Welty joins city council

Chad Welty, associate pastor at the First Baptist Church of Paradise, was appointed Monday night to fill the vacant seat on the Paradise City Council.

Chad Welty

Welty and former council member Chris Harris were the only two nominees for the post, which has been vacant since Bill Schenk opted not to seek re-election in November.

The two candidates responded to several general questions on their backgrounds and skills, put forward by council member Terrie Ward.

Harris said his priorities would be seeing that everyone gets water service, improving the city’s roads and bringing new businesses to town.

“Paradise has a lot to offer, but right now, not many businesses want to come to Paradise,” he said. “We should do everything we can to bring in other businesses and build up the tax base.”

Welty agreed.

“I think providing water, continue exploring options on providing sewer service and making the community more business-friendly would be my priorities,” he said. “Also just listening to the citizens to find what their needs are – like a park – just to make the community a more family-friendly place.”

Harris, who has lived in Paradise 14 years, has been active in coaching youth baseball and serves on the volunteer fire department. He was on the city council for eight years and approached council member Brad Largent about the appointment when the opening came up.

“I’m very familiar with what’s going on in the city,” he said. “Paradise is my home. I want to see good things come to this town.”

Welty said several city council members approached him about seeking the appointment.

“They said there’s a need, an open spot for service here in the community,” he said. “I’ve always thought when a need arises, we ought to be servants to our community. That’s why I showed up here.”

Both men said they would be able to attend meetings on a regular basis, although council member Bob Gayan pointed out that Harris had missed several meetings when he was on the council in the past.

Harris defended his record.

“I’ve sat here when a lot of those seats were empty,” he said. “Things happen. We all have families, people are going to get sick. If you’re going to hold missing a meeting against me, you might want to look to your left and right also.”

When the vote was called, only Largent voted for Harris, while Gayan, Ward and Roy Steel all voted for Welty.

“I’ll do my best to work with you guys and serve the community, until the community decides they don’t want me,” Welty said.

He will be sworn in at the council’s January meeting.

GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS UNDERWAY

The council held a required public hearing on applying for a Community Development Block Grant through the Texas Department of Agriculture.

City Secretary Teresa Moody reviewed the process, but the discussion eventually turned to water service – and whether the residents in the targeted area even want to go on city water.

Past grants in Paradise, totaling just shy of $1 million, have been used for a water well, water lines, planning and water storage. Moody said a water project is the only one likely to fit the city’s needs.

“Out of the remaining areas of town that do not have water service, probably the most likely to be funded is going to be Old Town,” she said. “It’s a low- to moderate-income area, and there are more senior citizens, more houses on that road than any other areas.”

Largent said the city might have a hard time getting residents of that area to connect to the city’s water system.

After a brief discussion, it was decided the city should poll the eight or so residents to determine if they want water service before spending the funds – the grant and whatever matching fund the city would have to come up with – to install the water line.

Moody said the public hearing was only the first step – that it would probably two years or more before the city actually applies for the grant.

“This is something to be thinking about, so if there is something other than that that y’all would like to see pursued, we’re going to need to know that,” she said.

Mayor Sam Starr will appoint a committee to develop a specific project that fits the community’s needs.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council also:

  • appointed Stinnett to do disconnections for late payment as part-time employee of the water department. The late notices will say disconnections will be at 3 p.m., and City Hall will be open until 6. He will be paid an additional $50 for the task.
  • noted that election law training is in January and that Moody will attend a required Public Fund Investment Act training in April for small cities.
  • discussed repairing or replacing a malfunctioning fire hydrant. Moody said one of the contractors who is putting in the Dollar General store specializes in municipal water services and will work on the hydrant while they are in town.

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Paradise School Board hears academic improvement strategies

The Paradise school board Monday night heard strategies to improve math and writing scores, as well as ways to improve the overall performance of special education students.

Campus principals presented those plans, which are aimed at combating weaknesses in several areas, according to Assistant Superintendent Patti Seckman.

Paradise schools are applying vertical teaming – in which educators at various grade levels work together to help students acquire the academic skills they need to succeed. A key element is specialty writing projects that are assessed at an even higher level than the state’s STAAR test.

While the regular meeting was short, board members still heard an audit report from Carl Deaton, CPA, with the firm of Hankins, Eastup, Deaton, Tonn and Seay. They also reallocated $500,000 from the committed fund balance to the unassigned fund balance.

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Basketball: Boyd, Paradise go 3-1 at tourneys

District 9-3A bunkmates Paradise and Boyd had solid showings at tournaments over the weekend.

The Paradise Panthers went 3-1 at the Poolville Tournament to improve to 9-3 on the season.

Brayden Ford was named to the all-tournament team.

Boyd finished 3-1 at the Chico Tournament after losing to Eula 48-45. The Yellowjackets topped Perrin (63-17), Chico (63-40) and Forestburg (48-40).

Trace Moran earned an all-tournament selection.

The Slidell Greyhounds went 3-2 at the Lindsay Tournament. Slidell lost to Pottsboro and Lindsay before winning the final three over Ector, S&S and Dodd City.

Tyler Maynard and Khristian Talamantes made the all-tournament team.

ALVORD 82, WICHITA FALLS HEAT 55

Joe Randall tossed in 17 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and six steals as the Alvord Bulldogs evened their record at 1-1 with an 82-55 win over the Wichita Falls Heat.

Troy Morales added 15 points and Jaylon White 12.

Alvord broke the game open with a 26-11 run in the second quarter.

BREWER 67, NORTHWEST 61

Elijah Christman scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but it was not enough to lift the Northwest Texans past Brewer in a 67-61 overtime loss.

Darril Eyaa posted a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds.

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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, December 13, 2014

BRIDGEPORT SCHOOL BOARD – The Bridgeport school board next week will discuss textbook adoption and facility renovations, as well as the results of a districtwide soccer questionnaire. Its meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, at the administration building, 2107 15th Street, and is open to the public.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – County Judge J.D. Clark will lead his first county commissioners meeting next week. Commissioners will discuss the process for hiring a new elections administrator, hear county engineer Chad Davis’ recommendation for receiving surplus bridge materials from the Department of Public Safety and will discuss maintenance offered by Tyler Technologies. Clark will also give his recommendation on the makeup of the systems coordinator hiring committee. Clark has also added to the agenda a community forum, in which citizens may share comments or observations related to county business. There is a three-minute time limit, and large groups should designate a spokesperson. The meeting is 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15, in the third floor conference room of the Wise County Courthouse in Decatur. This is the last regular meeting for 2014.

PARADISE CITY COUNCIL – Next week nominees for the vacant Paradise City Council seat will be interviewed, and one will be selected to serve. The process will occur during the city council’s regular meeting 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, at Paradise City Hall. The council will also conduct a public hearing on the submission of an application to the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program (TxCDBG) in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Affairs. The council will also discuss hiring Carl Deaton to conduct the city’s annual audit.

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Basketball: Teams start district race

Most area girls basketball teams begin the battle for the postseason Tuesday with the start of district play.

Aside from Decatur and Bridgeport, who will not start District 8-4A play until January and Northwest, who started Friday, the rest begin league action Tuesday.

Alvord will play host to Poolville. Boyd takes on Bowie at home. Chico welcomes Era to town. Paradise heads to Jacksboro. Slidell takes on longtime rival Saint Jo at home.

Here’s a brief look at the Wise County teams and their respective districts:

9-3A

Boyd and Paradise are off to hot starts to the regular season. Boyd entered the Chico Tournament at 7-0. Paradise, who was off this weekend, is 12-2.

But as Paradise coach Kevin Pope points out, everyone starts over Tuesday in what should be a wide-open league with Bowie, Henrietta, Holliday, Jacksboro, Nocona and City View.

“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Pope said. “There’s a couple of good teams that will be staying at home. It’s real balanced. You’ll have to play well every night.”

So far this season with a balanced scoring attack and quick defense, the Lady Panthers have been on most nights against a tough schedule.

“I’m pleased with where we are. We can still improve in several areas,” Pope said. “We did everything we could do to prepare for district.

“Our depth is good. We’ve played 11 players in every game and there’s not one that doesn’t contribute.”

Pope said the unselfishness of his team has been impressive throughout the year.

“There’s time they are almost unselfish to a fault,” he said.

Kaylee McConnell and Courtney Kerr have provided a nice scoring punch. Jett Preather leads the rebounding effort.

The Lady Yellowjackets stayed unbeaten Tuesday, rallying to beat Lake Worth. Sophomore Linsey Thorpe has been consistent down low for the Lady Yellowjackets. She and Kenzie Elkins give Boyd a pair of solid posts with Abby Harrell on the wing.

11-2A

With each game, Alvord coach John Shelton sees his squad getting better and adapting to his up-tempo system.

Senior guard Katie Claborn is among the area’s leading scorers, averaging 18 points per game. Cierra Rangel and Brianna Ponder are adding a combined 22 points.

Shelton looks forward to getting into 11-2A play with games against Poolville and Valley View before the Christmas break.

“I like that we have the two games before Christmas,” Shelton said. “Every game will be evenly matched. The top four can beat each other.

“This district will be real competitive. Muenster is the team to beat. They’ve got a lot of size and depth. But I expect there to be four teams battling for three spots.”

The Chico Lady Dragons hope to fight their way into the race that Alvord, Collinsville, Era, Lindsay, Muenster, Poolville and Valley View.

Chico beat Bellevue 57-49 Tuesday before starting its tournament Thursday.

Alli York has paced the Lady Dragons with 11.7 points, two steals and 2.1 assists per game. Whitney Renfro is added 8.8 points. Cheyanne Hale is contributing 5.9 points and 8.1 rebounds.

21-A

Behind a huge start to the season by Caitlin Pruett, the Slidell Lady Greyhounds are 9-3 entering the weekend.

Pruett is averaging 21.3 points and 11.8 rebounds.

To go along with Pruett, the Lady Greyhounds are getting big contributions from Kayler Talamantes and Kylie Franklin on the scoreboard. Jessy Goode is helping on the boards. Kayson Roof is providing solid defense.

“We’re eight deep and that’s depth that a lot of schools don’t have,” said Slidell coach Cody Vanover. “Caitlin is so versatile that it makes it hard for teams to guard. But with Kayler and Kylie having breakout games, we’ve had four girls in double figures so far. That makes it where teams can’t just look at stopping Caitlin. We have four to five girls that can score and we can dictate what the defense does.”

Slidell is hoping to land on top of 21-A and unseat league champion Bellevue.

The league also includes Gold-Burg, Forestburg, Midway, Prairie Valley, Saint Jo and Tioga.

Slidell starts district with Saint Jo and Bellevue.

“We have those two right off the bat and can start in a hole if we don’t have a good first week,” Vanover said.

“I feel we should be in good shape. I’m cautiously optimistic.”

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Basketball: Lady Eagles crunch Graham

Shelby Drews posted a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds, while also handing out five assists Tuesday to lead the Decatur Lady Eagles to a 54-29 win over Graham.

The Lady Eagles, ranked No. 21 in the latest 4A Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, improved to 10-1 on the season.

Macen Stripling also joined Drews with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hannah Dunning added eight points and three assists. Makayla Mayfield and Sidney Carter scored four each.

Decatur held Graham to just 11 points in the second half. The Lady Eagles outscored Graham 12-6 in the third and 16-5 in the final frame.

Decatur used a 15-8 run in the second to build a 26-18 halftime lead.

Decatur faced a big challenge Friday, heading to Bowie to face the 22nd ranked team in 3A.

PARADISE 60, SPRINGTOWN 30

Courtney Kerr scored 18 points, leading the Paradise Lady Panthers to a 60-30 victory.

Paradise ran out to a 15-5 lead and built the advantage to 29-14 at halftime. Paradise never allowed more than nine points in a quarter.

Kaylee McConnell added eight points. Jett Preather, Amber French and Kaitlyn Melvin scored six each.

BOYD 36, LAKE WORTH 34

The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets overcame a scoreless first quarter to rally for a 36-34 win over Lake Worth Tuesday.

Boyd moved to 7-0.

Kenzie Elkins scored 11 points and Linsey Thorpe 10.

After the slow start, Boyd hit double figures in the other three frames.

SLIDELL 69, BRYSON 41

Kylie Franklin’s three straight 3-pointers to open the second half broke open the game and paced Slidell to a 69-41 win over Bryson.

Franklin finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. She was 4-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.

“It was 35-25 at half and Kylie hit back-to-back-to-back 3s to start the third and got us rolling,” said Slidell coach Cody Vanover.

Caitlin Pruett posted a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Kayler Talamantes scored 13 points with eight boards. Jessy Goode finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

CHICO 57, BELLEVUE 49

The Chico Lady Dragons fought back from an early deficit to knock off Bellevue 57-49 Tuesday.

Trailing 32-21 at halftime, Chico went on an 18-8 run in the third and won the game in the fourth with an 18-9 finishing spurt.

Alli York led Chico with 21 points. Kylie Marburger added 11. Whitney Renfro finished with 10 and Cheyanne Hale nine.

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Basketball: Panthers hold on, beat Lindsay

The Paradise Panthers jumped out to an early lead and kept pulling away for a 68-46 win over Lindsay Tuesday.

HOT SHOT – Paradise’s Cash Preather takes a shot at the top of the key in the Panthers’ win Tuesday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Brayden Ford poured in 24 points. Hayden Barkely added 12 and Cash Preather eight.

Paradise opened the game with a 21-10 run and led 36-25 at halftime. The Panthers built their advantage to 54-31 in the third quarter.

Paradise moved to 6-2 on the season.

SLIDELL 76, BRYSON 36

Tyler Maynard led five Slidell players in double figures Tuesday as the Greyhounds blew out Bryson 76-36.

Maynard finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Khristian Talamantes scored 15 points, three assists and four steals. Colton Crane added 12 points, five boards and seven assists. Dustin Davis finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Walker Gladden chipped in 10 points and five boards.

Slidell trailed 11-10 after the first quarter. The Greyhounds then went on a 20-5 run to build a 30-16 halftime lead. Slidell used a 25-12 third quarter to take a 55-28 advantage going into the fourth.

Slidell improved to 9-2.

BELLEVUE 111, CHICO 34

The Chico Dragons fell behind 27-7 in the first quarter and could never slow down Bellevue Tuesday in an 111-34 loss.

Chico fell to 3-9 on the year.

Jonathan Nabors scored 14, Cameron Weatherly six and Hagen Davis four.

Bellevue built a 54-17 halftime lead and outscored Chico 57-17 in the second half.

LAKE WORTH 60, BOYD 46

After finishing second at the S&S Tournament last weekend, the Boyd Yellowjackets fell to Lake Worth at home Tuesday 60-46.

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Imanell McDaniel

Imanell McDaniel 75, of Paradise, died Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, in Paradise.

Memorial service is 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, at George J. Carroll and Son Funeral Home in Gainesville with Pastor Mike Langdon officiating. A reception will follow at the First United Methodist Church in Gainesville.

Imanell was born May 12, 1939, in Hibbitt to C.D. and Marie (Mitchell) Bacon. She was 70-year resident of Cooke County, graduating from Callisburg High School in 1957. At age 19, she went to work at First State Bank as a teller and later worked at Tyler and Simpson for 20 years before going to work at the Cooke County Clerk’s office. She spent 22 years as property manager at Grayhill Apartments.

Imanell retired from Tierra Properties in 2010 and moved to Paradise to be close to her grandchildren.

She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church for many years, and after moving to Paradise, she joined the Paradise United Methodist Church. She filled her time with gardening, shopping, traveling and enjoying her family, especially her grandchildren.

Imanell began a five-year fight with ovarian cancer in 2009 and inspired many with her strength and positive attitude. She will be remembered as a beloved and cherished grandmother, sister and friend.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Dwayne Bacon.

Imanell is survived by her daughter, Rhonda Greer, and husband, Shane, of Callisburg; daughter Sheila Hooker and husband, Jake, of Paradise; grandsons Mack and Marshall Hooker of Paradise and Shane Greer Jr. of Callisburg; sister Sherley Riley and brother-in-law, Bill, of Gainesville; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to Hibbitt Cemetery Association in Gainesville or Choice Cancer Center in Decatur.

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Olan Pewitt Jr.

Olan "Sonny" Pewitt Jr.

Olan “Sonny” Pewitt Jr.

Olan “Sonny” Pewitt Jr., 71, a retired machinist, died Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, in Paradise.

Funeral was Dec. 12 at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with the Rev. Patti Mahaffey officiating. She was assisted by Brenda Marlett. Burial followed at Cottondale Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Mike Pewitt, Calvin Pewitt, Jeff Pewitt, Kerry Marlett, Trent Murphy and Ryan Murphy. Honorary pallbearers were Ed Black, David Garrison, Steve Limke, Gene Lester, James Hotopp and Earl Bernard.

Sonny was born May 6, 1943, in Denver to Olan Sr. and Murial (McKown) Pewitt. He married Eunice Lee Murphy May 28, 1977, in Lake Bridgeport.

After graduating from Paradise High School, he earned his associate’s degree from Tarrant County Junior College and worked as a machinist at General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin, retiring after 40 years of service.

Sonny and Eunice moved back to Paradise in 1998 after living in Fort Worth for several years. He was an active member of the Paradise United Methodist Church where he taught Sunday school. He was also a member of the Paradise Historical Society and a volunteer at South Wise Food Bank. He was a member of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers Union #776.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Olan Pewitt Sr. and Murial Pewitt Robinson; and his stepfather, John W. Robinson.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Eunice Pewitt of Paradise; son Sonny Pewitt III and wife, Sherri, of Azle; daughter Sheila Kay Roberts and husband, Mikel, of Paradise; grandchildren Chris, Joshua and Ashley Pewitt, and Aaron, Peyton and Mikaylee Roberts; great-grandson Talent Tucker; brothers James, Ernie, David and Paul Pewitt, all of Bridgeport, and Jerry Pewitt of Paradise; sisters Kathy Pelham and Mary Archer of Mineral Wells; stepbrother George Robinson of Tyler; stepsister LaJauna Gibbs of Chandler; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other family members and friends.

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Basketball: Lady Panthers move to 11-2

The Paradise Lady Panthers went 4-1 on their trip to Fairfield over the weekend.

The Lady Panthers picked up wins over Buffalo, Sanger, Muenster and Houston Stafford. Paradise’s lone setback came against 4A Diboll 53-41.

“We played good. We lost to Diboll by 12 and were down by four with three minutes to go,” said Paradise coach Kevin Pope. “We beat state-ranked Buffalo, Muenster and Santo.”

Paradise beat Buffalo 58-39 with 12 points from Courtney Kerr and eight from Amber French.

Kerr also had 12 points in the loss to Diboll.

Paradise outlasted Sanger 58-57 with Kerr scoring 17 and Jett Preather eight.

Kerr put in 19 and Kaylee McConnell 11 in the 49-44 win over Muenster.

McConnell tossed in 22 and Kerr 11 in the 42-36 win over Houston Stafford.

Paradise played host to Springtown Tuesday.

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Basketball Briefs: Sissies beat Graham, 51-38

Abbi Hatton led a trio of Sissies in double figures with 18 points as Bridgeport took down Graham 51-38 Tuesday.

Landrie Walsh added 11 points and Bailey Thompson 10.

STRONG FINISH – Paradise’s Kaylee McConnell helps the Lady Panthers to a big win Tuesday over Tolar. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Hatton grabbed seven rebounds. Walsh, Lauren Stowers and Gabby Mindieta finished with five boards each.

Bridgeport moved to 8-1 on the season with the victory. But Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor pointed out the team still has plenty to work on.

“Defense was not at its best tonight,” Taylor said. “Assignments and bad rotations forced us into foul trouble early. We did a better job of getting in passing lanes in the second half and applying ball pressures.

“This was a night of low intensity on both ends of the floor. We were able to get a win and that is always a positive.”

Bridgeport led 14-8 after the first quarter. With a 16-9 run, the Sissies extended their advantage to 30-17 at halftime.

Bridgeport held Graham to eight points in the third taking a 43-26 lead.

Bridgeport went to the Jacksboro Tournament this weekend.

L.D. BELL 57, NORTHWEST 42

L.D. Bell jumped out to a 19-9 lead and never looked back in a 57-42 win Tuesday over the Northwest Lady Texans.

The Lady Texans trailed 32-19 at halftime.

Maddie Dodgen led Northwest with eight points and eight rebounds. Equalya Smith and Alexus Brigham had seven points each. Brigham finished with eight rebounds.

ALVORD 68, NOCONA 61

Katie Claborn drained six 3-pointers as the Alvord Lady Bulldogs held off Nocona for a 68-61 win Tuesday.

Claborn finished with 28 points. Bailey Hamilton added 12 and Cierra Rangel 10.

Alvord improved to 6-3.

PARADISE 60, TOLAR 24

The Paradise Lady Panthers went on a 42-12 run in the second half Tuesday on the way to a 60-24 win over Tolar.

The Lady Panthers led 18-12 at halftime before exploding offensively in the second half.

Paradise improved to 7-1.

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Volleyball: Preather named league’s top hitter

With her consistent and powerful hitting on the outside, Paradise senior Jett Preather helped the Lady Panthers to a playoff spot out of District 9-3A.

For her efforts, she was named the league’s top hitter. She was one of five Lady Panthers to receive 9-3A honors. Three Boyd players also made all-district.

Boyd senior libero Britney Howard earned Defensive MVP. She made 501 digs and served 44 aces.

Paradise senior Reagan Taylor took Blocker of the Year.

Paradise’s Shelby Bradshaw and Madi Horne were first-team selections along with Boyd’s Maddie Busch. Busch led Boyd with 361 kills and 128 blocks.

Paradise’s Emily Corbin and Boyd’s Baylie Harris made the second team. Harris handed out 450 assists and served 72 aces.

Paradise’s Johnna Headley and Amber French and Boyd’s Kayleigh Pappajohn and Morgan Abbott received honorable mention.

Boyd’s Howard, Kendal Brewer, Linsey Chancellor and Lindsey Kosman made the all-academic squad.

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Blake Ryan Harmon

Meranda and Brian Harmon of Paradise announce the birth of a son, Blake Ryan Harmon, on Nov. 24, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 19 inches long.

He has one sister: Reese, and one brother: Chase.

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Read named Citizen of the Year; Hometown Tees is Business of the Year

Read named Citizen of the Year; Hometown Tees is Business of the Year

Paradise Chamber of Commerce President Dollie Wall met Gay Read with a big hug, a smile and two awards Monday night.

Surprised, Read held the plaques naming her as Paradise’s Citizen of the Year and her company, Hometown Tees, as Business of the Year.

Time to Celebrate

TIME TO CELEBRATE – Gay Read (right) is Paradise’s 2014 Citizen of the year and her company Hometown Tees is Business of the year. Dollie Wall (left) presented the awards Monday night. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Read was honored during the Paradise Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas dinner at Paradise’s First Baptist Church.

She said she had no idea she was up for any awards that night – let alone both Business and Citizen of the Year.

“I was amazed. I was totally shocked,” Read said. “I am very pleased, and it’s quite an honor. It’s very exciting.”

Both awards were chosen by popular vote, cast by chamber members. Wall said it’s not often a business owner is honored with the awards simultaneously.

Both Read and Wall have been members of the Chamber since it began in 2008. Wall said picking Read for Citizen of the Year was an easy choice.

“I think it’s wonderful. She gives so much of herself to the community,” Wall said. “Nobody else could have beat her.”

Read has lived in Paradise nearly all her life, venturing to Fort Worth for a year before deciding she’d better get back home.

“I was born in Cottondale. My friends and family are here,” Read said. “I dearly love the people and this little town.”

She said the town has changed very little, but the school has grown tremendously.

Read worked at Messenger Hallmark for 21 years before she retired. In 2002, she opened Hometown Tees with her daughter, Kelly Read. Together they offer screen printing, custom bling and embroidery for clothes, letterman patches, uniforms and custom promotional products.

For more information on Hometown Tees, go to www.hometowntees.com.

Read was also recognized for her new role with the chamber as an ambassador. In this position she will help develop the community and grow businesses and the chamber. She will take on that new role in January with other newly selected ambassadors and chamber directors.

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Miss America ’75 urges vision, hard work

It’s not every day a Miss America walks into the room – but the Paradise Chamber of Commerce got to see the signature wave firsthand Monday night.

Shirley Cothran Barret, Miss America 1975, headlined the Chamber’s annual Christmas dinner, where new chamber directors were named and awards given. Money was also raised for scholarships and to support the Chamber, although the amount was not available by press time.

Animated Story Telling

ANIMATED STORYTELLING – Shirley Cothran Barret entertained the Paradise Chamber of Commerce with anecdotes of her foibles and triumphs Monday. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

AWARDS AND HONORS

Gay Read was honored as Citizen of the Year and Hometown Tees was named Business of the Year.

Two certificates of appreciation for dedication and service were presented to outgoing directors David Correll and Shelly Prost.

The Chamber also recognized two students of the semester. Mikeala Beck and Landry Norwood each received certificates.

NEW DIRECTORS, AMBASSADORS

Deborah Mann will take over as chamber president in 2015 with Judy Flannigan as vice president.

Several members will also become ambassadors, charged with growing business in Paradise. The new ambassadors are Jim Taylor, Mary Myers, Kim Lambert, Kristina Kemp, Read and Dollie Wall.

The chamber will meet next for a luncheon Jan. 5. For information, go to www.paradisetexaschamber.org.

MISS AMERICA 1975

Barret currently lives in Parker County but was raised in Denton, where she attended the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, attaining her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Barret has worked as a motivational speaker for 30 years.

She drew laughs from the Chamber crowd with personal anecdotes about her life as Miss America, but her message was brought home with stories about her life before she was crowned.

“I was what you could call awkward,” she said. “I wasn’t a majorette. I wasn’t a cheerleader. I wasn’t a class officer. I was none of those things. I volunteered in the library. In my sophomore year, I was librarian assistant of the year.”

After high school, she went to UNT, where she decided it was time to change her life.

“I went to a women’s symposium and the speaker said ‘Be somebody!'” Barret said. “That struck me between the eyes – be somebody.”

She described it as her “eureka” moment.

Following up, she joined every organization she could and became a ‘Yucca Beauty’ for the college yearbook. She was then invited to run in the Miss Denton Pageant, where she was second runner-up. The next year she tried again and fell short again, taking first runner-up.

Eventually, she finished her bachelor’s and her master’s degrees and decided she wanted to try one more time.

Until then, her talent had been singing, but she was inspired to change to the flute, even though she hadn’t touched it in nearly four years.

“I practiced and practiced and practiced, and lo and behold I won on the local, state and national levels,” Barret said. “I was walking that runway and I looked over and there was daddy, my mother, my sister and my sweetheart who is now my husband of 38 years.”

Her life has never been the same. She talked about winning and about her mother who grew up as an orphan and who eventually opened her own small business in Denton. She said many of the things it took to win she learned from her mother.

“[Winning Miss America] took vision, hard work and the willingness to fail and succeed,” Barret said. “And that is really what having your own business is all about.”

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Basketball: Two of a kind – Preathers pace Paradise teams

Basketball: Two of a kind – Preathers pace Paradise teams

Pointing to the bruises on her arms, Jett Preather recalls another spirited battle of one-on-one with her fiercest competition her twin brother, Cash.

“He crushes me,” she said. “He says he won’t block me but slams the ball in my face.”

Twin Forces

TWIN FORCES – Aside from the spirited games of one-on-one, Cash and Jett Preather have helped their respective teams off to solid starts as the leading rebounders. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

But Cash is quick to point out that his sister throws her share of elbows.

“Jett is very rough. It’s fun rivalry,” Cash adds.

The Preathers’ physical play inside is not just reserved for their personal battles. It has turned the twins into the leading rebounders for their respective teams that are off to similar sizzling starts.

Jett’s Lady Panthers entered Tuesday at 6-1. Cash’s Panthers are 3-0 heading to the Jacksboro Tournament.

“We want to go out with a bang,” said Jett about the seniors.

Cash is one minute older than Jett -something he reminds his sister of frequently.

“If it’s anything I want to go first, I remind her I’m older and wiser,” he jokes.

But Jett isn’t about to call Cash her older brother.

“I call him my twin. It’s only a minute so it doesn’t count,” she said.

The Preathers do take pride in being twins. They both wear number 2 in every sport.

“My mom wanted us to,” Jett said.

They admit to having the unique sense of knowing when something is wrong with the other.

“When he broke is arm in sixth grade, I called my mom and asked if Cash was OK, and she said ‘no, he broke his arm.’ You always feel when something is wrong.”

They also share a great passion for sports with each being three-sport athletes. Jett, who was named to the 3A all-state volleyball team this week, also stars in softball and on the basketball court.

Cash played quarterback on the football team and runs track along with playing basketball.

“Our parents are always having to go watch one play,” Cash said.

Their coaches add they both have similar personalities and attributes on the basketball court. The most notable common trait is their selflessness.

“She’s our leader in rebounding and assists,” said Paradise girls coach Kevin Pope. “It’s an odd combination. But she does a good job of making her teammates better. She does all the little things in every sport to make her team better.”

In his first season coaching the Panthers, Cody Chandler has moved Cash to coming off the bench as a post.

“He’s always been a starter but now he’s doing a great job coming off the bench,” Chandler said. “He’s accepted that role and plays as much as any starter. He’s probably the most athletic player we’ve got. He’s very coachable. He’s our leading rebounder.”

While they cheer for each other, they are quick to point out that they are the other’s harshest critics.

“If I make a pass underhanded and it gets through the lane, she’ll ask why didn’t I throw it overhanded,” Cash said.

“We want each other to do our best,” Jett said. “It’s constructive criticism. Even I have a double-double, he’ll ask why didn’t I make that one layup.”

The two are hoping they are critiquing each other’s games into late February on playoff runs after their team’s hot starts.

“It feels good that we’re all having success,” Cash said.

He wants to keep his sister from having all the postseason bragging rights. She made the playoffs last year in basketball and softball. She was also on the Lady Panthers volleyball team this year that made the postseason.

They also want to enjoy this final year together in high school. The Preathers expect to end up at different colleges next fall.

“That’s going to be hard for us,” Jett said.

It will also cut down on their fierce battles in the paint.

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Basketball Briefs: Alvord blasts Henrietta

The Alvord Lady Bulldogs improved to 5-2 Tuesday with a 79-45 win over Henrietta.

Alvord led 40-25 at halftime and broke the game open in the second half.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well from the field, but our defensive pressure wore them down,” said Alvord coach John Shelton. “We held them to three field goals in the fourth quarter.”

Cierra Rangel led four Alvord players in double figures with 15. Katie Clayborn scored 13, Brianna Ponder 12 and Paycee Edgett 10.

CHICO 43, PERRIN 36

The Chico Lady Dragons went on a 10-5 run in the third quarter to take the lead and held on for a 43-36 win over Perrin Tuesday.

Whitney Renfro led Chico with 16 points. Alli York and Kylie Marburger added nine each.

Chico evened its record at 3-3.

SLIDELL 59, VALLEY VIEW 47

Caitlin Pruett tossed in 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Slidell Lady Greyhounds beat Valley View 59-47 Tuesday.

Kayler Talamantes added 18 points and five boards. Kylie Franklin scored 13 and grabbed nine rebounds.

Slidell moved to 5-2 with the victory. They play at Chico Tuesday.

PARADISE 42, IOWA PARK 34

The Paradise Lady Panthers jumped out to a 22-6 lead on Iowa Park and held on for an eight-point win, 42-34, Tuesday.

Paradise moved to 6-1.

The Lady Panthers went scoreless in the second quarter as Iowa Park went on a 7-0 run. But Paradise was able to get back on track in the second half.

Kaylee McConnell led Paradise with eight points. Aliyah Read, Courtney Kerr and Madi Horn scored six points each.

McConnell tossed in 14 points as the Paradise Lady Panthers crushed Pilot Point Monday 54-26.

Courtney Kerr added 10 points. Jett Preather finished with five.

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Basketball Briefs: Paradise uses fast start to beat Iowa Park, stay ubeaten

The Paradise Panthers are off to a 3-0 start with their new coach Cody Chandler after a 63-32 win over Iowa Park.

Cash Preather, Landry Norwood and Spencer Forsyth finished with 10 points each in the win. Eight different Panthers scored, including John Bridgeman with nine, Patrick Dorado and Caiden Berry with seven each.

“Two guys that didn’t score have been scoring six to 10 points a night,” Chandler said. “It’s a good luxury to have.

“This group is as unselfish as any group I’ve been around in a while. If someone is two steps ahead for a layup, they are giving up the ball. It makes it fun and exciting to watch.”

Paradise jumped on Iowa Park 14-3 in the first quarter and built a 31-8 halftime lead.

“We got after them from the start,” Chandler said.

Paradise beat Godley 64-49 Monday.

The Panthers used a 24-10 run in the second quarter to build a 39-23 lead.

Brayden Ford paced the Panthers with 12 points. Norwood added 11 and Forsyth 10.

CHICO 65, PERRIN 35

The Chico Dragons used a 21-7 run in the second quarter to pull away in a 65-35 win over Perrin Tuesday.

It was the Dragons’ first win of the season as they improved to 1-5.

Chico also outscored Perrin 25-6 in the third to take a 58-23 lead.

Jonathon Neighbors led the Dragons with 16. Chris Gilmore added 15.

Colleyville Heritage 58, Northwest 52 OT

Colleyville Heritage outscored Northwest 11-6 in the extra period for a 58-52 win Tuesday afternoon.

Elijah Christman led Northwest with 15.

SLIDELL 77, VALLEY VIEW 36

Tyler Maynard recorded a triple double to lead the Slidell Greyhounds to a 77-36 win over Valley View Tuesday.

Maynard finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Khristian Talamantes added 15 points and Dustin Davis 12.

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Carol Ann Newsome

Carol Ann Newsome

Carol Ann Newsome, 73, of Paradise, died Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Fort Worth.

Service is 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, at Biggers Funeral Chapel on Azle Avenue in Fort Worth. Burial is at Cottondale Cemetery in Wise County.

Visitation is 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Mrs. Newsome was born Oct. 5, 1941. She retired from World Finance Co. in 2003 where she had worked for more than 20 years as a manager.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her “special parents” Preston and Frances Newsome; husband Charles Preston Newsome; daughters Sherry Newsome and Charlotte Newsome; grandchild Brandi Carol Wood; great-grandchild Kyler Noe; brother George Brannan; and sister Betty Smith.

Survivors include her children, Shana Noe and husband, Ricky, Shelly Howard and husband, Alton, and Kevin Smith and wife, Toi; sister Judy Faye Simmons; grandchildren Shawn Noe and wife, Tracy, Chad Noe and wife, Kyndle, Sasha Wheeler and husband, John, Dason Howard, Chelsey Smith, Garrett Henry and Kyle Henry; 13 great-grandchildren and another was expected Nov. 28.

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Paradise Intermediate School given $15K for playground

Dr Pepper Snapple and the non-profit KaBOOM have awarded Paradise Intermediate School a $15,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant.

The grant, which is part of a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple to get kids and families active, will be used to improve the school’s playground equipment.

The district has been raising money to supplement the grant and move forward with updating the school’s playground.

“We are so thankful to have this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students and their families,” said Principal Kristin Gage. “It’s important to realize that this playground will be available for the entire Paradise community to enjoy. At this point in time there are no public playgrounds in our town. We are excited that the grant allows us to create an improved place for our students to play and also provides all the children in Paradise with a safe place to play.”

The grant money will be used to purchase equipment.

Currently, the playground has several basketball goals and a swingset. Gage said she hopes new equipment will be ordered and on the ground by February 2015.

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