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decatur - Wise County Messenger

decatur - Wise County Messenger

decatur - Wise County

VOLUME 132 - NO. 24 THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 DECATUR, TEXAS 36 PAGES IN TWO SECTIONS PLUS INSERTS 75¢PARADISECutsdon’tincludestaffBy ERIKA PEDROZADespite the budget deficitimpinging Texas school systems,Paradise teachers andother professionals will notfeel the effects by the loss ofjobs. At least not for now.Monday night, the schoolboard voted unanimouslyto extend the contracts ofall teachers, a nurse, librariansand counselors at eachof the four campuses for the2011-2012 school year.“We’ve decided to moveforward with our staff atthis point because we don’thave any answers,” ParadiseSuperintendent MontyChapman said. “Like mostsuperintendents, I’ve beenworking on different wayswe can address the shortfall.But we want to minimizeeverything that affectsthe teaching staff.”Considered cuts includepurchasing fewer supplies,reducing the capital improvementfund to “the bareminimum” and not purchas-Continued on page 5ARHOMEWreckvictimwas localA Rhome woman wasilled Saturday afternoonn a wreck in north Fortorth.According to informationrovided by the Tarrantounty Medical Examiner’sffice, Gayla Moore, 38, diedt 1:19 p.m. on U.S. 287 lesshan a half-mile west of Inerstate35.Details of the wreck werenavailable, but the medicalxaminer’s office ruled theeath accidental.Part 1 of a series examiningdemographic changes in WiseCountyBy BRANDON EVANSWhen entering Rhome eastboundon Texas 114, a green billboardannounces “Elevation: 942feet.”If the sign had listed population,somebody would have scaledit a lot in the past 10 years tomake corrections. When the U.S.Census released numbers forTexas last month, Rhome jumpedpast seven other cities to becomethe county’s third largest.Rhome posted the largest percentageincrease in populationby far, boasting a staggering 176percent growth rate in one decade.With 551 residents in 2000,the city now has 1,522.And the new Rhomans haven’tbeen standing idly by either.They’ve been quick to get involved.“We liked the rural characterand the openness of the lots, andwe liked the tax rate,” said EvelynObenour.She moved to Crown Point fromIndiana five years ago. Now she ismayor of Rhome.N e w c o m e r smoved into housespopping up onthe hills, pasturesand prairies. Severaldevelopmentsthat added to thegrowth are CrownPoint, Ellis Homesteadand By WellEstates.Plenty of othersecho her sentimentsfor movingto Rhome, includingcity council member GerryMcBride.“We sold our home in HighlandVillage and moved out here,” Mc-Bride said. “I’m a rural guy, and Iliked the lower taxes.”McBride moved to By Well Estatesfour years ago.But as Rhome continues togrow, the rural character andeven the lower taxes could be injeopardy.“Rhome is better off than a lotof cities,” McBride said of preparingfor growth, but he admittedthe difficulty of handling it.“Infrastructure is very costly.You have to spend money to takeRHOMECENSUS 2010:BEYONDTHENUMBERScare of water, sewerand road. Youhave to take careof it. You can’t letit deteriorate,”he said. “But youalso don’t want toraise taxes. It canreally put a hit onthe people.”He added thataccess to water iskey to the futureof Rhome.Planning forthe futureToday, the city hopes to get aplan in place. The city councilwas scheduled to discuss at 7tonight at its regular meetingwhen to hold a session to createa master plan for Rhome.McBride encourages publicinput. He said the city needs toact now to prepare for the cominggrowth.“It would be great if we couldmaintain the feel of Rhome,”said Chris Graves.Graves moved to Ellis Homesteadone year ago with his wifeand children. The rural characterwas a draw for him. But heknows more growth is coming.NEW FACES,TRADITION-AL IDEAS— Nearly1,000people havemoved toRhome inthe past 10years, boostingit to thethird largestcity in thecounty. NewcomerChrisGraves,who isrunning forcity council,hopesto keepRhome’srustic appealin theface of inevitablegrowthand development.Messenger photoby Joe DutyMore calling Rhome homeCity sees explosive growth rate, new residents becoming activeIn fact, it was growth that firstgot him involved. When he heardthat a Love’s Travel Stop wasgoing up by his neighborhood, hehad some concerns.Graves is a broker for a truckingcompany, Strait TransportLLC. He was initially worriedabout the truck stop attractingcriminals or other undesirables,such as “lot lizards.” But heeventually learned to accept thenew store.“I’m not a big fan of truckstops,” he said. “But it will begood for the town, and Love’sdoes a good job of maintainingsafety at their locations.”Now Graves is running for citycouncil in the May election.“I left the meeting feelinglike I needed to start gettinginvolved,” he said. “It’s one ofthose things. You can’t complainif you’re not going to get involved.”He’s joined in the election byCole Blanche, another newcomerto Rhome and a resident of EllisHomestead. Blanche has livedin Rhome for a year-and-a-half.The council currently has noContinued on page 9AWISECOUNTYBusinesson the sideSeveral homebusinesses arepopping up aroundWise County likeMegan Degler’s Bug’sBaby Goodies to pullin an extra paycheck.See story on page 2A.Messenger photo by Joe DutyBRIDGEPORTSchool looks to savemoney, avoid staff cutsBy JULIE NEALWhen school finances bring blackclouds to conversations, Bridgeporthas found sunshine.Bridgeport Independent SchoolDistrict received a $900,000 grantfor 172 kilowatt solar panels to beplaced on the high school roof. Thegrant was part of $15 million dollarsdoled out through the StateEnergy Conservation Office.“I think everybody is really excited,”Superintendent Eddie Blandsaid. “I haven’t really pushed it awhole lot yet because we still haveContinued on page 9AWise County MessengerP.O. Box 149115 South TrinityDecatur, Texas 76234www.wcmessenger.comINDEXNews Briefs . . . . . . . .3AOpinion . . . . . . . . . . .4AObituaries . . . . . . . . .6ASports . . . . . . . . . . .14AClassifi eds. . . . . . . . .7AWise Business . . . . .13AYOUTH FAIRPREVIEWGet ready for the 2011Wise County Youth Fairwith a preview in today’sAll Around Wise. Andgo to WCMess.com/youthfair2010 for videofrom last year’s Youth Fair.LEAPING BULLBridgeport’s BryanVasquez broke aschool record in the110 hurdles earlierthis year, and he’sgotten even bettersince.See page 14AWEATHERWed3/2382/53A mainlysunny sky.Warm. High82F. WindsNW at 10 to15 mph.Thu3/2484/65Sunshine.Highs in themid 80s andlows in themid 60s.Fri3/2589/68A fewclouds. Highsin the upper80s and lowsin the upper60s.Sat3/2686/49Slight chanceof a thunderstorm.Sun3/2769/48Mostlysunny. Highsin the upper60s and lowsin the upper40s.www.wcmessenger.com/weather

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