Meeting Previews for Saturday, October 18, 2014


BOYD ISD – The Boyd School Board meets 6:30 p.m. Monday and plans to discuss approving a Boyd High School field trip to the FFA National Convention in Louisville Kentucky as well as construction plans for a show animal project facility. The board will also consider softball field renovations.


LICENSING LIQUOR – The Bridgeport City Council will discuss adding alcohol beverage licenses and fees to the city’s code of ordinances at its meeting Tuesday night. It will also discuss fiscal year 2013-14 budget adjustments; award a city landscaping bid to either All Wise Garden Butch Haas, or Cut and Grow; and consider a proposal for a real estate broker to sell Rutherford Ranch. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 900 Thompson St. and is open to the public.

SOCCER, ANYONE? – The Bridgeport School Board will discuss adding a soccer program to the high school at its meeting Monday night. The board will also hear reports on the dual-language program and the district’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) score. It will also continue earlier discussions about possible facility renovations. These include Bull Memorial Stadium and baseball dugout renovations, as well as the building of an agriculture science barn. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at 2107 15th St. and is open to the public.


PARADISE COUNCIL – The Paradise City Council meets 6 p.m. Monday to discuss street closures for the Jingle Run and a church-sponsored autumn event. The council will also decide whether or not to purchase a building and discuss road repair and the Wise County Appraisal District’s contract for billing and collection services.

PISD MEETING – The Paradise School Board will meet 6:30 p.m. Monday and plans to set a date to canvass the Nov. 4 election results and for the employee appreciation dinner. The board will also consider the district’s contract with Wise County Appraisal District for collections.

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Meet PISD’s school board candidates

Three spots on the Paradise ISD school board will go before the voters Nov. 4. The at-large seats are 3, 4, and 5.

Rusty Ford is unopposed for place 5, but places 3 and 4 are up for grabs.

Incumbent Kevin Howerton is challenged by Vann Wakefield for place 3, and Jim Taylor faces off against place 4 incumbent Carrie Preather.

Short biographies of the candidates, and their responses to questions concerning the challenges facing Paradise ISD’s school board, follow.


Kevin Howerton (incumbent)

Age: 51

Howerton has lived in Wise County for 51 years, the last 10 in Paradise, where he currently resides.

Howerton has been married for 25 years to his wife Celina. They have three daughters: Ally, 21, Rylee, 18 and Kaycie, 16.

His wife taught at PISD for 15 years, and he has many friends who teach in the district. He said he wants to serve to help keep the school going forward now that it’s back on track.

“The uphill climb now is state funding,” Howerton said. “A large number of schools like PISD have lost a considerable amount of funds from the state. It will take a strong effort from all the districts to get their voices heard. The board’s role should be to evaluate and support the Superintendent’s plans as they discover and move forward.”

Despite multiple attempts to contact challenger Vann Wakefield, there was no response as of press time.


Carrie Cleveland Preather (incumbent)

Age: 40

Preather has lived in the area for 40 years and resides in Paradise.

She is married to Larry Preather and has two children, Cash and Jett Preather, both active at PISD in academics and extracurricular activities. She said her children are looking forward to completing their senior year next spring.

Preather said It has been a pleasure to watch her children thrive at PISD over the last 12 years. She believes their time at Paradise has prepared them to be active, responsible and educated leaders in the future.

She graduated from PHS (1993) as did her parents and other family members over the years. Her mother taught in PISD for 25 years.

She said her love for Paradise is deep-rooted, and serving on the school board is her way of giving back. She said she is prepared for the issues the district is facing.

“I feel the major issue facing PISD today is the state funding cuts,” Preather said. “As a board, we work closely with our Superintendent Robert Criswell to ensure the money we receive is used wisely for the good of the children at PISD.”


Age: 60

Taylor, a Wise County resident since 1989. lives in Cottondale.

He has five grandchildren and two nieces in PISD, from pre-K to high school. In the past 20 years he has had three children and seven nieces and nephews graduate from Paradise High School. Taylor’s wife of 42 years, Patti, works for WG Financial in Bridgeport and Mann Refrigeration.

He said he wants to serve because because of his vested interest in Paradise ISD. He has previously served on the school board, so he already possesses the ability and experience to be effective.

“The major issue facing Paradise ISD is stability. In the past 18 months every administrative position from superintendent to elementary school principal and athletic director has changed personnel,” Taylor said. “The superintendent position is yet to be filled. It will be the task of the new board to provide the stability of purpose, goal, strategic and long-range planning.

“The first step is selection of a superintendent to operate under the leadership of the board. Change must be controlled and channeled to meet the 5-, 10-, 20-year goals and strategies as determined by the board. The fact of complete change in administrative staff from superintendent to elementary principal in a short period of time says the board has had to move from strategic planning to operational planning and firefighting.

“The board is the voice of the voters in determining the short and long term goals and strategies for the district.”


Early voting for the Paradise school board election will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20-24, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27-31 at three locations:

  • Decatur City Hall, 201 E. Walnut St., Decatur
  • Rhome City Hall, 105 1st., Rhome
  • Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, 1000 Thompson St., Bridgeport

Early voting will also be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25, and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 26, at Decatur City Hall only.

On election day, the polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following Paradise-area locations:

  • Precinct 22 – AgriLife Extension Building, 206 S. State, Decatur
  • Precinct 8 – Assumption Catholic Church 1305 S. Deer Park, Decatur
  • Precinct 14 – Bridgeport Lions Hall, 1107 6th St., Bridgeport
  • Precinct 16 – Boonsville Community Center, West on Hwy 920, Boonsville
  • Precinct 17 – First United Methodist Church, Activity Center, 301 S. Oak, Paradise
  • Precinct 20 – Cottondale Community Center, 161 CR 3571, Cottondale
  • Precinct 23 – Boyd Community Center, 420 E Morton Ave., Boyd.

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Football: Buckaroos blank Paradise, 34-0

The Breckenridge Buckaroos shut down the Paradise Panthers Friday night.

The Buckaroos held Paradise to just 109 yards of offense in a 34-0 victory at Panther Stadium.

The Panthers fell to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in District 4-3A Division I.

Austin Hogan provided nearly half of the Panthers’ offensive output, rushing for 40 yards on nine carries. Nick Loney added 38 yards on the ground.

Paradise managed just two yards passing.

Breckenridge took the lead just more than three minutes into the game on a 1-yard run by Austin Dooley. Dooley added a 8-yard dash to pay dirt with 1:45 left in the opening frame to put the Buckaroos up 13-0.

Dooley led all rushers with 86 yards on 15 carries.

Breckenridge rushed for 182 yards.

The Buckaroos added a pair of scores in the second quarter to take a 27-0 halftime lead. Cade Cornett scored on a 13-yard run and then hit Brandon Hunter with a 43-yard pass.

Cornett threw for 104 yards, completing six of his 11 attempts.

Hunter provided the nightcap with 7:29 left in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 2-yard run.


Breckenridge … 13 … 14 … 0 … 7 … – … 34
Paradise … 0 … 0 … 0 … 0 … – … 0


Breckenridge – 8:49, Austin Dooley 1 run, kick failed

Breckenridge – 1:45, Dooley 8 run, Omar Aguilar kick


Breckenridge – 7:25, Cade Cornett 13 run, Aguilar kick

Breckenridge – 1:40, Brandon Hunter 43 pass from Cornett, Aguilar kick


Breckenridge – 7:29, Hunter 2 run, Aguilar kick


First Downs … 17 … 7
Rushes-Yards … 37-182 … 30-107
Passing Yards … 104 … 2
Total Yards … 286 … 109
Comp-Att-Int … 6-11-1 … 1-10-1
Punts-Average … 2-38.5 … 5-34.4
Fumbles-Lost … 3-0 … 0-0
Penalties-Yards … 6-55 … 5-45


Rushing: Breckenridge, Austin Dooley 15-86. Paradise, Austin Hogan 9-40.

Passing: Breckenridge, Cade Cornett 6-11-1-104. Paradise, Cash Preather 1-10-1-2.

Receiving: Breckenridge, Brandon Hunter 4-87. Paradise, Chris Hill 1-2.

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Volleyball: Henrietta bests Paradise

The Paradise Lady Panthers couldn’t steal a game against District 9-3A leader Henrietta Tuesday.

Henrietta won the match 25-17, 25-17, 25-19.

With the loss, Paradise fell to 6-4 in the district. The Lady Panthers are in fourth place, heading into Saturday’s match at home against Bowie.

Against Henrietta, Shelby Bradshaw put down 10 kills. Jett Preather added eight finishers, and Reagan Taylor five.

Taylor made seven blocks and five digs. Preather dug 17 shots, and Bradshaw 11. Madi Horne made nine digs.

Bradshaw netted two aces.

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Cross Country: Running duo – Pearsons pace Paradise squads

Over the past three years, J.D. Pearson has become one of the Paradise Panthers’ top cross country runners.

But in his senior year, he’s not the only member of his family standing out on the course as his freshman sister, Hannah Beth, has become one of the Lady Panthers’ most consistent performers.

Leading the Way

LEADING THE WAY – The brother-sister combination of Hannah Beth and J.D. Pearson have paced the Paradise cross country teams this year. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It’s been great seeing her do what she’s done,” J.D. said. “She’s deserved all she’s got. She’s worked really hard.”

The Pearsons will try to help their respective teams to titles Monday at the 9-3A championships in Wichita Falls at Kiwanis Park.

J.D. started running in junior high but claims he didn’t take to the sport until high school.

“I enjoyed it and my freshman year I did OK,” he explained. “My sophomore year, I started to get better.

“I ran at first to stay in shape for other sports, but I found out I can compete in this sport, too.”

This year after a strong start, J.D. suffered some bad breaks in recent meets, dealing with heat and illness. He expects to be 100 percent Monday and challenge Boyd’s Marco Martinez for the district title.

“I expect to shave some time off,” he said. “I think it’ll be a good race.”

In middle school, Hannah Beth watched the Lady Panthers develop into a perennial state contender.

“The girls did so good when I was in seventh grade that it made me want to be a part of it,” she said.

The eighth-grade district champion hasn’t let her opportunity to contribute slide by. Even on a team with several veterans returning, she’s managed to lead the team as the top finisher multiple times this season.

“She’s had a great year,” said Paradise coach Karin Essig. “She works hard and fits in with the team.”

But the freshman isn’t concerned with her time or finish.

“I just want to make my team the best,” she said. “I want us to win.”

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Cross Country: Boyd, Paradise run at titles

The first step on the path to Round Rock for Boyd and Paradise runners will be Monday in Wichita Falls at the 9-3A championships.

The Boyd and Paradise boys and girls squads will fight for one of the three regional bids at Kiwanis Park in Wichita Falls. The top 10 individuals will also advance.

The Paradise Lady Panthers enter the meet trying to chase down Holliday, the top-ranked team in Class 3A. Paradise enters the league meet ranked No. 3.

The two have raced against each other several times this season with Holliday coming out ahead.

“It’s going to be a good race,” said Paradise coach Karin Essig. “We get better each week. Every week we’ve got a step closer to them.”

The meet will also feature a third state-ranked team, Nocona, which was fourth in this week’s state poll.

Freshman Hannah Beth Pearson owns the Lady Panthers’ best time of 12:28, heading into district. Kaylee McConnell, Taylor Richards, April Coursey and Emily Corbin are also running well. After an early-season injury, Aliyah Read is also coming into form.

In the boys race, Boyd senior Marco Martinez appears to be the favorite after a strong fall. He won the Hebron Flying Hawk 4A race last week, running a 16:51 on a sloppy course.

“Marco should win district,” said Boyd coach Oscar Hernandez. “He’s worked hard and has been running good. He’s won three meets.”

Nathan Martinez along Cameron and Aaron Hammett give the Yellowjackets a solid top four. Boyd will need their fifth runner Tanner White, Aaron Roberts-Wright, Keaton Ford or Corbin McDonald to turn in a solid run to bring home the title.

“The whole team has to run a little better,” Hernandez said.

The Paradise boys should be in the mix with J.D. Pearson, Sam Robinson and Landry Norwood leading the way.

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Football: Ponder claws past Panthers

Chris Hill’s 19-yard touchdown reception from Cash Preather with 1:37 left brought the Paradise Panthers within a score of the Ponder Lions Saturday night.

But the Panthers couldn’t get the ball back, falling 21-14 in the District 4-3A Division I opener.

Paradise fell to 1-5 overall.

The game was stopped Friday by storms. The two teams returned Saturday to finish the league opener.

Hill scored both of the Panthers’ touchdowns. He found pay dirt from 26 yards out with 1:38 left in the first half to cut Ponder’s lead to 14-7. Hill led the Panthers with 88 yards on 11 carries. He caught three passes for 45.

Ponder jumped out to 14-0 lead with 4:44 left in the second quarter. After quarterback Brady Anderson scored on a 39-yard run, Trey Dunlap scored from 10 yards away to make it a two-score advantage for the Lions.

Dunlap rushed for 109 yards.

He scored the Lions’ other touchdown, running in from five yards out with 5:40 left in the third.

Ponder rolled up 331 yards, including 203 on the ground.

The Paradise offense struggled to find its footing against Ponder, managing 222 yards.


Ponder … 7 … 7 … 7 … 0 … – … 21
Paradise … 0 … 7 … 0 … 7 … – … 14


Ponder – 5:15, Brady Anderson 39 run, Ivan Rodriguez kick


Ponder – 4:44, Trey Dunlap 10 run, Rodriguez kick

Paradise – 1:38, Chris Hill 26 run, Carlos Powers kick


Ponder – 5:40, Dunlap 5 run, Rodriguez kick


Paradise – 1:37, Hill 19 pass from Cash Preather, Carlos Powers kick


First Downs … 16 … 12
Rushes-Yards … 36-203 … 33-158
Passing Yards … 128 … 64
Total Yards … 331 … 222
Comp-Att-Int … 5-8-0 … 6-16-0
Punts-Average … 2-43 … 5-33.6
Fumbles-Lost … 2-1 … 0-0
Penalties-Yards … 7-50 … 7-65


Rushing: Ponder, Trey Dunlap 24-109. Paradise, Chris Hill 11-88.

Passing: Ponder, Brady Anderson 5-8-0-128. Paradise, Cash Preather 6-16-0-64.

Receiving: Ponder, David Faughtenberry 2-72. Paradise, Chris Hill 3-45.

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Volleyball: Panthers dominate City View

Jett Preather and Reagan Taylor led the assault at the net for the Paradise Lady Panthers Saturday in a three-game sweep of City View.

Preather put down 11 kills, and Taylor 10 in the 25-13, 25-17, 25-9 win.

Paradise moved to 6-3 in District 9-3A.

Shelby Bradshaw and Johnna Headley netted four kills each.

Bradshaw and Madi Horne served two aces apiece.

Horne led the Lady Panthers on defense with 13 digs. Amber French made eight, and Bradshaw seven.

Taylor blocked four shots.

Paradise went to district-leading Henrietta Tuesday.

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Football: Paradise seeks first district win

The Paradise Panthers couldn’t start District 4-3A Division I play off the way they wanted Saturday, falling to Ponder.

Inopportune penalties and struggles on offense limited the Panthers’ chances in a 21-14 loss.

“We didn’t play well,” said Paradise coach Scott Broussard. “We had penalties or missed a blocking assignment and missed opportunities to make plays. They made the big plays and we missed tackles.”

The Panthers will try to rebound at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Breckenridge. The Buckaroos (2-4, 0-1) are coming off an 18-3 loss to Brock in their 4-3A opener.

“They are OK on film,” Broussard said. “They are big and pretty athletic. Their quarterback runs good.”

Breckenridge’s offense led by quarterback Cade Cornett managed only 91 yards last week against Brock.

The Panthers will look to bottle up the Buckaroos also but must make plays on the defensive of the ball. Against Ponder, Paradise allowed 203 yards rushing.

“They moved the ball well on the ground,” Broussard said. “We had some missed tackles and people out of position.”

Offensively, the Panthers will need to be able to make plays in the passing game to free up running lanes for running back Chris Hill.

“We need to get the passing game rolling and get better,” Broussard said.

BRECKENRIDGE (2-4, 0-1) AT PARADISE (1-5, 0-1)

7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium

Breckenridge: Harris Rating 211

Notable: The Buckaroos managed only 91 yards in a loss to Brock last week.

Paradise: Harris Rating 184

Notable: The Panthers’ Chris Hill scored twice against Ponder.

Harris line: Breckenridge by 21

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Paradise ISD has two spots on Nov. ballot

Early voters looking to decide the Paradise school board election Nov. 4 will have to cast their ballots outside the city.

Full three-year terms for Places 3 and 4 are up for grabs with Place 5 secured by Rusty Ford, who’s running unopposed. Incumbent Kevin Howerton is being challenged by Vann Wakefield for Place 3 and Jim Taylor faces off against Place 4 incumbent Carrie Preather.

PISD is partnering with Wise County for its election, so early voting locations are determined by where the county has machines.

Early voting for the Paradise school board election will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20-24, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27-31 at three locations:

  • Decatur City Hall, 201 E. Walnut St., Decatur
  • Rhome City Hall, 105 1st., Rhome
  • Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center, 1000 Thompson St., Bridgeport

Early voting will also be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25, and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 26, at Decatur City Hall only.

On election day, the polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following Paradise-area locations:

  • Precinct 22 – AgriLife Extension Building, 206 S. State, Decatur
  • Precinct 8 – Assumption Catholic Church 1305 S. Deer Park, Decatur
  • Precinct 14 – Bridgeport Lions Hall, 1107 6th St., Bridgeport
  • Precinct 16 – Boonsville Community Center, West on Hwy 920, Boonsville
  • Precinct 17 – First United Methodist Church, Activity Center, 301 S. Oak, Paradise
  • Precinct 20 – Cottondale Community Center, 161 CR 3571, Cottondale
  • Precinct 23 – Boyd Community Center, 420 E Morton Ave., Boyd.

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Volleyball: Paradise halts losing streak

The Paradise Lady Panthers stopped their skid in District 9-3A Tuesday with a sweep of Jacksboro.

The Lady Panthers won 25-15, 25-15, 25-23, breaking their three-match losing streak.

Paradise moved to 5-3 in district in fourth place. The Lady Panthers are one match behind Boyd and Nocona, who are tied for second at 6-2.

Jett Preather led the Lady Panthers’ charge against Jacksboro, burying 17 kills. Shelby Bradshaw and Reagan Taylor finished with seven each.

Preather and Madi Horne made 10 digs each.

Taylor and Amber French served two aces each.

Paradise returns to action Saturday at 11 a.m. at City View.

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Football: Panthers seek rebound in loop opener against Ponder

After taking a step back in their final non-district game, the Paradise Panthers will look to rebound Friday night in their District 4-3A Division I opener.

The Panthers (1-4) will play host to the Ponder Lions at 7:30 p.m.

Paradise struggled, falling to Alvord 38-21 Sept. 26. Paradise coach Scott Broussard acknowledged that it was a disappointing way to head into the open date and district play.

“We didn’t play our best against Alvord,” said Paradise coach Scott Broussard. “Weeks two, three and four, we played better and were making strides.”

Without a game last week, Broussard and his staff went about correcting the mistakes from the Alvord game and getting healthy.

“We got some bumps and bruises healed up and worked on some fundamentals,” Broussard said.

Now, the Panthers will try to turn their fortunes around in district and try to grab one of the league’s four playoff spots.

“It’s a wide-open district,” Broussard said. “It’ll come down to whichever team gets hot at the right time.”

Paradise opens with a Ponder squad that posted a 4-1 non-district record. Since losing 31-22 to Callisburg, Ponder has won three straight over Nocona, Howe and Tom Bean.

Brady Anderson leads the Lions offense at quarterback. He is joined in the backfield by J.J. Torres and Trey Dunlap.

“Their quarterback runs well and throws it well,” Broussard said. “Their big on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they fly around to the football.”

Broussard said the Panthers match up well with the Lions, despite given up some size up front.

“They are bigger up front. We have to be consistent with our pad level,” Broussard said.


7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium

Ponder: Harris Rating 191

Notable: The Lions have won three straight games.

Paradise: Harris Rating 186

Notable: Chris Hill has 628 yards in five games for the Panthers.

Harris line: Pick

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Cross Country: Paradise takes second

The Paradise Lady Panthers were a point away from bringing home the 4A-and-under title at the Ken Gaston Invitational last Thursday in Grand Prairie.

Paradise finished second with 41 points – a point back of Brownwood.

Paradise freshman Hannah Beth Pearson took third, finishing the 3,200-meter course in 12:40.

Kaylee McConnell finished fifth in 12:56. Taylor Richards followed her across in sixth in 12:58.

April Coursey took 12th in 13:30. Aliyah Read was 15th in 13:42 as Paradise’s fifth runner.

Emily Brinson finished 17th in 13:51.

The Panthers finished ninth in the boys race with 226 points.

JD Pearson took fifth on the 5K course in 18:24. Landry Norwood garnered 10th in 18:39. Sam Robinson finished 59th in 20:34. Joseph Eisen ran 21:03 for 78th. Garrett Schneck crossed the finish line as Paradise’s fifth runner in 21:25 for 88th.

Gage Schneck was 105th in 23:03, and Dalton Sanders 120th in 24:28.

Paradise will run again Wednesday in Brock and Monday in Graham. The District 9-3A meet is Oct. 20 in Wichita Falls.

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Volleyball: Bowie cuts down Paradise

The Paradise Lady Panthers dropped a third straight match in District 9-3A Friday.

Bowie took three out of four sets from the Lady Panthers, 25-21, 25-16, 17-25, 25-12.

Paradise fell to 4-3 in district.

Reagan Taylor led the Paradise effort with 10 kills. Shelby Bradshaw and Amber French put down seven each. Jett Preather finished with five.

Taylor also blocked eight shots and made eight digs on defense.

Madi Horne dug 19 shots. French made 16 digs, and Bradshaw 14.

Paradise looked to stop the slide Tuesday at home against Jacksboro.

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‘Turned off’ by lack of compassion

I wish I could write a letter about the positive of things today. It is with a broken heart that I have to write about the negative – the down side.

I live in a very small community, to which I moved over 30 years ago to raise my children in the slower pace of life – a smaller area where my children could learn to grow, respect and help others.

I now live in the downtown area. I have lived in the same house for over 17 years. That area is called Paradise.

As of this past September, the people of the town had a situation that quite frequently has been an ongoing problem. We are governed by what is known as a city council, which has passed an ordinance that our utility of water be billed on the first of every month and due by the 15th, with a grace period of no later than the last day of that month.

It’s no problem for some. For others, it is a struggle due to financial problems of some sort, or other factors like local jobs.

But this particular month, our bills were not sent out and received until after the 15th, causing chaos and havoc to those who struggle.

On the first of October, after the city office was closed, the water was shut off to those who had not paid – including several of those serving on the city council.

I will not repeat what was said to those privileged enough to be able to reach the mayor during this event, but I have several questions:

What is this world coming to, that we cannot reach out nor help those less fortunate than us?

When does a city become so hardened, so mean, that they turn their backs on those who helped get them into this place or position?

Why would a mayor who is also a pastor of a local church not show the mercy, kindness, compassion or grace which he preaches?

Shame, shame on all of those involved. How sad to know that in such a very small place we cannot help one another.

Gina Robertson

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Frances Elizabeth Lamb Richardson

Frances Elizabeth Lamb Richardson

Frances Elizabeth Lamb Richardson, of Paradise, died Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 after a gallant battle with brain cancer. She was 62.

A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 at Faith Community Church in Paradise. A service will also be observed at Beallwood Baptist Church in Columbus, Ga., the following Saturday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m.

Frances was born May 13, 1952, in Norton, Va., to Robert E. and Frances Blevins Lamb. She lived in Norton, Pikeville, Ky., Richmond, Va., Clarksburg, W.Va., and Columbus, Ga., with her parents and her brother, Robert E. Lamb Jr. She graduated from Washington Irving High School in Clarksburg, W.Va., and earned a bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College in Tennessee. She received a master’s degree in education from Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.

Frances married James L. (Jimmy) Richardson Jr. Feb. 22, 1975, in Columbus, Ga. She spent her life in service to her Lord, her family, her church and her community. She was a committed Christian, a loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother and grandmother.

As a faithful pastor’s wife, she worked with youth and senior adults. She taught elementary and special education in Tennessee, Georgia and Texas. Frances also worked as a hospital auxiliary volunteer in Decatur and Bridgeport and served as president of the Rotary Club of Decatur. She was a former board member for Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center.

Frances also owned and operated Ray of Sunshine Sitting Service of Wise and Northwest Tarrant Counties.

She is survived by her husband, Jim Richardson; children Laura Elizabeth Richardson Hutson and husband, Paul, Nathan Davis Richardson and wife, Missi, and Ellen Lamb Richardson Davis and husband, Brian; grandchildren Matthew Hutson, Jackson Hutson, Grey Richardson, Chandler Richardson, Gage Richardson and Montgomery Davis; brother Robert E. Lamb Jr. and wife, Patty; mother-in-law Sarah Richardson; sisters-in-law Sally Toddy and husband, Dale, and Amy Benson and husband, Mike; nieces Genny Toddy and Betsy Lamb; and nephews Andrew Benson and Griffin Lamb.

Frances was preceded in death by her parents, and a son who would have been James Robert Richardson.

Memorials may be made to the Gideons International.

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Smith indicted for attempted murder, arson

A Paradise woman accused of setting her home on fire with her husband sleeping inside last fall has been indicted for attempted murder.

Crystal Kay Smith

Crystal Kay Smith, 32, was also indicted on a first degree felony charge of arson intending to damage a habitation.

The indictment included a paragraph finding a deadly weapon – combustible or flammable liquid or materials – was used during the alleged crime. Smith was arrested on the arson charge in July and has remained in the Wise County Jail with bond set at $100,000.

The fire happened at the Smiths’ home at 211 Private Road 3360 in Paradise on Nov. 6 of last year. According to the indictment, Smith set fire to towels inside the home where her then-husband Jeffrey Scott Smith was sleeping.

She then left without waking him up – proof that she intended to commit murder, the indictment states.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Jeffrey Smith woke up when he heard the smoke detectors going off. He found fire in the laundry room, kitchen and the living room and had to crawl through his living room to the front door to escape. During the escape, he suffered minor burns.

Crystal Smith told investigators she had left to pick up their son from school and denied knowing what had caused the fire, which destroyed the home.

According to the affidavit, Crystal Smith later told someone she set the fire, and investigators were able to get her to admit to setting the fire during a secretly recorded phone conversation.

The Smiths separated a month after the fire and were divorced in April of this year, according to civil case records.

The attempted murder charge is a second degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in jail. The first degree felony arson charge carries a possible punishment of five to 99 years in jail.

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Volleyball: Boyd refuses to lose in Paradise – Victory puts Lady ‘Jackets in 9-3A lead

Volleyball: Boyd refuses to lose in Paradise – Victory puts Lady ‘Jackets in 9-3A lead

Before a deafening home crowd, the Paradise Lady Panthers reached match point in the first set and took a 23-22 lead in the second game Tuesday.

But the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets refused to lose.

Rowdy Visitors

ROWDY VISITORS – The Boyd crowd erupts during the Lady Yellowjackets’ sweep of the Lady Panthers in Paradise Tuesday. Fans on both sides screamed throughout the match, creating a deafening environment. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Boyd fought back to take those first two sets, then completed the sweep of the Lady Panthers in the third game. The Lady Yellowjackets won 26-24, 25-23, 25-21.

“It’s amazing. I’m speechless,” said Boyd senior middle blocker Maddie Busch. “We beat them on their home court.”

The victory moved Boyd to 5-1 in District 9-3A and kept it in the hunt for a league title. Boyd shares the district lead with Henrietta.

Keeping It Alive

KEEPING IT ALIVE – Paradise’s Shelby Bradshaw digs a ball during the Lady Panthers’ three-game loss to Boyd Tuesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Paradise, who started district at 4-0, dropped its second straight match and is tied for third with Nocona.

“Tomorrow we make corrections,” said Paradise coach Susie Burt. “We need to make sure we’re talking on defense and setting up so we can go after people and attack.”

In crucial situations, it was Boyd that kept attacking Tuesday behind Busch and Kayleigh Pappajohn. Busch led Boyd with 13 kills. Pappajohn added 12.

“They started tipping, and we kept swinging,” Busch said. “We had a positive attitude and kept it the entire match. We believe if you keep working hard, the score will end up in your favor.

“You’re going to make mistakes but you’ve got to have a next-point mentality and keep swinging.”

Taking Aim at Top

TAKING AIM AT TOP – Boyd’s Maddie Busch puts down a kill during the Lady Yellowjackets’ win Tuesday over Paradise. The win put Boyd into a tie for first place in District 9-3A. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Boyd setters Baylie Harris and Morgan Abbott kept dividing up opportunities between Busch and Pappajohn. Harris had 15 assists, and Abbott 10.

“Our kids played really smart,” said Boyd coach Dusty Crafton. “Our setters knew where the hitters were all night and kept the ball moving.”

Jett Preather led Paradise with a match-high 16 kills. The rest of the Paradise lineup only added 13.

At the end of each set, the Paradise offense disappeared. The Lady Panthers landed only one kill in the final nine points in the first set. Paradise had three kills in the final 10 points in the second, and two in the last 10 of the final game.

“We’ve been working on passing in practice,” Preather said. “I guess we got nervous with the crowd. We have a lot to work on in practice.”

Paradise built a 22-20 lead in a back-and-forth opening set. Then back-to-back kills from Busch and Pappajohn tied the game at 22. After Paradise pulled ahead 24-22, Busch put down a kill to keep her team alive. Two Paradise errors put Boyd in front for Busch to finish off the set.

Paradise went up 15-10 in the second game on a Preather kill. She put down eight finishers in the set.

After Crafton called a timeout, her team fought back to tie the game at 20 on Pappajohn’s kill. Preather gave Paradise the lead 23-22 but it would be Paradise’s last point of the set.

Harris’ kill before a Paradise hitting error set up Busch for another set-closing kill to put Boyd up improbably 2-0.

Trying to stave off the sweep, Paradise took a 14-12 lead in the third game on Johnna Headley’s block.

The Paradise lead didn’t last long. Linsey Chancellor’s lone kill tied the game at 17. A Paradise service-receive error followed by Pappajohn’s kill gave Boyd the lead for good.

Pappajohn put Boyd at match point, 24-20. Libero Britney Howard’s hard hit finished off the match for Boyd.

“I’m super proud of them,” Crafton said. “It’s the hardest working little group of girls. They believe the hard work is going to make a difference.”

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Braden Tyler Smith

Clint and Kelli Smith of Paradise announce the birth of a son, Braden Tyler, on Sept. 25, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces and was 22 inches long.

He has one sister: Bailey, 6.

Grandparents are Stacey and Rhena Smith of Amarillo and Mark and Deryl Newby of Bridgeport.

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London Paige Baldwin

Zach and Cami Baldwin of Paradise announce the birth of a daughter, London Paige, on Sept. 25, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long.

She has one brother: Cannan, 4.

Grandparents are Russell and Twila Baldwin of Claude and Rita Blair of Big Lake.

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