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Coach resigns after DWI arrest; Intermediate principal also resigns

Paradise ISD head junior varsity football and basketball coach Justin Buchanan, 29, recently resigned after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Buchanan was arrested March 25 by a Jack County Department of Public Safety trooper.

Jack County Sheriff Melvin Mayo confirmed Buchanan, of Decatur, was booked into the Jack County Jail on the misdemeanor charge and later bonded out for $3,000.

Superintendent Monty Chapman confirmed Buchanan’s departure but didn’t offer further details on the resignation or if it was related to any criminal matters. Chapman said state law prohibits the district from discussing personnel matters including reasons for Buchanan’s resignation.

Athletic Director Scott Broussard also confirmed Buchanan’s resignation and said the process to find his replacement has begun. Buchanan was also the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program instructor. His contract ends on the last day of the school year.

According to Chapman, the district is also losing Intermediate School Principal Terry McCutchen.

McCutchen said he was leaving for personal reasons and did not yet have another job lined up.

“It’s the next step in life, and I’m not real sure what God has in store for me,” McCutchen said.

He said his wife is looking to finish nursing school, so his next step might take him to an area where that can happen. His contract is finished at the end of June.

Chapman’s contract and future with PISD could be finalized during the next regular board of Trustees meeting April 21, according to previous statements by board president Homer Mundy and Chapman.

Other unrelated resignations include Stacy Meadows, executive director of instructional design, and third-grade teacher Ashley Morrow.

Chapman said several employees are retiring including cafeteria worker Billie Lester, cafeteria manager Peggy Hoots, district technology director James Grisham and Paradise Elementary School music teacher Lynn Morris.

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Unbeaten run: 2 of the 3 Paradise relays head into district meet undefeated

Unbeaten run: 2 of the 3 Paradise relays head into district meet undefeated

Taylor Richards quickly points out the key for the Paradise Lady Panthers, success this spring.

“We like winning,” the sophomore said.

On the track, the Lady Panthers have experienced more than their fair share of wins this spring, especially in the relays. In fact, they are undefeated this year in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays. In the 4×400, they’ve lost just once at Boyd to Alvord.

Near Perfect

NEAR PERFECT – The three Paradise relay teams that include Carressa McCasland, Taylor Richards, Mikeala Beck, Aliyah Read, Bailey Sides, Makala Neighbors and Kyndall McCasland have lost just one race this season. The teams will try to bring home three gold medals Friday at the District 9-2A meet in Boyd. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“That just motivated us more,” said Mikeala Beck. “We came back and asked for the a hard workout after that.”

Friday at the District 9-2A meet at Boyd, the Lady Panthers are hoping to add to their impressive medal collection and sweep the relays. District 9-2A starts Thursday with field events and prelims beginning at 9 a.m. The meet will conclude Friday with the running finals starting at 5 p.m.

“They are ready for Thursday and Friday,” said Paradise coach Johna Ford. “They are a pretty athletic group that has worked hard. We’ve been fortunate to not have any injuries.”

The sprint relay squad of Kyndall McCasland, Bailey Sides, Richards and Beck is 5-0 heading into district. The team’s best time is 50.9.

So far, the squad has ran off and left the competition at every meet. Beck said at one meet a photographer couldn’t get another team in the same shot as Paradise because it was so far out front.

“We try not to take it for granted,” Beck said about the success.

“We like competition,” Kyndall McCasland said.

The team even gets competitive with itself during workouts.

“Even in practice we compete with each other,” said the group’s lone senior Bailey Sides.

That competition helps push everyone through grueling workouts.

“We don’t let each other have bad days,” Beck said.

The 4×200 relay squad that includes Carressa McCasland, Sides, Richards and Aliyah Read is also 5-0.

“We’ve never come close to losing,” Read said.

The team’s best time is 1:49.

“Coach thinks this is our best chance for state,” said Sides, who runs on all three relays.

The quartet knows they can run faster than the 1:49.

“With more competition, we can push ourselves to go faster,” Carressa McCasland said.

At their most recent race in Boyd, the squad won by more than a second despite less-than-stellar handoffs.

“Our handoffs were awful, and we still blew everyone away,” Sides said.

On the 4×400, Sides and Read are joined by senior Makala Neighbors and Beck. Sides and Neighbors are four-year veterans of the mile relay.

“I love it. It’s my favorite,” Neighbors said.

Sides added: “It’s so hard. You’ve got to have a big heart to run it.”

The mile relay has improved by 10 seconds in the past few weeks and expect to give Alvord a run for the gold this week.

But aside from winning medals at every meet, all the relays, along with the athletes in many individual events, the main goal is now to break their coach’s school records.

“We want to break her records,” Read said.

Which Ford doesn’t mind her records at Paradise falling.

“They are made to be broken,” she said.

The Lady Panthers don’t want their current string of wins broken.

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Meadows wins final showdown, game; Paradise pitcher strikes outs 16 in 1-0 victory

With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the seventh inning, the area’s top hitter, Lane Peace, stepped into the batter’s box to face the area’s top pitcher, Dillon Meadows, in a one-run game Friday.

The showdown between the Alvord slugger and Paradise ace came down to one pitch.

“Facing him with a full count, bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the seventh, it’s what you think of when you’re throwing in the bullpen,” Meadows said.

“I threw a fastball inside. It was the hardest I threw all night.”

Just Missing

JUST MISSING – Alvord’s Lane Peace hits a ground ball to first base for the final out of the game Friday during the Bulldogs’ 1-0 loss to the Paradise Panthers. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Meadows’ fastball jammed Peace just enough to coerce a bouncer to first baseman Caiden Berry, who knocked the ball down and beat Peace to the bag for the final out in the 1-0 Paradise victory at Bulldog Field.

“It was one of the most nerve-racking games. I told myself to be calm and that I’ve been here before,” said Meadows, who struck out a career-high 16 in a three-hitter. “It’s the situation you want to be in. You want to pitch in these games and not 15-0 games.”

ROLLING ALONG – Dillon Meadows struck out 16 batters and allowed three hits during Paradise’s 1-0 win Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Paradise (16-5-1) moved to 5-2 in a tight District 9-2A playoff race. Alvord (9-12) fell to 2-5.

Peace, who came into the game batting .569 with four homers, including one off Meadows in the team’s March meeting, saw nothing to hit before that final at-bat in the seventh. He walked the first three times he faced Meadows, who admitted to pitching around him.

“I was not going to give him a fastball to hit,” Meadows said. “He’s a good hitter.”

But after a pair of walks around an infield hit by Jonathan Musgrave, Meadows had nowhere to put Peace when he came to the plate in the seventh.

“You can’t ask for a better situation than the bases loaded and Peace coming to the plate,” said Alvord coach Chris Staley. “He got an inside fastball that jammed him. He made a good pitch.”

Running hard down the line, Peace made the play at first close. He injured his ankle on the play and immediately went to the training room after the game.

Meadows was nearly untouchable all night, as Cassidy Patterson’s first-inning single was the lone ball to leave the infield. The other two hits were infield singles.

Meadows struck out the side in the third and fifth innings. He struck out two or more in every inning.

“With his velocity and a good curveball, he’s going to be effective,” said Paradise coach Mike Fehler.

Meadows did walk six, including the three free passes to Peace.

His counterpart, Patterson, was nearly his equal, holding Paradise to a single run on six hits. He only allowed three hits after the first inning and struck out four.

“You can’t ask for anything more from him. He hit his spots and changed up his speeds,” Staley said.

The Panthers managed to get the game’s lone run in the first inning. After Jarret Holt led off with a double and moved to the third on JD Pearson’s groundout, Meadows blooped a single into shallow right to bring home Holt.

Paradise got only one runner past second after the first inning.

“Our bats never came around at all,” Meadows said. “After the first inning, we thought we’d get a couple more runs. That turned out to be the winning RBI. It was a crazy game.”

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Softball Roundup: Lady Panthers rip Lady Bulldogs

Jett Preather opened the fifth inning with a triple and set the Paradise Lady Panthers on their way to a nine-run inning Friday in a 14-2 win over Alvord.

Preather went 3-for-3 and scored twice. She had two of the Lady Panthers’ seven extra-base hits.

Bailey Higgins homered for the Lady Panthers. Allison Rutledge doubled twice, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Shelby Lavigne knocked in three runs.

Kandi Rose homered and drove in both runs for Alvord.

Paradise pitcher Reagan Taylor struck out eight and held Alvord to two runs on two hits in five innings.


Kelsey Rhine went 3-for-3 and drove in five runs as the Northwest Lady Texans hammered Haltom 12-1 Friday.

Tuesday DerMargosian homered for the Lady Texans.

Emily Worley held Haltom to one run on five hits over five innings. She struck out seven.


The Decatur Lady Eagles held off the Gainesville Lady Leopards to win 11-9 Friday.

Alex Gabriel, Kristina Pishotta and Jordan Smith had three hits each for Decatur. Brianna Carter drove in three runs on two hits. Smith and Brittany Roberts collected two RBIs.


The Krum Lady Bobcats finished off the Bridgeport Sissies 10-0 in five innings Friday.

Krum held Bridgeport to three hits – one each by Cheyenne Davidson, Tabby Rivera and Hailey Hollingsworth.

Krum scored five runs in the third, added three in the fourth and two in the fifth.

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Baseball Roundup: Bulls outlast delay for win

After storms brought a halt to the scoreless game on Tuesday, the Bridgeport Bulls went back to Gainesville Wednesday to find a pair of runs and their first District 9-3A win.

Bridgeport’s Jared Huff and Daniel Garcia drove in runs in the top of the sixth in a 2-0 victory for the Bulls (5-16, 1-3).

“We changed our approach going into Wednesday,” said Bridgeport coach Ted Leps. “We had the top hitters in our lineup coming to the plate in the sixth. Dalton Hudson, Erik Delgadillo and Daniel Garcia did a great job.”

Alex Samples held Gainesville scoreless over five and one-thirds, Tuesday, allowing five hits. He struck out 10.

Huff came on in relief Wednesday and allowed two hits in one and two-thirds scoreless innings.

“Alex was pitching very good on Tuesday,” Leps said. “Jared Huff did a great job coming on in relief and handling the pressure.”


JD Pearson drove in three runs, including a two-run double in the fourth inning as the Paradise Panthers beat up Millsap 12-1 Tuesday.

Caiden Berry had two RBIs.

Jarret Holt earned the win, allowing a run on four hits in four innings with five strikeouts.

Dillon Meadows struck out six in two scoreless innings, allowing two hits.


Brady North, Cameron Weatherly and Tyler Melton drove in two runs each as the Chico Dragons took down Poolville 9-5 Tuesday.

North went 3-for-4 with a triple. Jaston McBee finished 3-for-5 with a double and scored two runs.

North limited Poolville to five runs – four earned – on six hits over seven innings. He struck out one and walked four.

Chico improved to 13-3 and 7-1 in District 9-A.


The Peaster Greyhounds scored nine runs in the first two innings and never let up in a 14-2 victory over Boyd Wednesday.

Cody Jacobs had Boyd’s lone extra-base hit, doubling. Cameron Schulte and Triston Furgerson scored Boyd’s two runs in the fifth.


Keller’s Zach Aguayo blanked the Northwest Texans on five hits Tuesday in a 3-0 victory.

Aguayo struck out nine over his seven innings.

Dusty Cloud took the loss, allowing three runs – two earned – on seven hits in six innings.

Elijah Christenson tripled, and Tristen DerMargosian doubled for the Texans.

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Aiden Travis Cole Bridges

Amanda Chandler and Jeffrey Bridges of Paradise announce the birth of a son, Aiden Travis Cole Bridges, on March 27, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has one brother: Tristan Maxfield, 5; and one sister: Kodi Capeheart, 4.

Grandparents are Misty and Mike Miller of Paradise, James Chandler and Donna Walker of Paradise, Jannet Freeby of Bridgeport and Pete and Misty Bridges of Bridgeport.

Great-grandparents are Reta Shurbet of Paradise and Clarance and Therma Freeby of Bridgeport.

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Panther rally falls short; Catch in right saves game for Ponder

After his team rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh Friday, Paradise’s Caiden Berry stepped to the plate with the tying runs at second and third.

On a 1-2 pitch, Berry drove a ball into the gap in right-center field for what looked to be his third double of the game. As Paradise runners rounded the bases on the sinking liner, Ponder’s lanky right fielder Josh Peterson made a headfirst dive toward center field to snag the ball inches before hitting the ground and finally securing the 11-9 Ponder victory.

Getting Away

GETTING AWAY – Paradise’s Austin Hogan watches the ball get by him on a throw to third Friday during the Panthers’ loss to Ponder. Hogan singled and scored in the Panthers’ seven-run rally in the bottom of the seventh that left them two runs short in an 11-9 decision. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Peterson’s catch ended Paradise’s rally from nine runs down in the final inning two runs short and dropped the Panthers (14-5-1) to 3-2 in District 9-2A.

“We’re fine. This doesn’t change anything,” said Paradise shortstop Jarret Holt. “We needed this. We were on a pedestal and needed to be knocked down a bit.”

Ponder delivered an early wake-up call with seven runs in the first two innings on three doubles among seven hits. Ponder built the lead to 11-1 in the top of the fifth.

Ponder starter Collin Knight held Paradise to a run on five hits over the first four-plus innings and came two outs from finishing off Paradise in the fifth.

Knight pitched six innings, allowing four runs – three earned – on seven hits.

“You have to give them credit. They played a great game,” said Paradise coach Mike Fehler. “No. 20 (Knight) pitched well for them.”

A one-out, RBI-double by Berry to right-center field scored Austin Hogan and kept the Panthers from being run-ruled.

With his team still alive, Jarret Holt, who took over in relief for Berry and Corbin Holt with one out in the fifth, silenced the Ponder bats. He pitched a scoreless and hitless final two and two-thirds.

“I was just throwing strikes,” Jarret Holt said. “That’s what we needed to do. We weren’t really changing up our pitches early.”

Down by nine runs entering the seventh, Hogan started the inning with an infield single and came in to score on a double by Colton Meadows. Berry brought Meadows home with a groundout to second.

The next seven Panthers reached base. Dillon Meadows pulled Paradise within three runs with a two-run single to center. He made it 11-9, scoring on a wild pitch.

Dillon Meadows went 3-for-5.

Paradise’s Sam Robinson and Hogan worked walks and moved to second and third.

Ponder went to its fourth pitcher of the inning Carson Knight with the tying runs aboard. He struck out Colton Meadows before Peterson made the final out to end the game with his play in right field.

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Softball Roundup: Mader strikes out seven in win over Millsap

Alvord’s Mikena Mader struck out seven while shutting out Millsap Friday in an 18-0 victory.

Eight Lady Bulldogs piled up hits. Reagan Guthrie went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs. Maddie Espinoza also had two hits. Kaely Beaver doubled and knocked in a run.

Alvord batters worked 13 walks.

The Lady Bulldogs improved to 14-7 and 2-5 in District 9-2A.


The Bridgeport Sissies couldn’t scratch out a run against Sanger Friday, falling 7-0.

The Sissies fell to 9-9 and 0-3 in District 9-3A.

Kensley Turner went 2-for-2 for the Sissies. Tabby Rivera, Shiloh Weirich, Taylor Jamieson and Cheyenne Davidson had hits.


The Decatur Lady Eagles picked up a second straight win Friday, beating Country Day 6-3.

Decatur jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings.


The District 9-2A leading Ponder Lady Lions took advantage of 10 Paradise errors Friday in a 23-6 win.

The 10 errors led to 13 unearned runs for the Lady Lions.

All six Paradise runs came in the bottom of the third. Reagan Taylor drove in two runs, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Bailey Higgins added two RBIs.


Keller remained unbeaten and alone atop District 4-5A Friday with a 16-2 win over the Northwest Lady Texans.

The loss dropped Northwest to 12-11 and 4-4 in district.

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Fog contributes to wreck

Fog contributes to wreck

A Decatur man was injured in a head-on collision east of Paradise Friday morning.

Roland Hodge was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The extent of his injuries was not known as of Friday afternoon.

Friday Wreck

FRIDAY WRECK – Paradise firefighters extricate Roland Hodge of Decatur from his pickup following a wreck on Texas 114 Friday morning. Hodge was transported by ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Reports across the police scanner indicated Hodge was complaining of hip pain at the scene.

According to investigators, Hodge was westbound in a Dodge pickup on Texas 114, near County Road 3381. He attempted to pass a vehicle and wasn’t able to move completely back into his lane when he clipped an eastbound Ford pickup.

The impact caused the Ford pickup to roll. Its driver, Cory Kelsey of Paradise, was not injured.

Investigators believe that the heavy fog that blanketed much of the county contributed to the crash.

Paradise Fire Department, state troopers, Wise County medics and sheriff’s deputies responded to the accident, which was reported just after 6 a.m.

Texas 114 was closed in both directions for two hours while crews extricated Hodge from his pickup and cleaned the wreckage.

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Paradise relay stays unbeaten

By the time the baton made its way to Mikeala Beck Thursday, her Paradise teammates had given her a lead. The sophomore just lengthened it on her way to winning the 4×100 relay at the Boyd Invitational.

“I don’t like to lose,” Beck said after crossing the finish line.

FLYING HIGH – Alvord’s Brianna Ponder takes off in the long jump at the Boyd Invitational. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The quartet of Kendall McCasland, Bailey Sides, Taylor Richards and Beck finished the trip around the Boyd track in a season-best 50.89.

“The heat is draining us but we got our best time,” Beck said. “We had two amazing handoffs and one that was iffy but our third leg made up for it.”

The win kept the relay unbeaten on the season.

“Our coach says there is no reason for us not to get gold every meet,” Beck said. “We’re coming back here in two weeks for district. We’ll try to improve.”

The Paradise quartet of Carressa McCasland, Sides, Richards and Aliyah Read also won the 4×200 in 1:50.24.

“[Our time] was good but our handoffs were bad,” Read said. “We’re doing good but we want to break the school record of 1:45.”

The Lady Panthers could not complete the sweep of the relays as 9-2A rival Alvord – Lauren Hart, Jessica Gillespie, Marissa Schedcik and Savannah Williams – ran a 4:12.05 to edge the Paradise quartet of Sides, Makala Neighbors, Beck and Read, who finished in 4:13.61.


Boyd sophomore Qualynn Wells surged past Springtown’s anchor leg Thursday to capture the 4×100 at Yellowjacket Stadium.

Wells teamed with Shay Dodson, Xavier Kyle and Jackson Basting to run a 44.3.

“If you can’t win at home, you can’t win anywhere,” Dodson said.

The same Boyd quartet ran 1:33.89 to win the 4×200.


Alvord’s Savannah Williams, the 2013 Class 2A silver medalist, won the 800 at Boyd Thursday. But Williams wasn’t pleased with her time of 2:31.36 – 10 seconds behind what she ran last May at the state meet.

“I didn’t run it fast enough,” Williams said.

She turned a 66-second first lap and slowed over the final lap.

Martinez runs to victory Boyd’s Marco Martinez captured the gold medal Thursday on his home track in the 3,200.

Martinez ran away from the field to record a 14-second victory. Mineral Wells’ Preston Brooks took second in 10:50.

“It was good. I’m definitely getting back in shape,” Martinez said.


Along with bringing home the gold as the anchor leg on the Paradise sprint relay, Mikeala Beck won the 100 Thursday in 12.83.

She’s pleased with the win, but said it’s not her main goal.

“I’m trying to get my coach’s [Johna Ford] record (2-1),” Beck said. “She’s trying to help me beat her record.”

Beck also took second in the long jump with an effort of 16-1. Peaster’s Sarah Rattan won the event with a 16-7.5.


Varsity Girls

100: 1. Mikeala Beck, Paradise, 12.83; 4. Carressa McCasland, Paradise, 13.56; 5. Brianna Ponder, Alvord, 13.63; 6. Deanna Walterscheid, Paradise, 13.84

200: 1. Aliyah Read, Paradise, 27.44; 2. Jessica Gillespie, Alvord, 27.53; 4. Olivia Singleton, Boyd, 28.22; 5. Carressa McCasland, Paradise, 28.24; 6. Allie Raby, Bridgeport, 28.55

400: 5. Taylor Richards, Paradise, 1:04.83; 6. Diana Garcia, Bridgeport, 1:05.42

800: 1. Savannah Williams, Alvord, 2:31.36; 2. Makala Neighbors, Paradise, 2:34.38; 6. Kaylee McConnell, Paradise, 2:42

1600: 2. Brooklyn Mitchum, Alvord, 5:51.46; 4. April Coursey, Paradise, 5:59.22; 6. Kaylee McConnell, Paradise, 6:08.07

3200: 2. Clara Breashears, Alvord, 13:19.41; 3. Brianna Smith, Paradise, 13:38.14; 4. Emily Corbin, Paradise, 13:47.53; 5. April Coursey, Paradise, 13:48.15; 6. Heather Beauregard, Boyd, 14:02.21

100 hurdles: 1. Kendall McCaslin, Paradise, 17.68; 2. Amber French, Paradise, 17.68; 3. Linsey Chancellor, Boyd, 18.41; 4. Stormi Lamb, Paradise, 18.49; 5. Bailee Luttrell, Boyd, 18.94

300 hurdles: 1. Lauren Hart, Alvord, 48.74; 2. Kendall McCasland, Paradise, 49.74; 3. Bailee Luttrell, Boyd, 50.1; 5. Amber French, Paradise, 54.26; Sadie White, Bridgeport, 54.53

4×100: 1. Paradise (Kendall McCasland, Bailey Sides, Taylor Richards, Mikeala Beck), 51.17; 3. Bridgeport 54.37; 4. Boyd 54.64

4×200: 1. Paradise (Carressa McCasland, Bailey Sides, Taylor Richards, Aliyah Read), 1:50.24; 2. Alvord 1:51.06; 4. Bridgeport 1:53.9; 5. Boyd 1:55.75

4×400: 1. Alvord (Lauren Hart, Jessica Gillespie, Marissa Schedcik, Savannah Williams), 4:12.05; 2. Paradise 4:13.61; 6. Boyd 4:30.17

High jump: 1. Brianna Ponder, Alvord, 4-9; 3. Amber French, Paradise, 4-8

Pole vault: 1. Haley Rector, Paradise, 9-0; 2. Carlen Smith, Boyd, 8-0; 3. Mackinlie Tucker, Paradise, 7-0

Long jump: 2. Mikeala Beck, Paradise, 16-1.25; 3. Bailey Sides, Paradise, 15-9; 4. Brianna Ponder, Alvord, 15-9

Triple jump: 3. Taylor Richards, Paradise, 31-1.5; 5. Emily Edge, Alvord, 30-3.25; 6. Kaitlyn Robinson, Paradise, 29-8.5

Shot put: 2. Lindsey Thorpe, Boyd, 33-3.5

Discus: 2. Lindsey Thorpe, Boyd, 96-8; 4. Deanna Walterscheid, Paradise, 88-8; 5. Lisa Fuller, Bridgeport, 80-8

Flying High 2

FLYING HIGH – Boyd’s Marco Martinez rounds the corner in the 3,200 on his way to a win on his home track. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Varsity Boys

100: 4. Gage Luke, Paradise, 11.64; 5. Hunter Gantt, Bridgeport, 11.69

200: 1. Qualynn Wells, Boyd, 23.02; 5. Jonathan Musgrave, Alvord, 24.26; 6. Troy Thompson, Boyd, 24.3

400: 5. Joseph Tate, Boyd, 54.92; 6. Andrew Nichols, Alvord, 55.16

800: 3. Bryan Hutchison, Bridgeport, 2:12.82

1600: 2. Marco Martinez, Boyd, 4:49.68; 4. Omar Martinez, Boyd, 4:56.59; 6. Aaron Hammett, Boyd, 5:07.15

3200: 1. Marco Martinez, Boyd, 10:36.26; 3. Omar Martinez, Boyd, 11:00.63; 4. Aaron Hammett, Boyd, 11:22.97; 6. Landry Norwood, Paradise, 11:45.89

110 hurdles: 2. Dalton Stidham, Boyd, 15.17; 3. Cody Carmichael, Paradise, 15.92; 4. Bryce Miller, Paradise, 16.03; 6. Brett Martin, Alvord, 17.9

300 hurdles: 1. Dalton Stidham, Boyd, 39.18; 3. Cody Carmichael, Paradise, 43.42; 5. Austin Cozby, Boyd, 44.06

4×100: 1. Boyd (Shay Dodson, Xavier Kyle, Jackson Basting, Qualynn Wells) 44.30; 3. Paradise 44.54; 4. Alvord 45.44; 5. Bridgeport 45.59

4×200: 1. Boyd (Shay Dodson, Xavier Kyle, Jackson Basting, Qualynn Wells) 1:33.89; 3. Paradise 1:35.24; 4. Alvord 1:35.47

4×400: 2. Boyd 3:33.74; 4. Paradise 3:37.29; 5. Bridgeport 3:40.59

Long jump: 3. Chris Hill, Paradise, 19-6; 5. Jaz Hickson, Bridgeport, 19-4.5

Triple jump: 4. Tyler Raby, Bridgeport, 38-6.5; 5. Tanner Valentine, Paradise, 38-5; 5. Chase Williams, Bridgeport, 38-4.75

Shot put: 4. Taylor Edwards, Paradise, 41-5.5

Discus: 2. Blake Brown, Paradise, 112-6; 4. Evyn Beasly, Alvord, 103-1; 6. Matt McConnell, Boyd, 103-0

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Hayes Boss Shannon

Rob and Jamie Shannon of Paradise announce the birth of a son, Hayes Boss, on March 20 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long.

He has one brother: Slade Shannon, 9; and one sister, Kyah Shannon, 13.

Grandparents are Tricia Knox and Tressa and Bronc Parsons, all of Bridgeport, and Kevin and Vicki Knox and David Shannon, all of Paradise.

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Paradise ISD board raises teachers’ pay

Many Paradise ISD teachers and several administrators can look forward to pay raises next year.

The school board accepted recommendations from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) to increase many of the district’s pay grades to make salaries more competitive with those throughout the area.

TASB representative Matthew Levitt advised the board in February to raise pay grades to 95 percent of the market average. This will affect newer teachers most, but teachers with 13 years’ experience and less will also see an increase. Several administrators’ pay will also be raised in accordance with TASB recommendations.

Currently, first-year teachers’ salaries in Paradise are about 13 percent below market average, while fifth-year teachers’ salaries are 9 percent lower. With the increase, a first-year teacher will now start with $36,000, and fifth-year teachers will earn $38,671 annually, according to PISD Superintendent Monty Chapman.


PISD is the only district in the county to still have its superintendent’s contract up in the air.

School board President Homer Mundy said the board has decided to put off a decision on Chapman’s contract until April in order to give newly-elected members Ben Sanders and Ronnie Pewitt time to get to know the superintendent and see how he operates.

“It was December before we seated the new board members, and they weren’t ready and we weren’t ready to vote on his contract,” Mundy said. “It was different when we had elections in May – they had time to work with [the superintendent].”

The board also:

  • unanimously agreed to compensate PISD workers for another missed instructional day due to inclement weather. During the prior meeting in February, they agreed to pay district employees for four other bad weather days.
  • approved administrator contracts.
  • approved a new Internet provider contract with CenturyLink, saving the district money and doubling its bandwidth.
  • approved textbooks and the 2014-15 calendar.

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Dethloff finishes 5th

Paradise senior Kelton Dethloff entered the Texas High School Powerlifting Association championships ranked seventh in his 148-pound class.

He moved up two spots and walked away with a medal at the Division 3 meet, lifting a total of 1,260 pounds.

“It was a great way to end an extremely dedicated four years,” said Paradise coach Jonathan Ryle.

Dethloff opened the meet by tallying 500 pounds on squat. He then recorded a bench press of 280 pounds. He closed with a deadlift of 480 pounds.

Teammate Taylor Edwards finished 13th in the 198-pound class with a total of 1,300 pounds. He had a squat of 480, bench press of 345 and deadlift of 475.

“He has had a tremendous four years in powerlifting and went out giving everything he had,” Ryle said.

Northwest’s Joe Gonzales took eighth in the Division I 275-pound class. Gonzales tallied 1,625 pounds. He finished with a squat of 705, bench press of 370 and deadlift of 550.

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Softball Roundup: Boyd knocks off Paradise

Amber Bowen drove in two runs as the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets knocked off Paradise 7-3 Friday.

Chandler Hammond added three hits for Boyd.

Chelsea Arlington picked up the win, striking out six and allowing three runs on eight hits.

Shelby Lavigne doubled and drove in two for the Lady Panthers.


The Alvord Lady Bulldogs suffered their fourth straight District 9-2A setback Friday, falling to Peaster 7-0.

Reagan Guthrie and Kaely Beaver each went 2-for-3.

Mikena Mader struck out six for the Lady Bulldogs.


Breann Hall homered and drove in two runs but it was not enough to lift Chico past Collinsville in a 15-3 loss.

Charlye-Ann Biggerstaff, Corey Tate and Kylie Marburger had a hit each.


The Bridgeport Sissies scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to finish off Muenster in an 11-1 win.

Shiloh Weirich doubled and drove in two runs, going 3-for-3. Diana Garcia, Kensley Turner and Ryhan Read had two RBIs each.

Hailey Hollingsworth limited Muenster to one run on three hits.


The Decatur Lady Eagles fell to 0-2 in District 9-3A with an 11-1 loss to Krum Friday.

Krum scored six in the second inning to build a 7-1 lead.

Brittany Roberts scored Decatur’s lone run.

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Burt takes offensive honor

Paradise senior Makenna Burt was a matchup nightmare for opponents in the low post.

The 6-footer faced double- and triple-teams but still managed to average a double-double of 14.8 points and 11.3 rebounds.

TOUGH TO STOP – Paradise’s Makenna Burt earned the 9-2A Offensive Player of the Year after averaging 14.8 points per game. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

For her efforts, leading Paradise to a 24-7 record, Burt earned District 9-2A Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Burt was one of five Paradise players to receive all-district honors. Alvord, which tied Paradise for second in the league, landed four on the all-district team. Three Boyd players earned honors.

District champion and state runner-up Brock took three of the superlative awards, including Coach of the Year for Chance Westmoreland.

Brock junior Lexie Ducat earned MVP, and her teammate Taylor Fulmer shared the Defensive Player of the Year award with Alvord senior point guard Lauren Hart. Hart averaged 3.23 steals to go along with her 9.74 points, 4.26 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

Brock’s Rachel Harrell and Peaster’s Baylee Chapman shared Newcomer of the Year.

Paradise’s Makala Neighbors and Courtney Kerr made the first team along with Alvord’s Marissa Schedcik and Katie Claborn and Boyd’s Amber Montgomery.

Neighbors averaged 11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals. Kerr contributed 8.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 steals. Schedcik put in 12.65 points per game and added 4.8 rebounds, 1.85 assists, 1.1 blocks and 2.4 steals. Claborn led Alvord with 12.9 points per game and added 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals. Montgomery paced Boyd with 13.1 points, 4.3 steals.

Second-team selections included Boyd’s Abby Harrell and Kenzie Elkins, Alvord’s Brianna Ponder and Paradise’s Kaylee McConnell and Jett Preather.

Harrell averaged 11.1 points and hit 57 3-pointers for Boyd. Elkins scored 9.8 points and grabbed 9.2 rebounds per game. Ponder led Alvord in rebounding, averaging 7.1 to go along with 5.5 points. McConnell added 4.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists for Paradise. Preather put in 3.1 points and grabbed 6.1 rebounds.


MVP: Lexie Ducat, junior, Brock

Offensive Player of the Year: Makenna Burt, senior, Paradise

Co-Defensive Player of the Year: Lauren Hart, senior, Alvord; Taylor Fulmer, senior, Brock

Co-Newcomer of the Year: Rachel Harrell, sophomore, Brock; Baylee Chapman, freshman, Peaster

Coach of the Year: Chance Westmoreland


Makala Neighbors, senior, Paradise; Courtney Kerr, junior, Paradise; Sydney Herbel, sophomore, Millsap; Bailey Ivey, junior, Brock; Rachel Williams, junior, Brock; Madi Mayfield, junior, Brock; Amber Montgomery, senior, Boyd; Marissa Schedcik, senior, Alvord; Katie Claborn, junior, Alvord; Olivia Seli, junior, Peaster


Jolee Carswell, junior, Millsap; Trisha Jacobs, sophomore, Brock; Cydnie Bynum, junior, Brock; Allie Popeck, sophomore, Brock; Abby Harrell, junior, Boyd; Kenzie Elkins, junior, Boyd; Brianna Ponder, junior, Alvord; Kaylee McConnell, junior, Paradise; Jett Preather, junior, Paradise; Rachel Smith, senior, Peaster

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Baseball Roundup: Panthers win 2

The Paradise Panthers rebounded from their first District 9-2A loss with big wins over Boyd and Peaster.

Paradise hammered Boyd 17-4 Friday. Austin Hogan doubled and drove in three runs. He finished 3-for-3. Corbin Holt went 3-for-4 and knocked in two.

No Play at Plate

NO PLAY AT PLATE – Paradise’s Jarret Holt slides into home with one of the Panthers’ 17 runs Friday in a rout of the Boyd Yellowjackets. Paradise won two straight after a loss to Brock last week. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Monday, Paradise clubbed Peaster 9-3. Colton Meadows homered and drove in two runs. Dillon Meadows added two RBIs.

Dillon Meadows struck out 12 and limited Peaster to three runs on two hits. He walked four.

Boyd fell to Brock 10-1 Monday.


The Aubrey Chaparrals scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to edge the Bridgeport Bulls 3-2 in a non-district game Friday.

Daniel Garcia limited Aubrey to three runs – none earned – on five hits over six innings.

Travis Fuentes led the Bulls at the plate, going 3-for-3.


Southlake Carroll’s Joe Heineman held the Northwest Texans to two hits over seven innings Friday in a 4-0 victory at Texan Field.

Victor DeJesus and Elijah Christenson had the Texans’ two hits.

The Dragons’ Garrett Hale went 2-for-3 and scored a run.


The Chico Dragons scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings to hold off Petrolia for a 10-9 victory Friday.

Marshall Anderle had two RBIs, going 3-for-4 with a double. Jericoe McGuire added two RBIs.

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Baseball Roundup: Boyd edges Alvord

Cameron Clark’s single brought home Cody Jacobs in the seventh inning to give Boyd a 10-9 victory over the Alvord Bulldogs.

Clark went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs.

As a team Boyd had 13 hits.

The Yellowjackets led 5-1 after three innings. Alvord then rallied with one in the fourth, four in the fifth and three in the sixth to tie the game at 9.

Alvord’s Lane Peace belted a two-run homer in the sixth.


Alex Samples allowed three unearned runs on six hits over seven innings Tuesday against Krum.

Samples’ effort was not enough as Krum held off the Bridgeport Bulls for a 3-2 victory in the District 9-3A opener.

“Alex did a great job pitching tonight,” said Bridgeport coach Ted Leps. “We just didn’t give him any run support.”

Samples struck out seven.

Bridgeport managed only two runs despite having 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

“Every player had an opportunity to knock in a RBI,” Leps said.

Dalton Hudson had the team’s only RBI with a second-inning single.


Brock’s Slaten Gough limited Paradise to three runs on seven hits in seven innings of work to give the Eagles a 7-3 win Tuesday.

Gough struck out 10 and walked two.

Jarret Holt doubled three times off Gough and scored all three runs for the Panthers’ runs. Dillon Meadows knocked him in twice.

On the mound, Meadows struck out 15 and walked three. He allowed seven runs – five earned – on six hits.


Dusty Cloud held Haltom to three runs over five innings Tuesday to help the Northwest Texans pick up an 8-3 victory.

Cloud struck out six.

Tristen DerMargosian struck out three in two innings of one-hit work to pick up the save.

DerMargosian drove in a pair of runs. Doger Gilliland and Alex Perez both finished with two RBIs.

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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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Paradise City Council OKs Little Library

When school libraries close for the summer, students in Paradise have no public access to books.

That may soon change.

At the Paradise City Council meeting Monday, Paradise Intermediate School librarian Terri Gilley talked to council members about establishing a Little Free Library at City Hall.

Little Free Library is an organization that promotes reading among people of all ages by encouraging community members to purchase or build a small ‘library’ or book receptacle to put outside a public building or home.

Anyone from the neighborhood and town can come by and drop off old or gently used books. In turn, anyone can come pick one up.

According to City Secretary Teresa Moody, having garnered the council’s approval, Gilley is to fill out the required paperwork and will then look for someone to build the “little library.”

She hopes it’s up by summertime.


Also during the one-hour meeting, the council:

  • approved applying to the state grant cycle for assistance in repairing roads. “On some roads, any work that’s been done has been patching a patch that was patched on top of another patch,” Moody said. “We’ll need to tear up the road and start from scratch.”
  • heard an update from Paradise Youth and Recreation Association President Jamie Cook on improvements made to Leone Park.

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