2 hurt as train collides with truck

2 hurt as train collides with truck

Two people were seriously injured Monday afternoon when a Union Pacific train struck the cab of an 18-wheeler on a private driveway between Bridgeport and Paradise.


CRUSHED – The cab of the 18-wheeler reveals the damage sustained when it was struck by a train Monday afternoon. The truck driver and passenger were both flown to Metoplex hospitals. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The train was eastbound on the track, which runs parallel to Texas 114, when it collided with the truck at the driveway across the street from Don’s AC Service around 12:45. The force of the impact ripped the cab off the chassis.

The truck driver, Juan Torres Rios, 50, and a passenger, Cervando Iniguez Gonzalez, 36, of Bridgeport, were briefly pinned inside the cab.

Two helicopter ambulances were called to the scene. Air Evac Lifeteam 68 landed in a field across the street from the accident to transport one of the victims. The second victim was taken to the Paradise High School football field by ground ambulance to meet a CareFlite helicopter.

Both victims were flown to Metroplex hospitals. Their conditions were unavailable Tuesday afternoon.

No one on the train was injured.

Traffic on Texas 114 was briefly shut down while the helicopter was on the scene.

Jeff Degraff, director of media relations for Union Pacific, said the tractor trailer was approaching the crossing on the private road and “either ignored or went through” the stop sign at the crossing. Because the crossing was on private property, it did not have lights or crossing arms.

Degraff said he does not know if the train sounded its horn at the crossing. Although they are not required to blow the horn at a private crossing, if a vehicle is approaching, the train horn is typically sounded as a warning, he said.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responded to the scene, but once it was determined that the accident was on private property, the investigation was turned over to Union Pacific.

The locomotive sustained only minor damage and was later able to continue to its next stop in Dallas.

Wise County EMS, Paradise Volunteer Fire Department and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

Crash Scene

CRASH SCENE – Monday’s accident happened on a private driveway right in front of a house. In the background, medics can be seen loading one of the patients into a helicopter. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Married couple arrested for bank robbery

A Paradise couple has been arrested in connection with a June bank robbery in central Arkansas.

Rodney Hurdsman

Rodney Hurdsman, 45, and his wife, Stephanie Hurdsman, 39, were arrested Monday in Shreveport, La. The two are suspected of robbing the Malvern National Bank in Benton on June 16.

A third suspect, Stephanie’s sister, Oneida Saylor, 35, remains at large.

Arrest warrants for aggravated robbery and theft of property were issued for all three.

The Benton robbery happened around 4:15 p.m. on that Monday. Two suspects entered the bank, displayed a pistol and demanded money from a clerk. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash, both suspects then fled the bank on foot.

“One suspect was a white male who was wearing a mask that resembled the ‘Mario Brothers’ video game character. The other suspect was a white female suspect who was wearing dark-colored sunglasses,” according to a Benton Police Department press release.

Stephanie Hurdsman

More charges could be forthcoming, according to police.

“They are also suspects in robberies in other jurisdictions and are being sought on various other charges,” the department stated in a press release.

The Hurdsmans have an address in the 100 block of County Road 3382 south of Paradise. Both have previously spent time in the Wise County Jail.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said Rodney Hurdsman had been in jail here on unrelated charges of misdemeanor assault and theft of property $20,000 to $100,000 from Sept. 3 until Sept. 22, when he posted bail. He failed to show up for a scheduled court date last Thursday, Sept. 25.

That same morning, a suspect matching his description entered Regions Bank in Round Rock, displayed a gun and demanded money from a clerk.

According to Wise County Jail records, Rodney Hurdsman has been arrested four different times this year, each time on burglary or theft charges apparently unrelated to the suspected bank robberies. He was indicted by a Wise County grand jury for burglary of a habitation in April and theft of property $20,000 to $100,000 in June. Those cases are pending.

Stephanie Hurdsman was last arrested in October of 2012 for a parole violation, according to Wise County jail records. Court records show she was convicted of theft $1,500 to $20,000 in December of 2008.

The Hurdsmans remained jailed in Louisiana Tuesday but are expected to be extradited to Arkansas soon where they will be officially charged with the Benton robbery.

Saylor is considered armed and dangerous, according to the Benton Police. Anyone coming in contact with her should call their local police or dial 911.

Anyone with information about this crime should call the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals may also text an anonymous crime tip to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to www.crimereports.com to leave a tip.

Detectives in Benton have been working with the FBI, Louisiana State Police, Round Rock Police Department and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

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Volleyball: Nocona rallies past Paradise

The Paradise Lady Panthers’ winning streak to start 9-3A play stopped at four Saturday.

The Nocona Lady Indians rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Paradise, 17-25, 25-27, 25-21, 25-17, 15-9.

“We played well but came up short,” said coach Susie Burt.

Paradise fell to 4-1 in district with the loss.

Jett Preather turned in a monster match for the Lady Panthers, putting down 21 kills and making 14 digs. She also had three blocks and two aces.

Shelby Bradshaw finished with 12 kills and 18 digs. Reagan Taylor recorded 10 kills to go along with six blocks and six digs.

Madi Horne made 15 digs. Amber French dug 12 shots.

Johnna Headley and Darla Walterscheid blocked four shots each.

Paradise looked to rebound Tuesday at home against rival Boyd.

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Paradise ISD approves adjunct agreement

Paradise school board members agreed unanimously Thursday to continue the district adjunct faculty agreement with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension of Wise County.

The agreement allows Extension agents to supervise students when they are out of school to show at events like the Wise County Youth Fair and other stock shows and contests.

The AgriLife Extension office does this for all the schools in Wise County.

The board also approved textbooks and school policy updates.

The board’s next regular meeting is Oct. 20.

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Football: Bulldogs bite Panthers

It took Alvord one offensive drive to get set, but after they punted the ball away and allowed Paradise to score within the first two minutes of the game, the Bulldogs came back to life and held the Panthers to 14 points in the first half. Alvord went on to win the game 38-21.

Randall with the Carry

RANDALL WITH THE CARRY – Alvord running back Joe Randall outruns a Paradise defender during the Bulldogs’ 38-21 victory over the Panthers at home Friday night. Randall rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

“I told my guys, when you play against tough teams, you learn to play hard,” Alvord head coach Pete Hart said. “Our goal was to come out here and beat Paradise, and we think Paradise is a pretty good team. They had that first long play for the touchdown, and I wanted to see the character of our team, and our kids fought back.”

That “first long play” from Paradise was a monster 80-yard run from Austin Hogan, followed by a two point conversion by quarterback Cash Preather. However, Paradise wouldn’t see another offensive drive until late in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs scored four times in the first half, spurred on largely by an onside kick recovery after a 27 yard touchdown pass from Cassidy Patterson to Jaylon White, that brought the score to 8-7.

Seven plays after Alvord’s onside kick recovery, Joe Randall ran it in on a one-yard scoring play to turn the control of the game in Alvord’s favor, 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Randall would go on to have one more touchdown and 195 yards rushing on 29 carries.

The Bulldogs scored on a Jose Luna field goal and a 10-yard Patterson run before Paradise scored on a 3-yard Chris Hill run with 1:23 left in the half.

Hill, who put up 219 yards against Krum last week, was contained to one touchdown and 71 yards this week.

Paradise’s third and final score came less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, another Austin Hogan run, this time from a yard out.

Alvord answered that scoring play with a 28-yard run from Joe Randall to clinch the victory.

Paradise head coach Scott Broussard called the Panthers’ performance “the worst football game [we've played] this year.”

“I’m not real happy at all. We shot ourselves in the foot and made too many mistakes.”


Alvord … 14 … 10 … 7 … 7 … – … 38
Paradise … 8 … 6 … 0 … 7 … – … 21


Paradise – 10:49, Austin Hogan 80 run, Cash Preather 2 run

Alvord – 3:48, Jaylon White 27 pass from Cassidy Patterson, Jose Luna kick

Alvord – 0:38, Joe Randall 1 run, Luna kick

Second Quarter

Alvord – 8:19, Luna 32 field goal

Alvord – 4:51, Patterson 10 run, Luna kick

Paradise, 1:23, Chris Hill 3 run, conversion attempt no good


Alvord – 2:01, Randall 15 run, Luna kick


Paradise – 10:10, Hogan 1 run, Carlos Powers kick

Alvord – 5:22, Randall 28 run, Luna kick


First Downs … 16 … 11
Rushes-Yards … 42-208 … 36-246
Passing Yards … 110 … 56
Total Yards … 318 … 302
Comp-Att-Int … 10-15-0 … 5-10-0
Punts-Average … 2-37.5 …
Fumbles-Lost … 0-0 … 3-1
Penalties-Yards … 8-50 … 8-90


Rushing – Alvord, Joe Randall 29-195, Jaylon White 1-16. Paradise, Austin Hogan 18-156, Chris Hill 12-71.

Passing – Alvord, Cassidy Patterson 10-15-0-110. Paradise, Cash Preather 4-9-0-56.

Receiving – Alvord, Jaylon White 3-43, Heath Walker 3-30. Paradise, Chris Hill 3-37, Colton Brown 1-17.

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Volleyball: Paradise victorious over Holliday

Behind Jett Preather, the Paradise Lady Panthers continued their roll in District 9-3A Tuesday with a four-game win over Holliday.

Preather hammered home 18 kills as the Lady Panthers won 25-12, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17.

The Lady Panthers moved to 4-0 in their league.

“Everything is clicking,” said Paradise coach Susie Burt. “Jett got on a tear against Holliday with 18 kills. We were setting her, and she was finding every spot.”

Reagan Taylor added nine kills, and Shelby Bradshaw eight.

Along with her strong play on offense, Preather served seven aces and made 20 digs.

Madi Horne also made 20 digs, continuing her strong play.

“Anything she can get to, she’s getting up,” Burt said.

Amber French added 14 digs.

Paradise came out and set an early tone against Holliday behind Preather. After the 13-point win, the Lady Panthers took a step back, falling in the second set.

“We missed too many serves,” Burt said.

Paradise quickly rebounded in the third and fourth sets.

“We stepped up and played,” Burt said.

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Kenneth Paul Florance

Kenneth Paul Florance

Kenneth Paul Florance, 84, of Paradise died Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in Paradise.

Funeral was Sept. 26 at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Pete Putman officiating. Honorary pallbearers were Ryan Hammond, Mike Florance, Keith Florance and Kevin Florance.

Kenneth was born Nov. 3, 1929, in Burkburnett to James and Marie (Briarly) Florance. He married Carol Caine Sept. 25, 1959, in Cody, Wyo. He retired from Boeing as a heavy machine operator and was a member of the Cates Street Church of Christ. Kenneth proudly served his country in the United States Navy.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Carol Florance; and his brother, John Florance.

He is survived by his son, Bryan Florance of Denton; daughter Leslie Florance of Lewisville; brother James Florance and wife, Delene, of Jacksboro; and other family members and friends.

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Pioneers walk in Paradise

For folks seeking a blast from the past mixed with good eats and fun activities, Paradise is the place to be this weekend.

Characters dressed as pioneers will walk the streets, cook grub and demonstrate pioneer-era techniques during Paradise’s annual Main Street Festival 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The event is sponsored by the Paradise Historical Society and local businesses.

Historical Society President Donna Weeden said the organization has been immersed, during the last year, in research on old Paradise, and their application for a historical marker has been approved.

“We look for a theme each year, and it seemed appropriate to honor our beginnings,” Weeden said.

In harmony with the pioneer theme, the festival will have local fiddlers and a dulcimer group, The Heart Strings, perform.

Competition will heat up with a series of judged events offering cash prizes.

The 2nd Annual Black Kettle Chili Cook-off gives Paradise’s culinary elite a chance at $250 if they win the Judge’s Pick or People’s Choice awards.

Some may test their mettle in the 3rd Annual Paradise Has Talent contest. The talent show boasts two age divisions. Division 1 includes children up to eighth grade, and division 2 features high school students and adults. Contestants are vying for $150 and $100.

The festival will also bring back a crowd favorite – the car show. The eighth annual automotive exhibition will be judged at 10 a.m., and awards will be presented at noon.

Weeden said the good weather expected Saturday could mean the first rain-free festival in several years.

“We never got rained out, though,” Weeden said. “It’s become more popular every year, and there’s a lot of work that goes into it. It’s well worth it.”

The festival is the historical society’s only fundraiser. Money raised goes toward a future museum and Veterans Memorial Park.

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Cross Country: Panthers edge Boyd to take Holliday Meet

The Paradise Panthers narrowly held off the Boyd Yellowjackets to win the Holliday Meet Saturday.

The Panthers finished with 62 points. Boyd was six points back.

J.D. Pearson led the Panthers, taking fourth on the 5K course in 17:49. Landry Norwood crossed the finish line in eighth in 18:31. Sam Robinson was 13th in 19 minutes. Joseph Eisen ran 19:07 for 15th. Dalton Sanders took 25th in 19:46 as Paradise’s fifth runner.

Gage Schneck was 43rd in 20:44, Garrett Schneck 55th in 21:20, Brayden Ford 72nd in 22:30, and Trystan Webb 81st in 23:40.

Boyd senior Marco Martinez finished runnerup in the race in 17:12. Burkburnett’s Kody Anderson won in 16:19.

Aaron Hammett took sixth in 18:13. Nathan Martinez crossed the finish in 18:27 for seventh. Cameron Hammett ran 18:40 in 10th. Corbin McDonald was 49th in 20:57 as Boyd’s fifth runner.

Keeton Ford took 53rd in 21:14.

The Paradise girls took second behind 9-3A foe Holliday. Paradise finished with 61 points. Holliday won with 22.

Paradise freshman Hannah Beth Pearson finished third on the 3,200-meter course in 12:28.

Kaylee McConnell finished ninth in 12:58. April Coursey took 14th in 13:17. Taylor Richards was 16th in 13:22. Emily Corbin came in 20th in 13:39 as Paradise’s fifth runner.

Aliyah Read finished 21st in 13:40, Emily Brinson 23rd in 13:47, and Kaitlyn Robinson 26th in 13:51.

Boyd’s Lizeth Uribe ran 14:19 for 31st. Chastity Cook turned in a 14:54 for 42nd. Brianna Morrison took 44th in 15:01.

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Football: Alvord, Paradise both look to avenge losses

The Alvord Bulldogs and the Paradise Panthers will both be trying to shake off losses as they go into their matchup this Friday.

Alvord is 1-3 on the season, with three losses in a row, the most recent being a 35-14 road defeat to Muenster, where running back Joe Randall was kept to a mere 53 yards. Randall passed 3,000 career rushing yards in his first game this season.

Despite the loss, quarterback Cassidy Patterson threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns last week – the only two touchdowns Alvord scored all night, and both of them coming in the fourth quarter.

Calls to head coach Pete Hart could not be answered before press time Tuesday night.

That type of passing could be a problem for Paradise, since the Panthers gave up 122 passing yards last week against Krum.

Paradise, also 1-3, will enter Friday night’s game coming off a 27-20 home loss to Krum that was largely caused by penalties and turnovers. That’s something that head coach Scott Broussard said the team has been working on in practice.

“We’ve been working on those penalties, trying to do better with that,” Broussard said. “Those five turnovers didn’t help us last week, either.”

Broussard said he is anticipating a lot of running from Alvord’s Randall, but he isn’t counting on that being the only thing the Panthers’ defense has to worry about.

“We’re going to have to work on tackling Randall and keep a lookout on [QB Cassidy Patterson],” Broussard said. “They throw pretty aggressively.”

On the offensive side, Broussard isn’t worried if running back Chris Hill doesn’t have as good of a game this week as he did against Krum. Hill racked up 219 yards on 16 carries last week.

“If they shut him down, we’re pretty confident in Austin Hogan, too,” Broussard said.

Hogan had 100 yards on 13 carries last week.


7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium

Paradise: Harris Rating 192

Notable: Chris Hill has more than 400 yards in the past two games.

Alvord: Harris Rating 198

Notable: Cassidy Patterson threw for a season-high 250 yards last week against Muenster.

Harris line: Paradise by 3

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Jerrell Dee Hoover

Jerrell Dee Hoover

Jerrell Dee Hoover, 90, of Paradise, died Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in Decatur.

Services will be private.

Jerrell was born March 25, 1924, in Muskogee, Okla., to William and Beulah (Corder) Hoover. He married Beatrice Fulkrod Sept. 23, 1972, in Jacksboro. Jerrell served his country in the U.S. Navy and was a retired air conditioning and heating specialist.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Beatrice Hoover of Paradise; daughter Cheryl Marie Hill and husband, Gary, of Fredericksburg; grandson Michael Sands and wife, Kristin, of Plano; great-grandchildren Jakob and Avery Sands; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

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Football: Krum edges Panthers in homecoming catfight

Yellow isn’t a part of the school colors for the Paradise Panthers or the Krum Bobcats, but the average spectator would be forgiven if they thought so after Paradise’s 27-20 homecoming loss against Krum Friday night.


SURROUNDED – Austin Hogan and another defender grapple with a Krum ball carrier in the Panthers’ 27-20 loss Friday night. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The two teams racked up 131 yards in penalties between the two of them, with 81 of those yards going against Paradise.

“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes, and we’ve got to learn to practice a little better and fix some of those mistakes,” Paradise head coach Steve Broussard said.

It wasn’t just penalties that hurt the Panthers – turnovers haunted them throughout the game, the most important of which came with less than a minute left to play when Paradise was down 27-20. Paradise quarterback Cash Preather threw his second interception of the night to Krum’s Jacob Spencer when the Panthers were within one score of tying up the game, and Krum took over and held the ball until the end. Three lost fumbles didn’t help, either.

“We’re a team that’s still learning how to win, but I’m really proud of the effort the kids gave in the second half,” Broussard said. “I really feel like we outplayed them in the second half if you take away mistakes.”

Paradise didn’t score at all in the first quarter and allowed 21 points in the first half, but came back in the second half and held the Bobcats to six points.

Offensively, the entire game was a contest between Chris Hill and Dane White, the running backs for Paradise and Krum, respectively. If it was a running play, it would go to those two more often than not.

Hill actually outrushed White – Hill racked up 219 yards on 16 touches, while White got 194 yards on 37 carries.

The only scoring play that wasn’t a run was Krum’s 68-yard Colten Graham-Riley Marshall reception in the second quarter. Graham went 4 for 12, while Paradise went 4-10-2.

Paradise Extra 1

Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford


Krum … 7 … 14 … 0 … … 6 … – … 27
Paradise … 0 … 7 … 7 … … 6 … – … 20


Krum – 0:02, Dane White 1 run, PAT Brooks


Krum – 7:55, White 4 run, PAT Brooks

Paradise – 5:04, Chris Hill 6 run, PAT Powers

Krum – 4:20, Colten Graham 68 pass to Riley Marshall, PAT Brooks


Paradise – 10:57 Hill 54 run, PAT Powers


Paradise – 7:13, Hill 76 run, PAT no good.

Krum – 4:51, White 14 run, PAT no good.


First Downs … 16 … 17
Rushes-Yards … 43-194 … 42-348
Passing Yards … 122 … 56
Total Yards … 316 … 404
Comp-Att-Int … 4-12-0 … 4-10-2
Punts-Avg. … 7-32 … 4-26.25
Fumbles-lost … 0-0 … 7-3
Penalties … 9-50 … 10-81


Rushing – Paradise, Hill 16-219; Krum, White 37-194.

Receiving – Paradise, Hill 3-48; Krum, Marshall 2-88.

Passing – Paradise, Preather 4-10-2 56; Krum, Graham 4-12-0 122.

Paradise Extra 2

Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

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Volleyball: Making the right move

Moving to a different spot in the Paradise rotation has brought out the best in Shelby Bradshaw.

POSITIVE SWITCH – In her first season at outside hitter, Shelby Bradshaw is the Paradise Lady Panthers’ leading hitter and has helped the team to a 2-0 start in district play. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

From her new spot at outside hitter, Bradshaw leads the Lady Panthers in kills and has paced the team to a 2-0 start in District 9-3A.

As the Lady Panthers headed into a showdown with City View Friday afternoon, Bradshaw was quick to deflect credit for her team’s success.

“We have a new setter that’s really stepped up. It’s a lot easier to hit with good sets,” Bradshaw said. “We’ve had a lot of changes, and everyone has stepped up and are where they need to be.”

Bradshaw is in her third varsity season. Last year, she was at right-side hitter. She admits she is a better fit on the outside.

“On the right side you have to hit across your body,” she said.

The outside hitter also gets the most offensive opportunities and becomes the central figure when a point is needed. Bradshaw appreciates that role.

“It’s the spot I wanted to be at,” Bradshaw said. “You’re the go-to person when you need a point. I play a lot better under pressure. It’s a good spot for me.”

Her coach, Susie Burt, agrees.

“She’s played well,” Burt said. “When set, she’s making the smart play. She’s varying the speed of her hit. She’s just done a tremendous job playing the ball.”

While leading the team in hitting, she’s also filled a variety of other roles for the Lady Panthers.

“I never leave the floor,” Bradshaw said. “I play outside hitter, right side and middle blocker.”

She is one of the team leaders in serving and digs.

Her jump serve has been lethal this season, garnering aces and getting opponents out of rhythm quickly. In the victory over Henrietta, she went to the service line 25 times and had a pair of aces.

“Her jump serve has been tremendous,” Burt said. “Even when she’s not getting an ace, we’re getting the kill because of where she’s making them play.

“If I had to have someone to serve a game point, it’d be Shelby.”

In the fall, volleyball is a high priority for Bradshaw. But she is heavily involved in several other groups and activities around the school and takes several advanced courses. She is on the student council and serves as the president for the school and district FFA chapters.

“You only get to do this one time in life. You may as well make the most of it,” Bradshaw said. “There’s a lot of late nights and early mornings.”

Along the same lines, Bradshaw is willing to give her best to bring home a long-sought-after district title to Paradise.

“We’re definitely in the hunt for a district championship,” Bradshaw said. “Everyone wants it bad. We haven’t won district in a long time.”

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Volleyball: Lady Panthers beat Henrietta

The Paradise Lady Panthers moved to 2-0 in District 9-3A Tuesday, outlasting Henrietta in five games.

The Lady Panthers won 25-21, 20-25, 18-25, 26-24, 15-11.

Shelby Bradshaw led Paradise with 15 kills. Reagan Taylor added 10. Amber French and Jett Preather put down seven each.

Taylor also made four blocks and served two aces.

Madi Horne served four aces.

Defensively, Horne dug 20 shots. Preather finished with 12 digs and French 11.

Paradise took on City View Friday at 4 p.m.

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Mary Sue Garces

Mary Sue Garces

Mary Sue Garces, 83, of Paradise, formerly of Bridgeport, died Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Decatur.

Funeral is 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22 at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport. Burial will follow at East Bridgeport Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Shelton Garces, Kenny Salazar, Felipe Moncibiaz, Jim Bob Culwell, John Clifton, Austin Culwell, Joshua Vidal, Chris Martinez, and honorary pallbearer Cliff Ryan. Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Jones Family Funeral Home.

Mary was born Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1930 in Decatur to Carlos and Josephina (Burolas) Casillas. On Dec. 24, 1969 she married Cilfredo Q. “Sonny” Garces. She was a member of Cates Street Baptist Church in Bridgeport.

In years past, she was the owner of Mary’s Place Restaurant in Bridgeport. In addition to cooking, Mary loved to crochet and spend time with her grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; daughters Gloria Martinez and Emily Vidal; son-in-law Marcos Torres Jr; and grandson Andy Martinez.

Survivors include her husband of 44 years, Sonny Garces; sons Cliff Garces and wife, Tracie, Lupe Salazar Jr. and wife, JoAnn, John Salazar Sr., and Tommy Salazar; daughters Julie Torres, Sally Salazar, JoAnn Salazar, Olga Evans, Norma Stith and Gloria Ramirez; sister Emilie Davila; numerous grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

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Jerrell Dee Hoover

Jerrell Dee Hoover, 90, of Paradise, died Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in Decatur.

Services will be private.

Jerrell was born March 25, 1924, to William and Beulah (Corder) Hoover in Muskogee, Okla. He married Beatrice Fulkrod Sept. 23, 1972, in Jacksboro. Jerrell served his country in the U.S. Navy, and was a retired air conditioning and heating specialist.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Beatrice Hoover of Paradise; daughter Cheryl Marie Hill and husband, Gary, of Fredericksburg; grandson Michael Sands and wife, Kristin, of Plano; great-grandchildren Jakob and Avery Sands; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

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Paradise City Council adopts budget, tax rate

Paradise property owners won’t see an increase in city taxes this year. The city council Monday night voted to stay with a tax rate of 33.9 cents per $100 valuation.

That means homeowners with a house worth $100,000 can expect to pay $339 in city taxes. The only reason that would go up would be if someone added to the value of their property.

The council also adopted its 2014-15 budget of $220,360.

The new budget raises about $20,000 more than the prior year. Nearly half of the new revenue comes from new property added to the city tax rolls this year.

The council held a public hearing prior to considering the budget and tax rate, but no one attended. In fact, only three of the five council members – Bob Gayan, Roy Steel and Terre Ward – made up the meeting’s quorum. Brad Largent and Bill Schneck were absent.

A previously called November election for Largent’s and Schneck’s seats was canceled, as no one filed to run against Largent or to fill Schneck’s spot. Schneck didn’t refile but will continue to serve until after a new council member is appointed by the council in November.

This is the second time the Paradise City Council has had to cancel a called election. No seats have been contested since 2012, when Gayan retained his position on the council against Chris Hill, Largent went unchallenged and Schneck took Place 1.


  • The council approved a 1.9 percent rate hike for Progressive Waste Solutions.
  • The city renewed its animal control contract with Wise County.
  • The city discussed updating its emergency response protocol to include what to do in case of a bomb threat in Paradise ISD. A recent threat at the junior high campus prompted an evacuation of the school and a search by law enforcement.

While parents and legal guardians were informed, city residents living near the school were unaware of the threat.

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Football: Reaching peak form; Healthy Hill enjoys breakout performance

Football: Reaching peak form; Healthy Hill enjoys breakout performance

Chris Hill torched the Jacksboro defense last week for 178 yards. But even before scoring his four second-quarter touchdowns, he was already wearing a smile.

“It was awesome. I told [Coach Scott Broussard] after the first quarter, it was going to be a fun night,” Hill said.

Breaking Out

BREAKING OUT – Paradise senior running back Chris Hill ran for 178 yards and four touchdowns last week against Jacksboro. Hill has fought back to get in the lineup after missing most of last year with an ankle injury. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Hill hopes for a repeat when he leads the Panthers into their annual homecoming game at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Krum.

For Hill, the performance in the Panthers’ 42-14 win over Jacksboro is what he’s longed for. But last year a as junior, it was out of reach as he was sidelined nearly the entire season with an ankle injury.

“I injured it three plays into the season,” Hill recalled. “It was a late hit over on the track. I played the last three games.”

When he came back, Hill admits he wasn’t at full speed. Even now, Hill has to wear a brace on the ankle.

“Every now and then it’s still sore,” Hill said.

The ankle has not been an issue so far this season for the back, who has 347 yards in three games. He’s topped 100 yards in two of the Panthers’ three games.

“Chris is running hard and seeing the holes,” Broussard said. “His vision is much better.”

Hill gives the credit for his early-season success to his offensive line.

“The line is moving good. They’ve been working hard,” Hill said. “The holes have been more open.”

Hill’s speed and quickness also has helped. Hill owns the team’s 20-yard sprint time of 2.36. He also recorded the best pro-agility test time. He’s among the program’s best with his vertical and broad jumps.

“He’s pretty fast and athletic,” Broussard said.

And if the line gives him an opening, Hill knows he can run away from defenders.

“In the open field, going north and south, I’m hard to take down,” Hill said.

He also points out that his speed gives a good contrast to fullback Austin Hogan.

“He’s the hard hitting back, and I’m the speed guy of the group,” Hill said.

Hill hopes last week’s game is only a sign of things to come for him and the Panthers.

“My main goals are to stay healthy and make the playoffs,” Hill said.

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Football: Panthers look for second straight win

The Paradise Panthers put everything together on both sides of the football last Friday to pick up their first win of the season, 42-14, over Jacksboro.

“It was big for the team,” said Paradise coach Scott Broussard. “They now understand what they are capable of. We’ve been telling them all year. We’ve been playing better. Every week we want to improve and if we do that, we’ll be OK.”

The Panthers’ next challenge is to pick up a second win as they return home for homecoming at 7:30 p.m. Friday against the Krum Bobcats (1-2).

Against Jacksboro, the Panthers’ running game churned out 337 yards. Austin Hogan and Chris Hill each topped 100 yards. Hill finished with 178 yards and four touchdowns.

Broussard credits his backs for running hard, but also pointed out it was a solid night for the big guys up front.

“Our offensive line has gotten better each week,” Broussard said. “It’s fun to run when they are blocking like that.”

The Panthers forced a pair of turnovers. Jacksboro scored its two touchdowns on passing plays covering 38 and 58 yards.

“Defensively, we are playing well,” Broussard said. “We’ve still got to make improvements.”

The Panthers will face a Krum team that was shut out for a second time in three weeks Friday in a 31-0 loss to Sanger. But the Bobcats showed what they are capable of offensively in their middle game, a 47-39 win over Venus.

Broussard points out that the Bobcats can be dangerous with running back Dane White.

KRUM (1-2) AT PARADISE (1-2)

7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium

Krum: Harris Rating 193

Notable: Krum has been shut out twice in 3 games.

Paradise: Harris Rating 191

Notable: Chris Hill and Austin Hogan went over 100 yards last week.

Harris line: Krum by 1

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Volleyball: Paradise aces district opener

The Paradise Lady Panthers had no trouble Friday in their District 9-3A opener.

Behind a strong all-round night from Shelby Bradshaw, the Lady Panthers swept Jacksboro 25-22, 25-20, 25-9.

Bradshaw racked up 10 kills along with serving seven aces. She also had nine digs and a block.

Offensively, Paradise piled up 28 kills in the three games.

“We are starting to peak and are improving in all areas,” said Paradise coach Susie Burt. “I’m looking forward to a great season.”

Reagan Taylor and Jett Preather recorded five kills each. Amber French added four.

At the service line, Taylor had four aces. French served two.

Defensively, Madi Horne made 19 digs. Mackinlie Tucker finished with 13.

Taylor and Johnna Headley blocked two shots apiece.

Paradise continued district play Tuesday at home against Henrietta.

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