of the many test subjects taking part in the studies.

“I can tell a huge difference,” Emery said. “I have much more energy. I’m in less pain. I can run up a flight of stairs now. It’s pretty amazing. I love that it’s only 20 minutes.

“It’s like a high-intensity training. You go 30 seconds really hard and then 90 seconds to rest. During the 30 seconds, because I’m not in shape, it’s really hard. But what I like is, I can push myself harder on this than I would out in the gym. I’ve learned what it’s like to work to my capacity, to work hard.”

“She can’t wimp out,” Rector said.

Right now, the Vasper at Fit-n-Wise is being used only by cardiac patients and a few others.

Dr. Gladden expects it to be available for use by the general public sometime in the second quarter of this year, most likely at hospitals, universities, high schools and gyms.

You can even buy one for yourself for about $20,000.

Not a bad price for the next big thing.

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Time for a new bushel of Apples; Decatur school board approves $1.1 million for laptop replacements

Technology took center stage in a couple of ways at Monday’s Decatur school board meeting.

The board approved spending up to $1.1 million to replace 925 student laptops at the high school and 105 teacher laptops there and at the middle school, as part of the district’s technology plan.

The discussions were a little hard to hear at times as board members’ microphones seemed to cut in and out throughout the meeting – the first to be held in the new boardroom, located in the renovated administration facility at 307 S. Cates.

Secondary teachers were issued Apple MacBook laptops beginning in 2009, and each high school student was issued a laptop in 2010. The time has come to replace the devices, said technology director Troy Bagwell.

“The laptops we have won’t last another year,” Bagwell said in response to a question about the possibility of getting another year out of the computers. “We’re having a hard time finding replacement parts.”

The replacement is part of the timeline approved by the board in 2008. The purchase of the replacement laptops will come from money remaining from the $5.4 million technology bond package approved by voters in 2008. Apple provided the district with a quote of $1,072,251.76 for the new devices.

Bagwell said the district will have about $398,000 in bond funds still available after the purchase rather than the $387,000 he predicted six years ago.

“We’re right on track with what we predicted when we first adopted the first plans for the elementary technology in the schools right after the bond passed,” he said.

Superintendent Rod Townsend said DISD was willing to consider other forms of technology, such as iPads, but the majority of teachers wanted to stay with laptops for at least one more cycle.

In a separate agenda item, the board agreed to allow the district to give this year’s graduating seniors the option to purchase the laptop they have used for the past four years. All other laptops will be sold through a third party for $125 per used laptop – returning an estimated $108,750 to the district.

Townsend said the school will sell them for $100 more than what they would receive from an outside buyer. Bagwell said the extra charge will cover the cost of wiping the hard drives clean and restoring them to the best possible condition, even if it means making repairs or even replacing parts.

The computers would not be under any warranty.

The option to buy the laptops would only be available to graduating seniors the years the computers are refreshed, Townsend said.

As for the boardroom microphones – the same ones used in the former administration office – no replacement appears to be necessary. District maintenance director Merl Pryor said setting adjustments will be made to fix the issue before the next meeting.


The board also approved changes to the way grade-point averages are calculated at the high school. The six-point scale will be eliminated, and only advanced courses such as pre-AP, AP and dual-credit courses will carry a potential five points. Core classes – English, math, science, social studies and a foreign language – will be on the four-point scale.

The changes are designed to give students more flexibility in their schedules and allow them to take courses based more on their interests, rather than the courses that will help their GPA the most, high school principal Jason Cochran said.

Currently, students enter a dual credit and an AP course on a five-point scale. If a student successfully completes the AP exam, he or she will be bumped up to the six-point scale.

Board member Diana Mosley expressed concern that since AP courses would no longer carry the six-point potential, student enrollment in the program could drop.

“I don’t want to see the AP program go away,” she said. “That is a nationally-recognized program. I hope that it is really sold to the students because they (AP and dual credit) are two totally different types of programs.”

She also said students who successfully complete the AP test should be rewarded for their hard work with a six-point potential.

Judi Bell, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said she hopes the changes will actually encourage more students to take the AP exam. Students currently take the test to see if they would qualify for the six-point scale, but more students might be willing to attempt the test if less emphasis is put on class ranking.

The GPA changes would apply only to students entering as freshmen this fall. For current eighth graders who are about to complete algebra I or Spanish, those course grades will not apply toward their high school grade point average since the changes were made after they had begun the course.

The board voted 6-1 for the changes, with Mosley casting the lone opposing vote.

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Golf team donates to family who lost home

Monday marked a new beginning, of sorts, for the Decatur school board as it met for the first time in its new boardroom.

But another new beginning proved to be the emotional highlight of the evening.

The Decatur High School golf team presented a $5,000 check to Candice Taylor and her two daughters, Courtney and Sterling. The Taylors’ home near New Fairview was destroyed by fire Jan. 28.

More Than Par for the Course

MORE THAN PAR FOR THE COURSE – Accepting a $5,000 check from the Decatur Golf Team Monday were (front, from left) Courtney, Sterling and Candice Taylor. Dwayne Garrett (left) represented the Garrett family who made the donation to the golf team’s fundraiser. Golf coach Fernando Escobar (second from left) was joined by members of the team (from left) Cade Lamirand, Kale Bronniman, Drew Jones, Clay Gillispie, Bryce Elder, Hayden Bennett, Addison Nation and Dawson Thompson. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Golf coach Fernando Escobar fought back tears as he explained why the golf team had decided to help the family.

“The Taylor family just went through a pretty tough time in their life,” he said. ” … Courtney Taylor is a junior at Decatur High School. Right now she has a lot on her mind. We’re hoping this will put her mind at ease and ease her worries as well.”

Sterling is a sixth-grader at McCarroll Middle School.

The donation was made possible when the team auctioned off a driver at its recent golf tournament. The driver was donated to the golf booster club by a community member who wishes to remain anonymous. The live auction was won by a donation from the Garrett family – represented Monday by Dwayne Garrett.

He explained that Grayson Garrett, son of Willie Garrett, was killed in an accident at their Lake Bridgeport home two-and-a-half years ago. The family started the Grayson Garrett Memorial Fund to help others in need in the community. The family raises money through an annual golf tournament.

The three members of the Taylor family gave hugs to Garrett, team members and Escobar at the conclusion of the presentation.

In other business, the school board:

  • approved changes to the GPA formula for the high school and up to $1.1 million for the replacement of laptops (see related story in this issue);
  • amended their order of election in order to hold early voting and election day voting for the May 10 election at the Decatur administration building;
  • honored high school student Katy Rowden for her success at the state swim meet, high school teacher Kanetha Hicks as educator of the month and bus driver John Tally as support staff employee of the month; and
  • learned during the reports portion of the meeting that cost estimates for a new agriculture facility should be available to board members by April’s meeting.

The school board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the administration building to hire a new athletic director/head football coach.

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Accountant: City ‘hits the numbers’ in audit

Despite lingering tough economic times in North Texas, the city of Decatur continues to build sound budgets – and follow them.

That’s the general opinion of the city’s annual audit report, presented Monday night by the Decatur accounting firm of Scott Siegmund LLC.

“The current operating trend shows that the management of the city has adjusted to the economic climate of North Texas,” accountant Stacy Gottlieb said in presenting the overall financial picture.

Gottlieb pointed out the city’s governmental revenues were down $100,000, while the revenue generated by business-type activities of water, sewer and garbage collection was basically flat. Still, she noted, expenses were down even more.

“The cash and bank balances increased overall by $231,000,” she said.

She also noted that the city made $803,000 in capital improvements during fiscal 2013, including signage, audio and visual equipment at the civic center, street improvements, and the purchase of several vehicles and other pieces of equipment.

The ability to do all that and stay within budget “indicates a strong fiscal position for the city,” she said.

And, she noted, the city’s long-term debt decreased by $1,350,000 from the previous year and has been steadily declining since 2008.

Siegmund said the debt-to-assets ration keeps improving.

“Y’all’s graph where the debt keeps going down $2 million a year – that’s really awesome,” he said. “Your assets are staying pretty level with depreciation, and the debt keeps going down to where you’d be in position to fund some projects if you needed to.”

He also praised the city’s budget accuracy.

“Really, you guys hit pretty close to the bottom line each year,” he said. “When you’re dealing with $10, $12 million, and you’re getting pretty close to break-even every year, it’s not like we’re adding millions and millions of dollars to reserves or losing millions and millions.

“Y’all’s budget process seems to hit the numbers pretty closely, which is the point.”

The city’s total expenses for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2013, were $14,730,737.

That included:

  • water, sewer and garbage, $4,286,755
  • police department, $2,222,284
  • fire department, $1,618,007
  • civic center, $1,169,255
  • general government, $836,510
  • library, $554,352
  • parks, $543,419
  • economic development, $382,168
  • planning, $370,817
  • inspection services, $310,607
  • airport, $307,868
  • tax department and court, $300,971
  • Main Street program, $144,268
  • cemetery, $83,663
  • animal control, $72,452
  • emergency management, $11,898

Several of those areas also bring in revenue – the biggest being fees for water, sewer and garbage collection which totaled $3,937,852.

The tax and court departments brought in $707,153, and the civic center generated $579,821 in for the city. Inspections collected $218,990, the airport brought in $70,625 and the library took in $69,229.

General administration collected $48,826 and the cemetery brought in $45,072.

Altogether, the city’s revenue-generating activities brought in nearly $5.7 million toward those $14.7 million in expenses. Several departments also received grants for specific items, totaling just over $477,000.

Property and sales taxes, franchise, occupancy and other taxes made up the difference.

The city is required by state law to have an audit done each year by an outside accounting firm.


Decatur Hospital Authority board member Lesa Warren submitted a letter of resignation, citing other commitments.

Dana Manoushagian, an attorney in Bridgeport and a longtime resident of Wise County, was named Monday to replace her, filling a term that will expire at the end of 2015.

“Given the fact that there’s now a west campus of the health system over in the city of Bridgeport, it seems like a good choice to me,” City Manager Brett Shannon said.

Manoushagian opened a law practice in Wise County in 1988. She has been active in the United Way of Wise County, the Bridgeport Civic Club and is a past-president of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce and the Bridgeport Education Foundation.

Mayor Martin Woodruff, who serves as executive director of the Wise County United Way, said Manoushagian is “an excellent nomination.”


The council also:

  • approved on first reading an order canceling the May 10 election, since each of four positions has just one candidate;
  • approved a request by Brett Cheatham of the Decatur Rotary Club to close the 100 block of Main Street at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 10, for a 5K and Fun Run;
  • agreed to cancel the regular March 24 meeting, since it is just a week away and no pressing business is expected.

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